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The Mercury 13 : The Untold Story of Thirteen American Women and the Dream of Space Flight (Click on title for additional information on book)From Publishers Weekly
In dynamic prose, Ackmann, senior lecturer in women's studies at Mount Holyoke College, relates the story of 13 female pilots who fought to become part of the nation's space program at its inception. Their tale is uplifting, a narrative of their dedication-perhaps obsession might be a better word-and sacrifice in an attempt to aid the nation in the space race against the Soviets and to experience the thrill of space flight. The story is also a depressing indictment of the rampant sexism that kept them from achieving their goal and kept the country from making productive use of their considerable talents. These 13 women, among the most accomplished pilots in the world at the time, went through many of the same challenging, even excruciating tests undergone by NASA's original seven male astronauts but, unlike the latter, the women did so in relative obscurity and often against the express wishes of all arms of the nascent space program. That each woman passed all the tests, often with scores exceeding those of the males, carried absolutely no weight with an entrenched bureaucracy. Ackmann has done a magnificent job of gathering information, conducting interviews and weaving the strands into an utterly compelling book that deserves to be widely read well beyond the circles of the usual readers about the space program.
Moondust : In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth
From Publishers Weekly
Between 1969 and 1972, 12 men traveled a quarter-million miles to the moon and returned safely. In this powerful, intimate story, journalist Smith sets out to find these men and discover how that experience changed their lives. Smith, a boy living in a nondescript California subdivision at the time of the Apollo missions and caught up in the endless possibility of space flight, journeys to the halls of power in Washington, D.C., and the backwoods of Texas in search of these mythical figures of American know-how. He finds Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon, still cool and confident, a plainspoken man who never let on how close that mission came to disaster. In Gene Cernan, the last man on the Moon, he finds an imperious, driven, highly successful businessman. If all of the men share one affliction, it's fame. Once at the center of the world's attention, these mostly ordinary men with some extraordinary gifts and luck have lived their lives being asked the same questionâ€”What was it like "up there"? In an artful blend of memoir and popular history, Smith makes flesh-and-blood people out of icons and reveals the tenderness of his own heart.
Read blurb on inside flap of dust jacket
I have a trade for you. I need to add some movies to my NetFlix list. What should I see? What movie do most people not know about that you think are neat?
I have one for you in trade.
Man on the Train -- Movie is in French but you can turn on the english subtitles. Go to Ebert's sight and read the review and you will have some insight on why I think the movie is so good.
A Furnace Afloat : The Wreck of the Hornet and the Harrowing 4,300-mile Voyage of Its Survivors (Click on book title for more info) Over the years a handful of famous shipwrecks have become symbols of something greater, their accounts compromising a floating opera of sudden disaster, wasted life, and privations endured by survivors. The saga of the "Hornet is one such disaster wherein the survivors struggled for life for six weeks and drifted an amazing 4,300 miles. The "Hornet left New York City on January 15, 1866, embarking on a routine voyage to San Francisco around Cape Horn. Sailing was exceptionally smooth until the morning of May 3, when the first mate accidentally set some varnish on fire. Within minutes, it engulfed the ship. The entire company escaped into three small boats, adrift in the Pacific beneath the burning sun. Their ordeal was beyond harrowing: they were stalked by sharks, driven mad by lack of food and water, desiccated by heat. Soon, the social divisions among the boats erupted into class war and the crew plotted mutiny--and then cannibalism. On the fateful day they were to draw straws, they reached Hawaii. Subsequently, Mark Twain, then a young reporter, would tell their extraordinary story and make them all famous. Drawn from extensive primary sources, including survivors' diaries and letters, as well as newspaper articles and Twain's reporting, Joe Jackson has created a gripping narrative of the horrors and triumphs of men against the sea. "A Furnace Afloat is an important, largely untold piece of American naval history.
Building Moonships : The Grumman Lunar ModuleIn 1961, after the United States had acquired a total of fifteen minutes of spaceflight experience, President John F. Kennedy announced his plans for landing a man on the moon by 1970. The space race had begun. In 1962, after a strenuous competition, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation of Bethpage, Long Island, had won the contract to build the lunar moduleâ€”the spacecraft that would take Americans to the moon. This was the first, and the only, vehicle designed to take humans from one world to another. Although much has been written about the first men to set foot on the moon, those first hesitant steps would not have been possible without the efforts of the designers and technicians assigned to Project Apollo. Building Moonships: The Grumman Lunar Module tells the story of the people who built and tested the lunar modules that were deployed on missions as well as the modules that never saw the light of day. This is the first publication to chronicle the visual history of the design, construction, and launch of the lunar moduleâ€”one of the most historic machines in all of human history.
