Deadly train derailment in Philadelphia has brought US rail infrastructure into focus again, and why Amtrak cannot thrive in a culture and political environment that values individualism, cars, and highways over train travel — a collective action that somehow threatens personal liberty.
It’s not everyday you get to see a 1940s B-29 Superfortress named “FIFI” fly right over DC’s National Mall; one of many historic planes to join in the World War II Flyover last week.
I was working at NASA HQ in SW DC at the time so I walked outside with thousands of others to the Capitol over lunch break to witness the event. It was an amazing sight: wave after wave of historic planes flying in formation for an hour, Mustangs, Corsairs, Hellcats, B-25 Mitchells such as those that flew the Doolittle raids, and yes, FIFI.
My Google Glass suffered some damage over Thanksgiving, snapping at a weak point in the frame despite my taking pains to keep it from stress and bending.
I thought that was the end for my Glass experience, but their excellent customer support quickly replaced the unit with an upgraded Glass XE-C. It was a marked improvement over the previous version: better battery life, more RAM, more responsive UI and less prone to overheating and crashing.
After November, when it became evident that Ebola was not going to overrun the US and political fortunes were suddenly less dependent on public panic, the coverage simmered down, and other health issues became the focus of the media hype machine.
Our thoughts are also with the measles-ravaged country America. I hope we are screening them before they come to Africa.
Three narratives of faith that recently caught my attention:
On Fear and Identity. I like Jason’s unique visualization of “Christ lighting the city” as a response to spiritual despair, a redemptive journey geographically superimposed over one’s soul, something akin to prayer-walking.
I Used to Believe Better. From Aaron J. Smith, aka “Cultural Savage.” This is where I’ve often found myself, wondering how I ended up in a nominal state of jaded doubt — I recover daily, but it’s much harder for someone with depression to deal with the climb out of that pit.
Why I’m Coming Out as a Christian. From Ana Marie Cox, once founder of Wonkette. She’s not so much concerned with the predictable reactions of nonbelievers as with the outrage of fellow Christians who cannot countenance that a snarky liberal woman could be a sister in Christ. As a fellow liberal Protestant egalitarian, I countenance this wholeheartedly.
When I was an introverted and emotionally befuddled third-culture kid who struggled daily with feelings of isolation and alienation while growing up, Star Trek and Leonard Nimoy’s Spock reached me in my confused youth, in ways that gave me comfort, confidence, and hope that I had a place in the world — a place that would involve space, science, and computers. I’m me today because of that, and today is the future in part thanks to him.
Goodbye, Leonard Nimoy, and live long and prosper.