President Barack Obama talks with Alyssa Mastromonaco, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, and Trip Director Marvin Nicholson in an elevator at the Bridgeport Arts Center in Chicago, Ill., Aug. 12, 2012. Photo by Pete Souza
President Obama is getting seriously serious about supercomputing — here's why that's awesome: bit.ly/1Tbpo40
Max Plenke: Obama’s Getting Serious About The Future Of Supercomputing. Here’s Why That’s Awesome
Gird your technological loins, world: President Barack Obama is paving the way for the Usain Bolt of computers with the processing power of the human brain. A technology program called the National Strategic Computing Initiative seeks to invest heavily in high-performance hardware. The goal is to position the United States as the king of the supercomputing mountain. The speed it’s going for: one exaflop, or almost 30 times faster than the fastest computer in the world, China’s Tianhe-2, below. He’s thinking about saving the world. Or at least making it better. With an exaflop of computing power, scientists and researchers would be able to run incredibly complex and accurate simulations, like simulating the global climate to make global warming predictions.
The ability to handle a lot of data might be the supercomputer’s largest contribution. Think of all the simulations you can run: modeling aircraft, modeling guns, predicting weather anomalies or even figuring out long-term dilemmas, like what the agricultural industry’s impact will be in, say, 50 years.Medicine takes all kinds of analysis, deep dives into our DNA and biological informatics — things that take a level of computing power we’ve scratched but haven’t come close to mastering. The White House’s Precision Medicine Initiative would use high-performance computing to collect and create huge amounts of health and genomic data to tailor treatment for individuals.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talk in the Blue Room of the White House before the start of the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony on Aug. 12, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama hugs Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient actor Sidney Poitier during the award ceremony in the East Room of the White House, on Aug. 12, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza
Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Joseph Medicine Crow shows a drum to President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama during a reception for recipients and their families in the Blue Room of the White House on Aug. 12, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza
First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama greet guests at a reception for Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients and their families in the Blue Room of the White House on Aug. 12, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama waits in the Blue Room of the White House for the start of an East Room ceremony to present 16 individuals the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Aug. 12, 2009. Standing in the background, from left, are Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients; Muhammad Yunus, Stuart Milk, nephew of slain San Francisco councilman Harvey Milk, Rev. Joseph Lowery, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Dr. Janet Davison Rowley, and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama talks with Stephen Hawking in the Blue Room of the White House before a ceremony presenting him and 15 others the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Aug. 12, 2009. The Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor. Photo by Pete Souza
On June 2, 2015, President Barack Obama will award the Medal of Honor to Army Private Henry Johnson for conspicuous gallantry during World War I.
Private Henry Johnson will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions while serving as a member of Company C, 369th Infantry Regiment, 93rd Division, American Expeditionary Forces. Then-Private Johnson distinguished himself during combat operations in the vicinity of the Tourbe and Aisne Rivers, northwest of Saint Menehoul, France, on May 15, 1918.
Private Johnson entered the Army on June 5, 1917. He was assigned to Company C, 15th New York (Colored) Infantry Regiment, an all-black National Guard unit that would later become the 369th Infantry Regiment. The Regiment was ordered into battle in 1918, and Private Johnson and his unit were brigaded with a French Army colonial unit in front-line combat.
While on night sentry duty on May 15, 1918, Private Johnson and a fellow Soldier received a surprise attack by a German raiding party consisting of at least 12 soldiers. While under intense enemy fire and despite receiving significant wounds, Johnson mounted a brave retaliation resulting in several enemy casualties.
When his fellow soldier was badly wounded, Private Johnson prevented him from being taken prisoner by German forces. Private Johnson exposed himself to grave danger by advancing from his position to engage an enemy soldier in hand-to-hand combat. Displaying great courage, Private Johnson held back the enemy force until they retreated.
Command Sergeant Major Louis Wilson, New York National Guard, will join the President at the White House to accept the Medal of Honor on Private Johnson’s behalf.
