1. Re-inspire children to want to get into science and math.
2. Expand international relationships.
3. Find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math and engineering.
See, I'm just an old-fashioned 20th-century guy who remembers when NASA's priorities would have looked more like:
1. Put machines in space.
2. Put people in space.
3. Develop advanced technologies, materials, and systems to put machines and people in space.
Seems to me that if you do those three things right, then at least the first two of Bolden's priorities take care of themselves. As for the third, I think it better to leave Muslim self esteem to the U.N. and State Department, which have more appropriate resources than the slide-rule jockeys at NASA (also, doesn't it sound hugely condescending?).
Slide rules! There I go again . . .
* * *
I'm reading David Sedaris's Naked, published in 1997 but new to me. I've read some of Sedaris's later work, including Me Talk Pretty One Day and When You Are Engulfed in Flames. He's a good, smart, witty storyteller, but man . . . if even one-tenth of the harrowing tales about his family and childhood are true, it's a miracle he survived to be a functioning adult, let alone a successful and relatively sane one.
As a fellow son and human being, I feel awful that young David had such a twisted upbringing. But as a writer, I confess I feel the same twinge of envy I did while reading David Small's excellent graphic novel Stitches: "Sure, it's easy to write great stuff when life hands you such terrific material!" What's a guy with a normal, happy life to do? Write about other people or make stuff up, I guess, all the while brooding because my family was way too loving and supportive. Darn my luck.