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There’s been a lot of coverage and there will be a lot more: 50 years ago right now, three astronauts in a cone-shaped thing attached to a short cylinder were on their way to the moon. Two of them would land there, get out and walk around, pick up some souvenirs, and return to Earth.

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In the early days of the planet, a box with knobs on the front allowed us to see television broadcasts. Where I grew up, this meant the ability to watch either of two television stations, called channel 8 and channel 13. On occasion both were broadcasting things worth watching. They were ava…

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Not long ago I watched an episode of “The Orville,” Seth MacFarlane’s funny and perceptive science-fiction series on the Fox broadcast network. The episode was called “Majority Rule,” and it was as powerful a piece of social commentary as I’ve seen.

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It was originally called “Decoration Day,” and was designated as a day of especial honor for Union soldiers who had been killed in the Civil War, though at the time it was instituted the official document referred not to the Civil War but to “the late rebellion.”