Sunday, December 24, 2017

Annual Status Update and Happy Holidays 2017!, By Alec Frazier and Autistic Reality

Hello, and happy holidays!
Me and Santa Claus in Littleton, Colorado, on Christmas Eve, 2017.
There have been a number of wonderful developments in the last year!

Professional Developments

Me speaking on Capitol Hill with a sign language interpreter.
After graduating from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a bachelor’s in political science and a master’s in disability studies, I moved to Washington, DC, on November 1 of last year. I have had a very productive time advocating for disability rights, and lobbying for things such as healthcare, housing, and other things that we, in the disability population, as well as people in general, may need. I have lobbied a number of my legislators, and even made friends with one of my Senators, Chris Van Hollen, as well as my Representative, Jamie Raskin. I have also gotten to speak a number of times, such as at an affordable housing rally in Baltimore, and also twice on Capitol Hill. In November, I attended the Ruderman Inclusion Summit in Boston. I have also attended endless other conferences, and meetings both formal and informal to further the disability cause.
My boss, Jd Michaels, and me in the library of BBDO Worldwide.
The biggest professional development is as follows. Three days after moving to the Washington, DC area, I was invited to a function at the Obama White House. At that function, I met a man by the name of Jd Michaels. Jd is the Executive Vice President of a prestigious ad firm in New York City called BBDO Worldwide. Jd has decided to help me out a great deal. He has hired me for at least a year to be an editor on an anthology of stories written by the disability community. The pay is very good. My boss has also decided to give me a book deal. Those of you who are familiar with my previous “book” will know that that was actually more like a pamphlet. This upcoming book will be much, much larger, and will include a great number of essays on disability, reviews of pop culture, and everything in between, which is a lot! In order to do this book, I am reviewing a great number of movies, television shows, and other pop-culture phenomena. To make this easier, my boss has generously helped me get access to various services to access these phenomena. I am eternally grateful to him. In addition, a number of my essays for my master’s degree and my blog will also be included in the book. At some point, hopefully around March to May of next year, this book will be available. It will be available in accessible format for the visually impaired and other people with issues reading. In addition, I will most likely be promoting this book at New York Comic Con. Furthermore, around the same time the book comes out, I will be starting my own podcast to talk about a number of issues including but not limited to disability, pop-culture, social life, and much, much more. Finally, sometime around a year from now, I will most likely be getting a TED Talk. I am also very thankful for my friend and colleague Tari Hartman Squire, and all she has done to enable these efforts professionally. 
Tari Hartman Squire and me in the South Congressional Meeting Room of the Capitol Visitors Center.
Personal Developments
Kenny Kalman and me at the National Air and Space Museum.
I am making endless friends in the Washington, DC area. My best friend tends to be Kenny Kalman. I am also still very strong friends with my professional mentor, Mat McCullough. In addition, I am friends with many others, including Heidi Jane Wangelin, Marilyn Pifer, and many more. I have also begun seeing a couple living in Washington, DC, which may at some point become something much more. This year, I have also taken two vacations, one to Florida, one to Ithaca, New York. The trip to Florida was with my fan group for James Cameron’s Avatar, and we saw the alien moon of Pandora, as well as the active spaceport at the Kennedy Space Center. I also spent a long weekend with fellow Twilight fans, celebrating our friendship and creativity. 
The Valley of Mo'ara on Pandora.
My brother Nick is doing extremely well, having found his professional calling in life. He is working promoting a music festival in Ithaca, New York, called the Finger Lakes Thaw. He has also moved to that town after living in New York City for some time. He and I are much friendlier than we have been in years. Furthermore, he is in a relationship himself. He has always been good at formulating new concepts and pushing new ideas, and I am very, very proud of him.
Mee with mom on Thanksgiving, 2017.
Mom almost died earlier this year from a progressive worsening of her ongoing medical conditions. It was getting to the point where she could no longer breathe, even with assistance from technology. Nevertheless, she is arguably the strongest person I have ever met, and refuses to give in. After being told by two hospitals that there was very little hope, she went somewhere that was able to help her, and she has rallied significantly, although she will probably not be where she was before. Fantastically, she still has a wonderful social life with friends and family. I love her tremendously, and I think her for raising me to become the person I am today.
Dad cooking steaks outback of his house the day before Christmas Eve, 2017.
Dad continues to do his amazing business in journalism and consulting around the world. Earlier this year, he went to Belgium and had a fantastic time seeing the sights as well as doing business. I am writing this letter from his home in Edgewater, Colorado, where we are having an absolutely magical holiday season! During my time with him, we have seen family and done many fun things. Of course, dad has also visited me in Takoma Park, Maryland, and has been very helpful at getting me set up!
Me with my fellow Twilight fans.
I am very thankful to all of you, my friends, business contacts, and more.
Me with the beautiful cherry blossoms in Washington, DC.
Many fond wishes, and a happy new year!

