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May 24, 2020 12:30 pm

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CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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May 24, 2020 12:30 pm

Lee Cowan examines Hollywood’s canceled summer blockbuster season and how film production may be forever changed.Tony Dokoupil plays table tennis with “Star Trek: Picard” star Sir Patrick Stewart; Peter Greenberg looks at how the travel industry is inching back. Mark Strassmann reports on this week’s first crewed SpaceX launch from the Kennedy Space Center. And Wired magazine’s Nicholas Thompson explores how Wikipedia became a trusted source for medical information on COVID-19.

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Our CBS Sunday morning podcast is sponsored by Edward Jones. College tours with your oldest daughter. Updating the kitchen to the appropriate decade.

Retiring on the coast. Life is full of moments that matter, and Edward Jones helps you make the most of them. That's why every Edward Jones financial advisor works with you to build personalized strategies for now and down the road. So when your next moment arrives, big or small, you're ready for it. Life is for living.

Let's partner for all of it. Learn more at Good morning. I'm Jane Pauley and this is Sunday morning. Introduced this Memorial Day weekend by the United States Army Band. It's the weekend for honoring all who died while serving in our nation's military. It's also the weekend marking the unofficial start of summer. Most years that means curtain going up on a season of theater packing new movies. Of course, this is not most years. Still, the show must go on as Lee Cowan reports in our cover story. Not since the silent movie era has Hollywood been, well, this silent. Getting the cameras rolling again is no easy task. I honest to God have no idea what it's going to look like. I don't think any of us do.

There is no one size fits all in terms of what to do safely. Will this be the first summer since that summer without a blockbuster? Ahead on Sunday morning. Singer-songwriter Josh Groban is off the live concert stage for the moment, but he's hardly silenced.

With Tracy Smith this morning, we'll take note. Josh Groban is used to playing in arenas to thousands of adoring fans. Now the venue is smaller. One of the ways that you're connecting with fans is by sharing songs from your shower.

That's right. It's a little thing that can give me something to give back, which means a lot to me right now. Josh Groban plus a never before heard song later this Sunday morning. There's a rising star in many American kitchens during this COVID crisis. Martha Teichner will give us a taste. Oh, if only you could smell it. What aroma, Martha, is more primal and kind of like it just makes you happy. That smell of bread wafting through the house.

Oops. Is that why so many homebound Americans are baking their own bread? That is beautiful.

The need to knead coming up this Sunday morning. Connor Knighton offers us a unique view of the Statue of Liberty, still standing tall. Nicholas Thompson takes us on a Wikipedia search. Tony DeCopel talks with Star Trek star Patrick Stewart plus Peter Greenberg on how we'll soon be traveling or not, along with Jim Gaffigan, Steve Hartman, and more for this Sunday morning, the 24th of May, 2020.

We'll be back in a moment. The show must go on is a familiar expression in the world of entertainment, but does it hold up when a pandemic threatens a summertime tradition? Our cover story is reported by Lee Cowan.

There is a creature alive today who has survived millions of years of evolution. It was the summer of 1975 when beating the heat was all about going to the movies. One movie in particular, Jaws. With Jaws, the summer blockbuster was born. This summer was slated to be a real sizzler of nostalgia. Top Gun Maverick was supposed to fly into theaters again in the summer.

It's one of life's mysteries, sir. But it didn't. So was the latest Ghostbusters adventure.

It has a gunner's seat? Ghostbusters afterlife. COVID-19 pushed back both those summer releases.

Killer replica. Making 2020 the summer of silence at the box office. Our industry was one of the first to be hit as a result of the way we work.

We will be probably one of the last industries to come back. Gabrielle Carteris is president of SAG-AFTRA, just one of the Hollywood unions figuring out safety protocols to get the cameras rolling again. There's a lot of anxiety. People want to do it right away, but we keep saying let's look at the research because you don't get to hit the ball twice.

We want to do it right the first time. More than 200,000 jobs were lost in the motion picture and sound recording industries in April alone. Workers who would have otherwise been flooding sound stages and sets.

The not so glitzy reality of an industry that makes social distancing difficult at best. Something Carteris knows all too well after starring in 90210, both the 90s version and the recent reboot. Complete adoration and then utter shock that I'm a grandmother, okay? Can you imagine that kind of a shoot being done anytime soon? It would have been a different different show.

