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E.O. Wilson

Father of Sociobiology

When I finished that book, I don't know what I was planning to do then, but then one idea kept gnawing at me which was, "What the heck, might as well add the vertebrates." There were a whole large number of people working in the world on vertebrate social behavior. How would they react if an entomologist said he's going to include all the vertebrates within the insects and try to write a book on sociobiology?
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E.O. Wilson

Father of Sociobiology

Edward O. Wilson: I caught them by surprise, (by) including humans, and I saw right then and there that this could be very important, to include humans in this. I caught them by surprise, and then they caught me by surprise because I didn't expect to be blindsided, literally, from the left. I won't go into all of that, except to say that it was a period in which the whole subject came close -- that is, as it applied to humans -- came dangerously close to being politicized. It was politicized. The animal part was enormously successful. It resulted in a couple of new journals, a very substantial increase in the studies of animal social behavior. It was accompanied by an explosive growth of behavioral ecology, a closely related subject which included solitary animals and their behavior. At one point, the Animal Behavior Society voted Sociobiology: The New Synthesis the most important book on animal behavior ever, even got more votes that Darwin's book. But I think so many of the social scientists, philosophers, and particularly those who were defending a Marxist ideology, considered it the worst book on human behavior in history, or one of them, and it was a tumultuous period in which what they considered the dangers of returning biology to the consideration of human behavior were too great to be tolerated.
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E.O. Wilson

Father of Sociobiology

Edward O. Wilson: What was new about sociobiology -- and it finally began to dawn -- was that, for better or for worse, right or wrong in its basic presumptions, for the first time, biology was in a really serious way coming up to the social sciences. That will only happen once, and that was another reason why there was so much trouble. The social scientists weren't prepared for this. They didn't understand it, or they think they saw fundamental flaws in it. They thought it was unhealthy. They thought it was hegemonic, and a great many of them still feel that way. That is one reason that I wrote my book Consilience, was to try to show how knowledge might be unified, and in a manner that would mean coalition and cooperation and joint exploration of the big remaining gap, rather than translation of the great branches of learning -- the other great branches of learning -- into scientific language and scientific rules of validation. Many who resisted Consilience resisted Sociobiology for the belief that somehow the scientists who didn't really know what they were talking about were coming into the social sciences, humanities, and trying to take over in a destructive way. I hope that Consilience might have moderated that response.
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Oprah Winfrey

Entertainment Executive

I was in the middle of an interview with a woman named Truddi Chase, who has multiple personalities and was severely abused as a child. I think it was on that day that, for the first time, I recognized that I was not to blame. I became a sexually promiscuous teenager and as a result of that got myself into a lot of trouble, and believed that I was responsible for it. It wasn't until I was 36 years old, 36, that I connected the fact, "Oh, that's why I was that way." I always blamed myself. Even though, intellectually, I would say to other kids, I would speak to people and say, "Oh, the child's never to blame. You're never responsible for molestation in your life." I still believed I was responsible somehow. That I was a bad girl -- and just released it, in the middle So it happened on the air, as so many things happen for me. It happened on the air in the middle of somebody else's experience, and I thought I was going to have a breakdown on television. And I said, "Stop! Stop! You've got to stop rolling cameras!" And they didn't, so I got myself through it, but it was really quite traumatic for me.
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Oprah Winfrey

Entertainment Executive

Oprah Winfrey: The greatest thing about what I do, for me, is that I'm in a position to change people's lives. It is the most incredible platform for influence that you could imagine, and it's something that I hold in great esteem and take full responsibility for. I mean, I do every show in prayer, not down on my knees praying, but I do it before every show - a mental meditation in order to get the correct message across. Because you're dealing with millions of people every day, and it's very easy for something to be misinterpreted, so my intention is always, regardless of what the show is -- whether it's about sibling rivalry or wife battering or children of divorce -- for people to see within each show that you are responsible for your life, that although there may be tragedy in your life, there's always a possibility to triumph. It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always, always.
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Chuck Yeager

First Man to Break the Sound Barrier

Chuck Yeager: The X-1 was fun to fly, that's the way we looked at it, 'cause it was very interesting. When you do research flying, you are doing things and solving problems that no one else has been able to solve. So it was interesting to see all these things come along. The running out of elevator, that was new. All the engineers said, "Jeez, what's going on?" Then flying with the flying tail, that was something new. And it turned out pretty good, really. Actually, you really don't think about the outcome of any kind of a flight, whether it's combat, or any other kinds of flights, because you really have no control over it. And, that's the way I looked at the X-1. You don't worry about the outcome, obviously. You concentrate on what you are doing, to do the best job you can, to stay out of a serious situations. That's the way the X-1 was. When we got it above mach one without it flying apart, you can laughingly say now, "Well, I was disappointed because it didn't blow up." But that's not true. You are a little bit surprised that things didn't fly apart because that's the way you've been sort of thinking. But, when it didn't you are relieved.
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Chuck Yeager

