It All Comes Back To The Simpsons

Friday, August 12, 2005

You Know, The Word 'Unblowupable' Is Thrown Around A Lot These Days..."

A hearty, belated "Huzzah!" to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (or "NASA" to all you techno-geeks out there). Discovery is back on solid ground, and everyone that went up got brung back down. It seems like people have forgot how much of our vastly affluent lifestyle we owe to the space program. And despite the fact that Pres. Bush used it in a seemingly cynical and disingenuous stab at distinction and statesmanship, I actually felt what I thought at the time was respect for him, but what turned out later to be respect for NASA for not crumbling under the weight of the Albatross that is the current administration. Truly inpirational!

[Segue]

You know how they say, "Well, he's no rocket scientist"? when they're speaking of someone a couple modules short of an international space station? Well, my dad is no rocket scientist...but he did work for NASA as a computer scientist. He even worked on designing a piece of equipment that is still on the moon today. That's like, impressive, huh? "Wow", you say. I heard a "That's cool!" from the back of the blogosphere. Thank you, thank you.

I realize in our current climate, it's not "cool" to hold science in high regard, so I won't..."taking a stand on principle" is also frowned upon these days. But let's just take the time to look at how the founders and pioneers that started NASA (and guided it to it's glory days of moon landings and near disasters averted (Apollo XIII( really, what the hell were they thinking?!? Don't they know it's a scientific fact that the numeral XIII is unlucky? Why else would buildings not have a thirteenth floor, or planes not have a row #13 in their seating chart?))) envisioned and built their program; what is NASA's goal or guiding principle?...didja get through that ok? Take a few moments to catch up if you need to, that was a pretty twisty one...

NASA's guiding principle could not be divined from a quick google search, so I'll have totake an educated guess at it, but from what I've read in books, seen on TV and discussed with my dad, it seems to be something along the lines of "to explore space, and in doing so, to advance and develop advanced scientific techniques and ideas as an means to this end, benefitting mankind in the process". I realize this may not be as much fun as granting multi-national oil companies billions of dollars, but it's still something worth throwing a little money at...unless you're bored with things like medicine, computers, cell phones, weather reports, GPS, TV, national security, seeing if ants can be trained to sort tiny screws in zero-gravity, searching for the origin off the universe, looking out for the next huge comet that could smash us all into oblivion, and in general being associated with a country that can get shit like this done...you think a punk-ass country like Honduras or Vatican City could pull off a space walk? I don't think so...

And since we've had so much experience figuring out the intentions of dead men with the help of our Constitution, we should have no problem guiding our space program the way the idealistic founding scientists intended (hell, some of 'em aren't even dead yet! That'll make it even easier!)...and that means we challenge ourselves; we take bold risks and accept that the danger is an acceptable part of the adventure; we do something truly meaningful. It also means scientists make the decisions, not politicians or accountants.

We need a strong space program; it's the only thing that still keeps us respectable anymore. If we can no longer put a man on the moon, how will we complain about the relative lack of sophistication and/or progress regarding something else?

Congrats once again to those "unblowupable" seven Discovery astronauts...you guys rule!

10 Comments:

  • Hey! You didn't even mention the obvious- Tempurpedic mattresses! They were born of NASA experiments. I hear the material was designed to protect the astronauts from G-force. We can test that out once we get our mattress, if you know what I mean- and I know you do ;)

    By Blogger Sylvana, at Fri Aug 12, 09:46:00 PM 2005  

  • Aw, Bob, I could never stay mad at you. Consider all forgiven. :)

    I was happy that the astronauts made it back safely and I was in awe that we can actually send people into space. But I think this flight should be NASA's swan song. I have a hard time justifying spending $1 billion dollars to fix a problem that didn't even get fixed. But what do I know? I'm no rocket scientist.

    By Blogger Maria, at Fri Aug 12, 11:15:00 PM 2005  

  • I think that maybe this should be it for the Space Shuttles, it's time to upgrade to the next generation...which will probably be more retro, single-use rockets, which is in some ways a shame; I just love stuff you can get more than one use out of.

    By Blogger sideshow bob, at Sat Aug 13, 12:26:00 AM 2005  

  • ::applauding::

    Not many people know this, but I love love love space and nasa. I love the pursuit of knowledge about the universe. I even wanted to be an astronaut until I realized I was a complete chicken shit.

    If only it wasn't so damned expensive, eh?

    By Blogger Shannon, at Sat Aug 13, 12:50:00 AM 2005  

  • I liked Ralph Cramden's approach.

    By Blogger "AG", at Sat Aug 13, 10:10:00 AM 2005  

  • I met a rocket scientist and he didn't know one reference I made to Monty Python, Seinfeld or the Simpsons.

    I don't have time for people who don't keep up with popular culture. Bookworms!

    They need to send a regular dude or chick into space.

    By Blogger Shamus O'Drunkahan, at Mon Aug 15, 07:00:00 AM 2005  

  • Shamus, they tried that. She blew up.

    Oh, wait, was that too soon?

    By Blogger Sylvana, at Mon Aug 15, 02:09:00 PM 2005  

  • Uh, yeah, Sy...South Park clearly stated that it has to be 20 years...I'm already writing my WTC jokes for 2021.

    By Blogger sideshow bob, at Mon Aug 15, 07:46:00 PM 2005  

  • Damn! I was one year too soon! Next year, though, I'm throwing that ALL OVER! Oh yeah!

    By Blogger Sylvana, at Mon Aug 15, 10:31:00 PM 2005  

  • One of my best friends from childhood grew up wanting to be an astronaut. Space Camp, the works. She's getting a PhD in Geology now...looks like Rocks for Jocks won out.

    By Blogger ORF, at Tue Aug 16, 12:57:00 PM 2005  

Post a Comment

<< Home