The Disillusionment of Politics – Reality of Our Common Home: Earth

Earthrise: Suddenly, from behind the rim of the moon, in long, slow-motion moments of immense majesty, there emerges a sparkling blue and white jewel, a light, delicate sky-blue sphere laced with slowly swirling veils of white, rising gradually like a small pearl in a thick sea of black mystery. It takes more than a moment to fully realize this is Earth... home. Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14.
Earthrise

In the interest of keeping up with current events, I keep an eye on news stories and politics as I go throughout my day. I like to see what things are happening in the world as they normally end up effecting some aspect of my life. Most recently, the largest amounts of news media has been focused on the upcoming presidential election here in the United States. I get frustrated with politics a lot. Some of this is because we have become so partisan as a society, so extreme in our views that every discussion becomes a heated battle. There is constant bickering and what seems like endless and useless rhetoric from everyone, Republican, Democrat, Independent, Right, Left, Communist, Federalist, and the list goes on. Most of the time, it really seems like nothing ever gets done. I can understand people’s complaint and subsequent animosity towards political systems the world over.

One of the defining reasons I love the space program and admire the astronauts, cosmonauts, and many others, past and present, who have ventured out beyond these political spheres of influence is because they have come to see Planet Earth for what she truly is. Hopefully someday, we’ll all have that same opportunity. Even if we don’t though, we should be able to grasp that we’re all in this together and need to come together and work together to make the world a better place in all aspects. Astronaut Edgar Mitchell stated these same sentiments best, at least I think so:

“You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.’ ” – Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 Astronaut

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Legos in Space: A Modern Day October Sky

Lego Shuttle Flight
Lego Shuttle Flight - Soon after takeoff (http://bit.ly/zqzV4f)

Space, dubbed the final frontier most famously by the series Star Trek, has been the dream of many people throughout the years.  As of late, the number of people with this dream seems to have dwindled, but not for Oaida Raul from Romania who was bound and determined to realize his dream like Homer Hickam did in the book Rocket Boys later to be changed to match the movie October Sky . He diligently found an investor who mentored him about how to make his project work and even steered him into using a Lego Space Shuttle Model 3367.  Getting air space clearance, he launched the model along with a GoPro camera and other equipment and sent it soaring.  The song 99 Luftballoons  nearly immediately came to mind upon hearing that they used a 1600g helium filled weather balloon and launched from Germany. The music he picked for his YouTube video was great, but I think it would have been even more of a kicker with that song. Oh well.  Perhaps that can be a future project using a whole squadron! Take a look at the video below. It’s pretty awesome. You can also see the more detailed version of events from his Oaida’s own blog.

Can you handle the truth?

Truth Road Sign - Next Exit

In rewriting our About page, I have done a lot of thinking about what truth is. “What is truth?” Pilot asked Jesus. The question has been asked throughout all of history. “Truth is in the eye of the beholder” a common proverb states. I believe there is a basic truth, an ultimate truth that underlies everything. Many times we find ourselves searching for it, but we don’t really want to find it, mostly because we don’t want to hear it or know it.

“Under law the Quest for Ultimate Truth is quite clearly the inalienable prerogative of your working thinkers. Any machine goes and actually FINDS it and we’re straight out of a job, aren’t we? I mean, what’s the use of our sitting up half the night arguing that there may or may not be a God if this machine only goes and gives you his bleeding phone number the next morning?”
– Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Do we search for truth in vain then?  I hope not.  I hope that whatever comes out of this blog can be of some benefit to someone in some manner.  Now whether this benefit comes from the humor we present or in the form of  actual motivation to search for truth yourselves, that is up to you. Just be warned.  Can you handle the truth or do you even want to handle it?

“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is an indispensable companion to all those who are keen to make sense of life in an infinitely complex and confusing Universe, for though it cannot hope to be useful or informative on all matters, it does at least make the reassuring claim, that where it is inaccurate it is at least definitively inaccurate. In cases of major discrepancy it’s always reality that’s got it wrong.

This was the gist of the notice. It said “The Guide is definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate.”

This has led to some interesting consequences. For instance, when the Editors of the Guide were sued by the families of those who had died as a result of taking the entry on the planet Tralal literally (it said “Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts often make a very good meal for visiting tourists: instead of “Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts often make a very good meal of visiting tourists”), they claimed that the first version of the sentence was the more aesthetically pleasing, summoned a qualified poet to testify under oath that beauty was truth, truth beauty and hoped thereby to prove that the guilty party in this case was Life itself for failing to be either beautiful or true. The judges concurred, and in a moving speech held that Life itself was in contempt of court, and duly confiscated it from all those there present before going off to enjoy a pleasant evening’s ultragolf.”
― Douglas Adams, The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Not to dissuade you, but can you stand up to Jack Nicholson and say you want the truth? If so, then let’s get to work!

