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. Ruffian

    If a Muslim goes into space and there is an emergency. . .would he delay his 5 time a day prayers to Allah? And in space, which direction would he face to bow to Mecca? Arrrggghhh, the whole thing is ridiculous.

    July 6, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brenda

    Another example of the insane policy of a misguided administration

    July 6, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mbal

    Wait... what?

    July 6, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jonah

    I grew up thinking NASA was an American space exploration and space-related educational program for people of the U.S.A...I think it's cool that we collaborate with Russia and maybe some day China or some other country that is also doing space exploration....But now I am completely confused..... What the heck do Muslims have to do with all of this and why would NASA making Muslims "feel good" be the foremost important item on the agenda for NASA?

    July 6, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Owe to the Indians

    It is an utter shame that the Arabs take the credit and everyone wants to give them credit. While, the decimal system, the number 0, the numerals, for starters come from India. Arabs only advanced sliightly ont he works of the Indians and the Greeks. That's all.

    July 6, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. pyro

    For the first time I feel compelled to get involved and vote. I am an independent and now waxing tea..

    As for the rest of it.. We're overpopulated.. A correction is coming.

    July 6, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. kim

    what a bunch of drama kings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    seriously, people, you cant be this silly and shallow-thinking?!?!?! do you really believe that NASA has now changed its focus, you have GOT TO stop believing that you are getting FACTS from FOX and rush!! PLEASE, the past 30 years of corporate governance, our country NEEDS you to THINK right now, NOT FOLLOW!!!

    a THINKING, intelligent person realizes what that part of the sentence means, but i guess it has to be explained to a lot of you, which is soooo sad and pathetic!!!

    some--NOT ALL, not even THE MAJORITY actually-–of muslims dont like america's power, presumption, etc... a dummy, trying to FEED the problem, would declare a fake, illegal war against them. but an intelligent, STRONG american who is trying to make sure we DONT get attacked AGAIN knows things need to be done differently. you lose credibility and your reputation & standing when you physically attack people. a STRONG, smart person is PROACTIVE, that means they work to solve the problem at its roots--and that means educating americans that "muslim does not = terrorist" and let muslims know that most americans are smart enough to know this. most of us know that most muslims are just like us, they have families they love, they want their kids to have good lives, and they are smart, innovative, creative people just like SOME of us americans are!!!

    seriosuly, guys, come one, you have GOT to stop listening to the lying vitriol from FOX and their ilk! if you TRULY loved your country, you would-and SHOULD--question everything they feed you. you will be shocked at how many LIES and partial facts they give you. with the internet there is now NO excuse for you to be smarter and more knowledgable. if you want REAL information, start with the BBC or mcclatchey, your country NEEDS you!!! it's time to become a HIGH-information voter, now more than ever!!!!!

    July 6, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erick with a "c" and a "k"

      Dear Kim-
      well said. At a time whenanger should revail, hold out the olive branch. Wonderful. Now please explain why the best and brightest in our country should be sharing ballistic missile technology with countries whose radicals wnat to see us dead.

      July 6, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • John C

      That is one of the problems with the constant lying from Fox. They appeal to the least informed and most ignorant by constantly attacking with half truths and lies to outrage the ignorant and make them feel like they are the informed ones. Whenever you see a post on the web and someone is calling other people ignorant and uninformed. it is most often filled with incorrect or flat out fox lies.

      Another funny one here is all the outrage that this is not just a conservative complaint. Then they follow it up with a wing nut rant about how they hate the black president.

      July 6, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      I find it sad when anyone criticizes the Obama Administration they are called ignorant, unintelligent and just plain stupid. It is good to get your news from both sides of the aisle then make an intelligent decision for yourself. Most of the people here obviously went to CNN to find out what their take on this news would be and I believe that most, if not all got some input from Fox, then they blogged their thoughts. I think that is an intelligent, well informed way to go about deciphering the news. Many of us are truly saddened by the direction this country is going in because we do stay informed. My liberal friends tell me to just vote and never look back but I wonder how you make an intelligent decision to vote in the first place if you do not stay informed on issues like the one here. Kudos to the news teams that truly bring us the news and not filter for their own agenda.

      July 6, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Norman

    MR. OBAMA: YOUR LOFTY QUEST TO WRAP YOUR ARMS AROUND THE MUSLIMS BY INCLUDING THEM IN OUR SPACE EXPLORATION PROGRAM DRIVES ME TO DELIVER AN EQUALLY LOFTY RESPONSE: EAT MY SHORTS!