NY Daily News: …. Although doctors had replaced his shin bone with a steel tube and removed most of the bones from one foot, Johnson’s discharge papers rated him as having a zero percent disability, disqualifying him for benefits.
Succumbing to poverty and drink, he died at the age of 32 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, his only recognition the French Croix de Guerre.
At last, in 1996, the U.S. awarded Johnson a Purple Heart and followed up in 2002 with the nation’s second-highest commendation, the Distinguished Service Cross. At the time, the military denied Johnson the Medal of Honor, finding insufficient documentation of his heroism.
Subsequently, Sen. Chuck Schumer’s volunteer historians have amassed overwhelming proof that this quintessential Hellfighter from Harlem performed with incomprehensible valor in service of a nation that spurned him at every turn because of skin color.
3:50 CT: Meets with community leaders to discuss immigration reform; Copernicus Community Center, Chicago
4:35 CT: Delivers remarks on immigration reform; Copernicus Community Center, Chicago
6:25 CT: Departs Chicago
9:20 EDT: Arrives White House
Nerdy prepared a beautiful post yesterday on the President’s day, but we held off because of events in Ferguson. So, here it is:
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden applaud Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel for his years of service as he announces his resignation in the State Dining Room of the White House
Stevie Wonder is greeted by President Barack Obama after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a White House ceremony. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors
Actress Marlo Thomas
Golfer Charles Sifford
Journalist Tom Brokaw
Congressman John Dingell
Author Isabel Allende
Congressman Abner Mikva
Writer, curator, and activist Suzan Harjo
Robert Battle, the Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recieves a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama on behalf of dancer Alvin Ailey
Actress Meryl Streep
Stevie Wonder smiles while showing off his Presidential Medal of Freedom
DIANE REHM: Thanks for joining us. I’m Diane Rehm. Legendary singer Linda Ronstadt has sold more than 100 million records in her 40-year career. She’s best known for chart-topping hits like “You’re No Good,” “Blue Bayou,” and “When Will I Be Loved?” Ronstadt was the first female artist in popular music history to release four consecutive platinum albums. But last year, a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease forced her to stop singing. She’s in Washington D.C. this week, where yesterday she received the National Medal of Arts from President Obama.
…. Tell us about that ceremony yesterday and how you felt.
LINDA RONSTADT: Well, I think most artists always will say, I don’t know if you agree with this or not, but I felt like a fraud. You know? I felt surely they’d made a mistake and they would be telling me any minute that, you know, I needed to go home. I was on the wrong list.
….. But otherwise I was delighted. And I am a great fan of President Obama and think he has been a fine president. And I’m very pleased that we’ve got to have someone of his grace and his dignity, which is rare in American culture these days.
REHM: Do you think, in part, it comes from his Hawaiian upbringing?
RONSTADT: Well, he — there’s a beautiful, beautiful ancient culture in the Hawaiian Islands and an old tradition of a lot of diversity. You know, there are Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian, Portuguese, Okinawan, and they all had to get along. And so there’s a high level of lovely, beautiful manners, you know? People treat each other with respect and courtesy in the islands that you don’t find in the mainland. And I think — and there’s a real gentleness, you know?
Of course people stand up for themselves too. You don’t want to get into a fight with a Hawaiian. Because if you want to push him, he’s a tough guy, you know? But he’ll give you an out before. And I think that he reflects a lot of that. Maybe his background in the Hawaiian Islands…
REHM: He was very warm.
RONSTADT: He was very genuine and he was very present. And I liked that. He was very aware of what was going on around him. We’ve had so many people that have just been, you know, so egotistical or so completely full of themselves they can’t tell what’s going on around them. And I don’t think that’s the case with him. And his wife Mrs. Obama couldn’t be more impressive. My god, she’s beautiful. She’s very beautiful in the photographs…
REHM: Absolutely gorgeous.
RONSTADT: …but she’s 50 times as pretty.
REHM: Totally gorgeous.
RONSTADT: And little looks going back and forth between them, you know? You can tell that that’s a strong relationship. I was very impressed. I expected to be impressed and I was very much more impressed…