Author Archives: launiusr

Wednesday’s Book Review: “Public Dollars, Private Stadiums”


Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle Over Building Space Stadiums. By Kevin J. Delaney and Rick Eckstein. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2003. Although published in 2003, this book seems strikingly dated now. In no small part that is … Continue reading

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NACA and Documenting of Progress in Aerodynamics


The aeronautical research that the NACA between 1915 and 1958 undertook found dissemination in a complex set of technical publications that the agency made available to all on an equal basis. Most NACA research was accomplished “in-house” by scientists or … Continue reading

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Redirect: “Maintaining Space” from The Maintainers Blog


In the first part of April 2016 I participated in a fascinating conference with the title, “The Maintainers,” held at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. The premise was simple, but enormously understudied. As a society we celebrate … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Concise History of the Crusades”


The Concise History of the Crusades. By Thomas F. Madden. Lanham, MD: Roman and Littlefield, 2014, third edition. I have been enthralled by the story of the Crusades since my high school days. I have read several books on the … Continue reading

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The Esoteric Mormon Doctrine of Baptism for the Dead


Many have all wondered about it in Washington, D.C., at one time or another while driving around the Beltway and see the Mormon Temple rising before us like the Emerald City out of Oz. What do the Mormons do in there? … Continue reading

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An Account of the Evacuation of Nauvoo by the Mormons in 1846


After a lengthy period of conflict between the Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois, and their non-Mormon neighbors, they negotiated a treaty, dated September 16, 1846, which gave the remaining Mormons five days to leave the city. A few days after this, on … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Death Rays, Jet Packs, Stunts and Supercars”


Death Rays, Jet Packs, Stunts & Supercars: The Fantastic Physics of Film’s Most Celebrated Secret Agent. By Barry Parker. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005. Did the jet pack that James Bond used in Thunderball actually work? What about the … Continue reading

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Requiem for the “Sizzler”


George Sisler, also known as the “Sizzler” because of his hot bat, was the greatest player ever to don a St. Louis Browns baseball uniform. First baseman for the Brownies between 1915 and 1927 Sisler compiled a .340 lifetime batting … Continue reading

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The Cold War Origins of Space Access


It is almost a truism that the primary U.S. space launch capabilities were created only because of the challenge of an exceptionally desperate Cold War rivalry with the Soviet Union. Accordingly, the development and deployment of ballistic missiles, space-based intelligence-gathering … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Rhumb Lines and Map Wars: A Social History of the Mercator Projection”


Rhumb Lines and Map Wars: A Social History of the Mercator Projection. By Mark Monmonier. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004. Mark Monmonier has nearly cornered the market for popular discussion of cartographical issues. A distinguished professor at Syracuse University, … Continue reading

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