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What we did in school today

Posted by Nancy N on 2/03/03 at 19:54 (107860)

I don't know if you guys will be interested in this, but I wanted to share what I did in class today. As some of you may recall, I started teaching a brand-new class this year called Technology and Society. It's a combination of tech, history, sociology, English... a little bit of everything. Most of it is discussion-based because I want to get these kids thinking critically and asking questions about the things that are around them. As I watched the news this weekend I debated with myself what I should do, if anything. When I rolled over at 6am Sunday morning, I couldn't stop thinking about putting together a plan for today's class, and how I could possibly consider that I'd done my job with this class if I didn't make time to talk about the Columbia disaster. So I got up and started looking for information I could use.

I decided to do this partly because I wasn't sure how much teenagers today knew or cared about the space program. I remember watching the first Columbia launch when I was in elementary school and what a big deal all the launches we watched were. But that was still during the Cold War era, and I wasn't sure how much changed in that regard within the last ten years. So I wanted to see how they felt about the space program, and I was also curious to see if they thought that the program related to their lives at all. These kids are 15-18 years old, so they do not remember the Challenger disaster.

I have my kids write in a journal for five minutes at the beginning of class, in response to a question I've posed, and this was the subject for today's journal. After the journaling, we discussed their responses to the questions and to the coverage they'd seen over the weekend. I was really glad to hear that every one of my kids thought that the space program was important. I asked them if they ever watched launches in school, and many (but not all) of them said they had. We talked about the effects that the program has had on society in terms of history (the space race), current events (like the International Space Station), and science and medicine. I found it interesting that they all thought of the shuttle in terms of exploring outer space, finding another planet for us to live on if we run out of room on this one, etc. We also talked about things like the budget for NASA, whether recent budget cuts might have had anything to do with the accident, and why people would want to put themselves in such a risky position. I told them that these people were so passionate about what they were doing that they were willing to take the risk, and that we take risks every time we cross a street, get in a car--and sometimes even when we breathe. We just aren't as aware of it.

Then I asked them why they thought that space didn't relate to them. I confess, this was the fun part of the discussion--as well as the most educational for me while I was gathering information yesterday. I first asked them if they'd ever used a CD. Or Velcro, smoke detectors, flat-panel TVs, digital cameras, CAT scans or MRIs, ear thermometers, water filters. Had they seen the roof of the Georgia Dome, which is made of moonsuit fabric? Had they ever used a cordless drill, made a long-distance or international phone call, or watched a live international TV broadcast? Heard of virtual reality or Global Positioning Systems? I know my list was far from comprehensive, but I'd been stunned by how many of the things we use every day were developed for the space program or as a result of it, and I wanted to make it clear to them that this program is geared for the present as well as for the future. They were really surprised by some of the things I mentioned.

Their homework assignment for tonight is to write me a paragraph or two about what goals they think the program should aim for in the future, and what they think should be done to prevent future disasters. That's a pretty speculative question for them, but there is no right or wrong answer as long as they put some thought into it.

I hope they got something out of it. I know I learned a lot this weekend, and I don't know how much they had a chance to talk about it or ask questions before class today. I'm really lucky to have some good kids who are interested in what's going on around them and ask lots of good questions. And I am grateful to be able to teach a course like this where I can explore so many parts of life, and drop everything in order to focus on current events.

So... that's what we did in school today. Thanks for letting me tell you about it.

Re: What we did in school today

nancy s. on 2/03/03 at 20:26 (107864)

nancy! this blew my mind a little! it's because of the space program that we have velcro? and CDs? and cordless drills? and how are long-distance and international phone calls a result of it? very interesting indeed. please post more on these things if you know more.

i admire the commitment you obviously feel and exhibit toward your kids.

nancy
.

Re: What we did in school today -- p.s.

nancy s. on 2/03/03 at 20:28 (107865)

if you do have any more info on what i asked about, feel free to keep it simple. my layers of deep scientific knowledge are not many. thanks!
n.

Re: What we did in school today

Suzanne D on 2/03/03 at 20:56 (107868)

I was very interested in reading this, Nancy! I take my hat off to you, as they say, for your dedication and extra effort that went into this lesson. I contrast this with my daughter's (high school junior) experience today. She told me tonight how disappointed she was in history class today when her teacher made the remark that 'after all, the news was just the same over and over'. And he went on to lament the fact that a basketball game was not aired because of the disaster. Granted I do not believe he is her most inspired teacher and others are doing a better job in their fields, but I found this quite disappointing. My first graders talked about it some and stood perfectly still during our 'moment of quiet' this morning.

