June 4th, 2010
08:07 AM ET

Friday's intriguing people

Guion "Guy" Bluford

The first African-American to fly in space is scheduled to be inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on Saturday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Bluford entered the astronaut training program in 1978, one of three African-Americans accepted that year. He made history on August 30, 1983, when the Space Shuttle Challenger blasted off with Bluford as one of the crew members.

The NASA website reports that it took a while for the engineer and Air Force colonel to accept the role.

He said, "I wanted to set the standard, do the best job possible so that other people would be comfortable with African-Americans flying in space and African-Americans would be proud of being participants in the space program and encourage others to do the same."

Before retiring, Bluford flew on four shuttle missions, for a total of 688 hours in space.

Kennedy Space Center Hall of Fame Ceremony 2010

NASA: Guy Bluford remembered 20 years later

Alia Sabur

The 21-year-old former child prodigy from Long Island, New York, cornered a BP executive in Louisiana on Thursday and explained her idea to plug the flow of oil in the Gulf.

The New York Post reports that Sabur, who is close to getting a Ph.D. in engineering, had the idea of attaching deflated car tires to a pipe, inserting it into the gushing oil well, and then inflating the tires with hydraulic fluid to form a seal.

The newspaper reports that the Coast Guard and BP officials have received some 30,000 ideas to stop the oil flow, but BP eastern Louisiana operations director Dave Golson told Sabur that he was impressed by her idea.

He said, "It's something we should give serious consideration."

New York Post: I can plug oil leak, says NY genius

Craig and Cindy Corrie

An Irish-owned aid ship headed for Gaza won't stop until it's forced to, a former United Nations official aboard the ship told CNN Thursday.

"We have not stopped and have no intention of stopping," former Assistant U.N. Secretary-General Denis Halliday said from aboard the vessel. "We will only stop when Israelis force us to do so."

The MV Rachel Corrie, named for an American activist killed in Gaza several years ago, was expected to arrive late Friday or early Saturday off the coast of Gaza.

As a response to Corrie's death, her parents created The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace & Justice. According to the nonprofit organization's website, the foundation "conducts and supports programs that foster connections between people."

The Independent newspaper reports that Rachel Corrie, 23, was critically wounded when a bulldozer buried her near the border between Gaza and Egypt. She was protesting with the anti-occupation International Solidarity Movement which, in March 2003, attempted to block the demolition of Palestinian homes by Israel.

There is still controversy over whether the bulldozer incident was deliberate or accidental.

CNN: Irish aid ship bound for Gaza won't stop 'unless forced to'

The Independent: General 'tried to cover up truth about death of Rachel Corrie'

Rachel Corrie Foundation website

Ed Murrieta

The food writer's life changed fundamentally after his dream of starting his own business fizzled.

"Today, I eat on the fringe of the food business, hungry for work and living on the dole, one of 6 million Americans whose sole source of income is food stamps," Murrieta writes in the Seattle Times.

The former critic at the Tacoma News Tribune from 2004 to 2008 once had a $1,300 monthly expense account. Then things didn't go his way and his total income plunged to $200 a month. He says that he has searched for work without success - as restaurant-critic, butcher, baker, line cook and carpet cleaner.

"I find neither shame nor deprivation in food stamps," he writes, "By shopping wisely and scrimping compulsively, by cooking and savoring each meal as a blessing, I am sustained. Even that mysterious can from the food bank generically stamped 'Pork with Juices' promised culinary communion."

Seattle Times: Unemployed restaurant critic finds different kind of culinary satisfaction

Amy Singley and Steven Smith

"True love stories never have endings," wrote Richard Bach, author of the beloved novel "Jonathan Livingston Seagull." But just wait until you hear how this love story began.

The 24-year-olds were born on the same day, April 17, 1986, and in the same hospital, St. Luke's in Fountain Hill, Pennsylvania. Their mothers even shared a maternity room. Lehighvalleylive.com reports their two families continued to see each other through church.

Singley and Smith began dating as high school sophomores. On the first anniversary of their first date, Smith wrote a poem for Singley called "Destiny." They also attended the same university.

He works as a sales representative for a food company. She is a seventh-grade learning support teacher. They plan to marry on June 12.

Lehigh Valley Live: Star struck lovers, born on same day in same hospital, to marry

soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. awil duale

    wow wat a destiny, hope u everything works out as planned and wish a long lasting relationship.

    June 4, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lauren Zeet

    Rachel Corrie was probably murdered by the Israeli bulldozer and the U.S. government is still handing out money to Israel. That was George W. Bush so it doesn't surprise me one bit. RIP Rachel Corrie.

    June 4, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |