Category Archives: Collegiate Capers

Spy For a Day

In The Recruit Colin Farrell plays a top MIT student recruited by spymaster Al Pacino.  I, too, was once an MIT student recruited by the CIA, although my application process involved substantially less sex with Bridget Moynahan. The year was … Continue reading

Posted in Collegiate Capers, Essays, Federal Offenses, Hijinks

Spaceplanes

Professor Kosta Tsipis, my MIT thesis advisor, had no qualms about biting the hand that fed me. Kosta is a brilliant nuclear physicist, a world-renowned arms control expert, and a major pain in the rectum to anyone who thinks the … Continue reading

Posted in Collegiate Capers, Essays, Space Cases

Big Fun in Little Gravity

I was floating outside the cargo bay of the space shuttle when I lost my grip on the wrench I was bringing astronaut Ron Tanner. Slowly it drifted away from me and pinged off the faceplate of Ron’s helmet. Whoops-a-daisy. … Continue reading

Posted in Collegiate Capers, Essays, Federal Offenses, Hijinks, Space Cases

Lots of Leaps, Not Much Faith

It happened the summer after my junior year in college. I was interning in the L.A. office of Hughes Aircraft Company (or, in intern parlance, “Huge Aircrash”), which had arranged summer housing in Loyola Marymount University dormitories. LMU dorms were … Continue reading

Posted in Collegiate Capers, Essays, Hijinks

Brad and Me

“How would you like to be Brad Pitt’s stand-in on a movie called The Devil’s Own?” the casting director asked me. I don’t see the resemblance but who am I to argue? As an aerospace engineer, this couldn’t be further … Continue reading

Posted in Collegiate Capers, Essays, Hijinks, Show Business Humiliations

Famous for Something I Never Did

I was flipping through Mental Floss magazine some years ago and noticed that they listed Leonid Brezhnev as leader of the Soviet Union from 1977 to 1982.  I guess that’s technically true, but he actually ruled the Russian roost quite … Continue reading

Posted in Collegiate Capers, Show Business Humiliations

The Lighter Side of Going to MIT

I’m not sure I was meant for engineering.  I never really fit in at MIT.  Case in point: at MIT “I’m bilingual” means “I speak English and Klingon.”  And I always thought, man, if you’re going to go to the … Continue reading

Posted in Collegiate Capers