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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  April 15, 2012 4:30pm-6:00pm EDT

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connects to the next in the next in the next, just like wi-fi. the nets connect across. third industrial revolution scales latterly a monster run uninhibited. it favors the small and medium-size enterprises. it favors the small and medium-size enterprises to meet together and vast networks. lateral power sounds like an oxymoron because we think of powers at top down. but side by side power, we are seeing on the internet, far greater potential. we have only begun this process. the internet joins is distributed energy. this revolution is a thousand times more powerful than we have experienced with the internet alone. >> you can watch this and other programs online at >> coming up next on book tv, ben hellwarth talks about the
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navy experiment to study the ocean floor and test the limits of our ability to live deep underwater for a long time. this is about an hour 15 minute. [applause] >> thanks, everybody. thanks for coming out on a mostly sunny saturday afternoon here in santa monica. i grew up surf -- surfing the beaches. sometimes it's hard to stay inside on this like this. a little bit cooler today, is a great day to talk about books. like sealab, which i have written. i am going to jump in. let me just say, you guys know the book is called sealab. i should say that for the record. america's forgotten quest to live and work on the ocean floor
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which maybe is a little bit of a mouthful. when the book came out this subtitle was recognized as subtitle of the week but publishers weekly. i took that to be a complement. i figured the main title is turned a short. ponces out for the best and tells you what the books about. i am often -- often ask how i got the idea of where it came from. so i think all-star from the beginning. then i will talk about the story of sealab and introduce you to some of the principal characters. i have somewhere audio and some video to share with you. of course we will have time for your questions at the end, which will be great. questions occurred the u.s. i'm going along here, and not to them. i'll be glad to answer them at the end.
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sealab, the scene for sealab was not far off the coast and santa barbara. the daily newspaper. writing about lots of things, different kinds in that area as the daily newspaper writers to. somebody suggested once that i attend a gathering of commercial divers going on. big commercial diving community in the santa barbara area. one of them was being, a guy named bob hamilton who was a long time diver cannot one of the biggest ever in companies in the world. so the idea was, having this party at his place in santa barbara. right away i figure this sounds like a place i need to go. especially when you're on assignment. how bad can it be. some kind of see what's going on. as there often is, dredge up
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some stories for the newspaper. really what happened was, i was in this crowd of all time commercial divers from southern california and elsewhere. wind appearing all these crazy alien stories of a working underwater and accidents and the weird things the golan we're under water, much like when you're out in space. all those spaces sometimes more familiar to us. i came away from this event thinking, wow, what another world. one thing that somebody said the release stuck with me was cadaver was talking to. he spoke, during very deep dives. there were so deep and the gases so pressurized that it was like putting peanut butter. i said, what? what is that about? that sounds completely sci-fi weird. i don't understand that. so filed that away. i never did more in-depth
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writing about this party for the paper. it was a lovely even though. the nice people, actually get some connections for other stories. it was a completely time squandered. not just taking of there. the old commercial divers. also, got it in my head that i would like to, a work of non-fiction. newspaper style, feature writing in journalism. the links that are allowed for the format. so i was kind of on the lookout for ideas that might be worthy of a book. you can see where i'm headed. when i got out of the daily newspaper business, restructure the family, i basically went to the library with my idea. deep diving, commercial diving, which stuff that goes on under
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water. starting to do search is on these things. the name sealab stars popping up while. what's that? that sounds pretty fascinating in interesting. and must be at least several books about this. the first thing as a do is find what has been written so far. the answer was really nothing. this was sort of mind blowing. u.s. navy project, the 1960's pioneering underwater, science exploration. what i found mainly, a couple of memoirs that had been written by key participants who we will meet in just a moment here. those were great background, but nobody had put all the pieces together here of what sealab was awarded mantegna's legacy that is with the suit today in terms of what people are
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able to do in the motion as workers and researchers. so great news for a journalist. i think i got something here. so i start doing the preliminary research. indeed sealab is the focal point of an effort to really break some barriers that had existed for a long time in terms of human ability to go underwater. there was that science exploration aspect of it that was fascinating and a good sign there was a story. the other was a central character and dr. george blonde, seen here and his coonskin cap and trenchcoat, what does this guy have to do with the ocean?
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actually started his career with of rural practice, the hat and what not, and the backwoods of the blue ridge mountains serving a small community. i'm going to read you just a short piece from the book here to introduce and so you a little bit about where he came from. you can kind of see, i found in a fascinating character. kind of an unlikely one to be somebody who is going to become the father of sealab. the 1940's. jumping back to my george was not quite tin years old when his father died late in the summer of 1925. but this summer camps and private schools, as a teenager in pennsylvania he worked on the
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school's monthly literary magazine and became known as the class poet. he took up pipe smoking as a teen and developed what will become a lifelong fondness for bourbon. his nickname would not have shot -- shot his navy bosses. his cholesterol and rebel. after graduating in 1933 of years he enrolled at the university of florida. his divided interests between letters and science. he generally did better and prices like old english and imaginative writing then general chemistry and histology. by summer's degree and went straight into university of florida graduate program. he studied english and wrote about the dialect's spoke. hamlet and the blue ridge mountains 10 miles from the family's summer home and says that gap near hendersonville in western north carolina. done to know the town known for
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a nearby cabin that was the come to my riding bats. he went to summer camp after his father died. in his formative years the continued to live with their mother. the family moved between florida where he mostly grew up and the more modest home excess that gap . he loved the rocky and wooded back rows around that cave and neighboring hamlets like a chimney rock. he spent many lazy days fishing with his two best friends, both products of far less privileged and formal education. but that made no difference. he himself served as one of the 15 masterpieces subjects and opened it documentary material. make notes and distinctive words, pronunciations as i will take no back sense of of you.