There is a DVD mini-series called From the Earth to the Moon that is a must see.
No really, I am not kidding here. Please stop a moment and listen to me. You really need to watch this whole series. It is very, very good. The series is comprised of twelve 55 minute episodes. I recommend you watch them all but there are two episodes that I recommend above all the others. One is called "Galileo was Right" and the other is called "Spider". The "Spider" episode is about the building of the lunar lander (the LEM). Seems like it might be a dry topic but it is not. This is not a documentary but a dramatization of the events that happened. From everything I have read the creators of this series worked hard to make everything as accurate as possible. The other segment I reccomend "Galileo was Right" is about the teachers (scientists) that gave the astronauts a love of knowledge that allowed them to go be the eyes for the scientist. I know it seems dry but trust me when I say that it is a shockingly good episode and amazingly inspirational episode. You do not have to read too far between the lines to draw an analogy to the importance of librarianship from this episode. Here is a part of a review that talks about the "Galileo" episode. Galileo was the only episode in the series that brought tears to our eyes. Because of budget cuts the later Apollo missions were condensed and the astronauts were forced into a crash course on geology and scientific method to execute previously unplanned assignments. Fortunately, they found an instructor who did not just provide them with the knowledge they required, but instilled within them the desire to learn. Not only does the episode depict the Apollo 15 mission succinctly while doing an exceptional job at exploring the personalities of all three astronauts (usually just one or two are profiled in detail), but it is a heartwarming tribute to the priceless value of teachers everywhere. Every library should own this set and every librarian should see this series. Others that have seen this series back me up here. The series is available on Netflix if you can't find it anywhere else or your library will not or cannot afford to get it. If you can only watch one episode please see the "Galileo was Right" episode. And if you like that one as much as I think you will please see the "Spider" episode.
I just turned in two auctions on eBay for copyright issues. The auctions are numbers 7006544986
and 7004476037. The seller has a CD listed with copies of numerous (more than 30) Star Wars ebooks. I am curious if eBay will end up doing anything. A few examples of the titles on the CD-ROM: Tales From the Mos Eisley Cantina,
Tales of the Bounty Hunters,
Shadows of the Empire,
Truce at Bakura
The iBookWatch blog has an entry about how the book "Marley and Me" is beating out the new Steph King novel. The blog entry links out to an interesting newspaper article.
Book: Wal-Mart Effect
Story on NPR There is a one minute intro to some other business news at the beginning of the NPR story but then they get into the Wal-Mart story. This is the blurb on the story from NPR. Wal-Mart is a business with 1.6 million employees in the United States alone. It does more business than Target, Sears, Kmart, J.C. Penney, Safeway, and Kroger combined. And more than half of all Americans live within 5 miles of a Wal-Mart store. David Gardner talks about the big, big business of Wal-Mart with Charles Fishman, author of The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works - and How It's Transforming the American Economy. This interview was on the Motley Fool Investment show on NPR.
Bush proposed the use of more ethanol as one solution to the oil issue during the State of the Union. I think the way to force innovation is to guarantee that the cost of oil will go up at a steady predicatable amount. I think the way to do this is to add a $1 per gallon tax per year for the next five years. This will force the issue of creating vehicles that can get 70-100 miles per gallon or the use of electric vehicles. 100 mpg can be obtained if we had smaller lighter vehicles.
I have great faith in the innovative ability of this country. If we created this tax I am confident we could create a transportation infrastructure that could operate under the higher gas taxes.
iBookWatch.com now has a blog. It can be found at http://www.javarisoftware.com/ibookwatch/blog/
I need some help here. Read this line from the sales description of a Seiko watch. Water-resistant to 30 meters, this watch can handle splashes of water or rain, but it should not be worn while swimming or diving. It has a battery life of five years.
Water resistant to 30m (100 ft) but I can't go swimming with it? I hope I am never in a 30m splash of water.
Link to the: Seiko Watch
I was thumbing through this book tonight. Very interesting. California Lighthouse Life in the 1920s and 1930s
For those who know what they are the 2005 edition of the Lakeside Classics is out. Additional details can be found at Bibliofuture.org
I entered some photos in the Laughing Lemur contest that is being held for the book Ambient Findability. Here are some of the pictures I submitted:
Save the Lemur Picture
If you are a NetFlix subscriber you received an email discussing a class action lawsuit settlement.
The lawyers in the case are getting over 2.5 million dollars. If enough NetFlix subscribers opt out of the class action the settlement will not go through. Details on how to opt out can be found here.
The Complete Calvin and Hobbes a three volume, slip-cased, hardback set is now out. If I had more money several of my friends would be getting this for Christmas.