Katherine Goble Johnson, NASA’s Human Computer for Space Travel

Katherine Johnson, Langley Research Center, NASA, Alan Shepherd

Image source: biography.com

“I counted everything. I counted the steps to the road, the steps up to church, the number of dishes and silverware I washed … anything that could be counted, I did.”
-Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson

Katherine Goble Johnson (August 26, 1918-present), a pioneer in American space history is the daughter of Joylette and Joshua Coleman. Born in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, Johnson made the most of limited educational opportunities for African Americans. Johnson loved learning and began her studies in the second grade, then moved into advanced classes. By the age of 10, Johnson was in high school. She graduated from college at the age of 18 and began working in aeronautics as a “computer” in 1952.

In 1939, Katherine (then Coleman) married James Francis Goble. They had three daughters Constance, Joylette, and Katherine. In 1953, she and James moved their family to Newport News to pursue a new job opportunity. In 1956, James Goble died due to an inoperable brain tumor. Katherine Goble remarried in 1959 to James A. Johnson, who had been a Second Lieutenant in the Army and was a veteran of the Korean War.

Katherine Johnson, Langley Research Center, NASA, Alan Shepherd, Human Computer, Mathematician

Image source: Makers

Johnson began working for NASA in 1953. She started as one of the women who worked on problems assigned from the engineers in what was then the Guidance and Control Branch. She performed the calculations that sent astronauts into orbit in the early 1960s and to the moon in 1969. Johnson’s computations have influenced every major space program from Mercury through the Shuttle. She even calculated the flight path for the first American mission space. 

On May 5, 2016, a new 40,000-square-foot building was named in her honor. The Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility was formally dedicated at the agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. She attended this event which marked the 55th anniversary of astronaut Alan Shepard’s historic rocket launch and splashdown, a landmark success that Johnson helped achieve.

Katherine Johnson, Langley Research Center, NASA

Image source: The Denver Post

In 2015, President Barack Obama presented Johnson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, citing her as a pioneering example of African-American women in STEM. The highly acclaimed film Hidden Figures based on the non-fiction book of the same title by Margot Lee Shetterly follows the career of Katherine Johnson and other female African-American mathematicians (Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan) who worked at NASA. 

For her contributions to the United States’ aeronautics and space programs, we salute Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson as we celebrate National Women’s History Month.


What If Wednesday: Strengthening Humanity


Image Credit: James Childs

Civilization. What if the quality of our existence depends on how we treat people outside our tribe? Where would we be without people?

Remember humanity and reflect on how you want to be perceived and treated as a person. In our pursuit in all areas of happiness, we have the power to unite and strengthen humanity when we stop labeling, trolling, bullying and stereotyping innocent people. Simply remember the elements of decency and respect we want to receive from others and then imagine how much better uniting humanity would be for our health, our world and our spirit. What if?


Celebrating National Cherry Month with Grilled Chicken Topped with Fresh Cherry Salsa

Grilled Chicken & Fresh Cherry Salsa, National Cherry Month

Image credit: Iowa Girl Eats

Today on Food Porn Friday, we are observing National Cherry Month. We are delighted to present this quick and easy Grilled Chicken with Fresh Cherry Salsa recipe, from Kristin in the kitchen of Iowa Girl Eats. This recipe takes about 20 minutes to prepare and then…Bon appetit!

Grilled Chicken with Fresh Cherry Salsa

– 1-1/2lb cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
– 1/2 cup minced red onion
– 2 tbsps lemon juice
– 2 tbsps chopped fresh basil
– 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
– 1 tsps honey
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 4 chicken breasts, pounded to uniform thickness
– extra virgin olive oil
– salt and pepper

– Start the Grilled Chicken & Fresh Cherry Salsa by pitting 1 1/2lb cherries.
– Once the cherries are pitted, roughly chop them up and an add ’em to a big bowl.
– Next add 1/2 cup minced red onions, and 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
– Then chop up and add a handful of fresh basil, and 2 teaspoons honey.
– Finally, add a dash of salt, and 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar. That’s it! Stash the mix in the fridge to chill while you get the chicken ready to grill.
– Pound a couple chicken breasts (I used a cast iron skillet) to uniform thickness in a ziplock bag. I like using a bag over plastic wrap because I feel as though a chunk or two always escapes and flies across the kitchen never to be seen or heard from again. Gross.
– Brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil, liberally season with salt & pepper, then grill over medium-high heat for 4 minutes a side, or until cooked through. You know I like me some fancy seasoning blends, but simple salt & pepper is still tre delish, and really lets the cherry salsa shine through.
– Let the cooked chicken rest for 5 minutes, then plate, scoop, drizzle, and serve!

For the full step by step visual directions, be sure to visit Iowa Girl Eats.

Happy #NationalCherryMonth on #FoodPornFriday

Matters of the Heart is Pure Poetry

National Heart Month, Women's Heart Health Month

This month commemorates all things of the heart. Throughout February, we celebrate National Heart Month and Women’s Heart Health Month, and of course Valentine’s Day on the 14th. Have a heart and don’t go breaking anyone’s heart, spiritually or physically!

