Have you ever been involved with something that was nationally or globaly reknowned?

Any small part in something big certainly qualifies.

Boyo Jim was recently recognized for his now famous work, but I’ll let him write that account. :slight_smile:

The closest I’ve ever come to that sort of recognition was a project I helped with when I was in college. I worked at the Byrd Polar Research center for a couple years, and was the lackey that stapled together dozens of “blue ice” packets that kept ice core samples cold on their way back to the US from Mt. Kilamanjaro. This expedition was made slightly famous in the movie “An Inconvenient Truth”, and had just about every scientist in the field of Paleo-climatology in the world interested in it. I helped requisition the gear for numerous of similar expeditions, but i was more of a secretary than anything else.

I also made a suggestion in a National live conference call once, after a catastrophic hurricane in Florida. They were discussing what to do about getting temperature-sensitive medication to the people affected by the storm (I think it was Hugo). They suggested that people just buy the meds at a pharmacy and just apply for reimbursement. I spoke up (and almost peed myself in doing so) and noted that such meds could often run into the thousands of dollars for even just a short term supply, and that many people who’s homes had just been obliterated might not be able to front that kind of cash.

The head pharmacist agreed, and a plan was implemented to keep people from having to seek reimbursement. It was a national video conference call, that they held a few times a month. I was picked almost at random to be the “customer service representative” that attended that particular meeting. The storm had happened the previous day.

There’s nothing quite like having the remotely operated video camera focus in on you. Especially when you’re interjecting into a damage-control conversation of a $30 billion dollar/year prescription benefit management company right after a natural disaster. I was shaking like a leaf. The main guy at our site (who had to have been clearing a mil/year with options) was five feet away from me, and every single important person in the entire company was in on the call. I’m surprised I didn’t have an aneurysm.
I’m sure we have people that have been/are on Capitol Hill, advisers of the most elite people there are, and people that have otherwise made waves writ large. If you can talk about it, please do!

This should get really interesting!

[sub] if this has been done before, a link to the original thread and a Mod closure are in order[/sub]

I went to a Telluride Association Summer Program. Not sure how famous they are, really, but it was pretty exclusive and took some work to get there.

(Any St. Johns 1993 TASPers on the Dope?)

Does the NDP count?

In the run-up to our last convention, the National Post ridiculed our resolution book, specifically singling out for ridicule two resolution clauses on LGBT rights that I had brought. I was terribly honoured.

<Totally irrelevant aside> Hey, that’s where I live! </TIA>

I assume you mean aside from the Global War on Terrorism. :smiley:

SSG Schwartz

I worked for NASA on the space program. You know how there used to be a tower next to the rocket, and it would fall away from the rocket as the thing blasted off? There were hoses between rocket and tower that kept the tanks full even though the fuel was boiling off. The hoses went to control assemblies that managed the fuel flow and pressure and so forth. The control assemblies were considered a possible sabotage target, so after assembly and testing NASA wanted all the nuts and bolts painted with dabs of specially formulated paint with many secret tracer ingredients, so that in the event of a disaster, they could disassemble the control assemblies and analyze the paint on each nut and bolt to see if it was the undamaged original special paint.

The assemblies were too tight for grown men to crawl around in once they were assembled, so NASA hired small children to do so under the direction of engineers, and I got to be one of them. I held a mirror for the engineers to see what I was doing, and they called instructions in to me. This was in '63, when I was 6.

A guy I know recently wrote a best-selling new biography of Harry Houdini. To conduct his research, he collected hundreds of thousands of pages of source material and used highly specialized software to index, categorize, and search it all. Because he had it all at his fingertips, he was able to discover tons of new facts and connections that previous Houdini biographers did not have access to.

I wrote that software for him.

Would you e-mail the name of the book, I am fascinated.

For my own, I worked for a very large publishing/film/tv conglomerate that was also the answer to an original Trivial Pursuit question: What is the worlds largest non-profit educational organization? I also designed their first on-line index to all publications.

Done, enjoy.

If anyone else is interested, you can find the book by searching Amazon for “Houdini.” It’s the first book there – the one published in October 2007. (Hardcover published October 2006).

Right now, there are millions of people in the US and Europe who have software that I designed installed on their computers.

I worked at Edwards AFB for a contractor. Most of the time I helped to set up parameters for flight tests (F-15, B-1A, B-1B briefly) by entering stuff into the mainframe and routing them to punch cards. Then we got to work on the Space Shuttle. The Air Force sent up rawinsonde balloons to gather meteorological data. They would upload the data and we would reformat it and send it to Johnson Space Center at specified times throughout the day and night. We’d establish communications with JSC, wait for their signal, and then send the data. The data were used to help make the decision whether Edwards could be used for landing. So I got to reformat the meteorological data, talk to JSC, and send it to them. Once the program failed for some reason. It was written in BASIC, so I was able to fix it – just in time so that we avoided having to photocopy the data, go over to NASA, and fax it to JSC.

I was a very, very small part of a great adventure. But I did get a very nice certificate that I still have around somewhere, and I got it autographed by astronauts Joe Engle and Richard Truly. (I got the standard-form recognitions for the other flights I worked on, but they weren’t as nice.)

And I worked as an extra on The Right Stuff.

What is it?


I just have to say that I believe you and that story is very cool but it sounds like the biggest load of bullshit I read this week. I am cracking up imagining you telling that to an actual 6 year old on your lap today or even to the person next to you in a bar.

Sorry, but I’d rather not say.

I worked on the film crew of a number of (big and small budget) Hollywood films before giving it up for steadier work.

I’d have thought, given the cult-like celebrity status afforded to movie stars in our society, that this would make me something of a hit at parties, but I was wrong - apparently this isn’t enough to make me a hit at parties. :slight_smile: Almost no one I’ve mentioned this to has seemed the slightest bit interested in the details, so I’ve stopped mentioning it.


Kidding! Kidding!
Now I’m mainly writing copy for websites and print advertisements, but for a while I did a lot of brainstorming for new product names. Most of these went out on the market long after I worked on them, had a brief run, and were discontinued after a season or so. The two that actually went on to some success were the Sony Aibo and Lego Mindstorm.

I was one of the many patriotic Americans who found something better to do than participating in Hands Across America.

I was doing work in Afghanistan, when an Air Force news crew came along and wanted to do a 30-second spot on RED HORSE. As the OIC, I was “obliged” to make a short statement. The short was on the ‘Pentagon Channel’ and I got a few phone calls from a few coworkers I hadn’t heard from in awhile.

Yup, I’ve had my fifteen minutes of fame.

I wish I’d been so lucky. The commander of the navy base where I was serving ordered all personnel not on watch to participate, as a PR gesture. Given the average military person’s political views, you can imagine the enthusiasm.

It reminded me of the old joke "if only everyone on earth could set aside their petty squabbles and just once join hands in an unbroken chain of humanity…

…a lot of people would drown."

I had a thread about my sailing trip as it was happening.

Scroll down to post #21 if you want to see where the reknowned part begins. I’ve heard that we were a big news story in Canada. We were almost completely isolated on the ship; I didn’t even know what day it was most of the time. I’d be curious to hear from any north-of-the-border dopers what the coverage was like.