Category Archives: Personal

Wednesday’s Book Review: “Empire of Conspiracy”


Empire of Conspiracy: The Culture of Paranoia in Postwar America. By Timothy Melley. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000. Americans, certainly, and perhaps all the cultures of the world, love the idea of conspiracy as an explanation of how and why … Continue reading

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Something Fun for a Friday: Bing Crosby and David Bowie Sing a Christmas Duet


I first watched Bing Crosby and David Bowie sing this combination of “Little Drummer Boy” and “Peace on Earth” on a Christmas special in the late 1970s. I was in graduate school at the time and balancing a job, school, … Continue reading

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Something Fun for a Friday: 2014 USAF Flash Mob at NASM’s Udvar-Hazy Center


On December 2, 2014, at the National Air and Space Museum’s Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles International Airport the USAF Band showed up to stage another flash mob. It’s a great holiday treat. Enjoy!

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Spaceflight and the Preservation of the Physical Past


Cultural relics from Apollo, as well as other wreckage, soft landers, and rovers currently exist on the Moon, undisturbed since their arrival. That does not mean that no one will do so in the future. With the Google Lunar X … Continue reading

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My Favorite Funny Horror Movies


In honor of Halloween I thought I would offer a post on my favorite horror movies. There’s only one problem, I don’t really like horror movies and I would be hard pressed to come up with a set of horror movies … Continue reading

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One for the Record Books: The Stardust Sample Return Mission


This is one of the most interesting, but little known, missions NASA has ever undertaken. Stardust was the first U.S. space mission dedicated solely to returning extraterrestrial material from beyond the Moon. I am pleased to have played a role in … Continue reading

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Ten Great Improvised Scenes on Film


In honor of the passing of Robin Williams, CineFix has offered up a list of 10 outstanding improvised movie scenes. They include disturbing scenes by Marlo Brando and Martin Sheen from Apocalypse Now, Malcolm McDowell’s “Singing in the Rain” scene … Continue reading

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Guaranteeing Aeronautical Innovation: Is that Possible?


For the twentieth century no set of technological innovations are more intriguing than those associated with aviation. Perhaps no technological development in this century has more fundamentally transformed human life than the airplane, coupled with its ground support apparatus and … Continue reading

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Why Do Academics Blog?


There is an interesting article in the journal, Studies in Higher Education, published in 2013 entitled, “Why Do Academics Blog? An Analysis of Audiences, Purposes and Challenges.” Written by Inger Mewburn and Pat Thomson the abstract reads: “Academics are increasingly … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Dog Whistle Politics”


Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class. By Ian Haney López. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. There is no doubt, and it is confirmed in this book, that racism is the … Continue reading

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