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JFK: We choose to go to the Moon

Posted by Anne on July 17th, 2009

In the fall of 1962, when the USA was far behind the Soviet Union in its space program, JFK held his rivetting “We choose to go to the Moon” speech at Rice University in Houston, Texas, proclaiming space to be the new frontier. I’d like to highlight two excerpts, with the minutes in the video […]

The lioness of Iran

Posted by Anne on June 28th, 2009

Thomas Pierce, Weekend Edition, NPR, via 3quarksdaily: “NPR’s Davar Ardalan interviewed Simin Behbahani, Iran’s national poet, today from Tehran. She’s 82 years-old and one of the most respected figures in modern Iran. She recites two poems inspired by recent events — one dedicated to the people of Iran and another to Neda, the woman whose […]

Clara Boone, pioneer

Posted by Anne on June 12th, 2009

When I was a child in the late 60s, a family friend, a descendent of Daniel Boone, came round one day for tea. Clara Boone was a teacher at a public school in DC. The local public schools were deteriorating in those days, kids were really tough, and the teachers were struggling to adapt. We […]

Question: Heroes or victims of circumstance?

Posted by Anne on May 24th, 2009

It’s Memorial Day weekend, a national holiday dedicated to the soldiers who have fallen serving their country. By definition, that makes them heroes. Or are fallen soldiers victims of circumstance? Soldiers have a very important job to do, and we ask them to do their duty for us. Does doing that duty make them heroes? What exactly are we celebrating here? What do you think: Are we right in asking soldiers to do their duty? Are they heroes or victims of circumstance?

RIP Odetta

Posted by Anne on December 5th, 2008

Odetta Gordon, known simply as Odetta (31 Dec. 1930-2 Dec. 2008), is rockin’ with the angels.

Obama acceptance speech

Posted by Anne on November 5th, 2008

NYT interactive site: speech with script

The truth

Posted by Anne on September 29th, 2008

I’ve been thinking about what makes democracy tick as I read a book by David Foster Wallace, the most brilliant writer of my generation in many ways, who killed himself on September 12th, losing his 20-year fight against depression. This book is called „McCain’s Promise“, and it’s about what makes people care enough to get involved in politics. According to Wallace, it comes down to straight talk.