I’m as old as you. I’m as educated as you. I’m as upset as you. Put yourself in my shoes.
My dad, Robert Lee Biggs, died on January 2 after a year-long battle with lung cancer. He was 79. I spent his last hours with him reading to him from his favorite books. He had a Master’s Degree in English from OSU and he was a life-long reader. I’ve often written about how he bought us boxes and boxes of discarded library books of all types and simply put them on our playroom shelves. Over the years, from my early reader days until today, I was able to drink from that deep well and still hope I will be able to put it to good use. This is us on the front page of a section of the Columbus Dispatch in about 1979 when they profiled my mother’s Polish rooots and all the good things she made for us to eat. That’s me at the bottom.
I’ve spent the last few years trying to help people communicate. I’ve learned that communication, especially intelligent communication about complex topics, is the key to nearly every human advancement. And I’ve learned that modern innovators are quickly leaving the rest of us behind because they can’t communicate their ideas succinctly and interestingly. Great ideas die because they cannot be explained.
Almost fifteen years ago I’d wake in a cold sweat almost every day. In the early-morning murk I’d stumble down to my basement office, still in my pajamas. Proper ablutions – a shower, a shave, clothes – would come later, after I confirmed the world had not disappeared overnight.￼
I’d wake up my computer and discover, to my dismay, that it had not.
I was full-time blogger, the little brother to the journalist, the digital-ink-stained wretch that pounded out content for millions of readers with speed and attempted accuracy. I don’t consider myself that now – I needed a bit of a break from chasing news – but I still write too much and sit around too long. But back then, when blogging was new, I would click a button on my computer to bring up a list of exciting and interesting pieces of information – Sony was releasing a new computer, someone had hacked Target, someone had shown a cat how to use an iPad. I would select sixteen to twenty stories, opening them one by one and placing them, like cans to be plinked on a rail, on my tabs bar.
Before John Glenn died of old age at 95 he almost died more than 9,000 times. That’s how many hours he spent in experimental aircraft. Add in his normal sorties and the hours he spent in orbit and re-entry and it would seem that he took unnecessary and unacceptable risks for the sake of his pride, his country, and science.