Alec Frazier
Autistic Reality
Without Fear: the First Autistic Superhero &
Veni! Vidi! Autism!: An Autistic Reality of the World

This blog posting is both the personal opinion of Alec Frazier, and the professional policy of his advocacy firm, Autistic Reality. If you oppose it, please screen grab it! We are very proud of this opinion!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Of Alec and Älek: A Journey to Pandora – The World of Avatar, by Alec Frazier and Autistic Reality

Alec Frazier in the Valley of Mo'ara
Kaltxì! That means “Hello!” in Na’vi, the language of the people of the same name in James Cameron’s film, Avatar! I am a massive fan of said movie, and am very proud to share a special experience with you. You see, I belong to the official fan group, called AvatarMeet! Earlier this month, November, 2017, a number of us gathered in Florida and went to Pandora – The World of Avatar at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom.
Mountains Through Fog
The day we first went, it was foggy in the morning. We got to the park, and met with our guide, Diego Parras, the Communications Manager at Walt Disney Imagineering. Imagineering is a job that is very specific to Disney properties. It involves creating entire new worlds to explore through architecture, engineering, landscaping, and other forms of creativity. From the front area of the park, called the Oasis, we saw the gigantic floating mountains of Pandora through the dense fog.
Bridge to Pandora
One heads into Pandora via a bridge from the central area of the Animal Kingdom, which is called Discovery Island. It is at this point that you leave Earth, and travel to the moon of Pandora orbiting gas giant Polyphemus in the Alpha Centauri system.
Baja Tickler
In the film, Col. Miles Quaritch reminds you, “You’re not in Kansas anymore. You’re on Pandora!” This is immediately apparent as you see a ginormous plant that resembles a massive pod that glows from within. It is called a baja tickler by humans, although the Na’vi name is txumtsä’wll, which means “poison-squirting plant”. It squirts moisture and glows when people interact with it
Floating Mountains
Then, as if in the film itself, the fog lifted, and we saw the floating mountains of the Valley of Mo'ara, the area of Pandora which you visit in this park. The science behind the floating mountains says that they formed when Pandora was in the molten state, with geological deposits rich in the magnetically repulsive mineral Unobtainium repelling themselves from the ground and dragging the rest of the mountains with them. These mountains are absolutely awe-inspiring, and are covered with plants and waterfalls.
Dr. Paul Frommer Teaches Na’vi
We rode the Flight of Passage ride with Diego and Dr. Paul Frommer, our good friend who invented the Na’vi language. More on that later. We then went to Satu’li Canteen, where we were treated to a Na’vi lesson over an alien inspired brunch.

