Monday, May 2, 2011

Decrease the Suck, Increase the Awesome

So NASA now has an unofficial new slogan. I kinda like it. It's pretty true of what NASA does and comes from an inventive vlogger Hank Green. The most recent video can be seen below, which NASA helped to make.


It initially started with Green's video "Top 5 Awesome Things About the Webb Telescope" and has been quickly taken up by the community as a great way to describe NASA and reasoning for supporting continued scientific support in the United States. It is especially important Congress is debating the science budget that currently leaves scientists in limbo. The main thing that is clear is that both the House and the Senate are proposing cuts to science funding, with the most massive proposed cuts coming from House Republicans. (See this Nature chart for the numbers) Those cuts also include the EPA, NIST, NSF, Department of Energy, NIH and CDC.

I had also recently mentioned SETI's budget woes, and donated $5 to the cause. But over at ╬╝cosmologist they have a great infographic on SETI. Of course, if you need a good reason why you should support SETI, listen to the words of Carl Sagan.

There is also the good news that Osama bin Laden is dead, as I'm sure most of you have heard by now. I don't know that some of the celebrations over the death of a man  are warranted, it is better move for humanity though, decreasing the suck. But, I do have to mention one observation that kinda struck me, a tweet from Neil deGrasse Tyson: Two American goals that took a decade, and more than $100 billion to achieve: 1) Walk on the Moon 2) Find Bin Laden.

From xkcd, another wonderful webcomic.

I try to imagine a world, were after the decade spent going to the Moon, we spent the subsequent decades pushing further out into space, where now we could be exploring the Outer Solar System more then just by sending the occasional probe out there. It could have been an even more amazing time, and we may have avoided a reality with the disasters committed by those who seek only to inspire terror and fear.

I think a befitting line for this is the hover text quote from that comic above: "The Universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there's no good reason to go into space -- each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision."

It's a sobering time, but I'm also optimistic about it. We are in a Golden Age of astronomy, we have learned more about our place in the Universe in the past 20-50 years then in the entirety of human history. It's a great feeling. For the first time we are able to put telescopes into space to peer into its darkest corners and listen to its darkest secrets. We cannot allow those eyes and ears to be shut, eventually we will need to seize upon the stars. The Earth won't be habitable forever, something we are becoming more and more aware of through the study of our home.

But more countries are getting into the space business. With China ramping things up and Iran looking at getting into the fray, as well as SpaceX pioneering corporate space flight, we are on the brink of a new space race that might just kick start a change in U.S. policy. The future is space, there is no doubt about that, its just a matter of making people believe in decreasing the suck and increasing the awesome.



On a more positive/humorous note, I thought this film looks kinda awesome based off of the trailer:


From the io9.com description:

Buddy Holly Is Alive And Well on Ganymede
Based on the book by Bradley Denton, John Heder plays Buddy Holly who is still very much alive and working on secret space missions across the universe. Here is the first teaser trailer for the film. Looks extraordinarily sweet.
Here's a synopsis of the novel:
When televisions worldwide begin broadcasting a nonstop, noninterruptible live performance by Buddy Holly purporting to originate somewhere in the vicinity of Jupiter, Oliver Vale—the apparent object of the broadcasts—finds himself drafted for a mission so secret that even he is not sure of its purpose. Denton fills this supremely funny novel with warring space aliens disguised as humans, a robot dog, a psychopathic assassin, an overzealous psychologist and her jealous husband, a motorcycle gang, and a messianic televangelist—all to prove that rock 'n' roll never really died.


30 comments:

Zombie said...

Makes me want to join nasa now! lol.

kgp318 said...

I love the "Buddy Holly..." movie trailer! It seems like a movie that would actually be worthwhile to watch...Also the other NASA video was really awesome too! I'm saddened but not really surprised by the budget not particularly funding science. I have been a part of a third grade classroom (as an intern aka student teacher) and have seen very little science (unless you count a bucket full of dead worms) taking place. Awesome post :)

Kicking Rocks said...

Awesome!!!!!

Moobeat said...

thanks for the post

Venus said...

we´re indeed in a Golden Age of Astronomy, there´s still so much to discover. also thanks for mentioning the film, I want to watch it. Ganymede (Morle) is one of my favorite moons.

WanderingWriter said...

I agree that the new Space Race is going to be a good thing if that's what it takes to get us back on target regarding space exploration.

-E- said...

lets take the 8 billion in aid to pakistan and give it to nasa.

VenomForMasses said...

what a shame, to cut the funding for the future of our species. thx

The Angry Lurker said...

We need to get off this rock soon.

A Beer for the Shower said...

"Decrease the Suck, Increase the Awesome" was coincidentally my own personal New Year's Resolution for 2011. Is it working so far? Meh...

Solsby Kid said...

Pretty cool new slogan

Banacek said...

Your title reminded me of the movie Fubar.

G said...

wow that graph is really sobering...imagine after all technological achievement the memory passing into history.
Guess we just have to rely on the Chinese

Rob said...

This was a very good post, NASA just got awesome again!

Dave said...

Yeah we need to head to the stars as soon as.

Malkavian said...

Awesome but yeah im with Venom They always cut the Nasa fundings.

Dootzkie said...

Goota love xkcd! They really touch a nerv!

Toto said...

amazing!!

Buckaroopopcorn said...

I don't know... how do they increase the awesome by getting rid of shuttles?

As for Osama bin Laden: it's good he's dead as he was an enemy, but I really doubt he had anything much to do with 9/11. I'm not a conspiracy guy but I do know how to reason with logic and something really doesn't add up. If the official story of 9/11 is accurate then there is probably a god too. Too many miracles = BS IMO.

Biff Tanner said...

PLEASE!

Josh said...

Good move NASA

Tasos said...

I tried to concentrate and actually understand what he says....my brain's fried.

Megan said...

Following you. Very interested in hearing from someone who's really studied astronomy. XKCD and Sagan reference upped your cool points for me. :)

dende said...

"Buckaroopopcorn said...
I don't know... how do they increase the awesome by getting rid of shuttles?"

That's exactly what i thought ...

meandmythinkingcap said...

NASA- These grapes are sour

Astronomy Pirate said...

Buckaroo, the shuttles are honestly old and plagued with problems. There are safety issues with every launch, as plainly seen by the current shuttle delay. It is in the best interest to retire them and build something new and safer.

Rockinrule said...

Ha. :)

Kamchatka said...

NASA has always been an interesting subject! I totally agree with you that space is the future. We can't live on Earth forever and it just seems so exciting to explore the mysterious and vast universe.

Robert F├╝nf said...

I absolutely love that slogan! Also, I agree with Lurker. We're running out of room fat. We need to find someplace else ASAP.

Schla.mp3 said...

that is great

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated, please no advertising or profanity. This also helps me see who is dropping by.