Tuesday's intriguing people
"Racing's a very personal thing, almost a spiritual thing," Leslie Porterfield tells Time magazine.
January 25th, 2011
09:43 AM ET

Tuesday's intriguing people

Leslie Porterfield

Porterfield holds the Guinness record as the fastest woman in the world on a motorcycle. She drove a motorcycle 232.522 mph on Utah's Bonneville salt flats in 2008.

The Dallas native holds or has held the land speed record in four classes, according to a biography on her website. She'll be appearing at the International Motorcycle Show this weekend in Cleveland.

"To make a good rider," Porterfield told Time magazine during a photo shoot, "It takes somebody who can react to unusual circumstances effectively and stay calm. These bikes are a handful, and they are tough to ride. There is a lack of traction that always comes into effect and sometimes the bike moves around quite a bit and sometimes it can get out from under you pretty fast, so it takes some good calm reactions and a lack of panic when things get a little squirrelly out there on the salt [at Bonneville]."

Some of her records were once held by men. "It's an even playing field," she told Time. "That's one of the things I like about it."

"Racing's a very personal thing, almost a spiritual thing," she said. "It really takes a lot of personal awareness to set the record. It takes a lot of patience, a lot of focus and prep to be able to go that fast. It's definitely not a sport for everyone, and it's definitely not all machine."

Noshir S. Gowadia

The man who called himself the "father of the B-2 bomber" was sentenced to 32 years in a federal prison on Monday for selling information about the stealth bomber to foreign agents.

In August, the 66-year-old Gowadia, an Indian-born naturalized U.S. citizen, was convicted on 14 counts, including espionage, money laundering and tax evasion, according to a report from the Star-Advertiser newspaper in Honolulu.

Gowadia passed information to China concerning how to develop cruise missiles capable of evading heat-seeking missiles that might be used as a countermeasure, according to the newspaper report. He also passed to the Swiss government and businesses in Israel and Germany information about how to target the B-2, the report said.

Although he faced life in prison, U.S. District Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway in Honolulu reduced the sentenced to 32 years in part because of the work he had done in developing the B-2, the Star-Advertiser reported.

Gowadia denied the charges. His son, Ashton, said Gowadia would appeal, the paper reported.

Michael Rapaport

Actor Michael Rapaport might not look like one of the biggest hip-hop heads on the planet, but he is.

And it’s with his love for the musical genre that he tackled his screen directorial debut, “Beats, Rhymes and Life,” a documentary about the pioneering hip-hop quartet, A Tribe Called Quest.

How pioneering? Well, multiplatinum artist-producer Pharrell Williams, of Neptunes and N.E.R.D. fame, says during the film, “Me, Kanye, we wouldn’t be here if not for Tribe albums.”

The film’s premiere was received well this weekend at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, but it also elicited some controversy when three of the band’s four members did not show, according to the Los Angeles Times.

According to MTV, Q-Tip, the band’s most recognizable voice and face, said in December he was “not in support” of the 95-minute documentary. He later elaborated, saying, “There were just different things that need to be done edit-wise.”

In a statement prior to the premiere, Q-Tip, Jarobi and Ali Shaheed Muhammad said they could not attend the premiere and thanked their fans for the support they’d received regarding the film.

“We hope that it is well received,” the statement said.

In a question-and-answer session following the premiere, the only Tribe member to attend, Phife Dawg, said he wished his colleagues could have been there and that he hopes they attend the showing at the Tribeca Film Festival, the Times said.

Rapaport, who is known more for his acting roles (he got his start at Sundance in 1992 with the film “Zebrahead”), said he wanted to chronicle Tribe’s ascent to stardom as if it were a rock ‘n’ roll documentary.

They are the equivalent to Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. I've been fans of those groups and fans of documentaries about those groups for a long time, and when I approached doing this film, I wanted to treat it in the same way. I didn't want it to be over-produced; I wanted it to have a rawness to it,” Rapaport told MTV.

Film Threat applauded the film’s composition, which it said “was edited with a keen eye and intertwines personal interviews with old concert footage, music videos, animations and still imagery."

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Sat3D.TV + 3Dsat.TV + Satellite3D.TV + Fast3D.TV + Retina3D.TV ... http://x.co/Luk3

    beautiful and brave

    January 25, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. New Yorker

    The only reason you're featuring the female motor cycle speed record holder is because she's hot. Let's be honest, there is nothing news worthy about that story. Someone just went out and did a nice photo spread on her because she's great to look at and you guys did a story on her. She hasn't done anything news worthy lately. She hasn't set any new records. Clearly, you've got some men running this page.

    January 25, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cesar

    232 mph on a bike? I don't have the courage. And she holds a world record. Great job Leslie, just stop when you're ahead and don't get hurt like Evil Kineveil.

    January 25, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. Big Game James

    @New Yorker So if she was less attractive that would make the story more credible for you? Now that would be objectifying on your part wouldn't it? And what about the young, female motorcycle/dirt bike riders? Maybe they get a boost in their confidence seeing a lady break records some men can't even approach. And I can assure you at 200-plus miles an hour she ain't checking her makeup in the mirror!!

    January 25, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Gas Guzzler

    I'm in Love...

    January 25, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Max

    Intriguing? Really? I’m sure Ms. Porterfield is an interesting, skilled, and courageous person. This story might have been intriguing in 2008 but this is 2011. The intriguing story would have been how her publicist got TIME and CNN to run three-year-old news.

    January 25, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John

    It's not a three year old story! She's been faster since the receord of 232, and she is still racing and setting records. She still holds many records, including the fastest record that got her into the Guinness Book. She is truly an inspiration as a racer and business owner. She has had continued success and is also the only woman in the Bonneville 200MPH Club on a sit on motorcycle.

    January 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |