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Rocket Girl – George D. Morgan & Ashley Stroupe, PHD


Rocket Girl

The Story of Mary Sherman Morgan, America’s First Female Rocket Scientist

George D. Morgan & Ashley Stroupe, PHD

Genre: History

Price: $2.99

Publish Date: July 9, 2013

Publisher: Prometheus Books

Seller: Penguin Random House LLC

LIKE THE FEMALE SCIENTISTS PORTRAYED IN HIDDEN FIGURES , MARY SHERMAN MORGAN WAS ANOTHER UNSUNG HEROINE OF THE SPACE AGE—NOW HER STORY IS FINALLY TOLD.      This is the extraordinary true story of America's first female rocket scientist. Told by her son, it describes Mary Sherman Morgan's crucial contribution to launching America's first satellite and the author's labyrinthine journey to uncover his mother's lost legacy–one buried deep under a lifetime of secrets political, technological, and personal.       In 1938, a young German rocket enthusiast named Wernher von Braun had dreams of building a rocket that could fly him to the moon. In Ray, North Dakota, a young farm girl named Mary Sherman was attending high school. In an age when girls rarely dreamed of a career in science, Mary wanted to be a chemist. A decade later the dreams of these two disparate individuals would coalesce in ways neither could have imagined.       World War II and the Cold War space race with the Russians changed the fates of both von Braun and Mary Sherman Morgan. When von Braun and other top engineers could not find a solution to the repeated failures that plagued the nascent US rocket program, North American Aviation, where Sherman Morgan then worked, was given the challenge. Recognizing her talent for chemistry, company management turned the assignment over to young Mary.      In the end, America succeeded in launching rockets into space, but only because of the joint efforts of the brilliant farm girl from North Dakota and the famous German scientist. While von Braun went on to become a high-profile figure in NASA's manned space flight, Mary Sherman Morgan and her contributions fell into obscurity–until now. 

Excerpt from:  

Rocket Girl – George D. Morgan & Ashley Stroupe, PHD

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Jon Stewart Would Have Been a Terrible Host of “Meet the Press”

Mother Jones

Gabriel Sherman says that Chuck Todd wasn’t NBC’s first choice to replace David Gregory as host of Meet the Press:

Before choosing Todd, NBC News president Deborah Turness held negotiations with Jon Stewart about hosting Meet the Press, according to three senior television sources with knowledge of the talks. One source explained that NBC was prepared to offer Stewart virtually “anything” to bring him over. “They were ready to back the Brinks truck up,” the source said. A spokesperson for NBC declined to comment. James Dixon, Stewart’s agent, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

….Though not a traditional journalist, Stewart can be a devastatingly effective interrogator, and his Meet the Press might have made a worthy successor to Tim Russert’s no-bullshit interviews.

Help me out here, folks. Who’s crazy: me or NBC (and Gabriel Sherman)? This whole thing sounds nuts to me because Jon Stewart is a terrible interviewer. He’s congenitally unprepared for any serious policy discussion and frequently creates awkward moments where he literally seems to have run out of anything to say even though he’s still got a couple of minutes left before the next ad break. When he’s shooting the breeze with other comedians, his interviews can be pretty funny. But when he’s talking to serious folks? It’s almost painful to watch.

Am I wrong here? Am I missing something? Is Stewart really “devastatingly effective” and I’m just too shallow to see it?

Originally from:  

Jon Stewart Would Have Been a Terrible Host of “Meet the Press”

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A Roger Ailes Movie Will Likely Happen—Here’s Who Should Play Him

Mother Jones

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Earlier this week, TheWrap published an interview with author and journalist Gabriel Sherman, about The Loudest Voice in the Room, his new, much-discussed unauthorized biography of Fox News president Roger Ailes. The biography has gained attention for its juicy content (such as a producer claiming that Ailes, then at NBC, offered her an extra $100 a week if she agreed to have sex with him whenever he asked), and for being the target of a campaign, by Fox News and others in conservative media, to discredit Sherman’s reporting.