It'd be a different experience for you as an actress. Oh, it's already it's already. I just don't even know what my world's going to look like when I go back. I'm going to close my window to get the noise out. Hold on. It certainly can't look like this. This on the screen, it's good to see you there, Lee. You're looking good, but it's awful. I'd rather be there with you in person, but let me tell you something, I cannot wait to get the hell out of this room.

That's Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment's Motion Picture Group. I wouldn't necessarily write off the second half of the summer. Yeah, we may try to sneak in a movie or two. The mechanics of shooting again safely, he says, are largely manageable. There will be best practices put in place.

There'll be discussions with the unions. I think it's very doable. What's challenging is what happens on the other side of the camera. There will never be a time, pandemic or not, where the audience does not want the hero to kiss the heroine.

You should be kissed and often and by someone who knows how. But getting sparks to fly instead of droplets of the virus will indeed require some movie magic. Streaming giant Netflix is already trying. For a long time, people would joke all the time that there's too much on Netflix, but you know, not anymore. That's Ted Sarandos, content chief at Netflix, who's seen subscriptions skyrocket during the pandemic. What?

He says it's already back in production on a supernatural thriller called Katla, now shooting in Iceland. They've been experimenting with the series for a long time. They've been experimenting with color coding to break up the crew.

Everyone is tested and everything from props to costumes is sanitized on a regular basis. Do you think that'll slow down production of things? For sure.

I kind of think about it as airport protocols post 9-11, you know, certainly slow things down, but in a way that made people feel comfortable to fly. And it's the same with this? I think so.

You're going to have to kill me to shut me up. Although we've been binging at a voracious rate, Tiger King being just an appetizer, Sarandos says he's got enough content to last until the end of next year. Literally the first day that we were shut down, we had a pitch meeting with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood pitching a new series. The next day.

The next day. Animated series like Netflix's Big Mouth have continued production without missing a beat. What is your current grooming situation, sweetie? I call it the brush.

The cast even doing table reads via zoo. Hold it. Hold it.

Yeah, baby. The interesting side effect of all this might be that the time for stories to marinate, uh, I think actually will be beneficial on the other side of this. If history is any guide, there will be another side to this. It's a boom and bust industry. Emily Carman is professor of film studies at Chapman University near Los Angeles. I don't know where the industry is going, but I know they will prevail because if you look at the arc of the film industry, the studios find a way to regroup and take advantage of that moment and continue. At the height of the silent movie era, the Spanish flu struck. It even became a plot point in this Mary Pickford film.

Watch as she sneezes and the crowd of mask-wearing train passengers runs away in horror. But that movie was made after the pandemic had already brought Hollywood to its knees. Production was halted and theaters were closed then too. Pickford herself became seriously ill, but both she and the movies bounced back. Even The Great Depression, which bankrupted many studios, still gave us some of the most enduring and uplifting films of our time.

They're dressed impeccably. They're dancing on these beautiful art deco stages, sometimes in exotic locations. It's everything that Depression wasn't. Exactly.

And for 90 minutes to two hours, you forgot where you were. Hollywood has provided an escape through all sorts of different ways. They've provided an escape through all sorts of calamities before. Will it be rough going for a while? Almost certainly. But those at the top of the movie food chain say don't count the movies out yet. When television came along, it was like, television, that's the end, it's free. Then video cassettes came along. Well, that's the end.

And then 300 cable channels. Well, that's the end. No, it's not the end. It isn't the end. There is no end.

That experience of being with other people and laughing and crying and cheering, that's what makes us who we are. It's a rising star of our stay at home times. And as Martha Teichner tells us, the proud accomplishment of many an amateur baker.

On the violin, Bridget Bibbins really cooks. Or did until March. She was halfway through a nationwide tour with a rock band when COVID-19 shut the country down.

Suddenly, she found herself stuck at home near Austin, Texas. I'd made that first dreadful trip to the grocery store when everything was out and we couldn't get bread. Who hasn't seen those empty shelves? Fortunately, I had about a half a bag of flour left in the freezer. Bridget Bibbins went from cooking to baking, bread, something new for the transplanted New Yorker. When I was a city girl, I kept shoes in my oven. You what?

I've never used it. I was such a Carrie Bradshaw. I had too many shoes and I had lots of takeout options. And with commercial yeast really hard to find, like hordes of bored and newly cost conscious Americans, Bibbins decided to make her own sourdough, which starts out as nothing more than flour and water set out to ferment and grow. Just like Audrey, the voracious plant in Little Shop of Horrors.

