To the moon, Alice, to the moon… and away we went

Jeffrey Kluger, editor-at-large at Time magazine, recounts the human landmark of landing men on the lunar surface. Kluger talks with Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins and astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and, in archive footage, hears from mission commander Neil Armstrong about the achievement of the first Moon landing, and of the “magnificent desolation” they found there.

However, this rather than the above really captures the adventure on a personal level for an astronaut in his own eloquent words.

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, which first landed American astronauts on the moon’s surface. Of the intrepid crew, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin have tended to dominate public attention, but it was pilot Michael Collins who flew the command module to the moon — and faced his own distinct concerns about the return trip. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien reports.

Laugh and Loathe

New York Times  The Best of Late Night:

President Trump is under fire for a series of tweets about four young congresswomen of color — Representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts — in which he said the progressive Democrats (often referred to as “the squad”) were “loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States” how to run the government, and that they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

“This is beside the point, but three of the congresswomen you’re attacking were born here and they’re all American citizens. So if you’re asking them to fix the totally broken, crime-infested governments of their home countries, they’re trying.” — SETH MEYERS
“And what does he mean, they’re telling us how our government is to be run? They’re in Congress — they are our government.” — STEPHEN COLBERT
“Meanwhile, Melania was like, ‘Hey, how come they get to leave?’” — JIMMY FALLON
“And is there anybody Trump does think was born in America? [Imitating Trump] Bring me Megan Rapinoe’s long-form birth certificate, O.K.? There’s no way an American could be that good at soccer, O.K.?” — STEPHEN COLBERT

The late-night hosts said the president’s tweets were proof of Trump’s racism.
“You know, it’s almost like, in Trump’s head you can’t be a person of color and an American, which is strange because he of all people should know that you can be two things at the same time. Yeah, I mean, he’s bald and has a full head of hair. It doesn’t make sense, but we accept it.” — TREVOR NOAH
“I don’t know what’s more shocking, that the president sent a racist tweet or that we won’t be talking about this in two days.” — JIMMY FALLON
“Of course, Trump does not like the squad. He is the leader of the rival gang, the Klan.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

R.I.P. Luv Bug

New York Times: Last Volkswagen Beetle Drives Into the Sunset

PUEBLA, Mexico — Volkswagen rolled the last Beetle off the assembly line on Wednesday, the end of the road for a car that ran from Nazi Germany through hippie counterculture but failed to navigate a swerve in consumer tastes toward SUVs.

Serenaded by a mariachi band and surrounded by proud factory workers, the final units of the retro, rounded compact were celebrated at a VW plant in Mexico’s central Puebla state more than 80 years after the model was introduced in Germany.

The Puebla factory, which already produces VW’s Tiguan SUV, will make the Tarek SUV in place of the Beetle starting in late 2020, Volkswagen de Mexico Chief Executive Steffen Reiche said. The bigger vehicles are more popular in the United States, the main export market for the Mexico factory.

The last Beetles will be sold on in a move symbolizing the company’s embrace of the future, Reiche said.


In the 1960s, the Beetle was a small-is-beautiful icon of the postwar Baby Boom generation. The 1968 movie “The Love Bug,” which featured a zany anthropomorphic vehicle, stoked Beetle fever.