Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sex In Spaaaaaace!!

Check out this series of posts from MSNBC's Cosmic Log about sex in space: have you ever thought about having sex in space?

I, personally, have not though now that you mention it...

The point of this is not to speculate if astronauts have sex in space and which ones, but to think about space tourism and colonizing the moon or Mars: if humans are going to spend any significant length of time in space, they're going to think about sex at some point.

Or not:
I asked something like - are you guys thinking about that, really? Because all I could think about at the time was not vomiting or bonking my head on the roof when I flew through the air. Sex was the last thing on my mind.

I've never experience weightlessness so I have no idea, but I'd assume that, after a while, you'd get used to it, lose the nausea, and gain more control over your movements. Plus, I whole-heartedly agree with this sentiment:
While the engineers call for assistance devices and choreography as though it were a spacewalk, I have full confidence in the one human drive greater than the one to explore.
If there's a will, there's a way. I also liked her suggestion to install the back seat of a car on the space station, since are has many of the same challenges (minus the no gravity thing) and people still regularly enjoy sex there.

But the point of all this is to really talk about space research. It's popular to say "spend the money d0wn here on earth to fix our problems now!", but that's not seeing the big picture. Space is amazing - we hardly know anything about it. It's the final, FINAL frontier and it probably always will be. Just as its important to study the natural world around us (and studying the dep oceans is basically the same as studying space and I definitely think we should be down there too), it's important to feed our exploration of the stars.

If we want to be a society that values invention, creativity, engineering, exploration, etc., we should invest in space research because it reflects those values. Just because we want people to solve certain problems doesn't mean they will if we keep throwing money at them. You never know where a solution will come from; you don't know whether or not studying to create earth-levels of gravity on Mars or the moon will have any positive implications for life on earth. It might, or it might not. That's what humans do: we try things and experiment.

Should we start throwing money at NASA without holding it responsible? Of course not. We shouldn't do that for ANY organization. And NASA should also do a better job engaging the public, marketing its worth, showing people just how awesome space research really is and making it about every individual human's sense of wonder, not just high level, ivory tower research and projects or whatever.

Dude, space is awesome you guys.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Do you have money laying around? Too much cash and nothing to do with it? DONT WE ALL. But never fear! There's a new way you can put that money to good use and feel good about yourself!

It's called Kickstarter. From the website: Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative ideas and ambitious endeavors. We believe that a good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide and a large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement.

The kicker, so to speak, is the organization's all-or-nothing funding scheme: people who launch a project commit to raising a certain amount of money in a specified length of time. At first I thought that was ridiculous, but the website explains it well. So basically, anyone can come up with a creative idea and use this site as a unique, secure way to raise money and spread the word.

There are so many projects up there all ready, including a number in the Boston area, that this place has almost become as dangerous to me as Etsy or Banana Republic (when they're having a sale - which, oddly, seems to be all the time??). I swear, I'd be dropping $50s left and right if I had any.

Another cool thing, though, is that you can follow projects you're interested in without pledging financial support. For example, check out the projects I'm following. Whenever I sign in, I get to see what these awesome, creative people have been up to, and its easy to remember my favorite projects in case I ever do have some extra cash.

Just another really cool website from your friendly neighborhood web surfer!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

So much good stuff

So there were 3 1/2 really awesome articles I read today that are completely unrelated, but I'm putting them here to catalogue them and share them with you. Cause they and you are both awesome.

The latest from Catilin Kelly at True/Slant is an article explaining why "female viagra" can't work. Sorry folks, no cash-cow wonder-drug here. Keep moving.

I fell in love with Equally Shared Parenting a few months ago. No, I'm not a parent, but CW and I are firmly committed to being the type of parents described in that site. Check it out: for how straightforward the concept may seem at first, its surprising how rare this type of parenting is.

Anyway, through ESP, I found Equal Couples, which today posted about how social policies in Sweden are changing society. Awesome, right? But, I was thinking that what I'd like better in the US would be flexible work hours. Instead of being able to take 6 months for maternity leave, I'm fine with just two or three as long as I can work when and where I want to. I write and work online, I can do that from any where and at any hour of the day.

Three and a half.
This third article is actually two on the same topic, and I love it. Joseph Childers (from True/Slant again) writes about why every good movie is a miracle and why TV is having a renaissance while movies continue to stink. When you think about it like that, Childers, it makes perfect sense! Now I'm wondering what the solution is.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Relationship with Barak Obama

When Obama was running for office, I thought sure, it's easy to vote for Hope and Change and the Future, but it's much harder to talk about the nitty gritty and be realistic about how this country is going to improve itself. I think I wanted to see him as just another demagogue playing off people's emotions to get himself some power.

But guys: I really like the guy. I think he genuinely cares about things. When he talks to people, I think he wants them to understand where he's coming from. I think he doesn't care if they disagree on the details, but that it's possible to bring people together around the big picture and work out a solution, even if the process is messy. I love that.

That's why, generally, I've had a high opinion of him over the last two years even though I generally disagree with his politics. We both understand what the problems are, we just need to compromise on how to fix them.

But I can't agree more with the sentiments in this piece, esp this:
At the end of the day, the boss of the MMS is Barack Obama. At the end of the day, the person charged with the safety of America’s people and land is Barack Obama. That role cannot be fulfilled with a panel of experts, nor Nobel prize winners, nor commissions. Put another way, you do not change the world by saying, “I urge the Commission to complete its work as quickly as possible."
I want Barack Obama to kick some ass, but after the oil is cleaned up. I want him to put BP and Haliburton and MMS and Transocean each in the hot seat and hold them all respsonsible, but I also want him to hold his government responsible too. I don't necessarily think the government should take over the clean up—I'm not sure what I think about that—but I do think that after the thrird or fifth time BP failed to stem the flow of oil, SOMETHING should have happened. Let the other's play the blame game, Obama, you're focus should be on What To Do Now.

And I know you're just one man, and I firmly believe that it's not always The Government's Job to fix things, but you're our leader, our inspiration. Americans are sickened and they don't want more blah blah.

It's funny that today, Frank Chimero also posted this on his blog, because, in regard to the oil spill but also many other Things going on in the wide world, my generation feels like this. What do we have? Is our frontier the Internet? Technology? Can we really be that excited about something so intangible?

I believe Gen Y can be the Next Great Generation, but first we need something to be excited about and inspired by. Obama did that, but it seems like the Government Machine is grinding him up just like everyone else.

NOTE: I also found this article on Reason Magazine about the oil spill that's very, very interesting. You can bet your boots I'm going to be spending a lot of time reading about government failure.

ANOTHER NOTE: Check this out if you want to learn more; I added it to my Amazon wishlist.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gen Y Angst

It's been one of those weeks where creeping doubt and worry have turned me into a bit of a mess, now that it's Thursday.

Why am I still wasting time here? How come I can't be more productive? What do I want to do with my life? Is a career even that important? But what if I wind up stuck here for years and years and years and never AMOUNT to anything?

The lack of cashflow is making retail and/or booze therapy impossible. Luckily, I just made some bread so carb therapy is still an option. Ideally, I can replace that with exercise, but we'll see how the night goes.

Financial Responsibility is:

Not signing up for an extra credit card or six to buy awesome stuff that I want.

But I am sorely tempted.