Even though my book Moving Forward: From Space-Age Rides to Civil Rights Sit-Ins with Airman Alton Yates leaps ahead from 1960 to 2017, my enthusiasm for the book’s subject — as a person, and as a friend — is such that I was thrilled last week to come across The Other Sides of Alton:

I’d been completely unaware of this half-hour documentary about him from 1977! And if you’ve felt a connection of your own with Alton Yates after reading Moving Forward, I bet you’ll be just as grateful for this generous look at his life (with glimpses of his childhood and his Air Force service) filmed during a period that my book’s narrative skips over.

Similarly, though it’s been nearly eight years since the publication of Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions, I still love seeing brand-new articles about what its subject is up to these days in that “bigger workshop” that I mention at the end of the book.

Whoosh! fans, don’t miss “How Super Soaker Inventor Lonnie Johnson Doused The Competition” in today’s Investor’s Business Daily:

With the Super Soaker a runaway success, Johnson, now 74, devotes himself to inventions that could help save the warming planet. To do it, he employs a strategy he learned long ago: combine technologies to create something new. …

For Johnson lately, the two technologies that matter most involve a next-generation power source and a way to tap more energy from power plants.

The power source is solid-state batteries, which he sees as the successor to the lithium-ion batteries that now power everything from flashlights to Teslas. He’s working on them through his Johnson Energy Storage spinoff.

The other focuses on a potential breakthrough in energy conservation, the Johnson Thermal Electric Converter, aimed at turning waste heat into electricity using hydrogen. It’s similar to the fuel cell used to power cars, only it doesn’t use oxygen.