    July 6, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BRIBOZO19

    It should be noted just for the record that Mr. Charles Bolden has as recently as May 24, 2010 holding dialogue with members of the Council on Foreign Relations. aka..Bilderberger group, their goal is to subvert the earth one country at a time and they are doing very well due to public ignorance of their existance.Nasa's headman is only a puppet along with Obama and is only doing as is he is told, or they will take away his powerful job.

    July 6, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. I Know Theyre Here

    this article give credit to Muslims when it should go to Arabs, all of these mentioned inventions happened before Mohammed lived and Islam was created around 800AD. Sumerian (which is located in present day Iraq) cuneform clay tablets are the oldest known form of written language and according to Sumerian beliefs not even the ancient Arabs invented all of the above mentioned things they are credited for. The Sumerians said knowledge of harvesting crops, the domestication and herding of animals, mathematics, mechanical engineering was all bestowed upon them by thier God(s) known as the Annunaki–which translates as "Those who to Earth from Heaven Came". These Annunaki were not Gods but in fact a physically larger and more techonologically advanced race of Humanoid ETs. Genesis tells of the Nephilim or offspring of human females and Angels or Annunaki who were Giants. In fact the Great Flood, Genesis/Adam, son of God saviours were all stories that were told by the Pagans and Sumerians thousands of years before these stories came to be told in the Old Testament and the Bible.

    July 6, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. I Know Theyre Here

    this article give credit to Muslims when it should go to Arabs, all of these mentioned inventions happened before Mohammed lived and Islam was created around 800AD. Sumerian (which is located in present day Iraq) cuneform clay tablets are the oldest known form of written language and according to Sumerian beliefs not even the ancient Arabs invented all of the above mentioned things they are credited for. The Sumerians said knowledge of harvesting crops, the domestication and herding of animals, mathematics, mechanical engineering was all bestowed upon them by thier God(s) known as the Annunaki–which translates as "Those who to Earth from Heaven Came". These Annunaki were not Gods but in fact a physically larger and more techonologically advanced race of Humanoid ETs. Genesis tells of the Nephilim or offspring of human females and Angels or Annunaki who were Giants. In fact the Great Flood, Genesis/Adam, son of God saviours were all stories that were told by the Pagans and Sumerians thousands of years before these stories came to be told in the Old Testament and the Bible. So imo Muslims havent done anything except dumb down the great Arabic peoples and enslave thier females as second class citizens.

    July 6, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jeff

    Given that NASA was largely created to enhance the self-esteem of a nation that felt insecure about the Soviet Union's accomplishments in space (what major contribution to scientific knowledge did a *manned* moon landing make?), I would say that a mission of enhancing self-esteem in the Muslim world isn't too difficult to contemplate, as long as it achieves a U.S. policy objective. NASA *always* has had a major PR component to its mission.

    July 6, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mike

    We should give a Nobel to Edrogan because Edrogan is the DUDE!!!! And he makes the word "flotilla" sound se$#%xy.

    July 6, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. I Know Theyre Here

    This article give credit to Muslims when it should go to Arabs, all of these mentioned inventions happened before Mohammed lived and Islam was created around 800AD. Sumerian (which is located in present day Iraq) cuneform clay tablets are the oldest known form of written language and according to Sumerian beliefs not even the ancient Arabs invented all of the above mentioned things they are credited for. The Sumerians said knowledge of harvesting crops, the domestication and herding of animals, mathematics, mechanical engineering was all bestowed upon them by thier God(s) known as the Annunaki–which translates as "Those who to Earth from Heaven Came". These Annunaki were not Gods but in fact a physically larger and more techonologically advanced race of Humanoid ETs. Genesis tells of the Nephilim or offspring of human females and Angels or (Annunaki who were giants said to be 10ft tall). David and Goliath would be another recounting of Sumerian events which were past down generations eventually ending up in Abrahams Old Testament. In fact the Great Flood, Genesis/Adam, son of God saviours were all stories that were told by the Pagans and Sumerians thousands of years before these stories came to be told in the Old Testament and the Bible.

    July 6, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Derek

    It's not "intriguing", it's stupid and brain dead on arrival.

    July 6, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11