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inspired by the super rustic ways of the mountain people in their independence. as a kid he once lived for the better part of a month at a ramshackle place on bare branches, a little tributary near the head of the river. quite a live, but due to his wife, wiry, snaggletooth, jubilant, and gregarious. early on said something like the majority among why don't you go to school, make a medical doctor, and come back here. we've never had one command need one bad. bonn decided he should go down the professional trail. he knew firsthand there was a real need for a doctor in the mountains. as a boy he had seen two people die from lack of proper medical attention. with his sights set on medical school he enrolled at the university of north carolina and early 1940 and spent the next 14 months shoring up his eyes back rent and get a good rating from fellow students for riding a horse to campus.
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so there you have a guy that i'm learning about and thinking, i think we may have a story here. so he does follow that medical pass that was suggested, spends a good part of his early career serving the community of five dozen people around bat cave, very primitive circumstances , very challenging demanding kind of work running around in his jeep. having to dissuade people to take shots and modern medicine in an area where people would not always trust those methods . people left in. get quite a lot of attention for what he was doing there so much so that he wound up as a featured guest on the popular 1950's tv show, this is your life, which some of you may remember. sort of like the american idol of its stake, but a lot less singing and also at a time when
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not everybody was on tv. you must have done something that was fairly unique and worthy of praise. so by that point bond had actually been in the navy for a couple of years. at the time the tv show was headed back. at the time he was in the navy he discovered that he really was fascinated with diving. he spent his time in the navy as a submarine medical officer which also required and to be portrayed as a diver. fascinated with diving. the roundup of turning his rural practice over to other doctors and staying in the navy where he became head of the american research laboratory, conn. which is a major submarine base in
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that laboratory he grew interested pursuing the questions that he had found fascinating in his early naval career around diving which was conventional diving wisdom was that most sites had to be very relatively shallow and would last a matter of
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excepted deep diving as is typically allow. the deeper the dive the shorter
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a diverse state. no one spends hours or days in the sea, nor long time exposed to high pressure in the water or the chamber. most navy divers, even briefly far less than his initial target of 600 feet. believe it could all. as a man of faith he believes it would. this was another aspect of his personality. you believe there is almost a pivotal kind of manifest destiny based on the opening of the book. talks about men having dominion over the fish of the sea. bonn had become quite a religious fellow in his back was life. was not raised that way, but took up an interest and became a student when he was doing his english major. so to finished there and give
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you a little bit of context of where he was, the sound barrier had been broken a decade earlier, 1947, ushering in the space age. the death. was not part of the lexicon, and there was nothing as specific as the speed of sound to be broken nor anything as dramatic as a sonic boom to punctuate an equivalent underwater achievement. as he learned during his navy- school training no one had ready answers to was struck him as the essential questions, how long can a man stayed down and how deep command go. you might think that like the speed of sound are the height of mount everest, this is just something that is known. well, nobody knew. nobody was much interested in trying and sell bonds started to gather some people around him at the medical research laboratory. see if this was really going to
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be possible or if it would kill you basically saying in space. and so with the help of his right hand man, happens to be around the lab. struck about conversation had described. not a guy who was easily impressed and really quite a different character from bond as i just described him. a real heroic world war ii submarine veteran, really harrowing patrols. a smart guy, all business. sort of the perfect, you know, right hand man to george bond as chance would have it. and so together without approval at this point they began with laboratory getting test with analysts.
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as was going on in space, as we all know, to see whether the dogs and monkeys could handle the chief forces and the weightlessness and the rest of that. these guys were concerned with prolonged exposure to pressure and breathing artificial recipes of gas mixtures that would be necessary if you were going to bury them at deep deaths. so you see, along the side of the chamber, a medical lock. they can pass materials through to the people inside. initially it was animals. and bond actually called these early laboratory experiments genesis, formerly known as genesis, straight out of his belief that this -- the ability to do this was tied up in the early lines of the bible. so the genesis experiments started with animals to make
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sure that this was going to be safe for people. then moved on to a human test subjects. i rounded the submarine base at that time. he was a diver. he was involved with training programs for sailors and submariners at the submarine base. he difference dr. bond. he was a guy that a lot of people really likes. when it came -- when he's looking for volunteers, who wants to be locked up in a chamber for a week, you might not come out alive. you know, he was the kind of guy . well, sure. i'll give it a try. when you see here, getting geared up to spend a week or so
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in the chamber for the human genesis experiment. basically packing for a camping chance. these chambers were not outfitted for long duration space. medical supplies and canned food. during a bunch of tests. there were a couple of others. one was a doctor, during the zillow studies the role this to make sure this is going to be safe. at this point bonn had to get formal navy approval to use human volunteers. he could kind of to the animals and stuff a little bit on the down low, but when it came to locking actual people into chambers there had to be some people work around that. there had to be volunteers. he was involved from the beginning, the very beginning of the program to its tragic and. also one of the first people i
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met when i started doing my research and reporting on this project, both -- alive and well and living in florida thankfully. worked more closely with george bond than anybody alive and well and living in san diego. bond died about 30 years ago, so i never did meet him. the work done him became almost like doing a biography, but with the help of resources like this the job was going to be possible. so one of the things that you do when you give started on a nonfiction project is to see people are out there and willing to talk with you because you will need cooperation to get through the reporting and research of these things. everybody says you are going to need the cooperation if you'll make this flight. the early conversations with them. went down to visit him in florida to see how it goes.
