See the International Space Station!
Want to see the International Space Station crossing the sky?
From Professor David Everitt:
You can find times when the International Space Station (ISS) is visible crossing the sky, sometime just before dawn and sometimes just after sunset (usually more convenient).
- Go to the website Heavens-Above
- Click "Change your observing location"
- Enter your location on the earth
- Click "10-day predictions for satellites of special interest: ISS"
The ISS is visible as a point of light, passing across the sky slowing and steadily. The light you see is sunlight reflected from the solar panels on the station, so eventually it moves into the earth’s shadow and goes dark.
The connection with Hidden Figures is that it is reminiscent of the description of Americans watching Sputnik cross the sky. Now, it is fun to watch there ISS cross and think about 6 astronauts from several countries are up there right now.
Thanks, David Everitt!
Gil Scott-Heron - "Whitey On the Moon"
"Whitey On the Moon" by Gil Scott-Heron, from his album A New Black Poet - Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, 1970.
Article by Alexis C. Madrigal about this poem from "The Atlantic" "My words of appreciation for his work and life are small before his talent. Let me just say that his track, 'Whitey on the Moon,' changed the way I thought about the space race forever. It anchored the flight into the heavens, tethering it to the persistence of racial inequality, and pulling it out of the abstract, universal realm in which we like to place our technical achievements."
This NASA Genius Invented the Super Soaker
Remember the childhood hours of fun spent blasting your friends with neon-tinged water cannons? You can thank a NASA scientist for that. In 1982, Lonnie Johnson designed the Super Soaker. But that wasn't Johnson's only invention. The award-winning scientist came up with everything from the Nerf gun to a thermoelectric energy converter, and now he's got even bigger aims. Lonnie Johnson: we thank you for your contributions to humanity and our childhoods. From CNN's website, "Great Big Story."
How Many Women Were There?
Question: How many African American female mathematicians were there at NASA during the time period of the book Hidden Figures?
Answer: Author Margot Lee Shetterly estimates that there were about 80 African American female mathematicians working for NASA between 1943 and the early 1980s.
Question: What was the total of all female mathematicians at NASA during the same time?
Answer: Shetterly thinks maybe more than 1000.
For more details, please see Ms. Shetterly's discussion on "Black America: Human Computers with Margot Shetterly" at about minute 9.
The Bayview Project
Hidden Figures begins in the early 1940s. What was going on here in the San Francisco Bay Area at that time? In addition to the creation of Marin City (Please see "Marinship" tab on this guide), many African Americans migrated to Bayview, a neighborhood in southern San Francisco. Learn about it here! From the Museum of the African Diaspora, which is a great place to visit in San Francisco. It's on Mission Street between 2nd and 3rd Street, right around the corner from the Museum of Modern Art. Please see map.
“We were just as segregated here as we were in the South. Bayview couldn’t have existed if there wasn’t segregation.” - Mary Booker
Mary Booker. Read her memories here.
Only Woman to Win Fields Math Medal Dies
"Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian mathematician who was the only woman ever to win a Fields Medal, the most prestigious honor in mathematics, died on Saturday. She was 40. The cause was breast cancer, said Stanford University, where she was a professor....The Fields Medal, established in 1936, is often described as the Nobel Prize of mathematics." "New York Times," July 16, 2017.
Why Women Aren't CEOs
"It’s not a pipeline problem. It’s about loneliness, competition and deeply rooted barriers."
Hiring, Diversity, and College of Marin
Want to read more about diversity issues and the hiring process? Check out this College of Marin LIbGuide, chock-full of resources!
Questions about COMmon Read? Ideas?
(415) 457-8811, extension 7869
The Civil Rights Movement in The Bay Area
Digital Curator — Regena Rosati, The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley.
"This exhibit shows the struggles and triumphs during the Civil Rights Movement in the Bay Area through photographs and news stories from the News-Call Bulletin Newspaper during the period 1960-1965."
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Check out the collections of the newest Smithsonian museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened in 2016:
For example, here are museum objects related to some aspects of Hidden Figures:
Example of great museum objects you can find: Photo of Katherine Johnson by Annie Leibovitz!