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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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?
Odetta Gordon, known simply as Odetta (31 Dec. 1930-2 Dec. 2008), is rockin’ with the angels.
NYT interactive site: speech with script
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.