“Thirty-plus years of service. Combat medals. Citations. Distinguished.” The Rear Admiral was dressing down the captain. “Yet you can’t get a promotion, you won’t retire, and despite your best efforts, you refuse to die.”

I bet that most readers have by now seen this year’s blockbuster movie Top Gun: Maverick. Ed Harris’s character — in what is perhaps the most notable scene of the movie — is scolding Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchel, played by Tom Cruise...

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