Keep up the GOOD WORK!

Suzanne :-)

Re: What we did in school today -- p.s.

Nancy N on 2/03/03 at 21:30 (107873)

Nancy--

I found most of the stuff on my list on the two sites listed below. There's more information there. But yes, CDs were developed as a way to store large quantities of data in a small, lightweight format, and cordless tools were developed for the Apollo program, in conjunction with Black and Decker (who have, of course, since made a mint off them since). Long-distance and, even more, international calls are bounced off satellites. It's all very interesting stuff.

http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/er/seh/spinoff.html
http://nasasolutions.com/at_home.html

Re: What we did in school today

Necee on 2/03/03 at 21:40 (107874)

Nancy I enjoyed reading this, and I applaude you for your many efforts to teach todays teenagers about the importance of space exploration. We take for granted things we use in our every day lives that wouldn't be around if it were not for the space program.
Todays youth can learn a great deal about Saturdays tragedy, and it's teachers like you that care enough to encourage thought in their minds.

Happy trails....

Necee

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

BrianG on 2/03/03 at 21:51 (107875)

Hi Nancy,

I kind of wish I was in your class today. As much as I feel for the families of the astronauts, I have to wonder just how many of these things like velcro, cordless drills, etc, would have been invented here on earth? It may have taken a little longer mind you, but I still think we'd have everything you mentioned, without the space station.

I see the need for rockets, as satellites are very important. And I suppose the Hubble telescope is probably worth it also. I think the space station, and shuttles, have been a giant waste of money, and lives. Personally I think we would have been much better off to stick wth cheaper, unmanned rockets to get the job done. The billions of $$ saved could have certainly been used here on earth to most likely cure a major disease or two.

BrianG

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

Nancy N on 2/03/03 at 22:17 (107878)

Brian--

With all due respect, you're welcome to your opinion, but I can't agree with you. I don't know that we would have developed all these new technologies without a program like the space program, which requires them in order to function--necessity is, after all, the mother of invention. A lot of our everyday technology trickles down to us from the military, too, and I don't hear anyone calling for the armed forces to be disbanded. As for medical advances, what do you think they were doing for those 16 days? A lot of medical research goes on in space. Columbia was working on 90 different experiments. I left out the medical devices I found while I was doing my research because I don't really understand a lot of them, but there are artificial heart valves and programmable pacemakers among them, as well as ways of doing complicated surgeries with far less risk to the patient than conventional methods--and they are all the result of NASA technology and research. The next major cure may well come from research that can't be done on earth--one of the experiments was looking at cancerous prostate tissue and how/why it metastasizes to the hip so readily. You wouldn't be able to go for a CAT scan or an MRI without the space program, as both those technologies were developed for the Apollo program in the '60s. How many of us on this board have given thanks for MRIs on our feet? There is SO much that comes to us through NASA that it is truly mind-boggling, as I discovered yesterday. It goes far beyond Tang and the ordinary things you might think of.

And while this weekend's events are truly tragic, as were the Challenger and the Apollo 1, considering that this program has been going on for over 40 years, and considering the intricacies of space flight, I think it's really quite amazing that the success rate has been so high. We don't live in a perfect world. For us to have experienced only three space-related tragedies is really miraculous. As for the space station, there are currently two Americans and one Russian occupying the same space at the same time, working on the same projects--who would have ever dreamed that such a thing could happen when Sputnik was launched? There are benefits from the space program that are intangible, as well as the tangibles. And the budget for NASA is currently only about 1% of the annual federal budget, which hardly works out to be a noticeable amount of funding to each of us individually.

And aside from all that, it has never been in the nature of the American psyche to let one incident keep us either from exploring what's around us, wherever that exploration might be, or from persuing our goals. If it were, we'd all be living in other countries right now, because America would not exist.

These are all things we talked about in class today--and in that light, I do wish you had been there.

