Category Archives: History

Early Ideas of Space Tourism


Beginning at least in the 1960s expectations of space tourism have been the “stuff” of space activism. To date, however, the prospect for broad, sustainable space tourism remains a dream. I would argue that much of the boosterism in the … Continue reading

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Mormon Nauvoo in the Context of Post-Colonial Studies


To an extent underappreciated by historians, the Mormon experience in Nauvoo between 1839 and 1846 represents an expression of colonialism and its antithesis. The field of post-colonial studies has been gaining prominence since the 1970s. While historians and others debate the … Continue reading

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The Three Spheres of Individual Memory


One of the great debates raging in the United States at present is over differing perspectives on the past, and those perspectives drive perceptions of the present and then, in turn relate to how we deal with issues currently facing … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Sex, Sin, and Blasphemy”


Sex, Sin, and Blasphemy: A Guide to America’s Censorship Wars. By Marjorie Heins. New York: The New Press, 1998 second edition. This author served as the director of the Arts Censorship Project for the American Civil Liberties Union between 1991 … Continue reading

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Setting Course for the Red Planet: Early Flyby Missions to Mars


Robotic exploration of Mars has been one of the persistent efforts of the space age. It began, just as lunar exploration had, in a race between the United States and the Soviet ­Unionto see who would be the first to … Continue reading

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John J. Ide: The NACA’s “Spy” in Pre-WWII Europe


Most people have never heard of John Jay Ide (Jun. 20, 1892-Jan. 12, 1962), who was an international aviation pioneer and European representative for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). Born at Narragansett Pier, Rhode Island, he was the son … 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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