U.S. Air Force journalists create Inauguration app – with livestream video

Two members of the U.S. Air Force have designed the app, “Inauguration,” an  ”everything you need to know” resource for the 57th Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 21. You’ll even be able to access a live-stream of the event via a redirect from CNN.

Click here to get the Joint Task Force – National Capital Region 57th Presidential Inauguration app.

Joint Task Force National Capitol Region Public Affairs

WASHINGTON — Apple Inc. released a cellphone application Monday designed by two airmen currently supporting Joint Task Force – National Capital Region Public Affairs.

The program, called “Inauguration,” is a free, user-friendly app that compiles news and other material related to the 57th Presidential Inauguration from a variety of official websites.

“Inauguration,” which was designed to distribute Department of Defense-released information on the inauguration, collects real time updates from websites linked to it, offering the latest press releases, videos and photographs covering the historic event and preparation for it. It contains a map of the inaugural parade route, complete with global positioning that automatically orients the map based on the user’s location, and icons that pinpoint medical stations, and indicate road closures and walking route.

The app also includes security information released by the secret service and lists items event-goers are prohibited from bringing with them on site.

On Inauguration Day, “Inauguration” will provide a live video stream of the event via a redirect from CNN.

Senior Airman Daniel Burkhardt, who codesigned the app, has been apart from his home station, Joint Base Andrews, Md., for the last week as just one of hundreds of Department of Defense military and civilian personnel sent to JTF – NCR in support of the inauguration.

To encode the app, Burkhardt harnessed the knowledge and skill he gained while completing a degree in network engineering prior to joining the Air Force more than two years ago. His supervisor from Joint Base Andrews, Staff Sgt. Christopher Bevins, created the graphics and videos for the program and gathered information for Burkhardt.

The program took them less than a week to create.

“It’s a huge opportunity,” said Burkhardt, a native of Perkasie, Pa., and a broadcast journalist assigned to 11th Wing Public Affairs. “I’m super excited that I could lend the experience I gained over six to eight months.”

Burkhardt based the application off one he has been working for the last few months to produce that will offer essential information on Joint Base Andrews to newcomers, visitors and family members.

“A lot of Airmen have smart phones,” said Burkhardt. “It’s a central place for all information regarding Andrews.”

Senior Airman Daniel Burkhardt (facing) and Staff Sgt. Christopher Bevins are Air Force broadcast journalists. The duo created the "Inauguration" app.


The Dale Chihuly app: Blow into your iPhone to create art

Dale Chihuly, the world renowned glass sculpture artist who splits his time between Seattle, Washington and the desert, now has his own app.

“The Chihuly App” – created by the Martin Agency, Inc. – is presented by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where the artist’s Breathe Art Into Life exhibit is on display through Feb. 10.

And that’s kind of how the app works … you create colorful shapes by blowing into the iPhone or iPad, breathing life into your new work of art.

Click here to see a video demonstration of the app.

Chihuly, who created the Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala glass sculpture awards, attended the Variety Indie Impact Brunch at The Parker Palm Springs on Sunday.

He also fashioned the orange, vase-shaped Indie Impact award David O. Sullivan received at the Variety brunch.

He’s seen the the app – but he doesn’t have it on his phone – because he doesn’t have an iPhone, he said.

“I’m not very interested in electronic stuff,” the artist said.

Chihuly smiled and pulled a flip phone from his pocket.

“I was impressed by the app,” he added. “It’s really fun.”

Glass sculpture artist Dale Chihuly displays his flip phone at Variety's Indie Impact Brunch at The Parker Palm Springs on Jan. 6, 2013.



This holiday, eat green, shop green

The season of excess is upon us — Thanksgiving, when overeating is practically compulsory,  as is overspending on Black Thursday-Friday. The sales are so good, you just had to buy that kilowatt-guzzling laptop, cell phone, large-screen TV, etc.

I daresay I will be pilloried as an unpatriotic holiday killjoy for what follows, but before insanity descends, let’s stop, take a few deep breaths and think about making the holidays a little less wasteful, food and power-wise.

Dana Gunders, a project scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, has put together some rather unsettling, but well-documented numbers about the environmental impact of our Thanksgiving meals and the food we throw away afterwards.

Turkey with all the fixings, courtesy of the Associated Press. It's 48 hours before Thanksgiving; do you know how much carbon dioxide your holiday meal will emit?

– Producing one pound of turkey meat requires 520 gallons of water and produces 5 kilograms of carbon dioxide.

– As I type, shoppers across the country are buying an estimated 736 millions pounds of turkey — about 581 million pounds will be actual meat. Figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicate that about 35 percent of that — 204 million tons — will be thrown out.

– Going back to our water and CO2 figures, that means about 1 million tons of CO2 and 105 billion gallons of water, on top of all the food wasted.

“This outlandish wastefulness may seem absurd, but only because it’s rare that we stop and appreciate just how much goes into getting food to our tables,” Gunders writes.  “It’s the ultimate irony, really.  We feast to celebrate that our ancestors had enough food to survive their first winter, acknowledging that once upon a time food was something to be grateful for.  Then the next day, we throw half of it away.”

Needless to say, the possibilities for leftover turkey are virtually endless. A Google search on “leftover turkey recipes” delivers 3,230,000 results in .21 seconds.

The Food Network website has a video for a leftover turkey and Brie grilled cheese sandwich that looks absolutely killer.

The NRDC also has an energy-efficiency expert, Noah Horowitz, who has some good tips for having a greener Black Friday.

Buying Energy Star computers, TVs and other appliances is pretty much a no-brainer at this point, the Energy Star website even has a list of its most efficient TVs. But, Horowitz also says to look for the yellow Energy Guide label that provides information on how much power a device uses, televisions and appliances have to have them.

Energy Label E420VA_B003DV55YO__V142464664_.jpg

Horowitz also gives you another good reason to splurge on that iPad — it’s 10-times more energy efficient than a laptop and 35 times more efficient than a desktop computer.

How you set up your new devices also makes a difference, he says. A new TV has a choice of settings, and the most energy efficient will be the “home” or “standard” options; going with a “vivid” or “retail” setting uses 15 to 30 percent more power and could add $50 to $100 to your electric bill over the life of the set.

Going green for the holidays — it really doesn’t take a lot of time and, in the end, it could actually give you much more to be thankful for.