‘CineSpace’ Short Film Competition

NASA and the Houston Cinema Arts Society invite professional and aspiring filmmakers to share their works using actual NASA imagery. The “CineSpace” competition will accept all genres, including narrative, documentary, comedy, drama, animation and others, up to 10 minutes long. Entries must use at least 10 percent publicly available NASA imagery. Entries will be judged on creativity, innovation and attention to detail. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three submissions, as well as two special category films: 1) the best documentary film and 2) the film that best exhibits human presence in space.

Submission Deadline: July 15, 2019


5 Tips to Avoid Crashes with Buses and Trucks

By Meemic Insurance

As the economy hums along, we are sharing the roads with more trucks than ever before.

Unfortunately, many people do not exercise the extreme caution required when driving around 18-wheelers, container trucks and buses. And if there is an accident, due to their sheer size and weight, they can crush a passenger vehicle, seriously injuring or killing the occupants.

Trucks have tremendous blind spots, take longer to brake and often require multiple lanes to make turns. If you are also driving in hazardous conditions like icy, snowy or wet roads, the chances of an accident grow.

Another vehicle in or encroaching into the truck’s lane was the critical pre-crash event for 73 percent of fatal large-truck crashes in the U.S. last year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid having an incident while sharing the road with trucks and buses. Here are five tips:

1. Stay out of blind spots: You’re small and those trucks are giants. Even though the drivers are sitting high above you, that size comes with huge blind spots for the truck drivers. Here is a good rule of thumb if you must drive in the lane next to a truck: If you can’t see the driver through their window or in their sideview mirror, the chances are good that they cannot see you either.

It’s better if you don’t drive in their blind spot at all, so strategically position your vehicle so that you stay behind or ahead of the truck, if possible. Be careful when merging into a lane next to a truck.

2. Pass with care: As mentioned above, make sure you see the driver in their mirror before passing. Start signaling early and then move into the left lane and accelerate so you can as quickly as safely possible pass them and get out of their blind spot.

When you merge back into the same lane as the truck, make sure you do so only when the truck is visible in your rearview mirror.

Don’t pass going downhill or while in the right lane.

3. Give a wide berth: When driving near trucks, be sure to give them a wide berth. Don’t tailgate or linger too long alongside a truck, and make slow predictable movements. Do not cut off a commercial truck or bus. They need more time to brake and slow down than passenger vehicles, and they are heavy, so if they crash into you, the results can be catastrophic.

4. Don’t tailgate: Tailgate at your own peril. If the truck or bus in front of you must suddenly stop and you rear-end the vehicle, the chances of severe injury or death are extremely high. Don’t stop too close behind a truck at a light, either. If someone rear-ends you or the truck rolls backwards, there could be serious consequences.

5. Watch for wide turns: Trucks need extra space to make turns, and they will often start a turn from the second lane to the right in order to navigate the corner. If you see a truck with its turn signal on, don’t try to squeeze in between the inner lane and the vehicle. Keep your distance.

Find more driving and home safety tips at our Safety & Information Center, Meemic.com/Safety.

Might We Suggest Green: Making Solar Work for Wisconsin Public Schools

Solar Energy is the fastest growing source of electricity in the United States, primarily driven by an 80% drop in the cost of solar panels in the last 8-years as well as the tax and cash incentives associated with installing a solar array. Public schools, being non-profit entities, cannot take advantage of the tax benefits, which are significant, thus making it very difficult for school districts to justify the expense of installing solar on their facilities. Additionally, in recent years historic public school funding cuts in Wisconsin have made fiscal planning very challenging, thus your district is constantly searching for creative ways to decrease operating expenses.
To help Wisconsin public schools overcome this dilemma there are several grant opportunities available. When combined with creative financing, these grants can potentially allow solar projects to be cashflow positive from the day they are installed. In addition to reducing operating expenses, solar installations also provide a great platform for STEM curriculum modules. This combination of savings and education provide an outstanding opportunity for Wisconsin public schools. Convergence Energy is working hard to enable your school to go solar now and lead the way towards a cleaner, smarter, and greener world, one school at a time. To learn more about solar and your school, please contact Steve Johnson at sjohnson@convergence-energy.com or (630) 232-9200.

Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Grant Competition

InvenTeams composed of high school students, teachers and mentors are asked to collaboratively identify a problem that they want to solve, research the problem, and then develop a prototype invention as an in-class or extracurricular project. The maximum grant award is $10,000. InvenTeam projects span many fields from assistive devices to environmental technologies and consumer goods. Applicants are encouraged to consider needs of the world’s poorest people (those earning $2/day) when brainstorming invention ideas.

Apply by April 8, 2019.