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he's is an interesting character. i describe him in the book. he doesn't mince words. a little bit suspicious. he said, you know, i can come on down to florida and will talk. see how it went, and it went very well. one day marathon interview with about five hours a something. the next day he showed me around the experimental diving unit based which is now down in florida. historically it was in the navy yard in washington d.c. which is another place you will come to know in the book. the experimental diving unit. the edwards air force base of diving. all the really cutting edge stuff goes on. the test pilots could be found. so often against dart. on board. he refers me. sits me on board. and then about a less of a month
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after this meeting i call them up with this question about a report i found that suggested that one of the key pieces of diving, there were using in much of the early sielaff experiments had some problems. i wanted to understand what those were because that was part of the total picture of the challenges that these guys face in addition to being in the water, being cold, and strange mixtures of gas and the rest of it. this report clearly indicated that something was up. a kind of new. early on in my relationship, asking about things like this. i was still just getting to know people. i went to him. here is part of our conversation. did you guys have -- i've read some reports here that talked about quite a few problems or
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potential problems with the equipment's, major malfunctions. >> it worked fine. eighth thing you use to make sure we're open. set it up. mr. breathing. you have to set this one of to make sure it did this and that. it required your attention during use. it's like anything else. it requires to be careful of what to doing. >> not at all. >> of get on the search looking for something. must have been in the newspaper business. >> i think of was. >> i think so. always looking for something to figure out. and expos a year and find out
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how the navy men step into this and that. you won't get that out of me. >> it's not that. this is not my thinking. this is a report that was written actually about some sort of after the fact assessment and one of the things it mentions was problems with equipment. i thought i would ask you about it. >> designed to go to 180. it was designed for the ldp bull, and on magnetic. >> you can kind of hear my voice. i just went to florida and met this guy. doing index was a on the navy. i thought we were clear about this. what i kind of learned, that is sort of how he is with his friends. so really things like that would come up, and they did. i realize that i was developing a valuable french appear. take that sort of thing as a
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badge of honor. he goes on to explain, long conversations about how different pieces of your work. you could hear him start to explain. he didn't personally have a problem with it. he did have a report. go follow some other leave so that i could better explain some of the challenges. anyway, bob is not a guy who minced words, but that attitude is deftly out there. kind of young journalists, that conversation is from ten years ago actually. and just getting started. i don't have a book contract, but i thought i had an understanding and some people on board to help me out. and later in the conversation he apologizes. i didn't mean to get on your. don't take me too seriously.
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, boy, the patients involved with people to pull off a work of nonfiction, you don't even want to see the list of conversations i've had with him over the years. you know, follow questions. as an author you are indebted to these people for working with you on these projects. anyway, they pull off the human laboratory experiments. people seem to survive. the deaths of up to about 200 feet this seems to work with the animals. so next let's get this thing out of the laboratory and see if it works, see if we can really house people on the ocean floor. so that they did by building the very first sealab habitat which you see here. a guy standing to left. get a little sense of scale. it's not huge, but it was built to house of four guys.
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it looks a little bit, you know, kind of primitive, not real sleep looking. in fact, the budget was very low. made out of recycled minesweeping flows that they serve a welded together going to put 190 feet down off bermuda. ..
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cousteau jumps ahead and sets up projects of his own, which was actually good news for bond because it was great advertisement. jacque cousteau is doing it, how crazy could this be? so, though all the research shows their association was not close but they were friendly. kind of knew what each other was doing, and in fact cousteau had a couple of observers that were invited to hang around during sealab and see how it went. this is bond and cousteau at a conference they both attended. not the only conference on underwater activities as they were often called, that the two were at together. so, these are your first american aqua knot gnats.
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you can't name them, but july 20, 1964, also a date you'd be hard-pressed to find in this sort of like 100 greatest moments in science and exploration of the century. i challenge people to find this one. i never have. but that's the day these four guys swam into this first american sea floor base at nearly 200 feet, which was substantial depth, even for a standard dive, except they were going to stay there for three weeks, which was absolutely unheard of. unprecedented. possibly not even safe because who knew. so, you can see that -- you can't see too much but bob on the left, dr. bond, lester, andy anderson, dr. robert thompson. bond wanted to have a doctor in
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there to do some further studies and keep an eye on things. korman and the diver, manning, and so on this date, they swim into the lab from a pressurized elevator, essentially, that takes them down to the depth, and from there they have to swim freely 25-30 yards or so to get into the lab, and i'll explain in a minute more how that works. what i wanted to play for you here is kind of the audio from some rare reel-to-reel tape is came across, and i should say, one thing found out early on with sealab there was no neatly cataloged archives. it was in people's basement and drawers and something like a case of unmarked reel-to-reel tape. if anybody remembers that format. the teens have been from
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reel-to-reel to cassette to digital. so they've had quite a ride. and this archival, we're so used to, the moon landing and neil armstrong and one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind, this is the moment when it comes to americans really setting up an outpost-on the sea under, and you'll hear what it sounds like, and also hear the effect of helium on a diver's voices, one thing hey had to do is breathe gaultses high in helium. it does funky things to your voice and they had to contend with that. so, hope we get the volume on this.
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>> sealab i to sealab control, i hear you loud and clear. over? >> you're the first one, mr. anderson. [inaudible] >> well, congratulations, were you able to work all the way or did you have to -- [inaudible] >> that is a very good -- wasn't it? [inaudible] >> as long as you made it. all right, come down, andy.
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[inaudible] dr. thompson is in the lab. that's the voice of george bond, who is in the control van, which is up on the surface, on a kind of barge, and acting like a mission control. you can hear the camaraderie with bond. you can hear the guys can't help landfall laughing in theground at the helium voice, and an informality, these people on the
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floor, who is next? i don't know, manning and thompson and -- and then dr. thompson comes up next, so he is the second one in the lab, and at the beginning you hear george bond say, i believe that is barth. >> no it's anderson, oh, it's anderson. whoever, it's all good. so that was the earl days of sealab. it was successful enough nat the navy was buying into this more, the budget was getting bigger, the program was getting more formalized to the point it has its own logo, like nasa has the familiar blue orb, sea lab had a sign of its rising prestige, and also, you can see here, more significant refined looking habitat that didn't look like it's made out of recycled
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floats. you have some uniforms. the sealab emblem on there. the logo on the top of the lab, on the conning tower. so a great deal more pride. more money. things are happening now. this is the first of three teams to live in the lab over the course of several weeks. the astronaut scott carpenter joined the program now. he is second from left on the front row. scott carpenter, and i'm going to play you a brief clip. these tapes have not been heard since they were recorded. i was dusting them off out of boxes. they were unmarked and i had to listen to all of them, listening for nuggets, learning more myself along the way. this is barth who has been
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through all these genesis experiments and completed sealab i and is now is on one of the teams for sealab ii, and at a press conference, the question is asked, why tide you volunteer for the program? and -- barth refers -- and dr. bond refers the question,. >> barth has been with the program longer than any other man in it. bob, would you care to pass on a word? why you're here? >> i got started with the program working with dr. bond in new london. i don't really recall when i volunteered. i don't believe i have yet. [laughter] >> we just work at an organization out there that started the work on the idea of man living under pressure for a long time, with captain bond
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myself and a few of us sitting around, and win from genesis on to sealab i and sealab ii, and just had a permanent job. like i said, i don't remember volunteering. >> are you now volunteering? >> oh, yeah. >> i'd say that's a very good question. go on to the next question. >> so again, you can hear the camaraderie, and bond, very modest, and this was -- in some funny ways another challenge for me was, hey, you were the first person to do some high-risk pioneering stuff here, tell me about it you get the answer like, genesis, two gabs in the lab and bond and those guys over there and the chamber, and sealab i and sealab ii and now we're here. so, that's -- you need to do a little extra digging when somebody is asked, who has done something that significant, is
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that modest, and so here is scott carpenter, actually found out about dr. bond and what he was doing through jacque cousteau who is better known to carpenter, and carpenter was interested in the underwater experiments and underwater living that cousteau was going. goes to cousteau, and cousteau says you don't speak french and i can't pay you and you have a guy in the navy doing this so go talk to him. they did. bond and carpenter hit it off, and bond's quite pleased to have somebody of -- with the stature of an astronaut like scott carpenter, who is the second american to orbit the earth in 196 2. so here's carpenter getting in on sealab. and what i'm going to do is, through the miracles of various technology, take you inside sea lab ii, so you can see what it
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looks like. this stuff is unfamiliar, this business of a pressurized compartment and going in and out of a hatch where the water stands at the doorstep, and so let me see if we can get to the scene here. all right. can we see that at all in dim the lights a little? >> i think we can kind of see that. i think it will go all right. inside the lab, there's scott carpenter, it's a prototype. really only the second one ever built. kind of wires hanging around everywhere. there's about as much space to this side of the camera as there is going that way. that's the bunk area in the back. there were ten guys in each of these teams so quite a good crowd for a small pace -- spice
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like that. it's hot and humid in there, that's why you see guys in bathing suits and maybe t-shirts. and i'm going to play this along here. >> sophisticated technology of our age -- >> so carpenter is has become the -- definitely the team leader here. there is diving gear, which looks a little bit like cube good, if you're familiar with scuba, but pretty old-school stuff. high-tech for the time. designed to give them longer durations durations of dive times than scuba allowed outside the lab so they could stay longer. then you can see the open hatch here, and this is the whole idea, the whole sealab concept. if we can get guys living anytime of night or day they can go out of the hatch. the water is there, they have a shelter where they can stay, and in and out they go to do experiments or whatever it is
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they please on the ocean bottom. so, out he goes. this is a little bit bright in here to see this, but -- let's see how we do here. well, i guess it's clear the water is pretty dark. and that was part of the challenge, just keeping these guys warm on the longer dives was a big part of the challenge. this is the -- they're diving at night here so it's extra dark. a lot of potential to get lost, have other kind of problems. this is not your caribbean diving vacation here. this is some pretty tricky stuff. and there's some lights around the lab which helps, and i'll
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show you -- and there's barth right there helps another diver up. the kind of things they learned here was that the hatch wasn't big enough. needed a bigger one. it would too small a space. the physiological testing goes on they have a galeey, they can do a certain opt of concluding, and hot showers, which is critical after a cold swim, and here is dr. bond entertaining the crew down below with a vestage of his mountain days on the harmonica, and you can see his pleased reaction as the shouts of glee come back, and here is scott carpenter, as you probably have never seen him before, playing ukelele in the helium atmosphere. ♪
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>> they got dolphins involved to potentially act as st. bernard for the divers if they got lost or injured. dolphin named toughy, who was trained to do this, and had some mixed success with that. the idea was that diver gets lost or injured, dolphin goes and gets -- attach a leash to the dolphin, get led back to the lab and safety, and you can see on a daytime dive like this, the visibility is not great down there. wouldn't take a lot to wander off and get lost, and they used a lot of tethers to keep their bearings. you can see the dolphin swims away, not far before who knows where it is. i will move along here. this is dr. bond is -- well,
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let's hear dr. bond, reading the sealab prayer. >> as they perform their duties below. and when their work as thy will be done. rest from our labors from time to come. we ask all this in the name of jesus christ our lord, amen. >> 30 days passed. >> so that was something that not all the guys were into, but for dr. bond, if he wanted to read a prayer on sundays, that was fine, and people respected him. people liked him, and some people enjoyed the service as well, but the spectacle of this kind of church service, and dr. bond had been a lay preacher back in the blue ridge mountains where he worked, so this was part of his habit and something
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became part of the sealab experience for those guys who were down there. and i want to get to q and a quickly, but i also want to just run this through. this is -- there's bob barth as a young man there helping a diver jump down. now, the reason they're not wearing gear and just swim suits -- i don't know if you can see this -- can't see it too well -- let me just back up a second here -- they're swimming over to the pressurized elevator, which looks like this, this is another prototype. only the second one ever been built. the aqua--nautss inside, and this is the compression chamber here. this is a dicey operation. they're on a ship and it's moving and if you lose your seal
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and your pressure, then everybody dies inside. it's that simple. so this is -- it's quiet and it doesn't look like much, not as -- the fireworks of a rocket taking off, but if they don't do this right, they would have had ten dead guys, not a very pretty death, either, with the explosive decompression that would happen so these were critical moments, and things they were learning to do properly, obviously to make this safe, and at this early stage of the program, if anything went wrongs it could be really bad for the program. so, you'll see as the sealab moves along, this gear is starting to look a little less primitive and a little more -- modern, shall we say. so that's the chamber where they're going to spend 33-35 hours just living in a chamber after they're done to decompress. but with saturation diving, the idea was that it was worth spending that many hours to
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decompress because you were just able to live an the ocean floor indefinitely rather than going up and down with short dives as was done throughout the history of diving. so it was a small price to pay for the amount of time you got to be down in the water. so, get this out of the way here. this is george barth later in light. we saw him in his coon skin cap at the beginning but he became known as the father of sealab, and this is at the time of sealab ii. a couple things more to cover. i wanted you to hear the voice of dr. bond. we heard snippets before. this is the press conference after sealab ii is complete, it's been largely successful, and you can hear bond answer questions about how the whole
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thing went here. here is understandable pride, his confidence in the whole idea, and even a little bit of bravado and some ribbing of some people in the navy who just a few years before had not thought any of this was a good idea. >> captain bond, would you cite some of the achievements, highlight the achievements of this experiment for us? >> well, i suppose that from the first of all investigators point of view, the major achievement is sending 28 men down and getting back 28 men. that is not -- i say that not with my tongue in my cheek. this is a high-risk program. high risk as far as the material gains are concerned. it is an extremely hazardous program. these mean are in hazard 24 hours a day. extreme hazard, and so it is
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with a prayer of thankfulness i see them all return to the surface. that is the highlight. certainly a second highlight is confirmation of a sneaking suspicion that some of us have had for eight years, at least, that it is possible, indeed, if you provide the satisfactory environment, and breathing mixture, it is possible to put man under high pressures in a totally hostile environment and have him do useful work, gain his place on the ocean bottom, where perhaps man has a right. and come back successfully. this was highly contested some years ago. i think now with sealab ii, we have demonstrated this can be done. the men in this room cumulative live have given you three and a half man years of life on the ocean bottom out 200 feet, and it could as well have been 600 feet, and it will be
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600 feet before it's over. that is a gross highlight. i think the third highlight to me is that all though we -- although we had no criteria of selection in the proper sense of the word, nor did we go to talented sources or special tests to select our aqua-nauts, these 28 men worked at a common purpose and worked together in a fantastically good mannerring are without friction, without jealousies, without all of the characteristics which seem to plague mankind when we're working together on the surface. i think there are two common bonds there. one is they're all divers and proud divers. and drivers are taught to care for their buddy. but i think secondly, they also have the same goal, and all
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worked in that direction. so there's a highlight. finally, probably the greatest highlight is what i see here today. something that started in almost a sub subrose fashion in the dark corners of a laboratory, work being done on weekends, work being done sometimes without official sanction, work being done in the face of cries that this is buck roger-ish, this is madness, and the inevitable question which came from some rare people, what is the social significance of this work? you're wasting your time and the navy's time. those questions are better answered today. i'm satisfied we now have a navy program that will go on. it has support. it has the energies of the people and the interests of the people of the united states.
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we have seen the program grope and seen it grow into a healthy child. this to me is a personal highlight i'll never forget. those are the three i would have. >> the voice of captain george bond, a great american character who has been my privilege to kind of introduce and get people better acquainted with. he was right. the program would go on. there would be sealab iii. which ended prematurely in tragedy, which i described in my book for the first time there was an investigation, and ultimately navy decided to shut the program down. dr. bond spoke of having the support of the people of the united states. that was a little overstated. he was kind of hoping that was the case, and as i sort of suggest in the book, the media
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around sealab was limited. a little buried in the headlines. it was -- by the time of sealab ii and sealab iii, it was greater, but had the people of the united states rallied behind sealab, we might have seen more today, but that wasn't the case, and after the navy shut the program down, after sealab iii and the tragic events which were much like apollo 13. we all noe -- apollo 13 and how it just barely made it back. that was wake sealab 3 republic except with a less happy ending and one that resulted in the investigate and ended the program, but the program's end did not end the fact that they had learned a lot out of this, about deep diving and, the fundamentally changed human relationships with the sea, and this technology is still with us. the navy uses it for -- as --
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well, the navy went on to use it for clandestine deep diving operations. the offshore oil industry picked up on it right away because it was moving into deeper water just at the time sealab was coming of age, and it needed underwater work force, needed construction workers who could work for long hours at deeper departments -- depths, and those guys are doing work we don't see and work we don't know in crazy places like the bottom of the north sea in rather the same conditions, and they are there as descendents of this program and there is only one remaining u.s. sponsored sea-base in existence, which probably most people don't know or can't name. it's the underwater version of the international space station, essentially. it's owned by the international oceanic and atmospheric
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administration, noah, -- noaa, and it's called asquareus, off the coast of florida, and been in operation for 20 years there. for scientific purposes largely, and it's a descendent of sealab, a small one in some ways but a descendent nonetheless and a significant one the people who use it and there were several in between sealab and aquarius, but that is another story, and i'm going to leave it at that for now. but just to make sure we'll just segway into the q & a here. i hope you have some, and i can't resist playing this. do we have volume here? ♪
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>> extra points for whoever can tell me where that music came from? and with that, -- somebody? sealab -- wait, you're a permit. you're not allowed to answer. >> the conflict of interest. >> yes, yes, the pop culture vestage of the sealab animated series called sealab 2021 for which that is the catchy theme song by the band calomine. so the legacy continues, not just in material or industrial but pop culture, too. questions?
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>> i understand the challenges in this endeavor, but as i began reading your book, one of the first thoughts occurred to me, are we late in this science? given that mankind or man has explored the ocean from times immemorial, involved with the oceans, and traveling and so forth, and seems that if we just begun to explore. so, is my -- my question is, my impression mistaken or that i are we truly late? ...
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the will through government funding or through. the methods and the technology are there. as i mentioned in the bucket yet gotten that far, thank you for starting. the robotic technology has gotten really good. you keep people out of harm's way completely and still do a lot of the things that you want to do and do them remotely with robots and not put people in the
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picture. there is also a new generation of dive suits that have been in the works for a while, which is almost like a space suit. you remain contained in your surface and atmosphere. you don't even deal with saturation diving in the elements, but you have a suit that is flexible enough and made of all the right mix of ingredients and metals and what not that it is almost as if you are a free swimming diver. not exposed to the elements. so there are a variety of things that can be done. it is just, as with a lot of programs money kind of when builds. there remains much that could be done if it was desired. all right. so microphone. [inaudible]
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>> family members doing nowadays? they left the ocean business? >> no. they carry on their tradition. if you know anything about it, there have been some good books. very complicated family. kind of two families it turned out. almost a sixth. situation in that sense. there are a couple of good biographies that describe this better than i can. but there are largely in different areas of ocean activities. cousteau romanize blurred per my book based in santa barbara. an organization called ocean future society that is doing a lot of interesting work around the russian. he is one of cousteau's two sons from his original marriage and family. there is another family that is
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also involved in a russian works. not everyone gets along so well. complications. but cousteau, the keystone name goes on in a lot of regards. of course it is synonymous dollars with ocean research and exploration. it is really quite a powerful brand, as you would save 201st century. >> there is a lot of fish that live down at that depth and have no trouble with the pressure in the gas mixture. to questions about that, if they come up to our temperatures and pressures are they okay? secondly, our studies focused on the biology of those fish and the materials in them and how they exist and that sort of environment? >> yes. [laughter] and that is the whole area of oceanography i won't pretend to be an expert on. yes. all of these, the questions
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about the fish and the animals, some of them are still mysteries. a lot of them are under study. the people in the gear and getting this stuff done, so knowledge about that, but that is a related subject. did have some issues unexpectedly during sealab to. they had shark cage is built around the hatches which you saw here. they come and go just in case any sharks shut up. this gate that they could run behind and hide. that was the kind of, you know, a forward thinking they were doing. try to imagine what kind of problems they had in the social environments. sealab to, i should mention, took place of the coast of san diego here in 1965. they had gone there intentionally because the conditions were more dark in dire. the first sarah was in bermuda. reasonably warm and clear.
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the start out in the most difficult circumstances. much colder. a more hostile environment, including the chemical by the fish, wind up giving quite a stain. at a one to give that away. but you never know what you'll find that there. a dynamic environment. as one of the things that makes a really differ from space. what's your is basic to be pretty sure what is going on. anytime he leaves and the ocean floor habitat it's anybody's guess was going to swim by. another aspect of the challenge. >> is this on? okay. sealab one into before three, you are gathering the data for research. were you giving it all to the navy or was it public domain?
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>> was a giving it all to the navy? >> yes. altered the research primarily for the navy? >> for the navy? >> yes,. >> the navy had nothing to do with it. no, i mean i talked a few times to give some documentation or information. i had to freedom of information -- three freedom of information act requests behind this thing. two of the three denied. there was a kind of bureaucratic communication that way, but my affirmation of games like things like the loss reel to reel tape, interviews. and i had a -- help from somebody in the library of congress early on to scour the archives to see the sea level archives. as far as we did so there wasn't one. what i had to go on, as a journalist was able to dig up. >> must have let you in the wrong direction. from your research, from their
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research did they send information directly to the navy? was is secured information, that research? >> this was a navy project. so, yeah. the first couple were run by the office of naval research. they were producing reports and learning everything that there was to learn from the project to enhance our driving capabilities which they did in the navy through sealab. the discontinued the public face of sealab and some of the scientific work that was going on. they had some civilian scientist diverse, institution of oceanography. get them on board and see what kinds of experiments and things they could do where came from a lab that they could not do as conventional diverse. all of this was shared
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information with the navy. so they were learning very much from this. >> so this story seems to have a lot of elements for a great film has anybody expressed any interest in the movie rights? >> interest in the movie rights, no, not that i know of. if jim cameron is in the audience anywhere here -- no, it's funny you ask. you know, obviously a lot of nonfiction books get turned into films. some underwater challenges with the swan, i think. certainly people see movies like the abyss, these kinds of challenges have been overcome. what's interesting to me, the kind of journalistic creative sense. i think in some ways -- i hate to say a better movie could be made at of this than the book, but you would have created places making a movie in a way that i didn't writing this book.
