The War of the Worlds—65 Years Ago

The War of the Worlds—65 Years Ago

On October 30, 1938, The Mercury Theatre on the Air, starring Orson Welles, presented a radio version of H.G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds. It became famous because many people (although not as many as the media later reported) heard only part of the broadcast, presented in the form of a breaking news story, and thought earth really was being invaded by Mars.

If you’d like to hear this historic broadcast (it’s also one of the best radio plays ever done, actually), you can stream via the link below.

Listen to The War of the Worlds broadcast (presented via streaming RealAudio).

The Spoiling Begins


Okay, Nichelle is making me post this, to illustrate just how big a change having a daugher can make. Before Naomi, you wouldn’t catch me near “girl toys,” or clothing of any kind. Then, with Naomi on the way, something happened to my mental processes. First was the dress I bought in México. Then came the Barbie. I … I don’t know what has come over me, although co-worker Judy Hirsch told me this would happen.

The remaining issue is which of the geekwear t-shirts/creepers to purchase. I can’t decide amongst “Newbie,” “TCP/IP,” and “Geek in Training.” Which would you pick?

It May Be Time – 1:28 p.m.

We’re off to the hospital. Contractions are coming quite frequently.

It Was Indeed Time!

Nichelle’s contractions started around 11:00 a.m. She phoned me at noon, and said, “I think you’d better head home.” The contractions were already causing her to be in a lot of pain, so I headed out almost immediately. I ran in to the house (discovered our friends Phil Luchon and Shelby Sohmer were already there to help, Phil by watching the kids and Shelby by assisting Nichelle), checked the Naomi mailing list (a good thing—I had never switched it over from test mode to mail to the entire list), updated the BLOG, grabbed some food to take with me and all of Nichelle’s stuff, and headed off to the hospital, expecting the usual long process of labor and delivery.

We arrived at the hospital at about 1:50 p.m. Nichelle’s contractions had increased in severity and frequency, and she was already dilated about 5 cm. She spent 10 minutes in a pre-labor room, before they moved her to the labor room.

Things were moving very fast. So fast, in fact, that we weren’t sure a doctor would arrive in time—he almost didn’t—a paramedic was there as a backup. Nichelle’s contractions were so strong and frequent, that there was no way for her to get the epidural she’d planned on—this was going to go “natural,” an issue we managed to deflect. After I think only about 15 minutes of excruciating labor pain (I’ll let Nichelle describe with another time), Naomi joined the outside world. The doctor said, “Congratulations, you have a beautiful boy,” and then quickly corrected his statement.

So, Naomi Nichelle (“NaNi”) Wilcox was with us on the outside, officially born at 3:02 p.m., but I later discovered the room clock was wrong, so it was really 2:55 p.m.

Naomi Nichelle (“NaNi”) Wilcox, future Geek goddess, weighed in at 7 pounds, 4.8 ounces, and measured 20 inches. We are thrilled to have our little girl. Friends and family visited. We ate birthday cake and relished the joy of being new parents. Nichelle and Naomi are both fine—no complictions or other problems. We’re all tired. Whew!

Our Trip to Boston’s Museum of Science

On Friday, October 3, I Took Isaac and David, and Isaac's best friend Nda (En-dah) (John opted out) to the Museum of Science on Friday (I took a half day off, and picked Isaac up from school, and we went by subway). We had a great time. The digital camera I bought lets me get low-light and other kinds of photos I could never capture before.

It’s funny, because you never know what will really interest the kids. David now wants to go back (he asks approximately every day now). For some reason a 2300-year-old mummy in the life sciences section fascinated him. Later, he was a little mad that they put a sign up asking people not to sit in or stand in the tyrannosaur footprint.

One very cool new exhibit was sponsored by Microsoft – it's a mock-up of the “cockpit” of the Wright Flyer, linked to a huge projection screen and M$ Flight Simulator 2004. The Wright Flyer was very difficult to fly – not so bad climbing and leveling off (although it would stall very easily), but banking (by weight-shifting) was usually disastrous for us. Friday afternoons and evenings the museum is mostly empty, so we all had plenty of chances to try it.

Housing Update

Tonight we have our potential buyers doing a home inspection on our house in Brockton. Assuming it works out well (and it should), we will probably place an offer on a spacious house in Northern Nashua, across from the Nashua municipal airport. For more details, try our Handy-Dandy MLS Gizmo, and use MLS number 119010. The MLS number on our house in Brockton is 30752457.