Author Archives: launiusr

Wednesday’s Book Review: “Buffalo Bill on the Silver Screen”


Buffalo Bill on the Silver Screen: The Films of William F. Cody. By Sandra K. Sagala. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2013. Who would have thought it? We have all heard of Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild West Show. … Continue reading

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Homer Newell and the Beginnings of the NASA Space Science Program


When Congress established NASA in 1958 it explicitly charged the new space agency with “the expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space.” In fulfillment of that mandateNASA created the Office of Space Sciences and installed as … Continue reading

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Bert Acosta and the “Golden Age of Flight”


You have to love Bert Acosta (1895-1954), an aviation pioneer who became famous for his talent and his misbehavior in pre-World War II aviation. His quest for speed, which was always a part of Acosta’s daredevil psyche, led him both to piloting advanced aircraft … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Empire and Science in the Making”


Empire and Science in the Making: Dutch Colonial Scholarship in Comparative Global Perspective, 1760-1830. Edited by Peter Boomgaard. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. As co-editor of the series, Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology, my comments will … Continue reading

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World Series Memories: The A’s versus the Dodgers 40 Years Ago


On October 12, 1974, forty years ago, the World Series opened with the Oakland A’s playing the Los Angeles Dodgers for the championship. It was a lackluster World Series, but both teams were superb. The A’s were the reigning champions … Continue reading

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The Surveyor Landers on the Moon


Like so many other point of intersection, soft landing on the Moon with robotic probes proved a venue for Cold War competition between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1960s. The Soviets won that competition February 3, … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Exit Berlin”


Exit Berlin: How One Woman Saved Her Family from Nazi Germany. By Charlotte R. Bonelli. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2014. This is both a fine historical study and a strikingly intimate portrait of one individual’s efforts to help … Continue reading

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Homer Newell and the Early Post-War Space Science Program


Homer E. Newell (1915-1983) is one of the NASA leaders I am profiling in a book I have underway. His career was remarkable. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Wisconsin in 1940 and served as a theoretical … Continue reading

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Hail to the Royals: It’s Been a While Since but in 1985 they Won it All


The recent walk-off victory by the Kansas City Royals over the Oakland A’s in the 2014 play-in game brings to mind the last time the Royals were in the playoffs. That was in 1985, 29 years ago and it proved … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Beginning of Infinity”


The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations that Transform the World. By David Deutsch. New York: Viking, 2011. 496 pages. Acknowledgments, illustrations, bibliography, index. ISBN: 978-0670022755. $14.50 USD paperback. What explains the workings of the physical world? For millennia humankind has tried to … Continue reading

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