Monthly Archives: January 2016

Ronald E. McNair, Challenger Astronaut

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The Ronald E. McNair Building at MIT with a group of students in a program named for him. We commemorate a day of the loss of so much talent and promise. A catastrophe that was the result of hubris.

“6 months prior to the launch, the following memo was sent by Roger Boisjoly — an engineer working at Morton Thiokol, the manufacturers of the solid rocket boosters — to the company’s Vice President, in which he predicted the problem and warned of a potential “catastrophe of the highest order.”

Boisjoly’s warning went unheeded; he then attempted to halt the launch, unsuccessfully. Boisjoly later revealed this memo to the presidential commission investigating the disaster…” [Link below]

http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/10/result-would-be-catastrophe.html?m=1

 

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Judith Resnick, Challenger Astronaut

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AS we mark the years since this terrible event, don’t lose sight of Judith Resnick’s remarkable career and achievement.

http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/resnik-judith

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Walking To Denmark

 

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The Danish decision to strip arriving refugees of all valuables except wedding rings in order to help finance their presence in Denmark is cruel and grotesque. What exactly do they plan to do with grandma’s coin silver spoons and aunt Laila’s antique watch? Melt them down? Hold yard sales?

The situation in Denmark and elsewhere is indeed a crisis. Hundreds of thousands of people WALKING across continents in 2016 is a crisis. The arrival of hundreds a week from North Africa to Italy is a crisis. The hellish encampment at Calais is a crisis.

Germany made a decent attempt to think ahead, but they had no E.U. support or any other comprehensive help in attempting to plan and work things through. Why are no regional responses being developed? Temporary housing, food, medical care, social services. Instead, there is a rise of the finger-pointing, alarmist right. I’m not naïve, there are no simple fixes, but it is possible to avoid devolving into chaos.

All those big-wigs who just finished meeting in Davos could gather the financing, expertise, logistical problem-solving in a month-long emergency meeting and develop workable plans. Hell, Silicon Valley could do it. Horrible that the humane and political motivation is just not there.   Denmark-and-refugees-2015