An Astronaut’s Dream Dinner Date
Astronaut Leroy Chiao is a veteran of four space missions, recently acting as Commander of Expedition 10 aboard the International Space Station. He has logged over 229 days in space - over 36 hours of which were spent in Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA, or spacewalks). He served as a member of the White House appointed Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee.
Dr. Chiao left NASA in 2005 and is involved in entrepreneurial business ventures and works in the US, China, Japan and Russia. He is a director of Excalibur Almaz, a private manned spaceflight company. In addition, he is a director of InNexus, a biotechnology/pharmaceutical development company. Active as a consultant and public speaker, he also serves as the Chairman of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute User Panel, which is attached to the Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Chiao is a director of Challenger Center and of the Committee of 100. He is also an advisor and spokesman for the Heinlein Prize Trust.
Question: If you could go to dinner with anyone, who would it be?
Leroy Chiao: Anyone living or alive, who would I go with? You know, I would love to go to dinner with Sergei Korolyov who is the father of Soviet Space program. I would also love to go to dinner with someone who was recent passed, just a month ago, his name was Qian Xuesen, and he was the father of the Chinese Space Program. And Korolyov because he started the whole thing. You know, he was acknowledged as the guy who made the first practical rocket to go into space; he's the one who launched Euricka Garen into space and Qian because he has an interesting history. He was actually in the United States, he studied in the United States at MIT and Cal Tech, and he was a protégé of Theodore Von Carmen's at Cal Tech and helped start the jet propulsion laboratory there, and then he got caught up in the anti-communism wave and was accused of being a spy and was actually deported back to China where he built from nothing, their entire missile and space program.
So, in a way, in a very real way, the United States in trying to protect so-called protect our secrets and throwing this guy out of the country, we helped seed and start the Chinese missile program. Both of those guys would be very interesting to meet and talk to.
Recorded on December 16, 2009
Leroy Chiao would break bread with Sergei Korolyov, the father of the Soviet Space program and the first man to build a rocket that could make it into space.
The best leaders don't project perfection. Peter Fuda explains why.
- There are two kinds of masks leaders wear. Executive coach Peter Fuda likens one to The Phantom of the Opera—projecting perfectionism to hide feelings of inadequacy—and the other to The Mask, where leaders assume a persona of toughness or brashness because they imagine it projects the power needed for the position.
- Both of those masks are motivated by self-protection, rather than learning, growth and contribution. "By the way," says Fuda, "your people know you're imperfect anyway, so when you embrace your imperfections they know you're honest as well."
- The most effective leaders are those who try to perfect their craft rather than try to perfect their image. They inspire a culture of learning and growth, not a culture where people are afraid to ask for help.
To learn more, visit peterfuda.com.
Isogloss cartography shows diversity, richness, and humour of the French language
Evolution steered humans toward pair bonding to ensure the survival of genes. But humans tend to get restless.
- Monogamy is natural, but adultery is, too, says biological anthropologist Helen Fisher.
- Even though humans are animals that form pair bonds, some humans have a predisposition for restlessness. This might come from the evolutionary development of a dual human reproductive strategy.
- This drive to fall in love and form a pair bond evolved for an ecological reason: to rear our children as a team.