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when you have a couple of great characters like george bond who had described with pretty different characters, we learn of fair amount. you put that in some of the situations that there were in. you're able to create dialogue and bring of the characters into that situation. you have really quite a great set up for a movie, i think. so bring them on. in all seriousness for me a big part of this exercise has been getting the story of sealab out, this thing that somehow got lost an historical radar. anything that brings, like the book or what we're doing right here, brings more attention and understanding to it is a good thing, interest and respect. a major motion picture would be welcome. top pretty good as it.
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>> all right. the question. first of the mob wants to say that i am about 50 pages into the book. this is very intricately reported, very interesting story. especially like the story about herding goats around the navy basis. i was curious to know, how did you get interested in doing this? >> how did i get interested in doing the book? >> researching sea level and the divers and that subject. >> did you miss my spiel? >> so sorry. i did walk in a little late. >> of. i did ask that question a lot. for the benefit of those that are here we will refer you back to the beginning of the tape. but fisher story, you know, it was my journalistic curiosity that was piqued out of some reporting of was doing in santa barbara just up the coast here. one thing led to another, and that was sealab. the fact that there was no, you
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know, real record or book of what it was all about, that became my job. i did mention earlier, but obviously i get a publisher interested, a contract to do it. i went back to my desk. went about my journalistic work as i have done for years before. just a little bit lonelier with the few other cubicle neighbors and water cooler conversations. >> last few questions. >> you describe your leon, the sensation that when you are breathing under those circumstances what it's like. could you go into more detail? what it feels like to be down there with the breeding been a better? oh, i mentioned that at the beginning. that was a little bit hyperbole. that is not really quite the experience that these steps, but as i described in the book, those questions that george bond ask, how deep cadaver go, how long could devastate down, the kind of research that wanted
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continues in other laboratories in england and france and the united states, particularly duke university where they have a big hyperbaric facility. back into chambers, stills and government funding and there were trying to figure out how long cadaver could stay down, how deep he could go. eternal, and i sort of follow that question in the book because ties to say at the beginning, something we just know, how high mount everest is and what the speed of sound is. it seems like it is a given. it's not. but what you find is that because gases become more dense at significant steps under greater pressure it does feel, and the divers to describe a succession like they're really good. they have tough mouth brief very deliberately to get the gases in and out. that makes eating uncomfortable. when you're eating you're not really breathing.
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that was the kind of issue that came up when they get to death. let's see, beyond 1500 feet, some experiments went to over 2,000 feet of depth. in the commercial oilfields now i think thousand foot dives are still, they still happen and happen to. it still one of them in the book. a whole chapter devoted to that commercial that experience to give you a sense of these unsung heroes that do this. that sensation was a little bit of hyperbole for what might happen when your breeding these gases at extreme depths. it doesn't sound too fine. >> last question. >> last question. i hope it's a really good one. how about another question about movie rights?
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[laughter] i'm just saying. [inaudible] >> what they did. to protect those who were going down. bond, working in depth. >> says. the work on the buckland -- brooklyn bridge was using essentially diving techniques that have been developed over the ages. in the case of the brooklyn bridge you have people had not significant deaths, but working under pressure to keep the mud and the water away from them. working in these kind of environments, monday to answer something. >> they get down to the chamber and create a drive space to work in. it's a pressurized space to keep the mud and water. so that they were basically
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employing this sort of driving the compression techniques of the day at that time. >> yap. >> sometimes with some injuries. it was unlike the most exact science. and a lot of waste batting is still not an exact science. all bodies of different respond differently. sometimes no hard and fast rules about what works and doesn't work. i talk about that in the book a little bit because it is been a section that brings the history of diving a little bit current. all right. >> thank you all very much. thank our guest. [applause] >> is there a nonfiction author a book you would like to see featured on book tv to access and e-mail. tweet us that >> my journey into the black panther party started before i
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became a panther. i think what i would like to do is just read a little passage from the book and then show you how i happened so walked into the panther office and how that they changed my life. this is chapter three. it is called finding the panther layer. i walk into a better office in brooklyn september 1968. oh, wait a minute. wait a minute. wait a minute. i meant to save the best for last, but not until the end of the program. is the chairman here? yes. chairman bobby seale, founder of the black panther party is in the house. please stand up. [applause] saving that. then i started reading. you didn't need to do that at the end.
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you want to know that he's in the house and that it would get a chance to talk. i want keep -- walked into the panther office in september september 1968. dr. king had been assassinated in april of that year. riots and angers around the givens. the feeling was that the ship was about to hit the fan. hating whitey was the hip thing to do. from street corner speeches, whitey had gone from being the man to being the beast. hate to cut yen by students were trading in their feel good motown records for their recorded features of malcolm x and the angry jazz recordings. i went down to 1,205th street in harlem denied that dr. king was assassinated. protesters and rioters stormed the streets clashing with cops if overturning cars, setting
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trash can fires and hurling bricks at businesses. one of the storefront windows was shattered by an airborne trash can. looters and into the store and started taking closed and appliances, and whatever else they could carry not everyone looted. in fact, most of the crowd continued to challenge the king is dead and buy power it was enough for this cost to start swinging clubs and making arrests. i got grab me and threw me against the wall. before he could handcuff me and put me into the paddy wagon and a group of writers across the street turned the police car over. the cut tell me to stay put and ran toward the writers. i was scared, but i was a stupid. i took off running in the opposite direction. i blended in with a group of rioters and try to figure out which. a group of cops headed toward us. some of them ran into a clothing store that was being looted. i followed.
