End of an Era– And For Me, Shuttle Brings Memories

I was just a little kid, but with my mother’s help, I wrote congratulatory letters to my astronaut heroes Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom.  Each responded by sending me an autographed photograph of himself—and I was hooked on the space program.  The bravery, the adventure, the romance! It was fifty years ago today that Gus Grissom became the second American astronaut in space.  And as the shuttle Atlantis is safely tucked away and the shuttle program becomes history, I offer a tribute:  John Gille … [Read more...]

Google’s Doodle: A Tribute to Gregor Mendel

Way, way back in ancient history (1996), two Stanford University graduate students constructed a search engine called “BackRub” that utilized links to determine the importance of individual web pages.  By 1998 the students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, had built their project into the company now known world-wide as “Google.”Since then, the Google Doodle—the familiar logo that tops their search page—has transmogrified to honor heroes, to celebrate holidays, even to play like a real guitar.Tod … [Read more...]

On a Wing and a Prayer: Astronauts “Touch the Face of God”

If you’re as old as I am, you may remember the tension in our nation when the first astronauts rode a rocket into space.  In my elementary school classroom on May 5, 1961, we offered a wide-eyed prayer for Alan Shepard when he careened through space for 15 minutes in sub-orbital flight.  (Shepard himself is reputed to have uttered the first unofficial and irreverent “prayer” in space, saying “Dear Lord, please don’t let me f--- up.”)When the space shuttle Atlantis lands at 5:56 a.m. July 21, … [Read more...]


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