Meet the aerospace engineer who didn’t listen to her guidance counselor

Aerospace engineer Judith Love Cohen and son Jack Black

Aerospace engineer Judith Love Cohen and son Jack Black

A guidance counselor once told Judith Love Cohen to go to finishing school and become a “lady.” Instead, she earned degrees from USC, became an aerospace engineer, worked with NASA, and designed a computer that helped save the Apollo 13 astronauts.
Meanwhile, she raised a family — including a son who grew up to be actor Jack Black — and wrote children’s books encouraging young girls to aspire to careers in STEM.

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There’s no charge for love.

Boy and Dog Love

A farmer had some puppies he needed to
sell. He painted a sign advertising the 4
pups, and set about nailing it to a post on
the edge of his yard.
As he was driving the last nail into the
post, he felt tug on his overalls
He looked down into the eyes of a little
boy.
“Mister,” he said, “| want to buy one of
your puppies.’
“Well,” said the farmer, as he rubbed the
sweat of the back of his neck, “these
puppies come from fine parents and cost
a good deal of money.”
The boy dropped his head for a moment
Then reaching deep into his pocket
he pulled out a handful of change and
held it up to the farmer. “I’ve
got Two dollars & thirty cents. Is that
enough to take a look?”
“Sure,” said the farmer. And with that he
let out a whistle. “Here Dolly!” he called.
Out from the doghouse and down ramp
ran Dolly followed by four little balls of
fur.
The little boy pressed his face against the
chain link fence. His eyes danced with
delight.
As the dogs made their way to the fence,
the little boy noticed
something else stirring inside the
doghouse.
Slowly another little ball appeared, this
one noticeably smaller.
Down the ramp it slid. Then in a awkward
manner, the little pup began hobbling
toward the others, doing its best to catch
up…
“I want that one,” the little boy said
pointing to the runt.
The farmer knelt down at the boy’s side
and said, “Son, you don’t want that
puppy. He will never be able to run and
play with you like these other dogs
would.”
With that the little boy stepped back from
the fence, reached down, and began
rolling up one leg of his trousers. In doing
so he revealed a steel brace running
down both sides of his leg attaching itself
to a specially made shoe.
Looking back up at the farmer, he said,
“You see sir, I don’t run too well myself,
and he will need someone who
understands.”
With tears in his eyes, the farmer reached
down and picked up the little pup.
Holding it carefully he handed it to the
little boy.
“How much?” asked the little boy.
“No charge,” answered the farmer,
“There’s no charge for love.’

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Star Trek’s Helmsman Charts a Course for Equality: George Takei Named LA Pride Grand Marshal and Reflects on Lost Freedom

Actor and activist George Takei, known for his iconic role as Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek, is beaming with pride in more ways than one. Recently named the Icon Grand Marshal for the 2024 LA Pride Parade, the 87-year-old continues to be a champion for LGBTQ+ rights and social justice.

Takei’s journey takes on a deeper resonance with the theme of this year’s parade, “Power in Pride.” His new picture book, “My Lost Freedom,” tackles a dark chapter in American history: the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Taken from his home at the tender age of four, Takei spent his childhood behind barbed wire fences, a victim of racial prejudice despite being American-born. “My Lost Freedom” serves as a poignant reminder of the dangers of discrimination and the importance of fighting for justice, themes that resonate deeply with the LGBTQ+ community.

“To be recognized in this way by the LGBTQ+ community… is truly overwhelming,” Takei said in a statement. He has long been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, and his own experience as a gay man in a society that once deemed his identity unacceptable fuels his dedication to equality.

In interviews, Takei emphasizes the importance of education. “I consider it my mission in life to educate Americans on this chapter of American history,” he declared. He fears the lessons learned from the internment of Japanese Americans haven’t been fully absorbed, a sentiment that carries weight in today’s social and political climate.

Takei’s story is one of resilience and hope. Having faced discrimination based on both his race and sexual orientation, he stands as a powerful symbol of overcoming adversity. As he prepares to lead the LA Pride Parade, Takei’s message of “Power in Pride” resonates not just for the LGBTQ+ community, but for anyone who has ever felt ostracized or different.

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Mexico Elects Claudia Sheinbaum as First Female and Jewish President

In a historic election, Mexico has chosen Claudia Sheinbaum as its first female president, and the first president of Jewish heritage, marking a significant milestone in the country’s 200-year history. A physicist and engineer, Sheinbaum’s victory was confirmed early Monday, June 3, 2024, by the National Electoral Institute, which announced her irreversible lead.