Sourdough starters demand to be fed more and more flour. There you can see she's bubbling up. She's getting ready. And they have names.

Take a look. Her name is Diane Von Yeastenberg. Oh, I love fashion. Diane Von Furstenberg is timeless and classic, as is a good sourdough.

We hear a lot of Lazarus because people think it's dead. And when it comes back, Baker's Hotline. This is Amanda. How can I help you? Amanda Schlarbaum gets a lot of sourdough questions.

I made a batch of sourdough starter. She is one of 15 experts taking calls on King Arthur Flowers Baker's Hotline. This time of year, things usually slow down. But right now, our calls have gone up quite a bit. Our emails have also doubled, if not tripled. I think you could get away with using it for cookies, quick breads.

And we're receiving around 350 calls a day. King Arthur says it's selling twice as many bags of flour as it did in December, a big holiday baking month. Yeast sales are up more than 600 percent over a year ago. Why do you think that people suddenly want bread at a time like this? It's comforting. Bread is one of the most comforting and nurturing of foods.

What aroma, Martha, causes us to, you know, in a Pavlovian way, salivate immediately? Thank you. Before coronavirus, Jim Leahy's Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City was supplying more than 300 restaurants. Now it's down to a half dozen. We're doing, I think, 25 oven loads of bread a day.

Now we're averaging two. So I'm going to whisk this starter up. Leahy's no-knead bread recipe has become a home cook's classic. During troubling times, creating edible art is a magic trick worth knowing. I just like that it's so simple.

I like that it's four ingredients, flour, water, salt and yeast. For Dr. Craig Spencer, baking bread is everything the rest of his life is not. He is an emergency room doctor in New York City. When I walked in about a month ago, it felt like the apocalypse. An emergency department where normally we have 30 patients, there were over double that. It was unlike anything that I'd seen, and I've worked in West Africa during Ebola.

In 2014, Spencer survived Ebola himself and feels uniquely qualified to treat coronavirus. But it's hard to take care of patients all day. It's even harder to do so when you're afraid you're going to get infected. Even harder to do so when you're doing it in goggles and in masks and in gloves. That is tough. What's even harder is the mental exhaustion that comes. Which is why the bread Dr. Craig Spencer bakes for his family to eat Is that good, Brad?

nourishes him more. Bread is something that we can control. In the hospital, one thing that's been so frustrating for so many of us is that there is not a treatment.

There's not a cure. This is today's creation. I think bread is this release from the stress that we feel every single day. That is beautiful. Thanks.

It's got a heartbeat. Yeah, exactly. Most years, Memorial Day weekend launches the summer travel season. So what about this season? Here's CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg.

It's kind of jarring, isn't it? 400 passenger planes that had normally be zipping through the skies are now parked in the California desert, row after row, with thousands more grounded elsewhere. Last year, the AAA said 43 million Americans went somewhere on Memorial Day weekend. This year, the AAA isn't even making a guess as to how many people will hit the road.

You need to make it away from the valley to the west side, wide open. But they're expecting it to be an all-time low. Travel will bounce back, but for now, it's just inching back. And your experience won't be nearly the same. Let's start with your hotel.

Travelers who check back in will have a much different stay, says Hilton CEO Chris Nasetta. Here's your experience, Peter. Close your eyes and get ready. So you'll go to your room with your digital key. You won't have to touch anything other than your phone. You'll open your room with your phone. And the room you open will have been cleaned like never before. Masked housekeepers will pay special attention to things like light switches and TV remotes. And when they're done, they'll put a seal on the door. When a housekeeper is done cleaning the room, we will seal it, and you will be the first one in it.

And we will not come in it until you leave or until you ask us to come back in it. And now, to the skies. In order to promote social distancing, we will be conducting general boarding from the rear of the aircraft. Air travel has dropped by as much as 90 percent. United Airlines is now flying fewer passengers per day than it has pilots. But for those who are flying, the experience is different, and not necessarily in a good way. Food service aboard is mostly gone. And if you've got to go, one European airline, Ryanair, is making passengers raise their hands for permission to use the laboratory.

That's not the case for U.S. carriers, yet. But there's an entirely new disinfecting program. The plane will have been thoroughly cleaned prior to me getting on. And then, we're not going to be mixing salad at my seat, are we? Importantly, you won't have a mixed drink at your seat, which may be more of a concern for many.

