23 MAY 2018 #46 GOOD MORNING, STARSHINE. (THE SPACE AGE BEGINS)

The 1960s began The Space Age: • 1961–April 12, Yuri Gagarin, Russian Cosmonaut, makes the first flight from earth into space and is the first human to orbit the globe. • 1961–May 1, Alan Shepard, American Astronaut, makes a suborbital flight. • 1961–May 25, President Kennedy famously declares, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth.” (The goal was achieved.) • 1962–Astronaut John Glenn is the first American to orbit the globe. • 1967–The musical “Hair” features a song by James Rado and Gerome Ragni whose first lines can be considered an ode to human fascination with the … Read More

10 JUNE 2017 #31 SEATTLE, THE EMERALD CITY

SEATTLE, THE EMERALD CITY Seattle and its surroundings are full of greenery the year round. That’s why it is nicknamed The Emerald City … and it is altogether a wonderful city. In L. Frank Baum’s fantasy,“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy followed the yellow brick road to the Emerald City. My path to the real Emerald City won’t be made of yellow bricks. It will be an All Nippon Airways Dreamliner flight from Delhi to Tokyo and Tokyo to Seattle. I’ve completed my four-year Peace Corps service in Kyrgyzstan and a visit to my India home town, Khajuraho. Now I’ll get resettled in my American home town … get reorganized … and continue writing my next book, FUTURE CHRONICLES, to … 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