A Historic Win

Sheinbaum, the favored successor of outgoing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, garnered between 58.3% and 60.7% of the vote, while her main opposition, Xóchitl Gálvez, received between 26.6% and 28.6%. Jorge Álvarez Máynez trailed with 9.9% to 10.8% of the vote. With this victory, Sheinbaum’s Morena party is projected to maintain its majorities in both chambers of Congress.

Breaking Political and Cultural Barriers

Sheinbaum greeted her supporters in Mexico City’s main square, the Zocalo. Her election represents a break from Mexico’s male-dominated political culture, offering a fresh contrast in style from her predecessor. “I promise that I am not going to let you down,” she assured the crowd.

In addition to being the first female president, Sheinbaum’s Jewish background makes her a unique leader in a predominantly Catholic country. She emphasized the collective nature of her victory, stating, “As I have said on other occasions, I do not arrive alone. We all arrived, with our heroines who gave us our homeland, with our mothers, our daughters, and our granddaughters.”

Continuing a Legacy

Sheinbaum has vowed to continue the populist policies of López Obrador, focusing on addressing economic inequality and providing a robust social safety net. Despite her ties to López Obrador, she is seen as a cool-tempered scientist, bringing a different style to Mexico’s leadership.

Challenges Ahead

While Sheinbaum’s victory is a significant milestone, she faces considerable challenges. López Obrador claims to have reduced historically high homicide levels by 20% since taking office in December 2018, but the real decline appears to be closer to 4%. Many voters, like 34-year-old office worker Julio García, express concerns over crime and safety, feeling that a change in leadership is necessary.

Opposition and Public Sentiment

Main opposition candidate Xóchitl Gálvez, who conceded shortly after the preliminary results, stressed the need for solutions to Mexico’s serious problems. Sheinbaum’s win did not draw the same level of jubilant crowds as López Obrador’s victory in 2018, reflecting a more cautious optimism among the electorate.

A Divided Nation

The election revealed deep divisions in Mexico, similar to the polarization seen in the United States. The country remains split over its security strategy and economic direction. Despite this, nearly 100 million registered voters participated in the election, with a turnout of about 60%.

As Sheinbaum prepares to start her six-year term on October 1, she faces the enormous task of addressing the country’s critical issues, including cartel violence and economic disparity. Her leadership marks a new era in Mexican politics, promising change and continuity in equal measure.

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Anja Rozen, winner of art showing what peace looks like: “We are all connected to our planet and to each other”

Anja Rozen, art on peace

This drawing is by Anja Rozen, a 13 year old primary school student in Slovenia. She was chosen from 600,000 children around the world to create a piece of art to show what peace looks like. She is the winner of the international Plakat Miru competition.

“My drawing represents the land that binds us and unites us. Humans are woven together. If someone gives up, others fall. We are all connected to our planet and to each other, but unfortunately we are little aware of it. We are woven together. Other people weave alongside me my own story; and I weave theirs,” said the young designer

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Time Tested Beauty Tips (by Sam Levenson)

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of each of your arms.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a ****** mole, but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

This poem was written by the late American educator-humorist Sam Levinson for his grandchild. It also happened to be one of Audrey Hepburn’s favorite poems. She used it on occasion when she was asked for beauty tips.

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From Survivor to Advocate to Space: Amanda Nguyen’s Fight for Sexual Assault Survivors, and a dream deferred realized

Amanda Nguyen’s story is one of resilience, courage, and a relentless pursuit of justice. The child of Vietnamese refugees, Nguyen faced adversity from a young age. But nothing could have prepared her for the trauma she endured as a senior at Harvard University: a brutal sexual assault.

In the aftermath of her attack, Nguyen navigated a broken system. The hospital where she received a rape kit simply handed her a taxi voucher to return to her dorm – the very place where the assault occurred. This experience ignited a fire within Nguyen, a fire that wouldn’t be extinguished until she saw meaningful change for all survivors of sexual assault.

From Survivor to Changemaker

Nguyen refused to be silenced. She channeled her pain into activism, co-founding the nonprofit organization Rise. Rise works tirelessly to support survivors, reform outdated laws, and raise awareness about sexual violence. Notably, Nguyen spearheaded the campaign for the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights, a landmark piece of legislation that guarantees survivors’ access to a fair and respectful legal process.

A Voice for Millions

Nguyen’s tireless advocacy has earned her recognition on a global scale. In 2019, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work with Rise.

A Dream Deferred

Before her assault, Nguyen harbored a secret passion – a lifelong dream of becoming an astronaut. However, the trauma she endured forced her to put this dream on hold. She focused all her energy on advocating for survivors, her voice rising above the din to create a safer world for others.

