July 6th, 2010
08:26 AM ET

Tuesday's intriguing people

Charles Bolden

Recent comments made by the NASA administrator have become fodder for conservative bloggers and left some space buffs wondering just what really is NASA's mission.

"When I became the NASA administrator, [President Obama] charged me with three things," Bolden said in an interview with Al-Jazeera. "One, he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math and engineering."

The website NASA Watch reported Bolden's interview comments a few days ago, but they seem to have hit the fan in a larger-scale Monday.

Bryan York of The San Francisco Examiner wrote in response: "From moon landings to promoting self-esteem: It would be difficult to imagine a more dramatic shift in focus for an agency famous for reaching the heavens."

NASA Watch: Charlie Bolden: Stealth Middle East diplomat?

The San Francisco Examiner: NASA's new mission: Building ties to the Muslim world

Noa Baum

The status of relations between Israelis and Palestinians, people with competing allegiances to the same piece of real estate, is on the table as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets Tuesday with President Barack Obama at the White House.

Baum, who was born in Israel and raised in Jerusalem, now lives near Washington. She is a storyteller who performs a one-woman piece called "A Land Twice Promised" in which she adopts two personas, an Israeli and a Palestinian mother. Her message: There are competing narratives and peace is not possible without accepting the narrative of "the other."

The genesis of this piece was born when Baum moved to the United States and developed a friendship with a Palestinian woman.

"Sometimes when someone has lost so much," she says, "there is no room for the story of 'the other.' But those stories are vitally important."

Noa Baum: Peacebuilding: 'A Land Twice Promised'

Max Bergmann

Along with tens of millions of others, Bergmann's attentions will be diverted Tuesday by the first of two semifinals in the World Cup football tournament.

Bergmann is co-proprietor of the blog Association Football, where junkies of the beautiful and sometimes not-so-beautiful game exchange opinions.

Bergmann is a fan of Tottenham Hotspurs, a London team in the English Premier League, and D.C. United in Major League Soccer. Bergmann's day job is policy analyst at the Center for American Progress and blogging for Think Progress. He also has written op-eds for numerous newspapers and magazines.

But Bergmann has his priorities straight. The World Cup is, after all, the World Cup. Incidentally, "Association Football" was an early name for the sport created in England now known as soccer (er, football).

The Netherlands play Uruguay on Tuesday, the winner advancing to the Sunday final. The second semifinal on Wednesday pits Germany against Spain.

Association Football

Cullen Jones

On a sweltering day, nothing cools better than a swim. Jones knows that more African-Americans need to learn that skill.

A study commissioned by USA Swimming and conducted by the University of Memphis found that nearly 70 percent of African-American children and 58 percent of Hispanic children have low or no swim ability. Forty percent of Caucasians are in the same predicament. Black kids are three times more likely to drown than white children.

From nearly drowning at a Pennsylvania water park as a 5-year-old "I remember how it feels to get lightheaded and that terrible feeling that you are drowning," he told Black Voices Jones grew to be an Olympic swimmer. As part of the 4×100-meter freestyle relay team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, he became to the second African-American to win a gold medal in the sport.

Jones, 26, is the primary face of Make a Splash, a project of the USA Swimming Foundation.

Black Voices: Olympic star Cullen Jones saving lives by teaching black and Latino kids to swim

USA Swimming Foundation: Make a Splash

USA Swimming: Constraints impacting minority swimming participation (PDF)

Mike Pearson

The former Associated Press and Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter is a new member of the Association of Personal Historians and has embarked on a project to record the oral histories of people in the Gulf Coast region affected by the oil disaster.

"The simple mission is to find stories of people who love the Gulf and its inhabitants, who make their living from it, who have grown up with it in their back yards, and to tell and preserve those stories," Pearson wrote in an e-mail to Association of Personal Historians members, who record and preserve family histories.

Pearson has created a website, The Gulf and Me, where he will publish the stories, photos and video from his trip. He also is soliciting nominations for people to interview and stories to tell.

The Gulf and Me


Filed under: Most Intriguing People
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. French-fried

    I certainly can understand inclusive of all nations in our international efforts. As a matter of FACT, our allied nations of Muslim religious backgrounds have always been welcome. Every self respecting scientist or engineer and all students throughout the world KNOW that the birthplace of mathematics is in the Fertile Crescent. I know Muslim Americans that are most proud Americans and want to be included. How about including all Americans first?? How about not reaching out so far when 9,000 Americans (Muslim, Jewish, Christian, whatever) are being laid off in the next 5 months with absolutely no where to go for further employment with their advanced educations/skills/experience except for China and India. What the heck is going on here? I understand the Presidents point entirely. I was actually invited to his inauguration and supported him from day one of his campaign. But now I can't help but wonder, what is going on here? Who is advising him? I realize that one of his advisors was fired by our former Administrator Griffin. I do wonder if our President can see what is actually happening here. There is a wave of negativity that is moving towards him and it is hard for me as a supporter to stand my ground when I now question our administrator. it is concerning also to us that he cries so much. It is a strong man that can cry in times of challenge, but to cry during every speech is really concerning to us. Help...I'm talking fro the inside and I'm telling you the truth...our train is off course and we need help..

    July 7, 2010 at 12:14 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. HotConflict

    Hatred and Rage fill your minds so much that you cant see straight. 9-11 was a false flag. That is becoming common knowledge but WHY?
    What do the Muslims know about Outerspace that the western public does not realize?
    Disclosure is eminent but it will be a shock to people in the west.
    Muslims in the Ancient time kept contact with the being from the other realms. This contact continues till now.
    Wake up people. It is right in front of your eyes. Just look a little harder.

