Nichelle Nichols and the integration of the fans and nerds

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Nichelle Nichols, best known for playing Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek, died yesterday. Most of what you’ll read about her celebrates her rule as a trailblazer for Black actors on network television, and what that did for America’s perception of Black people. I’d like to talk about what her appearance meant for me, a sheltered … Continued

The pigeon

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I once had the chance to give a speech in Rome. It was almost a disaster — even if nobody in the room noticed. The client was a large industrial company in Europe. The venue was one of Rome’s fanciest hotels. The audience were a couple dozen senior executives at customers of the industrial client. … Continued

Is it worth it to study math?

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I was a math major and had ambitions to be a mathematician. That didn’t happen. Instead, I found myself in the business world. In contrast to writing, which I consider an essential skill for almost any job, advanced mathematical ability is not clearly necessary for most jobs. But as I look back at my career, … Continued

Interdependence Day

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I am quite independent. I vote independent, I work freelance, and I depend solely on myself for nearly everything. I live in a house in a nice neighborhood in Maine. My neighbors are pretty nice people. The other day, a huge piece of one of my trees broke off. Apparently it landed in the street. … Continued

The best parts of me are like my Dad

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Picture this. It is the 1960s. You are a student at the Ogontz Campus of Penn State University, near Philadelphia, where the students and professors who are unable or unwilling to get into the main University Park campus end up. You are majoring in something other than science, but you need a science class to … Continued

Finding Wesley

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Halfway through an hour’s walk in the cold, I was perched on a cinder-block wall in front of the Grace Baptist Church in Portland, Maine. There are not many places to rest in this part of town, and I needed a rest. It was overcast and lightly snowing. A boy who looked about nine years … Continued

A few words for Thanksgiving

There is nothing more rewarding than watching the people you love grow into the people they realize that they want to be. Happy Thanksgiving. Talk to you tomorrow.

A happy retirement

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When you work for a company — or are building your own business — you need to make compromises for the long-term. You might have to travel a lot, obey commands from a stupid boss, or perform in ways that create ethical compromises. And you’ll probably be working harder, and more hours, than you’d like, … Continued