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. Miller

    You don't get it – they don't need us but we need them. There may be 3 out of 50 muslim countries who have problem with terrorism but the rest are flourishing look at the example of UAE and Malaysia. In most muslim countries education is free and they even give you money to learn. Before they used to put money in our banks but they are smart and have build their own banking system and don't need our banks to save their money and that is why our banks are empty. We are at the point in history where we have the guns and they have the money.

    July 6, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      It is you that doesn't get it Miller.

      You see Miller, their money used to be our money. And how is it that they have our money you ask? Simple...... OIL and CHEAP SLAVE LABOR.

      Therefore, they need us because of our need at this point in time for there oil and our corporate worlds penchant for out sourcing manufacturing for their CHEAP (slave) labor. There will come a day though when we will wean ourselves from their oil, after all the world's oil reserves are finite; and their people will tire of working for basically nothing. Then...... let them eat sand.

      July 6, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Stupidest thing Ive ever heard.....

      July 6, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. JPT

    Amazed at how few posters on this board are clueless on how Europe transitioned from Dark to Middle Ages and the Rennaisance, and how iteraction (warfare and trade) with the Islamic world led to the reintroduction of math and science after Christian zealots had essentially shut it down after the fall of Rome.

    July 6, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  3. J. Abadash

    if he wants to " re-inspire children to want to get into science and math" then perhaps he should put some money into SCHOOLS and all of the programs school budgets had to be cut out this past two years just to get by, not to mention the laughable pay of the teachers (many of whom lost their jobs or whose pay was decreased)

    FOREMOST?.... "foremost,... 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." who gives a crap how they FEEL?? do you think they care how we feel??

    fact: mustlim nations HATE the US
    fact: Ahmadinejahd said specifically that he wants to bomb 7 large cities in the US, "death to all traitors of the Muslim faith and death to israel"...that means ALL of us.

    Is everyone blind and deaf or are americans just not intelligent enough anymore becuase of their amusment park lifestyle? We are kept so busy with plitically correct red tape and stop signs in our life that we have gone so far off on a tangent we can't even see danger when its right in front of us. Mind you Obama's father was a MUSLIM....he was raised MUSLIM in a MUSLIM environment which is ingrained in him. He calls himself a Christian-what a lie!!!! Christians are to be CHRIST-LIKE-which he is NOT. we should be concerned about all of his hidden agendas.
    why worry about space when we are barely making it here? why involve another nation when ours is in disaray, crumbling at the foundation and trying to keep our heads above water?
    sounds like he is trying to give them another side to clutch us from...

    July 6, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  4. Tommy

    Muslims are like Christians at an earlier stage of development. Give them another 600 years and they will have put their primitive beliefs behind as many Christians have. The individual god created in the image of a particular human individual is rather childish whether the human was Jesus or Mohammad. The Universe is much more complex. With time and energy spent on real science, we may come to understand a bit more of the Universe and its foundations. It is unfortunate that Obama confuses real science with foreign relations. P.S. Today's science arose from multiple overlapping and duplicative discoveries made by many civilizations. Of course individual Muslims are smart and will discover. On the other hand, their discoveries are duplicative rather than exclusive.

    July 6, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Steven

      Give them another 600 years and they will dominate or destroy anyone or any religion that is not Islam. That's their goal. Read their Koran and you will see. Basic Christian principle is to love others as you love yourself. Basic Muslim principle if they are not Islam, they are an infidel. Huge differences between Islam and Christianity. Christian principles made this country great. Look what Islam has done to the Muslim nations. Christianity holds to seperation of Church and state. Islam does not, to them Islam is church AND state.

      July 6, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. Eric

    Chuckie had asked the question of how many muslim nobel peace prize winners do we have?

    1 and the would be President Obama. He won it for running 2 wars at the same time. Oh wait...that isn't peaceful is it?

