Science and space tidbits

Contributed by
May 13, 2008

Just some stuff I get in email and from other sources... read these all the way through. You'll love #6.

1) 85% of Americans wants a Presidential debate on science. I do too, if only for the hilarity factor. I'd love to see Clinton questioned repeatedly on how little she trusts experts.

2) The SciFi blog io9 (I read it every day, and you should too if you like SF) has an article asking if Obama will destroy the space program. Not quite as nuanced as my own blog post on the subject, but then we both stole this from Popular Mechanics.

3) Also in PopMech, it looks like NASA has been rethinking dissing private space companies. The space agency has been giving prizes and awards to some companies; they just indicated they're interested in using SpaceX for launches in the future. I'm glad to see this. I think private industry may be a lot more flexible when it comes to launched than NASA. I've been saying for years that NASA should spend taxpayer money to do things companies cannot do (pay for the design, building, and use of deep space missions; go to the Moon, develop new technologies and methods, etc.) and let private industry take over launches. NASA has proven quite effectively that they are not so great at getting cheap access to space. It's not all their fault; being beholden to the White House and Congress would be enough to make any person insane.

4) I was asked on my live video chat last Sunday if any video of Pangea Day, and specifically Carolyn Porco's talk, would be made available. The answer is, yes! It's on YouTube now, at least the first 20 minutes of it. But it includes Carolyn... introduced by Queen Noor of Jordan! Wow. That starts about six minutes in, and it's nine minutes of your life that will be very well spent.

5) My sister sent me a link to some incredible hi-res Shuttle images. Very cool.

6) Finally, Colbert interviews astronaut Garrett Reisman. It's funny -- huge duh -- but you can tell Colbert is totally squeed by this.

7) Not space or science per se, but my bud Adam Savage was on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me last week. Very funny!

... and you want proof he's my bud? O foolish mortal.

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