"Because it's there." George Mallory
"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too." John F. Kennedy
Once upon a time people celebrated achievements. Today, there are people that shrug and seem to not care when people do awesome things. A discussion about why is for another time and place, but it is worth noting that it exists and I actually got a taste of that from someone today while I was enthusiastic about a man skydiving from space and landing on two feet.
My daughter and I got the chance to watch the live stream on YouTube today of Felix Baumgartner's dive from the Red Bull Stratos. It was awesome. Totally fortunate to have borrowed my father's laptop and locating open local wifi with good timing in checking on the event led to actual watching of the event live.
I tweeted the following: @shotgunprose - We need to get Felix Baumgartner for ECCC. Just on principle. That was awesome. #bringfelixtoemeraldcity
With comments and likes on my facebook page from the tweet posting as a status I added the following comments:
"Other than producing a really unhealthy product, Red Bull - with its support for soccer and awesome stuff like today - is my favorite evil corporation right now."
"Felix is right up there with Michael Gspurning as my favorite Austrian."
"There were players in the Seahawks vs Patriots game today that landed harder than Felix did jumping from space."
Basically, I understand the lady at the post office that asked if I had heard much more than the uncaring commentary. Pushing the boundaries of science and seeing engineering breakthroughs that will translate into improvements in aviation and space travel is not something I ho hum.
We are in a political climate where we have absolute idiots telling us science is evil on committees in Congress. There is a very real and serious movement in this country pushing ignorance as being superior to information. I have been reading science books lately to maintain brain cells after coming into contact with this stupidity.
So today, I went out and thanked Red Bull by buying their product. I see that Zenith was the manufacturer name on the capsule and commend them too.
This entire enterprise was awesome. Science is cool, important, and relevant and needs to be celebrated. I am happy to cheer for this and ramble on.