Signature of Diego Parras in My Copy of  theActivist Survival Guide
I also got Diego to sign my copy of the Activist Survival Guide, an in-universe guide to Pandora that was created and sold when the movie initially came out. Diego said that, more than any engineering manual, this book was his and the other Imagineeers’ guide in creating Pandora.
Lunch from Satu'li Canteen
At another point, I had lunch at Satu’li Canteen. The idea is that it provides alien-inspired foods that humans can eat. They make these delicious bowls of food combining salad, meat protein, and sauce. Everything, including the meat at this location is organically grown. There are a number of vegetarian options. You can actually see them cooking the meat in the location. There is also an exhibition of Na’vi cookware in the canteen.
Banshee Rookery at Windtraders
We also went to the gift shop, Windtraders, where they have a number of really awesome products. The highlight is a banshee rookery where you can select a banshee, or ikran, as the Na’vi call them—or it just might select you! These ikrans are robotic, and come with sound effects, and can be mounted to your shoulder or to a perch that you may purchase. I have named mine Tìronsrel, which means Imagination in Na’vi.
I have also purchased an avatar, which I have named Älexänter te Frayzer Txawnält’itan, or Älek, for short. My personal mythology says that it has been turned into Na’vi by passing through the Eye of Eywa, much as Jake Sully did in the film. They actually scan your face and let you choose a number of the characteristics of your avatar, including stripe pattern, age, gender, hairstyle, eye color, and other facets. It takes at least half an hour to render your face into the Na’vi form. A note about Na’vi naming: The first name is the given name. The “te” comes from the word “ta”, which means “from”. The second name is the family name. The third name means “son or daughter of…” Males have their father’s name mentioned in the third name, while females have their mother’s name. I would imagine that intersex children may choose or have both. Dr. Frommer is very friendly to LGBTQ causes.
Night Blossom
There is also a refreshment stand called Pongu Pongu, which sells exotic alien-inspired drinks! My favorite is the Night Blossom.
My Friends and I in Front of Pongu Pongu
A number of my friends and I also posed in front of Pongu Pongu, where they have an old AMP suit, or military exoskeleton, from the time when humans and Na’vi were enemies on Pandora. Pongu Pongu is also decorated with other old artifacts from the former military times on Pandora such as dog tags and various drinking vessels.
A Stream with Alien Plants
Please note that the Valley of Mo’ara and Pandora as you see it at Disney World take place several generations after the events of the films, when humans and Na’vi are at peace. A number of the plants are artificial alien plants, but the Imagineeers also took advantage of the rich abundance of Central Florida and the plethora of plants that grow there. One of the big draws of the film Avatar is the feeling of serenity you have after seeing it. This feeling of serenity exists in the theme park, as well.
Getting on the Boats for the Na’vi River Journey
One of the theme park rides is the Na’vi River Journey, in which you journey along a bioluminescent river as it glows in the dark, and creatures move around you. The amazing thing is that, although some of the creatures and all the plants are three-dimensional, most of the creatures and the Na’vi are actually on screens embedded in the foliage. At the end, the Na’vi tribes also gather around you, and you are greeted by the Shaman of Songs, easily the most advanced robotic ever built by man, who looks like she is actually real. Following the greeting from the Shaman, you see a number of totemic artifacts left by the Na’vi.
A Totem in the Valley of Mo'ara
Throughout the ride, you will hear the Shaman Song, at first sung by faceless Na’vi, and later sung by the Shaman herself. Here it is below, first in Na’vi, and then in English.

The Shaman Song


Ma Na’rìng alor, mì Na’rìng lu tsngawpay.
Awnga leym, lereym san…
Ma Eywa, Ma Eywa, Ma Eywa.

’Awstengyawnem, Ma Sa’nok aNawm
Awnga leym, lereym san…
Ma Eywa, Ma Eywa, Ma Eywa.

Tìnewfa leNa’vi, Na’rìng tìng lawr
Awnga leym, lereym san…
Ma Eywa, Ma Eywa, Ma Eywa.


Oh beautiful Forest, there are tears in the Forest
We call out, calling out…
Oh Eywa, oh Eywa, oh Eywa.

Connected as one,
oh Great Mother
We call out, calling out…
Oh Eywa, oh Eywa, oh Eywa.

By the People’s will,
The Forest is singing
We call out, calling out…
Oh Eywa, oh Eywa, oh Eywa.
Swotu Wayä Navi Drum Ceremony
Another highlight is the Swotu Wayä Na’vi Drum Ceremony, where human drummers who have assimilated to Na’vi culture sing, dance, and play drums, inviting you to join them and the clans on this magical world. The lyrics of their songs are as follows, first in Na’vi, and then in English.