Reaching for the Stars

But dreams, even deferred, have a way of persisting. In a remarkable turn of events, Amanda Nguyen was recently announced as part of the Space for Humanity Citizen Astronaut Program. This program selects exceptional individuals who embody the spirit of exploration and global citizenship. Nguyen, with her powerful story of resilience and advocacy, was a perfect fit.

A New Chapter

Selected to fly on a Blue Origin New Shepard rocket, Amanda Nguyen is poised to become the first Vietnamese woman in space. This incredible achievement marks not just a personal victory but a testament to the human spirit’s ability to overcome adversity and soar towards its dreams.

A Message of Hope

Amanda Nguyen’s story is a powerful reminder that even in the face of darkness, we can find the strength to fight for a better future. She is a beacon of hope for survivors everywhere, demonstrating that their voices can and will be heard. And now, she becomes a symbol of possibility, reaching for the stars while inspiring countless others to do the same.

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Scouting for All: The Boy Scouts of America Rebrands as Scouting America to Promote Inclusion

The iconic campfire scene, a hallmark of the Boy Scouts of America for over a century, is about to get a makeover. In a move symbolizing a new era, the organization is undergoing a historic rebranding, becoming Scouting America. This decision reflects a commitment to inclusivity as the Boy Scouts grapple with past challenges and seek to attract a wider audience.

Years of Woes Prompt Transformation

The Boy Scouts haven’t had it easy in recent years. Membership numbers have dwindled, dropping from a peak of nearly 5 million in 1972 to just over 1 million today. The organization also faced financial difficulties, culminating in a $2.4 billion bankruptcy plan to keep operating while compensating the more than 80,000 men who say they were sexually abused as children while in scouting.

Embracing Diversity: Beyond the Boys

However, a key driver for the name change is the Boy Scouts’ evolving stance on inclusion. They’ve lifted restrictions on gay scouts and leaders, a significant shift from their past policies. Most notably, they opened their doors to girls in all Scouting programs, starting with Cub Scouts in 2018 and the flagship Scouts BSA program in 2019. Over 6,000 girls have already achieved the prestigious Eagle Scout rank.

“In the next 100 years we want any youth in America to feel very, very welcome to come into our programs,” said Roger Krone, President and CEO of Scouting America, in an interview before the announcement. The outdated name, “Boy Scouts of America,” simply didn’t reflect this new reality. “Scouting America” is a clear and concise message: this program is designed for all young people, regardless of gender or background.

More Than Just a Name: A Path Towards Inclusivity

The name change is just the first step in Scouting America’s journey. We can expect to see them develop programs and resources that cater to a diverse audience. This could involve creating gender-neutral troops, offering activities that appeal to a wider range of interests, and ensuring their leadership reflects the communities they serve.

Challenges and Controversy

The inclusion of girls has caused some friction with the Girl Scouts of the USA, who see it as an encroachment on their territory. The name change itself has also sparked online debates, with some criticizing it as unnecessary.

A Brighter Future for Scouting

Despite the challenges, Scouting America’s commitment to inclusivity is a positive step. By welcoming a wider range of young people, the organization can ensure that its legacy of character development, outdoor exploration, and leadership training thrives for generations to come. The campfire may still crackle, but the group gathered around it will be more diverse and representative of America’s youth than ever before.

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Family is family.

Pictured above is Astronaut Leland D. Melvin’s official NASA portrait.

When NASA astronaut Leland Melvin was assigned to a space shuttle mission in 2008, he was told he could bring his family for the official photo shoot wearing the famous orange “pumpkin suit.”

They didn’t say two-legged or four-legged, and although dogs are not allwed on base at NASA, family is family.

So, Melvin brought his rescue dogs Jake and Scout along with a neighbor to hold them and keep hem quiet in the back of his van. “I got to the guard shack, flashed my badge, and I gunned the van and drove to the photo lab,” Melvin said.

He then went up the back stairs where the photographer was waiting, went into the photo lab with 100 MilkBones to keep the dogs busy while he changed into the suit and came out.

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Yeah, I don’t do that…my dog is my baby, part of the family

“…or even at all! Animal family is family <3”

“I think if pets are going to travel by airplane they should be right next to their family in the plane.”

“Pets are family.”

“I love my dogs as much as I love everyone in my family”

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“In a time when the concept of humanity dies, animals lead us to the principles of humanity.”

Two years ago CNN released a photo taken by the photographer Anil Prabhakar in the forest in Indonesia. The image shows an orangutan, currently under threat of extinction, while stretching out his hand to help a geolgist who fell into a mud pool during his search. When the photographer uploaded the photo, he wrote this as a caption: “In a time when the concept of humanity dies, animals lead us to the principles of humanity.”

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