Matters of the Heart

Oh the gentle beat
pulsating in a rhythmic strobe
filled with life robust
overflowing with love
that which is kindred and passionate
like a fairy sprinkling stardust

pain of brokenness
aches and attacks
mending to the skip of a beat
where hurt and pain dwells
a bitter pill to swallow
with healing and joy complete

the meaning of love
the core essence of the spirit
tender, honest, merry and true
where matters of the heart
form an emotional intervention
embracing the ties that bind anew.

© Kym Gordon Moore

Like Grouchy Smurf, I Hate TIS Painful Season

Joint Pain, Health

The cold arctic weather is expected this time of the year, but with it comes breeding grounds for unimaginable joint pain! The inflammation can sometimes be so excruciating that I had to write a poem in honor of it! 

Tis a Painful Season

I really don’t recall when this happened
it just showed up one day in between Tis season
why is my medicine cabinet turning for the worse
can someone please give me some logical reason?

The pain, so excruciating and unbearable
bursitis, tinnitus, bronchitis, tendinitis
joints inflamed especially from the bitter cold
oh, don’t forget our old friend, Mr. Arthritis.

Many say growing old is like going through hell
I don’t know cause I ain’t old and never been
pain pills, injections, rubbing ointments too
even with hot water bottles, I can’t seem to win!

© Kym Gordon Moore

Thankful for Our Children, Our Future, Our World

Universal Children's Day, Celebrating Children, Child Protection

Image source: internationalgiftdelivery.com

Every child is a different kind of flower, and all together, make this world a beautiful garden. -Unknown Author

We know how we feel when we see a video showing children living in deplorable conditions or being abused in some sick twisted way. Right now we are pausing to put a spotlight on all of our children around the globe. Today we commemorate Universal Children’s Day.

We observe this day to celebrate and promote the welfare of children around the world. In 1954, Universal Children’s Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly. The rights of a child mean the right to be protected from all forms of abuse (like child labor) and untold violence. So let’s continue to protect our future…our children. They need us, we need them and we are grateful that they are here.

Walking Dead on a High

Drug Addiction, Drug Dealers, zombies

Image credit: Cristie Guevara

Is there a killer on the loose? A killer who seduces its victims to indulge in unbelievable highs and drop dead lows? When asked to imagine your image of what a drug dealer looks like, such visualization quite often looks like a repugnant individual dealing illegal drugs, in a detestable low-income environment. Yet the crisis of drug addiction has far exceeded the stereotypical images of illegal street drugs in at-risk neighborhoods.

Drugs, Pills, Drug Addition, Drug Dealer, Pharmaceuticals

Image credit: Vera Kratochvil

Drug addiction is not a subject I am an expert in. I worked, however, as a volunteer in a residential center where the stories of recovering addicts left your heart pulsating with pain and anger. Many of the residents were addicted to illegal drugs and surprisingly a great number of them were also recovering from the effects of prescription meds. Yet, the interesting thing about these stories is how these addicts were judged and completely vilified for their addictions, as opposed to those predators who dealt them the narcotics in the first place. Although great attention is thrown towards ostracizing illegal drug users, those addicted to prescription meds from affluent communities are rising and being exposed in vast numbers. 

Cannibus, Marijuana, Drugs

Image credit: Lode Van de Velde

Splattered across practically every media outlet, the opioid addiction, crisis, epidemic, and overdoses have become a legal medicinal pandemic. Many report that the sanitized version of the new drug kingpin, drug pusher, drug baron or narcotrafficker is originating from the smoking gun of pharmaceutical companies, their top executives and legal counsel, marketers, many industry-specific specialists, and physicians, along with employees falling down that legalized drug chain. Although not all pharmaceutical companies are guilty of such scrutiny, evidence of the growing attraction to prescription meds is clearly seen through countless drug ads on television, printed publications and other media outlets.

Pharmacy, Meds, Pharmaceuticals

Image credit: George Hodan

There is also the question of where designer Zombie drugs like Flakka and Spice are coming from. Drug addiction, whether through legal or illegal means is a health, wellness, and societal problem, and quite frankly it has been for a while, regardless of what side of the tracks you are from. The question remains, what are we going to do to avoid a zombie apocalypse occurring as a result of the deadly influence of these drugs, legal or not?

Now quite honestly, we need medication for certain ailments, diseases, and disorders, but close encounters with addiction whether legal or illegal is dangerous and deadly. The consequences do not simply affect the individual who is addicted but it also dominos into more serious conditions for innocent bystanders who are injured or even killed by those under the influence of these mind-altering drugs. 

This is not a smear campaign about meds, but the normalcy of this very profitable systemic problem should not continue to grow on the backs of highly vulnerable victims, legal or not. As one conversation puts it, we can’t continue to give accountability-free passes to legalized dealers living in gated communities and mansions, any more than we do for illegal drug usage and the dealers who distribute them. Wow!