Sixth in a series
by Michael Pecaut
On Friday, I was one of the million or so people to see the launch of STS-135 live. More than that, I was one of the lucky few to see it from the parking lot of the VAB, 3.4 miles away from launch pad 39A. That might seem like a long way, but trust me, you don’t want to be much closer than that.
Surrounded by NASA workers yammering about previous launches, high school students and undergrads yammering about the next party, and camera nuts yammering about f-stops and shutter speeds, I waited for hours, unwilling to give up my spot on the pavement. No time for eating. No time for the restroom. We weren’t going anywhere. Continue reading
Can the Republicans really be so desperate for another candidate named George that they’re considering Pataki, who’s not particularly conservative and three years older than the New Madrid earthquake? Seriously?
It’s hard to shake the feeling that there’s some Bush acolyte out there we don’t know about yet who will enter at some point. Continue reading
Ellen pulls the sweater tight around her, feels the strength of the wind begging her to let go, embrace the brisk cold of this November night. Three twenty in the morning and she knows this is not where she should be. She should be wrapped up in a blanket next to Steven, sharing body heat, love. Any chance of that is still hours away, home two towns over, down I-70, and looking at the blacktop of the McDonald’s parking lot, it feels like forever.
“We don’t shit where we eat.” That’s what Steven had told her when they had started three months ago. He had heard it in some mobster movie, the title lost to dead memory cells. He told her this, and his plan, armed robbery, and how they were going to make it safely, do everything right. “This is only temporary,” he’d told her.
Behind her, Steven sat in the blue Civic, waiting for the McDonald’s door to open, at which point he’d drive forward, headlights off, and idle the engine until she came back out, like he had so many times, their routine almost clockwork. Continue reading
Fifth in a series
by Evan Robinson
Thirty years ago last April, six of us set out from Lake Geneva, WI, in two cars. We had told our bosses that we were taking a few days off to see Columbia’s first launch. Lawrence, his wife Josie, and Jeff were in Lawrence and Josie’s car. Erol, Paul, and I were in mine.
I’ll say, right from the beginning, that many of the routine details of the trip are hazy now. I couldn’t consult photos, because they’re all in storage. I don’t remember the route we drove, although I suspect that we went from Lake Geneva through Indianapolis, Louisville, Chattanooga, Atlanta, Gainesville, Orlando to somewhere near Cocoa, just inland from Cape Canaveral, following I-65 and I-75. It’s likely that some of the sharp memories of the trip are just as hazy as well. But everything here is as I remember it, with some support from Google. Continue reading
Israel’s 1981 attack on Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor is, along with other episodes such as the Six-Day War and Operation Entebbe, is the stuff of Israel’s military legend. Some are citing it as a precedent for attacking Iran’s nuclear-enrichment facilities. As Bennett Ramberg wrote in 2006 for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (behind a pay wall) about the Osirak attack’s applicability to Iran:
A dramatic military action to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation, the June 7, 1981 strike left a legacy that echoes today in the “all options are on the table” drumbeat emanating from Washington and Jerusalem. The seemingly straightforward message to Iran and other would-be proliferators: Abrogate nonproliferation pledges in this post-9/11 era and risk being “Osiraked.” Continue reading