Oscar Munoz is executive chairman of United. I'm assuming no more pillows on the planes for a while, no more blankets on the planes for a while. Yeah, things of that nature, right? You saw that after 9-11, right?

We took out cutlery. And then, you know, things eventually come back. I think, once again, in this particular case, once a vaccine is discovered, hopefully, you know, sort of the nervousness sort of dissipates and we can get back to something that's back to the old normal.

But these will definitely change. Like other airlines, United already has systems in place to make flying safer. Better cleaning of seat backs and tray tables.

And things like electrostatic sprayers to disinfect every nook and cranny. Please, please, please find exercise in social distancing. But social distancing is pretty much impossible on a plane. And United was called out a few weeks ago when a passenger tweeted a photo of a packed flight. You had a flight recently that, you know, it went viral with somebody claiming that, my God, there's no social distancing at all.

What have you done about that? We are going to let you know, if you're flying on us a day or two in advance, hey, by the way, Peter, the flight that you're on seems to be over X percent full, 65, 70 percent. We'll figure out a number. If you're uncomfortable with that, there's a flight meeting three hours later that is, you know, has really very a lot of capacity. And so if you're uncomfortable and your plans allow that flexibility, so that's what we've sort of pivoted to, to ensure that you have that. Besides being less crowded, your upcoming flight may also be cheaper. You can find a lot of bargain flights right now. But since some airlines are losing 100 million dollars a day, you can also expect fewer flights and more turbulence ahead. For now, again, the operative term is to let's get through this crisis over time and, you know, say a prayer or whatever it is that we do to make sure that not just our industry, but that the world writ large becomes a healthier place.

Guess you could say that when an entire industry is basically grounded, there's no place to go but up. This is The Takeout with Major Garrett. For more from this week's conversation, follow The Takeout with Major Garrett on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. From the Shakespearean stage to the vastness of space, actor Patrick Stewart has been on quite the journey in his long career, including recently a little downtime with Tony DeCopel of CBS This Morning. The first thing you should know is the ping pong happened before the coronavirus. And it was Sir Patrick Stewart's idea.

What exactly are you trying to convey? If you're surprised, well. Great game. I was thinking about jumping the net. But I think that would have been a little bit too challenging.

Yeah, I was thinking about throwing the racket. Thank you. And then I thought Charles Xavier. It turns out the actor behind such sci-fi gentlemen as the X-Men's Professor Xavier. Who are you?

No, you're the man who puts me to sleep. And Jean-Luc Picard, captain of the USS Enterprise, is much more down to earth than either his title or his accent might imply. His grandfather is Romulan.

And for that reason, his career now stands in ruins. What's also unexpected is Stewart's celebrated return in Star Trek Picard, a big budget reboot of the franchise, now streaming on CBS All Access, a part of ViacomCBS. I don't want the game to end. Stewart is also an executive producer. Did you always want to contribute as an executive producer?

No. I was too naive, too new at the game of serious television. And I had so much work to do. I mean, I really, the first couple of years, I didn't have a life or a social life at all.

I do love you. We work five day week, 12, 13, 14, sometimes 15 hour day, especially towards the end of the week. And Saturday morning, I would allow myself a little sleep in. Then I would do my own laundry, which, by the way, I still do.

It's an obsession with me. Long before he was knighted by the Queen of England or hailed by a nation of so-called Trekkies. P Stu, as friends call him, grew up in poverty in Northern England. His mother was a textile worker and his father a war hero who brought some of the battle home. He also was unfortunately a weekend alcoholic, which meant that weekends were often difficult, troubling.

To escape the chaos and the noise, he would read in the only place he could be alone, the family outhouse. Because the radio was on all the time, all we had was a radio. And I didn't have a television until I was 24. Didn't see television at all.

So being part of a very successful television show feels good. I thought you were going to say improbable. Profoundly improbable, yeah. What happened was completely unexpected. Stewart's next refuge became the theater, and at 26, he was hired by the Royal Shakespeare Company, spending the next two decades with the Bard, before a chance meeting led to his casting on Star Trek.

As for all our knowledge, all our advances, we are just as mortal as you are. At first, Stewart struggled at television, as he explained over a post-ping pong beer with his wife, Sunny Ozell. I lectured my fellow cast members about some of the fooling around that was going on on the set, and the games that they were playing, and the singing, and the jokes, and the ruining shots. And there was this horrible silence, and it was Denise Crosby who said to me, Patrick, come on, we've got to have some fun.

