I just watched the space shuttle Atlantis take flight for the last time, and I’m trying to figure out why I feel so much like I did after my grandfather died.
Is it because so much of my life has been defined by my attitude towards space exploration, and because the space shuttle symbolized that?
Is it because the first shuttle went up when I was eight, I saw Challenger blow up at 13, saw Columbia break up on reentry when I was 30, and have now lived to see the end of American space flight for the foreseeable future at the age of 38? Continue reading →
A few moments ago, at 11:30am EDT, Atlantis lifted off, marking the 135th and final mission in NASA’s historic Space Shuttle program, which began in 1981. The Shuttle era was defined by glory and tragedy and perhaps even a bit of banality. After all, the first time you do something it’s exciting, but at some point it becomes routine, even if the something in question involves lobbing over 2,000 tons of metal into space.
Over the coming days, as the crew of Atlantis orbits the earth, conducting experiments and, one hopes, taking a few moments to enjoy the ride, the staff at Scholars & Rogues will be offering a series of personal reflections on the program. We have also invited some guests to drop by, including our rocket scientist buddy Dr. Michael Pecaut, who has had quite a few experiments up on the Shuttle (and is at Kennedy Space Center right now working on yet another one). Continue reading →
Author: Robert Lane Greene
Publisher: Delacourte Press: New York, 2010
by Samantha Berkhead
It’s plausible to argue that lingual differences have caused more discrimination, conflict and cultural controversy throughout history than race or religion ever did. From the Hindi-Urdu bloodshed in India to the Balkan Wars, history shows that tolerance for different languages both within and without national borders is hard to find.
Robert Lane Greene, an international journalist, speaker of nine languages and M.Phil from Oxford University, takes on several interlocking topics and forges them together to show why certain people speak the way they do.
For the average nonfiction author, synthesizing millennia of politics, history and economics (among many other unlikely factors) into a simple explanation of contemporary language would be a daunting task. Yet Greene’s linguistic elucidations never become muddled or obtuse. Continue reading →