    July 7, 2010 at 7:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. drlorax

    The Mercury spacecraft, within which John Glenn first orbited the Earth, was named Friendship 7.

    July 7, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Sue

    Why is it only limited to Muslims?

    July 7, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Sue

    Why only muslims?

    July 7, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Lydia Owen

    i really hate chicken pox coz it can mess your skin.'-

    October 1, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Security Light 

    chicken pox is nasty, it can leave blisters on your skin.-.

    October 18, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Ozzie

    1.8 billion muslims in the world – they will probably wont fit in URanus. Even though you are an indian.

    July 6, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Chuckie

    I agree with you and my question to all is, WHAT HAS THE MUZLIM POPULATION CONTRIBUTED TO THIS PLANET????
    HOW MANY MUSLIM NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNERS DO WE HAVE??? WHAT HAVE THEY INVENTED BESIDES THEIR CONFUSING RELIGION!!!!!

    July 6, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Lebanon

    Learn your history, without us there would be no medicine, astronomy and mathematics in engineering. Numbers are in Arabic Numerals NOT English. Our religion is not confusing, the media just focuses on the bad apples. Just appreciate what we gave you and understand what that fine gentleman is doing for our contribution to humanity.

    July 6, 2010 at 9:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Ozzie

    who do you think created Algebra and Geometry. copy this link and you will find out about the many others too.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_scientists
    If you think that only America and Europe have contributed to this world then think again. Muslims were busy doing Arithmetics and Algebra while you people were killing the native Americans and setting up your colonies in the rest of the world and stealing from other muslim countries and burning their libraries. And it wasn't that long ago. Now you say what have the muslims given to this world.

    July 6, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. AmericanD

    @Lebanon:
    When your religion is to blame for 90% of the bad apples in the world, one can't help but draw the logical conclusion that your religion may have something to do with it.

    @Chuckie,
    They're given us suicide bombers. Something no other culture has even considered doing. They've also given us our modern-day definition of terrorism.

    @Ozzie,
    What have they given the world (aside from war) in the past thousand years?

    July 6, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Luke

    Chuckie – Uhm....they sort of invented calculus and advanced mathematics that has become the basis of science and physics that led to space flight. I'm not sure what you don't understand.

    July 6, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Ozzie

    @AmericanD:
    All the things that muslims have given are in the last thousand years. Know your history and investigate. Don't just listen to the media. Check out the link and you will find out.
    What have the ameicans given to this world, except war? 600,000 dead in Iraq, and many many more in Afghanistan. Who is the bigger terrorist?

    @Chuckie: There is one for you. Abdus Salam is the winner of nobel prize.
    Check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdus_Salam

    July 6, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. SCOTT ANDERSON

    I AM SO SICK OF RELIGION AND THE ROLE IT PLAYS IN THE MODERN DAY WORLD. RELIGIONS ARE FABLES. THERE IS NO MAN IN THE SKY. TO EVEN SUGGEST SUCH A THING IS ABSURD. ALL EVIDENCE AND TECHNOLOGY SHOWS THERE IS NOT. AS FOR NASA'S MANAGMENT BEING TOLD TO BRING IN AN OUTSIDE FORCE THAT THINKS ITSELF THE RULING PARTY OF THE WORLD AND WHO GOES ABOUT IT WITH VENGEFUL SADISTIC AND BARBARIC MEANS, I SAY GO FOR IT! AMERICA HAS ALREADY ALLOWED THESE FANATICS TO BUILD MOSQUES ALL OVER OUR COUNTRY INCLUDING AND SURPRISINGLY AT AND NEXT TO THE WORLD TRADE CENTER. IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE WE ARE FIGHTING THESE RELIGIOUS IDIOTS ON OUR HOME TURF. AND BABY WE ASKED FOR IT. ITS LIKE ALLOWING SALMONILLA TO HAVE A SPOT ON YOUR BED MATTRESS. DO YOU REALLY THINK ITS GONNA PLAY NICE AND LEAVE YOU ALONE. YES I KNOW THAT COMPARRISON IS DUMB BUT I JUST WOKE UP. MY WIFE IS FROM INDONESIA THE 3RD LARGEST MUSLIM COUNTRY IN THE WORLD! THIS RELIGION IS DRUMMED INTO EVERY KID AT THE BEGINNING OF THEIR LIFE. THEY ARE BRAIN WASHED WITH THIS FABLE OF ALLAH AND IF ANY OF YOU EVER READ THE QURAN YOU WILL SEE IT IS NOT LIKE THE NICER FABLE OF CHRISTIANS WITH ALL ITS NICEY NICE TALK. IT IS DARK AND FORBODING AND FUL OF MEANESS. JUST GOOGLE QURAN AND THEN CLICK ON THE TRANSLATED ENGLISH VERSION. BOTTOM LINE IS THEIR OUTLOOK ON LIFE AND OTHER THINGS ARE NOT INLINE WITH AMERICAS SO WHY WOULD YOU ALLOW THEM TO AMASS IN OUR COUNTRY WHEN THE OBVIOUS END GAME TO THAT WOULD BE THE ULTIMATE SHOW DOWN. ITS ABOUT AS DUMB AS ADOPTING 12 MILLION MEXICANS WHICH IS 1/10 THE TOTAL POPULATION OF MEXICOS 111 MILLION POPULATION.

    July 6, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
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