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

      Abdus-Salam : Noble for Physics (1979)
      Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt)- The Nobel Prize in Literature 1988
      Anwar al-Sadat (Egypt)- The Nobel Peace Prize 1978
      Yasser Arafat (Palestine)- The Nobel Peace Prize 1994
      Ahmed Zewail (Egypt) – The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1999
      Shirin Ebadi (Iran)- The Nobel Peace Prize 2003
      Mohamed ElBaradei (Egypt)- The Nobel Peace Prize 2005
      Muhammad Yunus (Bangladesh)- The Nobel Peace Prize 2006
      Orhan Pamuk (Turkey)- The Nobel Prize in Literature 2006

      Sir Alfred Noble was born after many Muslim Inventions were made........... or else you would have seen many more for Mathematics, Astronomy, Zoology, etc.......

      PEACE

      July 6, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott Anderson II

      MY LIST IS LONGER THAN YOURS!

      Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM)
      Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)
      Asbat al-Ansar
      Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI)
      Islamic Army of Aden
      Usama bin Laden (or Osama bin Laden)
      Muhammad Atif (aka, Subhi Abu Sitta, Abu Hafs Al Masri)
      Sayf al-Adi
      Shaykh Sai’id (aka, Mustafa Muhammad Ahmad)
      Abu Hafs the Mauritanian (aka, Mahfouz Ould al-Walid, Khalid Al-Shanqiti)
      Ibn Al-Shaykh al-Libi
      Abu Zubaydah (aka, Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, Tariq
      Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi (aka, Abu Abdallah
      Ayman al-Zawahri
      Thirwat Salah Shihata
      Tariq Anwar al-Sayyid Ahmad (aka, Fathi, Amr al-Fatih)
      Muhammad Salah (aka, Nasr Fahmi Nasr Hasanayn)
      Makhtab Al-Khidamat/Al Kifah
      Khalid Al-Midhar
      Majed Moqed
      Nawaq Alhamzi
      Salem Alhamzi
      Hani Hanjour
      Satam Al Suqami
      Waleed M. Alshehri
      Wail Alshehri
      Mohamed Atta
      Abdulaziz Alomari
      Marwan Al-Shehhi
      Fayez Ahmed
      Ahmed Alghamdi
      Hamza Alghamdi
      Mohald Alshehri
      Saeed Alghamdi
      Ahmed Alhaznawi
      Ahmed Alnami
      Ziad Jarrahi

      July 6, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • swin5

      Dilshad – you forgot one – Barry Obama – Nobel Peace Prize – 2009

      July 6, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Those with Peace Prizes are really exceptional people – Arafat, Sadat, Boredei. The first is a terrorist, the second a dictator, and the third just a UN political functionary.

      July 6, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • rando

      Don't use the Nobel Peace Prize as any kind of justification for anyone's contribuition. We ALL know it's just a Political Correctness Award as recent winners Gore and Obama have clearly demonstrated. That's what happens when the "judges" of awards such as these let their politics and emotions override their rationality.

      July 6, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • JSP

      You're an idiot, and if you said something like that in my presence, I'd knock the dirt off you.

      July 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Adam Smith

    Obama is nothing but an antisemite, like Carter. He, too, will be a one termer- America is learning the hard way that competence is a better quality than oration.

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

      But he got the shnobel!!!!!

      July 6, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • kim

      your FOX "News" is showing-–obama and carter have done more for this country than you ever will, and i bet you think Reagan is an american hero too !

      you have NO CLUE what is going on in the middle east, gaza in particular!! if you DID know WTH you were talking about, you wouldnt be so definitive!!

      July 6, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • JSP

      I love how you know-nothing dweebs like to talk about how Obama will be a "one-termer". Who exactly does the GOP have that could possibly defeat him? The repubes are good for a few laughs, but at the end of the day, America is a liberal nation. Get used to it, or get run over.

      July 6, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. demmieKrat

    yes, Arabs (not necessarily MUSLIMS) did contribute to mathematics, language, etc. However, they have forgotten their past nad have let their religion dictate who they are

    July 6, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. lien hoang

    Message to LEBANON

    Before arabs was Archimedes. Don't forget and don't be confused. Indeed the number used today are from arabs but mathematics, astronomy, phisics starte some two thousand years before the arabs.

    July 6, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Ana

      Even the numbers, especially the zero, but the others as well were adapted from the Vedic Indian system.

      July 6, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John

    I think more and more people are waking up to the misguided priorities of this administration. Many thought they were electing a moderate, instead they elected a leader & administration with progressive liberal ideologies who have put their ideology above the good of the country in some cases.