Song 1: Spaw Eywati (Believe Eywa)

Spaw! Rol! Rey!
Eywa ngahu!
Rol! Srew! Spaw!


Believe! Sing! Live!
Sacred Place!
Eywa be with you!
Sing! Dance! Believe!
It’s awesome!

Song 2: Leym Ayolo’ru (Call the clans)


Leym san ma Tipani! Za’u! Za’u!
Leym san ma Kekunan! Za’u! Za’u!
Leym san ma Tawkami! Za’u! Za’u!
Leym san ma Anurai! Za’u! Za’u!
Leym san ma Omatikaya! Za’u! Za’u!


Calling the Tipani: Join us! Join us!
Calling the Kekunan: Join us! Join us!
Calling the Tawkami: Join us! Join us!
Calling the Anurai: Join us! Join us!
Calling the Omaticaya: Join us! Join us!

Song 3: Slu Na’viyä Hapxì (Become one of the people)


Eywa! Lawnol! Kato! Toruk Makto! Omatikaya!
Ma Sa’nok aNawm! Tìnew leNa’vi!


Eywa! Great joy! Rhythm! Toruk rider! Omaticaya!
Oh Great Mother! The People’s will!
Linda Drumming
During this last song, the drummers invite a member of the audience to come up and join the clans. I was absolutely thrilled to see my friend Linda, who is quite possibly the most loving person I’ve ever met, join in and drum in this celebration of life.
Totemic Figure of an Ikran
The single greatest attraction on Pandora is Flight of Passage, a ride in which you actually get to fly with the Na’vi through the rich landscape of Pandora. The ride actually starts with the beginning of the line, at which there are totemic figures made out of sticks and reeds by the Na’vi.
Could this be Jake Sully?
After that, you enter a cave system containing a number of cave paintings left by the Na’vi. One noteworthy illustration depicts a triumphant Na’vi rising above a blue avatar handprint superimposed on a red human handprint. Could this be a representation of Jake Sully, the Toruk Makto from the original film?
In another part of the cave, the Toruk soars above all.
The Book on Pandoran Botany Written by Dr. Grace Augustine
Further on, you come across a human lab with a number of experiments going on, and a number of materials paying reference to parts of the film and the ride introduction sequences.
The Avatar
There is also an actual avatar floating in its tank in suspended animation. The quality of Disney workmanship is absolutely superb. Most of the time, Disney rides and attractions are above and beyond any other entertainment experience. In this case, Pandora at the Animal Kingdom is above and beyond anything else that Disney has ever done. You eventually go through and are matched to an avatar, as well as being decontaminated of parasites, educated about conservation, and about various aspects of Na’vi culture there are, in fact, three different levels of the ride, each with different intro sequences. You are then mounted on a link chair, and transported onto the back of a banshee. The sights, sounds, feelings, smells, and everything else will convince you that you’re really there. You even feel the creature breathing beneath you, smell the plants of the forest, and get sprayed by the water beneath you. The ride also adds new elements to the Avatar mythology, with new plants and wildlife making appearances for the first time.
The Handprints of James Cameron, Joe Rohde, and Jon Landau
The first time I rode Flight of Passage, I was between Diego Parras, the head of communications for Disney Imagineering, and Dr. Paul Frommer, inventor of the Na’vi language. A number of times during my first couple times on the ride, I broke into tears with how wonderful the experience was for me. At other times I was hooting and hollering in the exhilaration. I told Diego after we got off the ride that, according to my five senses, I was actually party to riding on a banshee. It is by far the best ride I’ve ever been on. Diego told me, “Here at Disney, we do not build roller coasters or Ferris wheels. Instead, we strive to build emotional connections.” It clearly worked. At the exit of the ride are the handprints of Avatar producer and director James Cameron, Avatar producer Jon Landau, and the chief Imagineer on the project, Joe Rohde. For those who are interested in the lines said by your guide during the ride, I include them below, first in Na’vi, and then in English.
My Ikran, Tìronsrel, which means Imagination in Na’vi
  1. Alaksi srak? Nong oet!
  2. Fìfya’o!
  3. Nìler.
  4. Nari si.
  5. Tam. Var kiva.
  6. Tsun tivam.
  7. May’ fikem sivi.
  8. Eywa ftxoley.
  9. Alaksi lu nga. Tsun fikem sivi.
  10. Siva ko!
  11. Soleia!
  12. Makto ko.
  13. May’ fikem sivi.
  14. Eywa’eveng. Oey kelku.
  15. Nìn tsat, sätaron.
  16. ’Ä’ … Ke li!
  17. Oel ngati kameie.
  1.  Ready? Follow me!
  2. This way!
  3. [Fly] steadily!
  4. Careful.
  5. Okay. Keep going.
  6. Not bad.
  7. Try this.
  8. Eywa has chosen.
  9. You’re ready. You can do this.
  10. Rise to the challenge!
  11. You rose to the challenge!
  12. Let’s ride.
  13. Try this!
  14. Pandora. My home.
  15. Look, a hunt.
  16. Whoops … not yet!
  17. I See you. (singular)
The Sagittaria
There are a few living creatures depicted in the Valley of Mo'ara as well. One is the Sagittaria, a squirting aquatic creature that resembles a cross between a mollusk and a crustacean.
The Sagittaria at Night
At night, everything lights up, including these creatures, resembling the bioluminescence of the plants and animals in the film.
The Base of the Floating Mountains at Night
Some of the plants that light up only light up on the tips of their blooms.
More Foliage at Night
Whereas other plants light up in total.
Alec and Älek
Pandora is absolutely amazing, and I am so glad that I have got to share just a small portion of my wonderful visit with you. As they say on Pandora, “Oel ayngati kameie,” or “I see you.”

