Read my latest article for Forbes about the story of Dr. John Houbolt, one of my favorite stories from the incredible history of the Apollo program. How many middle-aged middle-managers in large organizations with families and mortgages and the like would be willing to risk career suicide in order to make sure the leadership at the top knew that you believed the whole organization was going about its mission all wrong? That’s what Houbolt actually did in 1961, and it was the reason Apollo 11 successfully answered Kennedy’s call to land men on the moon and return them safely to Earth before the end of the decade.
It took 3 years, $5 million, but the important thing is it’s done and done in time for next week’s #Apollo50th anniversary. Just looking at the photo of the frozen-in-time Mission Control Center with all the tiny vintage details in place gives me the feels. After our family road trip next week to be at Kennedy Space Center for the July 20th celebration, making the trek out to Houston is now officially on the “must do that” list.
That’s the case the editors of Scientific American make in this month’s issue: that for geopolitical reasons, 2019 is not 1969. Nearly everyone is familiar with the Cold War origins of the Apollo program’s raison d’être — to beat the Russians. Interestingly enough, the same JFK who responded to the Soviet’s achievement in launching Yuri Gagarin into orbit by laying down the lunar mission gauntlet would later propose that the first lunar landing mission should be a joint American-Soviet effort. Kennedy didn’t just float this idea privately; he announced it from the speaker’s podium before the United Nations General Assembly, during his final speech before that body on September 20, 1963.
If you bought an e-book from Microsoft over the last two years since their digital content store opened, then you’re about to get a full refund whether you want it not. The catch? — Microsoft is going to delete your book … whether you want it to or not. While many point to this as a sign that digital media — whether books, movies, or music — is less permanent a product than its physical media sibling, that isn’t the case. The problem is the use of DRM (Digital Rights Managament) software, and if you don’t know what that is, read this … because you’re gonna want to know.
If you’re a fan of Carol Dweck’s book Mindset and the “growth mindset” movement that has come from it, you should read this. Dweck herself says many are missing the point of her work, and she is out to try to correct the record.