[BlindMath] Please support the Blind Voyager 2020 Holman Prize endeavor

Daniel Gillen daniel.l.gillen at gmail.com
Wed Apr 22 20:33:43 UTC 2020

Dear NFBNET List Members:

I am Daniel Gillen, a Music Braille transcriber in New York City and a recent graduate from Haverford College with degrees in physics and music. Earlier this year (before the current crisis) I took it upon myself to apply for the 2020 Holman Prize, and am now happy to announce that I am a Semifinalist. As such, I have just submitted my formal proposal for consideration in the final round of choosing the winners.

To summarize my project in a few sentences, I plan to take and document a trip to Sweden in the summer of 2021. Centered in Stockholm and spread all across the country is the Sweden Solar System, the world's largest scale model of our planetary system (including several dwarf planets and other smaller bodies). My goal with this project is to visit all of the exhibition venues that this model encompasses, which range from a concert and sports arena in Stockholm (the Sun) to village squares and parks hosting small sculptures on either side of the Arctic Circle. I have named this project "The Blind Voyager", something which pays homage to NASA's Voyager 1 and 2 space probes which are still analyzing interstellar space. I'll create a blog both to chronicle my adventure and to educate my followers about our solar system from a blind Earth-bound traveler's perspective, along with a series of presentational videos as I stop at each venue. And as you might be wondering about truly to-scale models of the solar system, there are a few in the U.S., two of which I'll visit as "training exercises" before going to Sweden. These are the Sagan Planet Walk in Ithaca, as well as the drivable Maine Solar System located along U.S. Highway 1 near the Canadian border.

To support me in this competition, please watch my video that I posted to pitch my project.


Be sure to Like, as the pitch video having the greatest number of YouTube Likes will be guaranteed a spot in the final round. As an added bonus (something I thought through in my proposal), I will conclude my project by producing a mini documentary that will be shown at the Holman Gala late next year. With that I plan to compose music that will play in the background. Given the various fields I'm incorporating into this project (astronomy, physics, math, geography, history, culture, and music), I thought I would share this message across various lists. Please feel free to pass this along to anyone who might have an interest in what might lie ahead for me. And we all hope that there will be at least some international travel by June 2021, or else I'll need to rethink this project at best.

Thank you, and I wish you all a happy and healthy Earth Day.

Best regards,

Daniel Gillen
Braille Music Specialist
The Filomen M. D'Agostino Greenberg Music School
daniel.l.gillen at gmail.com
(+1) 917-626-7299

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