Brief Asides


POSTED: Thursday, March 25, 2010


Take time to reply to census

About 20 percent of U.S. residents have already mailed back their 2010 Census forms, a higher percentage than had responded by this point in the 2000 count.

It's a lot cheaper for the government to tally folks via mail than to send a real live Census worker out knocking on the doors of the non-respondents, so mail back those forms. They arrived in most Hawaii mailboxes last week.



Let's go to Hawaii and read!

Step right up, tourists, this way to the Obama Library.

Viewers of NBC's “;Late Night With Jimmy Fallon”; on Tuesday night heard this gem: “;Hawaii wants to be the location for President Obama's presidential library because that's where he was born and raised. But really, when you go to Hawaii, the first thought that comes to your mind is, 'I got to hit the library,' isn't it? So, it's kind of perfect.”;



Top guns with the right stuff

America lost two of its pioneering aviators this month: test pilot Major Robert M. White, the first man to fly a winged aircraft into outer space, and Elinor Smith Sullivan, who at 16 became the youngest licensed pilot in the world and later went on to set various altitude, endurance and speed records. The pair died two days apart, with White going first on March 17. He was 85; she was 99.

A famous quote from White had him saying “;This gets better all the time”; as he rose higher and higher to almost 10 miles above Earth's atmosphere in 1962 aboard a rocket-powered X-15 airplane. Shown at left standing next to an X-15, White also was the first man to pilot a winged aircraft at four, five, then six times the speed of sound.

Sullivan was so famous in her time that in 1930 she was named by fellow fliers as female aviator of the year, over Amelia Earhart. The Washington Post reported that in 2000, she became the oldest pilot to complete a simulated shuttle landing; her last flight was in April 2001, aboard an experimental airplane at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.