Since we’re in a panorama, I mostly do not go anywhere. Except work. And the market. And the beach. That is my one concession to being inside all the time. I get up VERY early and walk a few miles on the water. At 7am, it’s mostly just surfers, swimmers and a few other people. There’s a boardwalk, but there are definitely more people there than at the water. But this weekend, I got in my car and instead of going where I normally go, I ended up at Venice Beach. I think maybe I was just itching for a change in scenery and it’s been a long while since I’ve done some wandering that way. So I double masked, took out my phone and snapped some pictures of the street art I happened by.

Like this beauty.

I really do love street art you guys.

And this:

And also. THIS:

This was at the very end of my walk. The dude who created this came up to me, waves at the pictures on the panels behind me and hands me a pair of 3D glasses which I did not put on because THERE IS A POLYNOMIAL OUTSIDE SIR. YOU THINK I’M ‘BOUT TO PUT THESE COOTIE COVERED 3D PAPER GLASSES ON MY FACE?! I *DID* however, hold them out in front me to get a better look at this picture and you guys. Valerie Thomas did not create 3D for some jackass to create a 3D painting of Beavis & Butthead. (Or Snow White smoking a pipe while in compromising positions with the some dwarves. WHY are people like this?! It’s rhetorical. I know)

Look at me getting to the BHFOTD! Valerie Thomas became interested in science as a child after watching her dad tinker with the TV and seeing the mechanical parts inside. At 8 years old, she read The Boys First Book of Electronics because obviously only BOYS could be interested in electronics. At the all-girls school she attended, she was not encouraged to pursue science or math, she did manage to take a physics class. Which, she parlayed into majoring in physics at Morgan State University (shout out to HBCUs!). In 1964, Valerie began working at NASA as a data analyst, developing real-time computer data systems to support satellite operations control centers and oversaw the creation of the Landsat program (which is the longest-running enterprise for acquisition of satellite imagery of Earth.) becoming an international expert in Landsat data products.

Then, In 1976 she attended a scientific seminar where she viewed an exhibit that demonstrated an illusion. The exhibit used concave mirrors to fool the viewer into believing that a light bulb was glowing even after it had been unscrewed from its socket. She was so amazed by what she saw at this seminar that she wanted to start creating this on her own. Later that year she would begin to experiment with flat and concave mirrors. The flat mirrors would have a reflection on a certain object that would seem to be behind the glass. The concave mirror would have a reflection that would actually be in front of the glass, producing a three-dimensional illusion. She patented the illusion transmitter in 1980, which is basically early 3D technology that is STILL used by NASA today.

Valerie, who was both Black AND a woman, worked her way up to associate chief of the Space Science Data Operations at NASA. She also participated in projects related to Halley’s Comet, ozone research, satellite technology and the Voyager spacecraft.

At the end of August 1995, she retired from NASA and her positions of associate chief of NASA’s Space Science Data Operations Office, manager of the NASA Automated Systems Incident Response Capability, and as chair of the Space Science Data Operations Office Education Committee. Whew. That’s a whole lotta jobs.

Post-retirement, Valerie Thomas served as an associate at the UMBC Center for Multicore Hybrid Productivity Research. She continued to serve as a mentor for youth through the Science Mathematics Aerospace Research and Technology and National Technical Association. Thomas’s invention was depicted in a children’s fictional book, television, and video games.

I’d say I’m sorry for violating your eyes with that last photo, but those of you who know me, know better. And those who don’t know me? Consider this last photo my apology.