And I said, we are not here to have fun. I said that, and that became, you know, a legendary quote, as I progressively got sillier and sillier as the series wore on. Well done, Mr. LaForte. Geordi, can you give us our love? Oh, Lord. After seven seasons and four movies, though, he was ready to move on to other roles.

What must I do? Only to discover that some in Hollywood struggled to see him as anything but the captain. He felt for years that, I'm putting words in your mouth here, but you felt for years that Picard was a... That's what all the writers do all the time.

He's an actor. Yeah, right. You can feel free to put words in his mouth. Yes, exactly.

He's used to that. That Picard was something of an albatross in terms of your creative life. That's exactly the word. Now tell me, Commander, what is Data? And for a while I went through a stage of thinking, is that it? Is that all I've got? Is that how I shall be identified for the rest of time? But you pivoted and you went back to theater. Well, that was my, in a way, my escape.

He and Sonny, a singer-songwriter, met while he performed Macbeth at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Now curse it with a tongue that tells me so. These days, the only escape on Stewart's mind is from the virus. I miss work. This is the longest period in my career, which is well over 60 years now, in which I haven't actually been doing what I do, which is performing, acting. Sonnet 18.

But even now he's not completely idle. Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? From his home in Los Angeles, he's been sharing a sonnet a day, returning to the words that he first read as a boy, the words of Shakespeare that lifted him into a world where no one has gone before.

I had no idea what I was saying or what it meant, but there was something in the language. So long as men can breathe and eyes can see, so long lives this, and this gives life to thee. Standing tall in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty can only be viewed from a distance right now.

But with Connor Knighton, we're about to get up close and personal. Last summer, architect Paul Davidson spent 10 nights inside of the Statue of Liberty. From 6 p.m. to 7 a.m., he and his team carried out a first-of-its-kind laser scan of Lady Liberty, capturing the statue's interior during the hours when it wasn't packed full of tourists.

Do you look back at those 10 nights and think, oh, man, I could have been doing it now during the daytime. This is like the perfect time to be surveying outside and in, for sure. We're now on our way to the Statue of Liberty.

Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are currently closed to all visitors, shut down due to COVID-19, which actually makes this the perfect time to debut some of Davidson's work. The images he captured during those long nights have just been turned into a virtual tour. Now, all those who can't visit in person can explore the statue online like never before. You can get into the crown and kind of view everything in 360. You can go up to the torch and get a view off of that. You can climb up the arm. The virtual tour includes many areas that would traditionally be off-limits to visitors.

Davidson's team also laser scanned every nook and cranny, and getting that data was no easy task. Really, the biggest challenge for survey that the statue presents is the fact that it is never still. It's constantly moving in the wind. When you're surveying, you want it to be static. But we were in that torch, and it was probably five or ten miles an hour, and it was swaying really like three or four inches.

It was kind of like being on a boat. The statue was meant to sway. Its flexible support system was designed by French architect Alexandre Gustave Eiffel. Perhaps you've heard of his tower in Paris. When Liberty Enlightening the World was dedicated in 1886, it was the highest structure in all of New York City, a triumph of engineering and an instant international icon.

I think about the conditions under which that was done, and it was for nothing more than to celebrate democracy and freedom and liberty. Davidson has been documenting the statue as part of the National Park Service's Historic American Building Survey. The new virtual tour is just part of the project. The new scan will serve as a high-tech, three-dimensional blueprint for everything from research to reconstruction, if, God forbid, anything should ever happen to the statue.

This is a record that has many uses down the line. If they do need to make some alterations for social distancing, even, they've got a complete 3D model to map that stuff out. Whenever the statue eventually reopens, touring its tight interior spaces will likely be done very differently. But there's still something powerful about being there in person. As Davidson points out, a virtual visit is nice, but it's no substitute for the real thing. It's the visitors who circulate through the statue every day who kind of enliven the space, right?

The beam that they touch every time that they go up the stairs, or the metal treads they're wearing in the center from people passing through. And all those visual cues, you start to feel the presence of how many people have moved through this space for 130 years. And you can basically reach back in history and feel something from there. For any number of us, Wikipedia is the go-to website for the latest on COVID-19.

