In her spare time, Alexander wrote two books on science for children and mentored young people, especially African American girls. “She wanted children of color to see themselves as scientists,” her sister Suzanne said.
The Rosetta Stone was discovered in 1799. Carved two thousand years before, its text was the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs, which had been a mystery.
Claudia Alexander was NASA’s top scientist on the Rosetta project, which launched a spacecraft on a ten-year mission to a comet. Comets are small icy worlds created when the planets were formed, billions of years ago. By studying comets, we learn about our own origins.
As she said in a LA Times profile, published less than a year before her death from cancer, “For me, this is among the purposes of my life — to take us from states of ignorance to states of understanding with bold exploration that you can’t do every day.”
Before Whitney Smith, the study of flags didn’t have a name. So he invented the word vexillology. He was 18 years old.
According to his New York Timesobituary, this scholar not only increased our knowledge of flags; he added to them:
Mr. Smith came up with a prototype, a golden arrowlike triangle with an overlapping red triangle against a green ground. He then asked his mother to sew it and sent it in. It was adopted, with slight modifications. Mr. Smith did not find out for six years, when Guyana gained formal independence.
There have been over two dozen versions of the Stars and Stripes since independence. Which was Mr. Smith’s favorite? The Betsy Ross flag, because “a ring of stars better symbolizes our harmony in diversity.”
In 1968, Bob Kalsu was the Buffalo Bills’ rookie of the year. The next year he was an artillery officer in Vietnam.
Most other draftable pro athletes elected to serve in the reserves. Kalsu’s family and friends urged him to go that route. “I’m no better than anybody else… I gave ’em my word,” Kalsu said, referring to his promise, on joining ROTC, to serve on active duty. “I’m gonna do it.”
The Sports Illustratedprofile of Kalsu is well worth reading any day, and especially on Super Bowl Sunday.
Word had gotten around the firebase that he had played for the Bills, but he would shrug off any mention of it. “Yeah, I play football,” he would say. What he talked about – incessantly – was his young family back home.
For almost 30 years, Bob Jr. felt partially responsible for his father’s death. As the story went, Bob Kalsu was killed while running out to meet a helicopter that might be bringing the news of his son’s impending birth.