Tuesday, July 2, 2013

2013 Yuri's Night Highlights to Inspire the [Mass]es to Join the 2014 Team!

Let's jump to the end: Join the Party! +Yuri's Night (YN) 2014 Global Executive Team (GET) Applications are now being accepted until July 22 (Link to apply), with the new team members announced approximately August 15th.

Momentum = [mass] multiplied by [velocity], where velocity is the distance traveled over time. In YN non-profit terms = [awesome GET volunteers] multiplied by [YN Attendees shaking their @$$es on the dance floor over time]. After 13 years of continual growth, Yuri's Night has established a well oiled GET machine, but as mentioned above, we are looking for more [mass]. In order to enthuse you about 2014 and consider signing up, it's important to consider the 2013 highlights. I've picked my Top 5 from 2013 and whay they were important to me personally, and added honorable mentions below that. Our media team also did a great job of covering the highlights in this post: http://yur.is/14KkYIs

Highlight 1: #CSATweetUp

The +Canadian Space Agency hosted their first TweetUp event in Western Canada  in partnership with Yuri's Night and the Telus World of Science Edmonton to celebrate YN with over 500 students, 25 #CSATweetUp participants, thousands of people watching online, and VIP +Chris Hadfield live from the +International Space Station! My favorite quote from Chris that day was: "When you have the world at your window, it’s hard to go to sleep at night." This event was personally very near and dear to my heart because I grew up in Toronto and CSA was an influence to my space education upbringing and then later in my graduate studies (IACs in particular). I could sense the enthusiasm of young Canadians via the webcast and I hope they chase their dreams to fly into space. It was great to work with the CSA to set up this really cool Yuri's Night, with the rare live link to space!

Highlight 2: Greetings from Mars

Tweet #2: "Happy #YurisNight! Celebrate the anniversary of human spaceflight w/an event near you: http://yurisnight.net"

We went interplanetary for the first time! I think this highlight speaks for itself from these two Tweets. We had been in touch with the Mars Curiosity team months ago and they weren't sure if they could participate. Then we pinged them again the afternoon before Yuri's Night to ask one more time, a few hours and many emails later, the party was set for the Red Planet! Thank you JPL and Team Curiosity! Also check out the Facebook post: URL.

Highlight 3: Ground Control to Commander Hadfield

You already know that +Chris Hadfield is awesome and his YN support along with the +Canadian Space Agency is why they were awarded the 2013 Spirit of Yuri's Night Award. Chris recorded this video in space for the world in celebration of YN, but what you may not know is that +Brice Russ and I helped write the talking points / script. Thank you CSA and Chris (again) for being such an inspiration and we hope to work with you in the future.

Highlight 4: Shuttle Californication

Posted to Yuri's Night Live: Space Shuttle Endeavour at the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center at the California Science Center during Yuri’s Night Los Angeles 2013. Credit: Tess Valmore, LA, CA.
Party under Space Shuttle Endeavour? F-yeah! Yuri's Night Co-Creator Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides ran this blockbuster Yuri's Night Los Angeles (YNLA) with over 700 celebrating space under the Shuttle. My personal connection in this story is that Loretta (and George) recruited me as a volunteer for Yuri's Night 2003 during my International Space University internship at the +XPRIZE Foundation. 2003 was my YN start and I'm sure YNLA 2013, 10 years later, will inspire the people who will fill the current GET's shoes. It could and should be you! Speaking of shoes, Buzz Aldrin's shoe was swabbed for science by +Science Cheerleader Taylor and the sample may be flown to space on Space Florida and +NanoRacks' International Space Station Research Competition (ISSRC) with Project MERCURRI. Check out this YNLA 2013 video!

Highlight 5: The Winning Lotto Numbers are 356 - 57 - 7 - 2

Success should be quantified. The way we do that at Yuri's Night is by showing continual growth in our party count. I was proud to lead a team that crushed our previous event count in 2012 (222 events) with 356 this year! We had events in 57 countries and on all 7 continents. We reached Mars for the first time and Rocked two Planets!

Honorable Mentions

There are many more highlights that deserve a whole blurb, but here are the relevant links or stories that are good to know about from 2013:
  • Our GET member Fatemeh helped ~27 events get started in Iran. This is amazing and a shinning example of how one person can help connect their region to a global space community.
  • LeVar Burton recorded a video for us!
  • We opened a new website thanks to +Jason CranfordTeague's wicked design.
  • We opened our MCC 2 system for events to register.
  • There was a laser show on the side of a building in Russia
  •  We rebooted Yuri's Night Live and received submissions from around the world: http://live.yurisnight.net/
  • Giant Party in NL!
  • Getting mentioned in NASA's Sequestration Notice... that was unfortunate for the centers that had to cancel events.
  • Being part of the 2012 Get Curious campaign that had events across the world celebrating the Mars Curiosity landing Aug. 5 (my wedding date).
  • Cocoa Beach events! I help organize a night party at Nolan's Irish Pub and a BBQ the next day at the Cocoa Beach Brewing Company with +Chris Shaffer. It was great to get back in the driver seat and help create local events and connect other Space Coast events. Here's the limerick toast I wrote for the event:

Back to the beginning, which was the end. Are you [mass]? Come join the party and help write history in 2014!


P.S. In case you completely missed it [mass] = [awesome GET volunteers]!
P.P.S. I was going to write about how the 2014 Olympics are in Russia before Yuri's Night, but we can save that for a different blog post.
P.P.P.S. 2014 is also the 10th Anniversary of SpaceShipOne's historic three flights!

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