So, how's it measuring up? Wired magazine editor-in-chief Nicholas Thompson went searching for answers. One of the strangest things about the modern Internet has been the rise of Wikipedia. It was just a decade ago when we talked about the site as, let's be blunt, a place for lies and nonsense. But since then, the site has transformed. Today, Wikipedia is regularly the first place that many of us check for information about everything. In fact, Wikipedia's pages on COVID-19 and the pandemic are viewed more than a million times.

And edited almost every hour of the day. Chances are good that when you visit the page, Dr. James Heilman may have just finished editing it. We don't have a vaccine, but we do know that this disease can be stopped.

James Heilman, or Doc James as he is known, is one of the hundred editors or so with WikiProject Medicine, which edits and reviews all the medical content on Wikipedia. His view? The only proven way to stop COVID-19 is through social distancing.

Do you think that social distancing is working? Yes, definitely. We have a good understanding of the transmission of disease. You know, if everybody was to hold entirely still for four weeks, this disease would be eradicated. In his other life, Heilman is an ER doctor at a small hospital in Canada. I do not recommend people trust Wikipedia blindly.

You know, I think doing so would be silly. Yet, you know, people shouldn't trust other sources of information blindly either. Wikipedia runs solely on the goodwill of volunteers like Dr. Heilman. Some are your typical denizens of the internet. Others are academics and retirees like Rosie Goodnight Stevenson. We, the editors of Wikipedia, are really like a learning machine. We collaborate.

We have networks of people who work in various areas. She wrote English Wikipedia's six millionth article last year. We've learned that what we did initially, which were write articles, that maybe didn't have a reference or enough references, that that wasn't the best choice for an encyclopedic article. She says references and transparency are critical to Wikipedia's success. You can check every edit.

If something is wrong, you can go ahead and fix it. It relies on reliable sources. Catherine Marr is the CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that runs Wikipedia. She says that in comparison to Wikipedia, Wikipedia almost always wins. It turns out there's a lot of challenges with social networks when it comes to information distribution.

A lot of questions about whether they can be trusted, who's monitoring for that. Marr says having your own private news feed can actually divide us, which is a problem that Wikipedia doesn't have. There's just one front page Wikipedia. It doesn't matter if you are in Iran or in the United States.

It doesn't matter if you are in Iran or in Italy or in Japan or sitting here in New York City. You're all looking at the same information. Still, even though medical pages are strictly monitored by the Wikimed project and hot topics that get a lot of page views are carefully edited, inaccurate information persists on some of Wikipedia's less-read pages. When I started working on this story, I looked myself up on Wikipedia, and someone had edited my entry to describe me as a Martian. Who is Nicholas Thompson?

According to Wikipedia, Nicholas Thompson is a Martian technology journalist. So how do you keep information accurate on Wikipedia? Wikipedia feels the answer is to recruit more and more diverse editors. One way in fact that Wikipedia has tried to expand its pool of editors is through edit-a-thons, like this one held in Hong Kong in March. If Wikipedia becomes more important because of people using the Internet more and more widely, different organizations with their own political aims and goals would try influencing Wikipedia. Companies, governments, and politicians all have tried to edit Wikipedia entries for their own benefit. But Wikipedia editors are using computer programming to fight back.

Now, every time someone makes an edit from the White House, a computer algorithm notes the edits and sends out a tweet about it. But it's no secret why someone would want to influence Wikipedia. Knowledge is power, and that means that it is fundamentally disruptive often to those in power. If you think about the history of what Wikipedia is, it's actually pretty radical.

And I don't mean that in like a political sort of left-right way. I mean that it is an inversion of power structures, this idea that information can and should be available to all. But it's no secret why someone would want to influence Wikipedia, which explains why lowly Wikipedia, which was founded in 2001 by Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales, almost as a kind of experiment, has grown to be one of the most visited websites on the planet. It also explains why it's banned in China. In fact, one in three Americans now gets their medical information from the Web, which is fine with Dr. Heilman. I don't mind having an educated patient. And do you think that having accurate information about COVID-19 on Wikipedia can save lives? You know, right now, the only tools we have at our disposal to combat this virus is education around how it spreads. You know, this disease can be stopped by knowledge. I genuinely think that Wikipedia runs on generosity and care. Somehow, this encyclopedia on the Internet has given an outlet to millions of people to show that good. In case you were wondering, on March 30th, an anonymous Internet user based in Hillsboro, Oregon, using a cell phone, decided to make two changes to Wikipedia. One was a detail about baseball's opening day, and the other was about me. I'm no longer a Martian technology journalist, I am an American technology journalist.