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

BrianG on 2/03/03 at 22:30 (107880)

Before I sign off for the night, I just want to say that it isn't 'one incident' that I base my thoughts on. I've thought this way for years now. I'm not a scientist, and I don't pretend to even know even a small part of what goes on in the space lab. I just think the money can be better spent elsewhere. I don't know about the 1% of the Federal budget, but I did hear that the program is one of the biggest spenders of the annual budget.

I know that you feel very strongly we should continue on, and I respect you for that.

BrianG

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

nancy s. on 2/03/03 at 22:52 (107882)

for most of my life i have pretty much felt as brian does about the space program. however, i don't feel i've educated myself enough about it, so i shall read up and then see if i feel the same. thank you for the links, nancy.

nancy
.

Re: What we did in school today

Julie on 2/04/03 at 05:24 (107898)

Thanks for this, Nancy. I'm impressed with the way you dive into things and bring up treasures for your students. And for us. This post was full of fascinating facts.

When we got married 40 years ago a friend gave us a wedding present of a pyrosil baking dish, explaining that it was 'made out of the material they use for the nose cones of American rockets'. That dish was my first inkling of the domestic spin-offs of the space programme. I used it for about 20 years until a chunk broke off it (ominous for the space programme!) and I bought a new one - which I'm still using.

What most excites me though is that you realise how important it is to acknowledge the big events and use them as raw material for your kids' education. That's wonderful!

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

pala on 2/04/03 at 07:47 (107908)

cut off the space program? it is one of the few things our tax money goes to that makes any sense at all. it the money is not used wisely there, and why should it be, it's govt run after all, then get new administrators to run it better. if you want to save lots of money brian then we can stop giving gigantic tax cuts to millionairs which now has us in biggest deficit ever. no matter. our kids and grankids can pay for that for eternity. beam me up scotty.

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

nancy s. on 2/04/03 at 08:32 (107912)

now that *would* be a better way to save money -- big money. i can't believe the number of ordinary folks who seem to think this is perfectly okay; i sure don't. it floors me.

nancy
.

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

pala on 2/04/03 at 08:50 (107915)

well yeah and not to mention the dismantling of the ammendments. i guess we can't afford them any more. no one seems to be noticing any of this. i guess perma war with oceania has distracted the populace. poor larry, who is younger than i am, and still able to get upset about this stuff has been in a dither of despair for about two years. time to apply some buddhist calming. ommm. ommm. ommmygod. ommm.

Re: What we did in school today

Nancy N on 2/04/03 at 11:40 (107929)

Wow, Suzanne, that is disappointing--I would think a history teacher certainly would be able to think of something better to say than 'I missed my basketball game.' Jeez. I agree that the coverage is ridiculous--there are other things going on in the world, and we should hear about those, too. I do a media literacy unit in this class, and we'll come back to this weekend's news coverage when we get to that unit. Media saturation is not, I don't think, good for our psyches. Our chaplain was lamenting in chapel this morning that while he's sad about the Columbia, something is missing that he felt with Challenger and with Apollo 1--the shock. He's afraid we're losing our ability to feel, and I'd add that I think that comes from the detachment we start to feel when we see a disaster over and over again on TV. We get desensitized to it and all we can feel is numb. I think that's a shame (and not a little scary, too!).

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

john h on 2/04/03 at 12:37 (107934)

The space program has produced numerous benefits for our everyday lives but more than that it is the nature of humankind to explore new frontiers. Today, the space program may seem like a waste of money and could be spent better in other areas. Probably many of our great discoveries have been made by people who were made light of and told it was all a waste of time. There are always people wlling and eager to push forward and advance our knowledge of what and who we are and where we came from. That lives will be lost, yes, as lives are lost in all great discoveries. I think we need to look beyond today, beyond this century. We do not know what exist out there in the cosmos and as great explorers before us, I think we are duty bound to as the Starship Enterprise did and that is to boldly go where no man has gone.The survival of our species on this earth could depend on it.

Re: Well said, John!!

Carole C in NOLA on 2/04/03 at 14:19 (107955)

Amen to every word of what you said and with an exclamation point after each sentence!!!

Carole C

Re: What we did in school today

marie on 2/04/03 at 14:30 (107960)

thanks Nancy!!! I am going to use your idea in my class. I think I'll have the kids do some art work about the trgedy last weekednd. I will use all your ideas and websites to build on the project. Thanks to teachers like you we have great scientists at NASA...who knows mabie one of your students will go on to work there.

marie

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

pala on 2/04/03 at 14:48 (107966)

and we will go, as long as we have a dilithium crystal and some pointy ears.

