[ANIM: Kitty Chasing Bug]
More About Raisen (Cont'd)
Science-Minded Puss

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More About
[ANIM: Neko]

[``I KNOW he keeps the catnip up here someplace!'']

  Raisen's a pretty smart puss. She graduated from K.I.T. in 1996, with BAs in Astrophysics and Meteorology, and a Masters in Psychology. She's always beating me over the head with the latter in some way or another. Every day, I am reminded just who has the "tenure" in this home, as she constantly tries to "test" and outwit me at every turn.

Raisen is also a ham radio operator. (That's "Amateur Radio," for those who are unfamiliar.) Her very first callsign - as a Novice Claws - was "PU4CAT." Then she obtained her General Claws license, and "K1TTY" became her callsign for some time. As an Extra Claws, she used the callsign of "C4TT" for a short time. Recently, however, she obtained her new Vanity callsign ... "RA1SEN."

In the Meteorology field, Raisen was the Lead Investigator on the TAIL Project -- a little-known, added last-minute, minor experiment working in conjunctive cooperation with the now famous Project VORTEX storm chasing program. (Bet chuh didn't know that.)

While Project VORTEX was mainly interested in mesoscale storm systems, Project TAIL was interested only in meowsoscale storm systems.

[Actual footage from video during the experiment!] "TAIL" stands for the Totable Atmospheric Investigations Lance, which is a natural piece of equipment that every cat comes already born with. The TAIL Team was involved with investigating how the TAIL is used subconsciously by the cat in accurately analyzing and predicting the weather. In one part of the experiment, Raisen and members of her science team took turns CATapulting themselves into the paths of violent meowsoscale storm system tornadoes in order to obtain the best possible data. Cats being much smaller than humans, the chances of them actually being hit by any flying debris in mid-air is much smaller, so the survival chances are greater. All participating team members were equipped with a barometrically-triggered, auto-deploying parachute, and a subdermal radio-location transponder device. As each cat was pulled in the air towards the storm system, the doppler effect on the signals from their transponders was also measured. Each team member came through the experiment unscathed.

The results of the experiment were published in the Putsicatus-Catatipus Journal de Scientifique, printed by the Academie de Fluff, Meteorological Science Division, or something, some-such, fancy-schmancie like that ... or so she says, anyway.

Figure-1 (above) is an actual video clip of the view of one monitor during the experiment.

The next planned generation of the TAIL project will be the WHISKERS project. Currently however, adequate funding for the project has not been able to be obtained. (Maybe next year.) The University Board cited its reasons for not allowing funding this year as being that the current plans for the project appear "just too fuzzy," and to have "more fluff than real science involved." The project is currently on paws.

[The EARS Experiment] Raisen also participated in the EARS Project. EARS are yet another piece of natural equipment used by cats. EARS stands for the Electrostatic Atmospherics Radio Sensors. These are used to detect lightning. When lightning strikes nearby, the EARS extend for greater sensitivity and immediate directional triangulation, as shown in Figure 2, at right. EARS are rumored to be so sensitive that it is said they allow cats to detect exactly where lightning will strike and to allow them to flee out of the way before an actual lightning strike. You have to be pretty quick with a camera to catch this in action, since the ears only extend for a fraction of a second just before a lightning strike. Raisen's task in the EARS Project was to determine the validity of this rumor, and to publish the results in a scientific journal.

[The Driving Experiment] Another experiment that Raisen participated in was the Mobile Pets driving experiment. This was yet another experiment that worked in cooperation with the VORTEX Project, as well as with the NTSB. As a test subject, Raisen voluntarily strapped herself into a Child Safety Seat which was placed on the back seats of some of the VORTEX Project Science Team members' vehicles while they drove around chasing tornadoes. As she was driven about in these vehicles, various strategically placed cameras and scientific instruments monitored her reactions to G-forces as the Team Members continually started and stopped, and turned and veered. Figure-3 (left) shows a clip from the video monitor during the experiment. She's still compiling the data and has yet to publish the results.

[`Look, Ma!  No paws!'] Inbetween weather-related excursions, Raisen also likes to join her friends in the Astronaut Corps, taking occasional joyrides aboard the space shuttle working as a Mission Specialist. In the photo on the right, Raisen takes time out for a leisurly spacewalk after a long day working to repair the flawed Hubble Space Telescope. After returning from shuttle missions, Raisen often enjoys talking shop with her favorite best friend, Story Musgrave.

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More About `Raisen'
c/o Todd L. Sherman/KB4MHH
Gainesville, Alachua Co., Fla.
E-mail: afn09444@afn.org
Last updated: June 11, 2000, April 17, 2002.

© Copyright 1995-2000 by Todd L. Sherman. All Rights Reserved.

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