So, thank you, anonymous Internet user. It's something we haven't seen in a while. Two American astronauts are scheduled to lift off from Kennedy Space Center this Wednesday.

Mark Strassman has a preview. Nine years ago this July, American astronauts last left planet Earth from American soil. All three engines up and burning.

Two, one, zero, and liftoff. The final mission of the space shuttle era carried a special payload, a small American flag. The crew is intending to leave that flag onboard the International Space Station. It's been a sentimental fixture floating above Earth ever since. So it was a good way to just say, hey, the next time somebody flies something from the United States, this flag is going to be up here waiting for them.

But no one knew how and when. Astronaut Doug Hurley piloted that last shuttle flight. Did you think then that the person who might bring that flag home could be you?

No, absolutely not. I mean, I didn't think it was going to fly again necessarily, let alone be potentially the guy that goes up and gets it. Doug Hurley.

But it looks like he'll get that chance after all. On Wednesday, Hurley and astronaut Bob Behnken will make history when they blast off from Florida's Kennedy Space Center. They'll climb aboard a SpaceX rocket and launch into a new era of commercial human spaceflight. I think the most exciting thing about this mission for both Doug and I is bringing that capability and inspiring hopefully another generation of engineers and scientists to challenge themselves and to try to do great things like our nation does. And the shuttle retired in 2011. The space shuttle pulls into port for the last time, its voyage at an end. NASA's astronauts had only one way to get to space. And liftoff. Hitching a ride on a Russian Soyuz rocket. The partnership is strong, but we don't want dependency.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. Some of this is American pride. Prestige.

I like to use the word prestige. Great nations should be able to launch their own astronauts into space. So in 2014, NASA hired Boeing and Elon Musk's SpaceX to be their Uber and Lyft to the space station.

For NASA, it's more cost effective and allows the agency to focus on the science of exploring deep space. In fact, SpaceX beat up Boeing in being first to fly. Its design has a back to the future feel and flashy new technology throughout. It's been described as a flying iPhone.

Is that fair? I remember that comment. Yeah, it's a pretty big iPhone, the very touch screens in front of you.

So I at least give it credit to be an iPad maybe more than an iPad. SpaceX has a track record. They've already flown 19 missions bringing cargo to the space station. But this time, for the first time, the reusable rocket's capsule will carry people. Do you have any reservations about flying for a company that has never actually put someone into space before?

I don't think reservations are the right word. I think what we really concern ourselves with as test pilot school graduates is, hey, what's the plan look like? You know, tell me the buildup that we're going to march through.

Let's look at the details of that. And when all those things are done appropriately, we'll be ready to fly on it from a human perspective. Does it mean something to you guys in this new age to be the first? After you come back and it's successful, you know, Bob and I can go hang out someplace and have a beer, and maybe then we can reflect on, you know, all those things.

But it's kind of, you're just so hyper-focused on getting to that point and making the success. Landing the modern SpaceX capsule back on Earth will have a more retro approach, a splashdown like the Apollo moonshots of the 1960s and 70s. And it has potential then to really be a means for bridging differences and bringing people together. Margaret Weidekamp is a space historian at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. She hopes this new era of exploration may help unite our polarized country, just as Apollo 11 did at the height of Vietnam. There is always something that stirs the heart in a different way when you know that you are watching something through the eyes of a fellow human being. I think it puts us sitting in their seat.

We imagine ourselves looking through their eyes. And after months of COVID misery and fatigue, experiencing that feeling of wonder, riding the rocket along with Behnken and Hurley. After years of training, the astronauts arrived at Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday.

They were greeted by a mask wearing Jim Bridenstine, something that in all the years of preparation, no one could have ever predicted. I think right now, in the midst of this pandemic, where people are struggling with maybe even just simple motivation, maybe people are concerned about the future. What NASA is so amazing at doing is bringing people together and inspiring them for a future that is brighter than today. I'm Jane Pauley. Have a nice holiday, but please stay safe. And join us when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning. Because, well, I need it.

And maybe you do too. From the newest interior design trend, Barbie Corps, to the right and wrong way to wash your armpits. Also, we're going to get into things that you just kind of won't believe and were not able to do in daytime television. So watch out. Listen to Drew's News wherever you get your podcasts. It's your good news on the go.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-28 12:46:44 / 2023-01-28 13:03:08 / 16

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