21 April 2017 #28 INDIA…CHAOTIC…OVERPOPULATED…VIBRANT…INSPIRING

  INDIA: Chaotic … Overpopulated … VIBRANT … INSPIRING. After a recent visit to India, the New York Times columnist Roger Cohen wrote this: “India is ample. Soon to be the most populous country on earth, it is home to close to a billion Hindus, some 172 million Muslims, and tens of millions of Christians. Cochin is dotted with churches and mosques. Nobody cares too much. There’s room for multiple truths. It is this that makes the country such a source of hope.” Despite its many problems, including overcrowding and the occasional flaring of religious violence, Cohen writes that India’s “basic alchemy is good.” India is an inspiration to the world. My book READINGS FROM AN INDIA JOURNAL — available … Read More

14 April 2017 #27 MY FAMILY WERE ON THE KLIPFONTEIN’S MAIDEN VOYAGE IN 1939

MY FAMILY were on the Klipfontein on her maiden voyage in December 1939 — Mother, Pop, Alan (age 6), I (age 5), and Mary Jean (a baby in arms). It was on the Klipfontein that I began to learn to swim — in our tiny Second Class pool. It was a six-week voyage from Long Beach, California, to Rangoon, Burma, where my parents were to begin their missionary service as war loomed over Asia and the whole world. (We survived the war, eventually returning to the U.S. as refugees.) A six-week voyage from California to Burma. Imagine it! In just a few years it seems possible that I will be able to make a similar journey by SpacePlane in only … Read More

31 MARCH 2017 #26 TACOMA TO BISHKEK IN 2 HOURS

IN THE NEAR FUTURE, SPACEPLANES — descendants of the Boeing X-37 in this artist’s rendering— will take off from Earth, arc into sub-orbit above the atmosphere (passengers will be weightless for awhile), then glide gently to a landing halfway around the globe in about 2 hours. NOT YET … but spaceplanes are already in development and people with a lot of money are buying tickets. When spaceplanes become common and economical, I can make the flight from Tacoma to Bishkek in about 2 hours. TODAY, however, I am just winding up my 32-hour journey from Tacoma to Bishkek, via Los Angeles and Moscow. — returning to finish my stint as Visiting Professor of the English Language at Arabaev University after … Read More