At the end of the Wrap Q&A, reporter L.A. Ross asks Sherman if he has received any offers from studios or production companies about turning his book into a movie. “Well…it’s too early to talk about that, but I think Ailes is an incredibly cinematic character, and would find a natural home on the big screen,” Sherman replied. When pressed further, he simply said, “No comment.”

The idea of a Hollywood epic chronicling the saga of Ailes was intriguing, so I poked around a little: a source with knowledge of the situation says that folks in Hollywood have indeed expressed interest in developing Sherman’s book into a film. (This might go nicely with the Rush Limbaugh movie that John Cusack has supposedly been working on.)

I haven’t been able to get any other details yet, but the prospect of a feature film on the life and work of a figure as towering and powerful as the ultra-conservative Roger Ailes got me thinking. Which actor should play him?

Here are my top suggestions for casting the role of the Fox News chief. If you have better ones, please put them in the comments below.

1. John Goodman, who basically already portrayed an Ailes-type character on the third season of NBC’s Community.

David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons

2. Paul Giamatti, who has played a cartoonish right-wing villain before.

Justin Hoch/Hudson Union Society

3. Jonathan Banks, the Breaking Bad star who’s done a Chuck Norris movie.

Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

4. Conleth Hill, who plays a eunuch overseeing a large network of informants on HBO’s Game of Thrones.


5. Anthony Hopkins, who was nominated for an Oscar for portraying President Richard Nixon (for whom Ailes was a paid consultant).


6. Rip Torn, who actually blames Ailes’ old boss Nixon for stalling his acting career in the 1970s.

Alec Michael/Globe Photos/ZUMA

7. Robert Duvall, whose politics line up reasonably well with Ailes’.

David Shankbone/Flickr

8. Douglas Urbanski, who played former Treasury secretary Larry Summers in David Fincher’s The Social Network.


9. Daniel Day-Lewis…just because Daniel DayLewis can play anyone and anything.

Jaguar MENA/Flickr


A Roger Ailes Movie Will Likely Happen—Here’s Who Should Play Him

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Wisconsin left way, way behind in wind energy boom

Wisconsin left way, way behind in wind energy boom

The state of Wisconsin is seriously lagging in the wind power boom that’s sweeping much of the rest of the nation — and it’s not because it lacks for wind.

From Midwest Energy News:

In 2012, a year that saw a nationwide surge in wind farm installations as developers rushed to beat expiring tax credits, Wisconsin added only 18 megawatts of capacity.

By comparison, Michigan and Ohio, with much lower wind potential, had already installed 138 MW and 308 MW in just the first three quarters.

Compared to other Midwestern states, Wisconsin ranks at the bottom in both wind projects under construction and in queue, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

Challenges to wind energy have come from nearly every level of government.


/ Ralf BroskvarA coal-fired power plant pumping out pollution in Sheboygan County, where a small town is worried about the health effects of four proposed wind turbines.

Gov. Scott Walker (R) has pushed legislation that would hamper wind developments, and some state lawmakers and local officials have also tried to throw roadblocks in front of the wind industry.

The town of Sherman, Wis., for example, is kicking up a fuss over a wind developer’s application to build four wind turbines, enough to power 4,000 homes. Town officials have asked the state to impose a moratorium on pending wind farm applications.

From the Sheboygan Press:

[U]nder state law, town leaders were given 45 days … to review the developer’s application to ensure it’s complete. Once the application is deemed complete, they’ll have another 90 days to hold a public hearing and then vote to approve or reject it.

But Sherman Town Chairman William Goehring said town officials feel that the state-imposed time line should be put on hold given unresolved questions about potential health risks with wind farms and a lack of clarity under state law on how wind farms can meet noise standards.

Never mind that there’s no scientific evidence that wind turbines make people sick (though they do make some people annoyed).

When will the Badger State pull its head out of the snow and join the rest of the nation in the wind- and solar-powered energy and jobs boom?

John Upton is a science aficionado and green news junkie who


, posts articles to


, and

blogs about ecology

. He welcomes reader questions, tips, and incoherent rants:



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Wisconsin left way, way behind in wind energy boom

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