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. thhhhhhhhhh

    Obama needs to resign! Worst President in history!

    July 6, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      c'mon, have you forgotten about Bush already ?

      July 6, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Freeman0331

      No he didn't forget. They just thought Bush was the greatest.

      July 6, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erick with a "c" and a "k"

      Freeman? cut it out. Bush was bad. Awful. We all know it. You know why B.O. is worse? It only took him two years to place us on a path of infrastructure meltdown. At least it took Bush, oh about 4 years, and at least Bush isn't about to share ballistic missilie technology with countries within which there are factions that want to see us dead.

      July 6, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    Qassam Tech is really in the NASA department.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Donna

    CNN is blocking me?

    July 6, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erick with a "c" and a "k"

      copy comment.
      refresh page.
      paste comment
      advertisement will drop below the "post" button

      July 6, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Steve

    NASA Not About Space Anymore

    July 6, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Steve

    How are the muslim astronauts going to stay on their carpet in 0 g's and face Mecca while they pray 5 times a day in a space station circling the eathevery 90 minutes?

    July 6, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. It'sDavid

    I'm having a difficult time trying to comprehend this story and make sense of it, when another CNN headline is about a Muslim women just sentenced to death by burying her up to her chest and then stoning her to death. I think the technology gap is too great for NASA to try and close, and quite frankly don’t think its NASA’s job.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. DP

    I can almost hear Osama's glee, "Assalam Wailekum. Insaallah, with a little bit of NASA's help, we will destroy all the infidels."

    I am sure the muslims could use some NASA technology to build better missiles to aim at the rest of us.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jim P

    So why don't we just shut down NASA after the last shuttle flight and use the buildings as a U-Store ceter for laid off NASA Technicians?

    Mayby we could sublet some uinits to Obama's Muslim buddies, wouldn't that be a friendly outreac to the Muslim community?

    Let em stay in the 10th century, we need to move on, with or withoout them, it's their choice.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chino

    Why does this not make sense? He has a Muslim name, went to Muslim schools as a youth, has a Muslim father, went to an antiAmerican church for twenty years listening to a preacher who kisses the ring of Louis Farrakhan. He wont call a terrorist a terrorist or even a Muslim extremist. Where is the common sense folks?

    July 6, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Austin

    Okay, so Mr. Administrator! We want you to inspire children to take interest in math and science once more. Oh ya! Would ya mind telling the Muslims that if it wasn't for their contributions, the nation might not be built up to this extent today? Alright, thanks dude, I owe ya man.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Freeman0331

    We need the majority of the muslim world on our side if we are going to win against extremists. Most are good people. I think most people are easy to hate and much less likely to forgive and accept differences in others. As long as NASA focuses on it's primary mission and this is secondary I have no issue with it. Let us stop shunning the muslim world, it just makes us look ignorant and distances us even further. By the way, I am a infantry Marine and some of the posts I see make me sad for my country. Wake the hell up people. There is more to this world than your narrow minded views!

    July 6, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erick with a "c" and a "k"

      OUR narrow minded views. Every country has narrow minded views! WOudln't you agree it's narrow minded that the great people living in these muslim nations can't get control of their terrorists? How about this for a deal, you get control of your terrorists and we will share our technology with you.

      July 6, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RM

    On the heels of the dismissal of voter intimidation conviction against Black Panthers in Chicago, Obama's alignment with known radicals, black racists and revolutionaries, is there a pattern emerging? If so, can anyone guess what it is?

    July 6, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joe

    Our nation was founded by great christian men and we now have a pagan idiot leading it.

    July 6, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Eric

    Religion is man made and the destroyer of the world. More people have died over religion than any disease known to man. If there is a supreme being or beings for some...i'm sure he/she is not happy with what we've done in their name or names.

    July 6, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • kim

      Amen, Eric!!

      don't they see the hypocrisy of fighting and killing over reilgion?!?! ALL of their gods would be incredibly saddened, shocked, ashamed and disappointed at the criminal, immoral acts people commit in their names--wars, killing doctors, killing "non-believers" of their particular way things should be done, etc...

      many, many people have severely disappointed their gods! the world would become a MUCH better place if we all just became Buddhists-take care of yourself, fix your flaws to better yourself and be a good role model, respect the differing views of others, be honest with yourself and others, speak the truth, respect yourself and others, help those in need....

      aside from the mentally ill-psychopaths, sociopaths, borderlines, etc...--those are ALL things humans are TOTALLY capable of!! we should all make sure that ALL OF US get enough to eat, get love and respect, get an education, see the world if they want to, have a decent standard of living, etc... there is more than enough money and caring people in the world for this to happen, there is NO excuse!!

      as a whole, we are a BITTER DISAPPOINTMENT!!!!!!!!!!!

      July 6, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Carlton

    Many Americans now seem to want to reach out to Muslims but show great hostility towards Christians.
    GOD is keeping record and will judge your evil motives and intentions!!!

    July 6, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
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