Margot Lee Shetterly's Hidden Figures recovers the lost history of the young African American women who did the heavy computational work of the Apollo missions, given the job title of "computer" -- her compelling book has been made into a new motion picture.
One such woman was Katherine G. Johnson. At 98, she still lives in Hampton, and has emerged as the most high-profile of the computers. In the last year, she’s won the Presidential Medal of Freedom, saw a building named after her and had a bench dedicated in her honor. On her birthday, in late August, #HappyBirthdayKatherineJohnson started trending on Twitter. In a few months, Henson, an Oscar nominee, will play her on-screen.
Like a lot of the other computers, Johnson studied math in college. She was also one of three graduate students to desegregate West Virginia University in 1940, but marriage and a family derailed her plans for an advanced degree. At NASA, she worked on the life-or-death task of determining launch timing. Her calculations helped propel Alan Shepard into space and guided him successfully back to Earth; they landed Neil Armstrong on the moon and brought him home.
She never talked about work much, her daughter Joylette Hylick said recently.
“To come home and start talking about complex equations wouldn’t go over with teenagers,” Hylick explained. Plus, “we had activities — church, sports, music lessons, the whole nine, so it was quite a full life. She was not a stay-at-home but she also was not a workaholic in the sense that everything revolved around that.”
The nearly forgotten story of the black women who helped land a man on the moon
[Stephanie Merry/Washington Post]
Hidden Figures [Margot Lee Shetterly/William Morrow]
Burbank's amazing quarter-century institution Dark Delicacies is a horror book-, memoribilia- and clothing-store that is a community hub for genre creators, hosting a wonderful stream of events, signings, and even an annual chance to get your photo took with Krampus at a Christmas open-house.
Neil Gaiman says Edgar Allan Poe should be read aloud, and he's right: he recorded this video of him reading "The Raven" in 2016 as part of Pat Rothfuss's Worldbuilders charity drive. It's Poe's birthday today, and I can think of no better way to celebrate it than to listen to it again.
The next installment in the SFinSF reading series features Kim Stanley Robinson, Howard Hendrix, and Cecelia Holland; it's this Sunday, Jan 20, doors at 6, event at 6:30, $10 (no one turned away for lack of funds), at the The American Bookbinders Museum (355 Clementina).
These days, there isn’t much our iPhone camera can’t do – except feel like an actual phone. Despite years of steadily increasing resolution and image sensing technology, we’re still taking shots awkwardly with two hands, fumbling for the shutter button. Leave it to an avid photographer to design Shuttercase, a versatile iPhone case that solves […]
Still determined to keep those New Year’s health resolutions? If you’re going to stick with the exercise plan, it’s enough of a challenge to budget your time. No need for your financial budget to take a hit, too. Here’s a more convenient – and cheaper – alternative to a gym membership or Peloton bike: Two […]
Want a career in web design? It’s true that these days, most anyone can throw up a page or two. But for true workhorse web design, you’ll sometimes need to match the platform to the project. Enter the Complete Front-End Developer Bundle, an educational grand tour around the best tools for the web. For beginners, […]