I think that many men and women of my generation got involved in science and technology not because of computers and video games but because of Space. The race to the moon was a big deal when I was a kid. It was a national mission.
It is kind of hard to get worked about it today for some reason. Even with two tragic accidents it seems pretty routine. The only reason the last Shuttle mission got an press was because somebody lost their toolbag up there.
The big things in technology now, are computers, (yawn) and biotechnology (“YAWN”).
Every once in a while though something comes around that ignites the imagination again. For me it came from the most unlikely source: the Reading Adventures blog. She has an advent calender type thing going which I don’t really understand but it led to a link that literally made my jaw drop. Its a Boston Globe newspaper web feature called the Big Picture which is about news in pictures. They have an ongoing advent feature on photographs from the Hubble Telescope. It is awesome stuff. Show your kids!
Space science has been transformed since I last paid attention from the static to the dynamic. It used to be hey, this galaxy is 50 gazillion light years from us (yawn) to hey look at this star exploding (WOW, look at the pictures), this galaxy has such a strong gravitational field that it is acting as a lens to look at other galaxys (Huh, what’s that all about?)
If you have kids, give them a look, who knows what may happen. Little girls also. When I lived in Houston I was acquainted with three engineers who worked at NASA. Two of them were women.
Fellow blogger, Baloney
, from whom I shamelessly copy all the time posted about Wordles
. It is a site that takes text from any source and makes into something like the following. In this case I used the Beatitudes from Matthew.
And below are the lyrics from one of my favorite songs.
This site is one of the coolest things I’ve seen on the web.
Here in Tulsa we don’t worry too much about Hurricanes. They are more of a curiosity than anything else unless they are monstrously disastrous like Katrina. If you have ever lived on the coast though you understand the anxiety among residents when a hurricane enters the Gulf of Mexico. The anxiety is something you can see as well as feel. What should we do? What is going to happen? Do we go now? What will happen if we wait.
There are some who say, “We are going to have a hurricane party!” or, “Its not that big a deal, we are to just ride it out.”
These are people who have never been through a hurricane. I’ve never been through a hurricane either. I did sit through the remnants of hurricane Alicia, which was fairly weak as hurricanes go, that went through Galveston and Houston in the early 80’s. I lived 90 miles from the Gulf, 55 miles north of downtown Houston. So I stayed in my house, so did everybody else as there was no evacuation in my area.
If I had it to do it over again, I’d go to Omaha. The wind was horrendous. The trees in the neighborhood were bent over parallel to the ground. Many of them landed on houses and blocked streets. I don’t get too worried about weather in general but I found that day to be very distressing. The wind roared for hours and then it got calm and quiet and then the wind picked up again and roared for several more hours. I have never heard anything like it before or since. I could only guess what it was like on the coast. My house didn’t get damaged. Some of my neighbors damage from trees on their house or cars. It wasn’t bad. Some people were without power for several days. The cleanup wasn’t as bad as what Tulsa had from last winter’s ice storm.
Anyway, people in hurricane country are always looking for good hurricane trackers. Convenience stores pass out tracking maps. People plot them and try to guess themselves where it is going to land.
The internet has made it a lot simpler. This is the best storm tracker that I’ve seen.