This blog posting is both the personal opinion of Alec Frazier, and the professional policy of his advocacy firm, Autistic Reality. If you oppose it, please screen grab it! We are very proud of this opinion!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Dare to Dream: An Autistic Advocate’s Visit to the Kennedy Space Center, by Alec Frazier and Autistic Reality

I was in Florida for the 2017 meetup of fans of James Cameron’s Avatar. On one day during our meetup, we went to the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), our nation’s port in our adventure towards the stars.
Photo of Alec Frazier with Astronaut Mike Foreman
I started the day by hearing a briefing about our nation’s state of affairs in space. We have several programs taking place at the current moment, as well as partnership with several other nations. One of these greatest programs is the International Space Station (ISS), arguably the grandest symbol of international peace and cooperation ever produced by humanity, in which individuals from several nations and materials from several regions of the globe are used to work in unison for the betterment of mankind. We also learned that within a year and a half, Americans will continue launching into space from the Kennedy Space Center. After this briefing, we in the audience got to hear from Mike Foreman, an actual astronaut who had been on two missions. His first mission was as a general-purpose specialist on the Space Shuttle. On his second mission, he helped several others restock and resupply the ISS, and he even did two spacewalks. Resupply missions are vitally important, and maintain our continued presence in space. After giving his talk, people were given the opportunity to meet and have photos taken with Foreman. I met him, and he saw my Ithaca Is Gorges T-shirt, and asked if I had gone to Cornell. I told him I had gone to the State University of New York at Buffalo, but that Ithaca is my hometown. I told him that I do disability rights advocacy, and we each told the other how proud we are of each other’s work.
The Rocket Garden
After this, I had lunch with people from the fan meetup, followed by a tour of the Rocket Garden. The Rocket Garden chronicles our mission to perfect the ideal space going vehicle. In the beginning, we were literally using missiles intended for weapons to shoot people into space. These missiles were relatively small, and also gave a really rough ride, not at all intended for human beings. Our tour guide talked about the first few satellites, and the first manned space programs, Mercury and Gemini. We saw the rockets use to launch each satellite and program. Mercury was meant to see ourselves into space. There were no scientific goals, and no way to actually live in space. There were intended to be seven astronauts, but we wound up with six. The first two were sub-orbital flights launched by the Redstone missile. Unfortunately, the Redstone lacked the thrust to get us into orbit, but thanks to computers like Katherine Johnson, we learned that the Atlas rocket could. The Gemini program was meant to actually test how we could live in space. In Gemini, we ate, slept, spacewalked, did detailed tasks, and even celebrated Christmas. We also learned how to dock with other vehicles, how to manipulate the course and direction of our spacecraft, how to rendezvous with other spacecraft, and achieved other significant goals. The Gemini spacecraft were launched aboard the Titan II missile, which gave an incredibly rough ride. Finally, it was time to launch the Apollo program, and get ourselves to the moon. The first few Apollo launchers took place on the Saturn IB rocket, which launched us to Earth orbit in the Apollo capsules. The Saturn IB was also launched to get us to the Skylab space station. We saw all of these rockets, and more, and also tried out basic versions of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space capsules.
The New Kennedy Space Center Headquarters Building
