“Translations are creative acts that don’t come from the self, at least not in the usual sense: In the translator’s creativity, the generative seed isn’t planted in quite the same way. There’s a third party involved, a God or Gabriel, an author who’s both the originator and totally absent from the actual formation of the translated work, or at least invisible in it.”
Obit of the Day: Soviet Space Scientist
On the morning of April 9, 1961, Yuri Gagarin was strapped into the Vostok-1 capsule awaiting his moment in history as the first human being sent into space. With him was Oleg Ivanovsky, an engineer who had served with the Soviet space program since its inception after World War II.
Mr. Ivanovsky, who knew that Mr. Gagarin had only a 50-50 chance of survival gave Mr. Gagarin some words of encouragement, patted him on the back and closed the capsule door. With the countdown continuing Mr. Ivanovsky received an urgent message from mission control that the door was not completely sealed. So he and his team of engineers had to remove all 32 bolts from the door and re-insert them while the clock continued to race to “zero.” They completed the task with some time to spare, and when Mr. Ivanovsky and his team finished, the cosmonaut teased the scientist for looking so tense.
The Vostok-1 launched as scheduled and Mr. Gagarin spent 108 minutes above the Earth. The Soviets once again outpacing their American rivals in the “space race.”
Mr. Ivanovsky joined the space program in 1947. He was instrumental in the construction of Sputnik, the world’s first man-made satellite, which was launched in 1957. Working under Sergei Korolov, known as the father of the USSR’s space program, Sputnik not only captured the world’s imagination it frightened America into action.
But the Soviets were far ahead. A little more than a month later Sputnik 2 was launched and this time it carried a passenger - Laika the dog. Mr. Ivanovsky later told reporters that the capsule was put together using whatever materials scientists had on hand in order to launch the craft on November 7, a deadline forced on the program by Nikita Kruschev in order to honor the 40th anniversary of the Communist revolution.
Although Laika eventually died on the 162-day mission, Mr. Ivanovsky proudly reported that the passenger was active early on in the mission, even eating, which presented scientific proof that living creatures could function in zero gravity.
With two successful missions under their belts, the Soviets began focusing on putting a man in orbit. Again working under an accelerated timeline, Mr. Ivanovsky watched as more than half of the test rockets blew up, including one that killed 100 people on the ground at liftoff. But they went forward in April 1961.
Not long after, the American space program caught up and eventually surpassed the Soviets. By the time Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon the Russians’ space program was lagging.
Mr. Ivanovsky eventually left the state program and worked for a private aerospace company, even heading up the corporate museum after his retirement in 1983.
Oleg Ivanovsky, who published heavily censored accounts of the early Soviet space program under the pseudonym Alexei Ivanov, died on September 18, 2014 at the age of 92.
(Image of Oleg Ivanovsky leading Yuri Gagarin up the steps to Vostok I on April 12, 1961. The image is copyright AP/NPO Lavochkin Museum and courtesy of NewVision.co.ug)
Eric Holder announced his resignation today. In a February Profile, Jeffrey Toobin discussed the prospect of the Attorney General stepping down:
"Holder told me that he will leave office sometime this year. The question is whether he will leave with a triumph or enable his adversaries to limit and restrict the laws that mean the most to him."
Photograph by Ashley Gilbertson
Designed to withstand all forms of physical torture - water, drops, etc. - Apple forgot to test for hipsters. Yet another reason we believe that #ApplePants will be their next product line. (Order them in one of three colors on the iTunes store.)
As they cover in this week’s Back to Work, you can tell something is a real project in an organization (aka, “work”) if it has:
- A budget
- A deadline
- An owner
Otherwise, it’s just a “nice to have” and likely in the lower boxes of the Eisenhower time management matrix. I first came across that Eisenhower matrix in The Decision Book, which is sort of like a coffee table book for people who read too many business books.
(There’s a whole app for that matrix - I wonder if it’s good?)
Ever read a book (required or otherwise) and upon finishing it thought to yourself, “Wow. That was terrible. I totally feel dumber after reading that.”? I know I have. Well, like any good scientist, I decided to see how well my personal experience matches reality. How might one do this?