    July 6, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  10. Miller

    Aside from people from Israel and India, is they any body else who has problems with Muslims and what Obama is doing is wrong? Bridging the gap between the west and muslim world so that people can live in peace.

    July 6, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      From reading the talkbalks here, I would say there are all types of people outraged by what he is doing, including Canadians, and many, many Americans…..have you checked obamas approval ratings lately? Or do you just spew garbage you read on some muslim website? Nice try though….but most people here are a little too smart for your pathetic tactics…

      July 6, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • swin5

      Well, aside from the 1.1 BILLION people in India, maybe you're right.

      July 6, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Add Serbia, Russia, and even Turkey.

      July 6, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chino

      Seriously? Muslims are at ware all around the world. Here, Britain, Spain, Philippines, Thailand, Many parts of Africa and Indonesia. Pay attention. If you do not comply- you will die.

      July 6, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • rando

      NASA's mission is to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research (that's from their website). So does NASA really need to reach out to the muslim world? After all isn't Islam to supposed to be a peaceful religion and it's just a small group of radical muslims that hate and want to kill us? It's obvious there is nothing we can do to appease the radicals except our death or conversion to Islam. So since we shouldn't fear the entire muslim world (since Islam is a peaceful religion and we have no beef with them) why is NASA's charter now to reach out to them? What EXACTLY does NASA have to do to get the radicals to love us? Let them put a suicidebomber on board one of our spacecraft? I guess they better hurry, there's only 2 more chances.

      July 6, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Admin

    The moon is where Muhammad ascended to...with the dumb god, Allah, so I think this is a good idea...

    July 6, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. thorrsman

    The head of NASA has three tasks. Too bad none of them have anything to do with space.

    July 6, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. Richp, Easton, Pa

    As soon as muslims took over the system any contributions they made to math, sciences and such died, that was back when they also educated and listened to woman instead of enslaving them.

    July 6, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  14. Paradox98

    I was here when the space program began. As Akshay said.......It was as american as cheeseburgers and apple pie. Not so now?....What the hell happened? Way too much tollerance in this country for things that in the 50's would never go unpunished. Why does the occupant of the White House feel the need to involve these animals in anything at any level? Time to issue the eviction notices. You all have a vote. Time to back someone who has no tollerance for the way this country and its policies are going. I trust some of you now see that you wasted your vote in the last election. Don't make the same mistake again.
    God bless Our Troops and God bless America!

    July 6, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  15. lien hoang

    To LEBANON again
    Check out your prophet life: He was without a dubt a pedofile.
    The marriage with Aisha was not consummated until she was nine or ten years old.
    Arabs math. medicine, astronomy was quite late. Thousand of years after greeks, egyptians, chinese or inca. Stop saying that arabs made important discoveries in these areas. Only numeric simbols are a contribution. The rest is hogwash.

    At the age of 25, Muhammad married Khadijah bint Khuwaylid. The marriage lasted for 25 years and was a happy one.[52] Muhammad relied upon Khadija in many ways and did not enter into marriage with another woman during this marriage.[53][54] After the death of Khadija, it was suggested to Muhammad by Khawla bint Hakim that he should marry Sawda bint Zama, a Muslim widow, or Aisha, daughter of Um Ruman and Abu Bakr of Mecca. Muhammad is said to have asked her to arrange for him to marry both.[55] Traditional sources dictate that Aisha was six or seven years old when betrothed to Muhammad[55][56][57] but the marriage was not consummated until she was nine or ten years old.[55][56][58][59][60] Later, Muhammad married additional wives, nine of whom survived him.[51] Aisha, who became known as Muhammad's favourite wife in Sunni tradition, survived him by many decades and was instrumental in helping to bring together the scattered sayings of Muhammad that would form the Hadith literature for the Sunni branch of Islam.[55]

    July 6, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • forpeace

      Pedophile that enlightened your life although you are not from his faith...ignorant comments...
      The west developed a big ego and forgot they once were drowning in the darkness, ignorance and bloody wars. I am not sure who need a boost of self-esteem.

      July 6, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
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