After this, I went to the gift shop, of course, and then waited for my friends. You see, we had booked the opportunity of a lifetime. We were going to be shown the headquarters facilities and launch facilities for the American space program. We started out being shown the Industrial Area Facilities of the Kennedy Space Center. It is here where the American space program and its missions are administered. A lot of activity is currently taking place! They are currently demolishing the old computer building, after building a new one. We saw both. Computers have gotten smaller and smaller, and so the space needed to contain them has as well. In addition, it is not a bad idea to have an updated building for such sensitive materials. There are also two headquarters buildings: the old one, which is being phased out, and the new one, which is just being finished. There is another building dedicated specifically to operations on the ISS. There are other buildings dedicated towards the development of outer space missions, as well as a communication center, a gas station, and a fire station.
Vehicle Assembly Building
Next, we got to see the Launch Pad 39 Complex. For the longest time, American rockets and space vehicles have been constructed inside the massive Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). The VAB is the sixth largest building in the world by volume. The volume of the Empire State Building could fit inside it five times. It is 526 feet in height. The American flag painted on its side is 21 stories tall, and each star is 6 feet across. Rockets and other space vehicles are built inside it on top of mobile launch platforms, and then wheeled out to one of the launch pads in the complex. Because of the massive weight that the mobile launch platforms must transport, they move incredibly slowly. Much more slowly than the walking human being. There is a joke that if someone sees a turtle walking the same direction in front of the mobile launch platform, they should let it be, because it will get to its destination more quickly than the launch platform will! There are also several buildings surrounding the VAB, including buildings formerly used to outfit the Space Shuttle, which are currently used for outfitting other vehicles. The military is also using one of these buildings for a top-secret project. In addition, there is a launch control Center next to the VAB, and the nearby area for the press.
Alec Frazier with the Launch Pad 39A
We next went to see Launch Pad 39A. Over half of the Space Shuttle missions launched from this launch pad. More importantly, every single mission that humanity launched to the moon launched from here as well. The fact that we have gone to the moon is the realization of an incredible dream, the journey of mankind. At the next stop, we got to see that journey up close and personal.
The Firing Room in the Apollo/Saturn V Center
As you enter the Apollo/Saturn V Center, you learn about the absolute failures of the early American space program, and how achieving any real progress in space seemed like a pipe dream at the beginning. You are shown the failure of rocket after rocket, failures so horrible that they look like a bad blooper reel. Then you learn about the launch of the Mercury program, and the challenge a few days later by President John F. Kennedy to land a man on the moon and get him safely home by the end of the decade. That was a truly Herculean task to live up to. They talk about the progress of the early Apollo program, and the tragic loss of the crew of Apollo 1. Then, you are led into the Firing Room. The Firing Room is the exact same launch control room that was used during Apollo 8, the first manned launch of a Saturn V rocket. This is the biggest and most complex machine ever produced by mankind. In the Firing Room, you are on pins and needles as you witness the successful launch of Apollo 8. Then, as if in a dream, you are led to see the stunning achievement of humanity. 
The Engines of the Mighty Saturn V
Here, laid on its side before you, is the massive Saturn V rocket. It is the biggest, most complicated machine ever created by man. There is only one that has been maintained intact into the current day, and it stretches out before you, seemingly endlessly. Alongside it are the mission patches of the various Apollo missions, hanging from the ceiling. There are also various artifacts, including a bona fide Command and Service Module (CSM), as well as a Lunar Module (LM). There is also a mockup of the cockpit of the LM so that you feel like you’re actually there on the moon.
Apollo 14 Command Module Kitty Hawk
There are other artifacts as well. There is the command module of the Apollo 14 mission, which was given the callsign Kitty Hawk, after the location of the first heavier than air flight. There is a moon rock for you to touch, and an equipment wagon and a lunar Rover made for lunar operation.