First Man to Break the Sound Barrier

It's duty. It's just like flying combat. You know when you go on a combat mission, somebody is going to get killed, you just hope it isn't you. If it is, that's the way it goes. The same way with flying the X-1. It didn't make any difference to me whether I thought the airplane would go faster than sound. I was assigned as a test pilot on it, and it was my duty to fly it. That's the way most military pilots look at it.
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Chuck Yeager

First Man to Break the Sound Barrier

And on the fourth flight, I think it was on December 12, everything went beautiful. The drop was right on speed, and the chambers ignited when you flick the switch. The profile was beautiful. The only thing that happened, on the climb out, on all four chambers running and you're really accelerating - you fly off of a little eight ball flight indicator for attitude reference. And, you have a pressure suite, you've got filament wires in the visor of your suite. You have to keep those hot to keep your visor from fogging up. I let the airplane get up a little bit steep. I was busy regulating the pressures in the chamber to get maximum thrust out of the engine, and I got the airplane just a little bit steep, probably pushing 65 degrees angle of attack rather than 45. As I went through 60,000 feet, it began to push the airplane over. There are a lot of things that happen to an airplane mechanically up there. You have liquid oxygen in a tank and, if go to zero G, flying the parabolic curve, at zero G that oxygen cavitates because there is nothing to hold it down in the bottom of the tank. And so you have to hold about a tenth of a G on the way over. I floated right on through 70,000 feet up to 80,000 feet, which was about 10,000 feet higher. I hung on, and I'm sitting there looking as the mach meter went up to about three. And as I went through something like 2.3 mach number, man we were really smoking. We were picking up about 31 miles per hour, per second. And I watched this thing, and as we went through about 2.3 mach number, the airplane began to yaw. I said, man, something's not right. I pushed on rudder to try to get the nose back, and nothing happened, the airplane just kept yawing. Then, the outside wing, because of dihedral effect, begins coming up. Next I'm cranking on full aileron and full rudder, and nothing happens. The airplane rolled, inverted, pitched up, and when that happened, the canopy busted on it. And when that happened, the suit inflated. Then the airplane really got wound up in some snap rolls, and the data shows that we had a rotational rate of about 580 degrees per second, which is twice per second going around. And you get exposed to a lot of high Gs. Like we were getting 9 Gs positive, 2 Gs side load, 3 negative, 2 side load, 9 positive. You go through two cycles of each per second. And you really don't know what's going on other than, I figured that either the tail had come off the airplane or something had happened. So, I just pretty well rode it. You know, you see sky and ground flashing. You get rattled, but you never become unconscious. I just hung on to the airplane pretty well. The first thing that I recognized was that I came out with a tremendous inverted, negative G flat spin. Well, we spin airplanes all the time. So you recognize a characteristic airplane flat spinning, inverted. You can get it out by putting the aileron with the spin direction, and using the rudder to stop it, and make it fall through. And it did. And then the airplane flipped into a normal spin, which is an upright spin. I say normal because that's the way normally an airplane spins, upright. It flipped into a normal spin, and I just popped the nose out with the elevator and opposite rudder to stop it and recover it. And when this happened, I was down, I was about fifty miles from Rogers Dry Lake, at 25,000 feet. I was sitting there looking and the pressurization was gone out of the cockpit. Part of the canopy was gone, my suit was inflated, it had kept me alive. I looked around, I finally spotted the lake bed and turned toward it. And from the time the airplane yawed and ran out of fuel up there at 2.5 mach number, till I popped it out of the spin at 25,000 feet, was only 51 seconds. But 51 seconds, if you will look at your watch, is a long time. And so I just glided on back to the base, and landed. And that's the last flight I made in the airplane. And we never did take it above about mach two anymore.
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Chuck Yeager

First Man to Break the Sound Barrier

Chuck Yeager: I was in a dog-fight with three 190s, and I got hit head-on with a 20 mm cannon, and the prop came off the airplane, part of the wing, the canopy, and it caught on fire. So me and the airplane parted company. That's the way it happens. You bail out, you free fall in your parachute, and then when you get down to within three or four thousand feet of the ground, you pull the ripcord, the parachute pops and you land. That's about the way it happens. I picked up a few wounds. I had a couple slugs in one of my legs. I had some 20 mm fragments in my hands and a couple cuts on my head, but they were minor. So it didn't make much difference. When I landed in my parachute, we were in occupied France, and there were quite a few Germans around. Obviously, you've got to hide or they will pick you up. And, I did. I dug into the woods as deep as I could, and hid. And they never caught me. I laid out there for a day, until things quieted down, and then contacted a French farmer or a woodcutter. I couldn't speak French, but he could see I was an American flyer, because I had my flying gear on, leather jacket and flying suit. And he knew that I needed some kind of help. Fortunately, he went to the right people, instead of turning me in, got me with the resistance forces, the Maquis, who in turn took me under their wing for the next month. I worked my way down through France, finally went through the Pyrenees and into Spain in a neutral country.
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