Who Would You Want Fighting For You?

With our recent Captain Reynolds vs Captain Hammer post, we thought we’d ask your opinion in a poll.

If you are unaware of who any of these people are, here are some reference pointers. Even if you are familiar with them, here’s some video’s for your enjoyment.

Malcolm Reynolds (Played by Nathan Fillion in Firefly) http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0003809/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcBSTt2irh0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4pCDDVQGXk

Jack O’Neil (Played by Richard Dean Anderson, Stargate SG-1) http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0005968/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQ-FyZw2VVs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huPMkRn-v18

John McClane (Played by Bruce Willis in Die Hard, Die Hard 2, Live Free or Die Hard) – http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0001752/

John McClane

I would have included videos, but John McClane is known to be rather vulgar. If you need reference video for him, proceed at your own risk.

So Quit Already

Following up on our post from last week (It’s Your Life, Quit If You Want To), it appears that this is the next wave of ads from them.

Want to Quit, So Quit Already
Want to Quit, So Quit Already

Having been exposed to marketing and taken many classes on the subject, this ad goes right along with what is being taught.  I can see it being very successful in the terms of shock value and getting you to see the ad, which is obviously successful so far. Are we de-sensitizing ourselves though? Every new marketing campaign has to be more over the top than the last in order to draw in our attention. I can see one day not being able to watch or look at anything without it being so over the top and unrealistic that we today would die of a heart attack, but to us then, it will be normal. Am I overreacting?

What are your thoughts?

– Chris

Racism

(http://images.icanhascheezburger.com/completestore/2008/11/10/128708361385481314.jpg)

Racism has been a problem in the United States for many many years and even with immense efforts by a lot of different movements, people, governments, etc, it is still as prevalent as it has ever been.  Why is that?  I recently read a quote from Morgan Freeman, a black man, and wonderful actor, on this subject as he was interviewed by Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes. I have posted the transcript from this clip below:

Mike Wallace: Black history month you find….

Morgan Freeman: Ridiculous.

Mike Wallace: Why?

Morgan Freeman: You’re going to relegate my history to a month?

Mike Wallace: Oh, come on.

Morgan Freeman: What do you do with yours?  Which month is white history month?

Mike Wallace: (pause) Well, I’m Jewish.

Morgan Freeman: Okay, which month is Jewish history month?

Mike Wallace: There isn’t one.

Morgan Freeman: Oh, oh. Why not? Do you want one?

Mike Wallace: No.

Morgan Freeman: Right. I don’t either. I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history.

Mike Wallace: How are we going to get rid of racism?

Morgan Freeman: Stop talking about it.

Awesome, purely awesome.  I love this man even more. The problem we have is trying to fix the problem by over correcting. We have become extremists in everything we do and enough is enough. I went and found the clip from 60 minutes with Mike Wallace and at the end, Morgan Freeman states: “I’m gonna stop calling you a white man, and I’m gonna ask you to stop calling me a black man.  I know you as Mike Wallace, and you know me as Morgan Freeman.” How wonderful of a world we would live in if we all took this advice.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeixtYS-P3s

As a side note, this had nothing to do with Jake’s post on Martin Luther King Junior Day from a few days ago. We’re both rather sarcastic here and will say things that offend I’m sure, including “racist remarks” used as humor, but we strive to balance that out with enough “humor” about every other ethnicity, gender, race, religion, etc including those we belong to. We encourage laughing at the silly things that make us who we are. If you can’t do that, then you’ve got a problem, so deal with it.

– Chris

Iran the Honey badger

In recent news, Iran’s state media has claimed success in recent moves to continue it’s Nuclear program, despite looming EU sanctions, a pissed off Israel and US. In light of their obvious teenage-like defiance to the world, Iran offered to open up talks once more with foreign nations.  CNN.com headlines question “What does Iran’s nuclear announcement really mean?”  Reading between the lines, Iranian officials have in a sense stated: “Iran is a honey badger.  Honey badger doesn’t give a $#!%.  Honey badger takes what it wants. Honey badger does what it wants.”  Talks in the past have proven to be a stalemate move to keep foreign powers at bay while Iran has continued to do whatever it wants. What will the honey badger do next?

– Chris

(Warning, the below video may have language inappropriate for immature audiences.  If this is you, refrain from watching it, unless you must.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg

http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/15/does-irans-nuclear-announcement-spell-defiance-or-desire-to-talk/?hpt=wo_c2