Statue of Snoopy
There are space suits, various lunar artifacts, and Snoopy… Wait a second… Did I just say Snoopy!? Well, you see, several the Apollo program engineers started informally drawing Snoopy, so they asked peanuts cartoonist Charles Schultz whether they would be allowed to make the famous beagle’s likeness. He said no, absolutely not, but that he would make it for them. As such, Snoopy became sort of the mascot of the Apollo program, and there is a statue of him in a spacesuit. However, try as they might, NASA physicists cannot figure out how his nose would have fit into the helmet. An intractable problem for the ages!
The Doors from the Apollo 1 Capsule
There is also a monument and a gallery dedicated to memorializing the astronauts lost in the Apollo 1 mission. At the time, American spacecraft used a pure oxygen atmosphere. If one remembers the Hindenburg disaster, they will recall that hydrogen is combustible. Oxygen is not combustible, but it is incredibly flammable. Some electric equipment sparked while the Apollo 1 crew was having a test on the launchpad. The triple-layer door was too difficult to open, and they all completely cooked in the capsule. Those doors are on display in the gallery. Because of this terrible accident, over 38,000 changes were made to the engineering of American space technology, many of which still last to this day. These changes have saved many, many lives. The door now takes a fraction of the time to open, and the atmosphere aboard all American spacecraft now has mixed content just like Earth’s atmosphere instead of being pure oxygen. Some people will die in our quest for space, that is a given. The quest for the stars is too great a dream, though, and we should never lose sight of our goal.
Mars, Space, Earth, and the International Space Station behind the Darkened Apollo 11 Landing Site as Neil Armstrong Speaks on the Dream of Mankind
Finally, you head into the Lunar Theater, where the landing of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module, Eagle, is actually reenacted on stage in front of you. You see video of astronauts both playing and studying on the moon. The American flag is planted, and there is more video of those same astronauts talking about the terrific wonders that we have achieved. The ascent module then lifts off to join the command module Columbia and head home. There is then video of the dreams of children, many of whom wish to go into space. Finally, the late Neil Armstrong appears on video. He talks about how, when he was born, we had just managed to cross the Atlantic by airplane. He says that when he was a kid, he thought that landing on the moon would take place centuries into the future, and certainly had no clue that he would be the first person to do so. He states that we came not from one country, but in peace for all mankind. He says that you should never be afraid to dream. The vision of Mars appears on stage. Our guide at the Kennedy Space Center confirmed to us that NASA plans to get us to Mars and back safely by 2035. That is within my lifetime. What once was considered impossible is now attainable
Alec Frazier Speaking at the US Capitol
Now for a personal story. When I was in early elementary school, the authorities behind the school tried to have me locked up for the rest of my life. They said that I would never amount to anything, and that there was no use in trying. My loving family fought tooth and nail, and parents and professionals, as well as friends, raised me into who I am today. I have since made endless friends, graduated from college with a master’s degree, gotten an excellent job, and helped change the lives of millions, especially those of us with disabilities. Never, ever be afraid to dream. Dreams are attainable. The impossible is possible.

The late Carl Sagan was fond of saying that we are all made of star dust. In our journey to the stars, we are simply going home. Thank you, for joining me on this tour.

This blog posting is both the personal opinion of Alec Frazier, and the professional policy of his advocacy firm, Autistic Reality. If you oppose it, please screen grab it! We are very proud of this opinion!