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

Nancy N on 2/04/03 at 15:54 (107979)

Pala, you crack me up!

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

nancy s. on 2/04/03 at 17:05 (107991)

i don't know what a dilithium crystal is, paula (uh oh, i don't have your message in front of me and can't remember how to spell it), but i bought two big box lots of minerals, including crystals, at last week's auction. i love that stuff. i put them out with a sign: 'The Oldest Antiques in This Shop.'

anyway, i'll try to find one for ya, just in case you decide to get beamed up. some days, in the current climate, i'm very close to wanting to go with you.

by the way, i lost the message but agreed with you wholeheartedly about the looks-being-important phenomenon. my mother is a nice lady, but for years -- many years! -- she repeated over and over to me (with the bias of a mother), 'you're such a pretty girl -- WHY DON'T YOU WANT TO LOOK IT?' i was annoyed but just laughed till i was about 38, then i got tired of it. then in a few more years i got married and she quit saying it. phil doesn't give a darn what i look like. so refreshing.

nancy
.

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

pala on 2/04/03 at 17:42 (107995)

good i'm glad. i blather away for my own amusement. if it amuses others , so much the better. you would be surprised at how few people interpret my babble as humor. whatever. i've never cared much what the general masses thought of me. those who think i'm funny are , of course, exceptional geniuses.

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

pala on 2/04/03 at 17:53 (107996)

on nancy, nancy, you are t.v. deficient. good thing i'm here to clue you in. on the original startrek, which i was addicted to as a teen, the starship enterprise had to escape the klingons, or the space virus or whatever or the ship would blow up or capt. kirk would blow up or spock would have an emotion. . but scotty, in charge of the inner workings of the craft, was always buzzing up to capt kirk and saying 'i don't know if we'll make it capt. we are low on dilithium crystals.

earth crystals are beautiful are they not? that was a cute way to describe them. wave them around and make a wish, i hear they have metaphysical powers.

phil sounds like a real good guy. larry is the same .

p.s. a crew member had pointy ears.

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

Nancy N on 2/04/03 at 18:19 (108002)

Let's not forget the Red Shirts, who were always destined to meet an unpleasant end in each episode. And it was Spock who had the pointy ears and was always lecturing everyone on how illogical they were. Original Trek was pretty cheezy...

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

nancy s. on 2/04/03 at 20:44 (108013)

it's true, i am tv deficient. i'm so conscious that my skin feels raw. thank you for the whole star trek story, which did skip by me even when the tv was on.
are you talking about mr spock, with the pointy ears? see, i do know SOMEthing.
yes, earth crystals are beautiful, no question about it!
and yay to larry. my hat is off to him.

nancy
.

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

Ed Davis, DPM on 2/04/03 at 23:46 (108038)

John:

Every time I hear this discussion my thoughts revert back to the year 1492. I wonder what the Spanish people thought about the money spent on Columbus' voyage and how many people that money could have fed.

There are some things that are just so big and perhaps ephemeral that it is almost beyond our comprehension to be able to measure the future dividends. I feel that the space program is one of those things. I too think that we need to 'boldly go where no man has gone before.'

Check out the fopllowing web site: http://www.spacedaily.com

Ed

Re: VERY WELL SAID, Dr Ed!

Sharon W on 2/05/03 at 07:40 (108060)

:o)

Re: What we did in school today

nancy s. on 2/03/03 at 20:26 (107864)

nancy! this blew my mind a little! it's because of the space program that we have velcro? and CDs? and cordless drills? and how are long-distance and international phone calls a result of it? very interesting indeed. please post more on these things if you know more.

i admire the commitment you obviously feel and exhibit toward your kids.

nancy
.

Re: What we did in school today -- p.s.

nancy s. on 2/03/03 at 20:28 (107865)

if you do have any more info on what i asked about, feel free to keep it simple. my layers of deep scientific knowledge are not many. thanks!
n.