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the cops entered the store and swing clubs and making arrests. my heart pounded as i ran to the back of the store and found a back door leading to an alley. i gasped for air as i ran down the alley in a stop by wooden fence. cops came into the alley. halt. with your hands up. in my mind i froze, put my hands in the air and turned around to face the cops with tears in my. my body kept falling gas. i grab defense has carried over the top. two shots rang out. once planted the with on the fence and this gave me the fear to the flip over the fence, pick myself off the ground and scramble out of the alley. what turned out i kept running right pass to other cops to try to grab me. i jerked awake. turning the corner i almost collided with a group of 20 or so black men in leather coats and army fatigue jackets wearing afros standing at the corner in
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the military like formation. stop running, young brother. one of the man with a beard and tinted glasses. don't give these pigs an excuse to get you down. i doubled over heating trying to get my breath. i didn't know this man, but his voice sounded like a life raft of confidence in a sea of chaos. moments later to cops ran around the corner. they stopped in their tracks and they saw the militant. the man closed ranks around me. what are you doing? move aside. the black man with tinted glasses did not flinch. we are exercising our constitutional right to free assembly, making sure no innocent people get killed out here tonight. >> we are chasing looters. >> no losers here. as you can see, we are disciplined community patrol. you have guns, comcast. >> that is what you said, the man with tinted glasses replied. i said we were exercising our
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constitutional rights. the cop took in the size and discipline of the group for a moment and walked away. by the time i caught my breath was speechless. by that time i caught my breath, but i was speechless from what i had just seen. black men standing down the cops. go straight home to my young brother. the pace of looking for any excuse to murder but first night . with that the black man walked on. i scooted down to the subway and headed home. when i entered the apartment drama was sitting on their high council. tears fell from arise preceded not even as brad been , which was unusual since i was about two hours late getting home. i sat next to her, but my arm around her and we watched tv reports of the assassination and the riots.
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i came to school the next day -- before that i want to say a little bit about my adopted grandmother. i was conceived in cuba. my mother was a graduate students. broke up with my father and came home and announce to my grandmother that she was pregnant but had broken up. my grandmother pressed for more about who the father was. when she found that he was a young revolutionary who was hanging around with the likes of fidel and raul castro mom got put on the first place smoking to new york city . and the @booktv key will she had been a debutante and a graduate student and was under way to be a doctor. when she showed up in new york city she was a young black woman who could not speak english. she spoke spanish and french. a friend told her about a lovely place where they took in foster kids. she put me there for what she thought would be a temporary
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stay, but it wound up being my early childhood and my adolescence,. granma in pa took me in when there are quite old. their parents and they're older brothers and sisters had been slaves. so i grew up hearing stories about in america and about the south where you didn't look a white person in the eye if you're black coming down the street. in fact, if they were on the sidewalk you got into the gutter no matter if it was raining, monday, hold you were, the sidewalk along to them. i heard about the complex clan and mentioning in jim-crow as first-person reports. they saw a cross burning. with that they were working class bilbao. worked as a laborer. and they had been garnett's in the '20s.
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i was active in the naacp youth council. i was an honor student, in the choir. i had a sense of what was going on. recollected food and books to send to the civil-rights workers in the south. distributing that stuff to the communities. pot died when i was about 12. there was this thing of wanting to be a man thought figuring that out. and then dr. king got killed. i was enraged. the day after this i went to school. on the fringes, i use the sophy carmichael and bobby seale and union. the news describe them as black militants. talking about black power. essentially i want to back up and talk about paul. all my lessons in black history, i don't want you to think that it was over the dinner table
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with books spread out. a working man. he was a good christian man. what they call in those days are race man. just be as simple as watching television, old black-and-white tv. a tarzan movie would come on. danny wiseman it would swing across the screen during the tarzan yell. you speak his language. looking at that. after about five minutes he would go what the hell is that? you tell me how little cracker begin fallout a damn airplane, grow up. the look like they're crazy. change the channel. living history. then i was which. i remember this. the first time. he was giving some editorial. i think it was about the space program. going on and on and being
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educated and bright young men. elected him for about four minutes. lying onion head. chase the dan channel. living history. when the militants came on, not only were they challenging the power structure in a different way, way that we have not seen. fly about a. talking about black power. i remember one news report. arrested for possessing a rifle in louisiana. they covered in getting at the jail. rather than standing in the courthouse steps, all the reported. i wanted to listen. if you stop my rifle was bad, wait until my atom bomb. he's bad. i went to school the next day and i announced to my friend. i was a hallway monitor. i announced, you know, as clear
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as day that i am going to be a black militants. one of my friends to my good friends, a jewish kid looks up at me. eddie, i don't know if you can and nancy will be a black militant like it is a career choice. a doctor or lawyer. no. you watch. you watch. then i had as much to prove to paul as to myself find the most militant organization. and believe me i didn't really know what was going on. and so reasons to look at organizations and rejected just on the surface level. no, granma makes some mean bacon. pollen and can have fun with that. and then they ran a news report talking about the rising militancy in america.
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it was a story about the black panther party. they ran the footage where the panthers led by chairman bobby stormed the state capitol sacramento. for folks who don't know, the panther started patrolling the streets of open california with shotguns and lawbooks enforcing one of the aspects of the ten-point program. caught the imagination not only of the community of americans because it was legal to carry guns in california if they were concealed, and the lawbooks for to make it clear that the panthers adjoined understood the law, others to the right to bear arms and understood the right to observe the arrest, follow the person to the precinct, bail them out of the have the money. if not there were young lawyers and legal volunteers to help get people out. and seeing these black men with guns.


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