Re: What we did in school today

Suzanne D on 2/03/03 at 20:56 (107868)

I was very interested in reading this, Nancy! I take my hat off to you, as they say, for your dedication and extra effort that went into this lesson. I contrast this with my daughter's (high school junior) experience today. She told me tonight how disappointed she was in history class today when her teacher made the remark that 'after all, the news was just the same over and over'. And he went on to lament the fact that a basketball game was not aired because of the disaster. Granted I do not believe he is her most inspired teacher and others are doing a better job in their fields, but I found this quite disappointing. My first graders talked about it some and stood perfectly still during our 'moment of quiet' this morning.

Keep up the GOOD WORK!

Suzanne :-)

Re: What we did in school today -- p.s.

Nancy N on 2/03/03 at 21:30 (107873)

Nancy--

I found most of the stuff on my list on the two sites listed below. There's more information there. But yes, CDs were developed as a way to store large quantities of data in a small, lightweight format, and cordless tools were developed for the Apollo program, in conjunction with Black and Decker (who have, of course, since made a mint off them since). Long-distance and, even more, international calls are bounced off satellites. It's all very interesting stuff.

http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/er/seh/spinoff.html
http://nasasolutions.com/at_home.html

Re: What we did in school today

Necee on 2/03/03 at 21:40 (107874)

Nancy I enjoyed reading this, and I applaude you for your many efforts to teach todays teenagers about the importance of space exploration. We take for granted things we use in our every day lives that wouldn't be around if it were not for the space program.
Todays youth can learn a great deal about Saturdays tragedy, and it's teachers like you that care enough to encourage thought in their minds.

Happy trails....

Necee

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

BrianG on 2/03/03 at 21:51 (107875)

Hi Nancy,

I kind of wish I was in your class today. As much as I feel for the families of the astronauts, I have to wonder just how many of these things like velcro, cordless drills, etc, would have been invented here on earth? It may have taken a little longer mind you, but I still think we'd have everything you mentioned, without the space station.

I see the need for rockets, as satellites are very important. And I suppose the Hubble telescope is probably worth it also. I think the space station, and shuttles, have been a giant waste of money, and lives. Personally I think we would have been much better off to stick wth cheaper, unmanned rockets to get the job done. The billions of $$ saved could have certainly been used here on earth to most likely cure a major disease or two.

BrianG

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

Nancy N on 2/03/03 at 22:17 (107878)

Brian--

With all due respect, you're welcome to your opinion, but I can't agree with you. I don't know that we would have developed all these new technologies without a program like the space program, which requires them in order to function--necessity is, after all, the mother of invention. A lot of our everyday technology trickles down to us from the military, too, and I don't hear anyone calling for the armed forces to be disbanded. As for medical advances, what do you think they were doing for those 16 days? A lot of medical research goes on in space. Columbia was working on 90 different experiments. I left out the medical devices I found while I was doing my research because I don't really understand a lot of them, but there are artificial heart valves and programmable pacemakers among them, as well as ways of doing complicated surgeries with far less risk to the patient than conventional methods--and they are all the result of NASA technology and research. The next major cure may well come from research that can't be done on earth--one of the experiments was looking at cancerous prostate tissue and how/why it metastasizes to the hip so readily. You wouldn't be able to go for a CAT scan or an MRI without the space program, as both those technologies were developed for the Apollo program in the '60s. How many of us on this board have given thanks for MRIs on our feet? There is SO much that comes to us through NASA that it is truly mind-boggling, as I discovered yesterday. It goes far beyond Tang and the ordinary things you might think of.

And while this weekend's events are truly tragic, as were the Challenger and the Apollo 1, considering that this program has been going on for over 40 years, and considering the intricacies of space flight, I think it's really quite amazing that the success rate has been so high. We don't live in a perfect world. For us to have experienced only three space-related tragedies is really miraculous. As for the space station, there are currently two Americans and one Russian occupying the same space at the same time, working on the same projects--who would have ever dreamed that such a thing could happen when Sputnik was launched? There are benefits from the space program that are intangible, as well as the tangibles. And the budget for NASA is currently only about 1% of the annual federal budget, which hardly works out to be a noticeable amount of funding to each of us individually.

And aside from all that, it has never been in the nature of the American psyche to let one incident keep us either from exploring what's around us, wherever that exploration might be, or from persuing our goals. If it were, we'd all be living in other countries right now, because America would not exist.

These are all things we talked about in class today--and in that light, I do wish you had been there.

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

BrianG on 2/03/03 at 22:30 (107880)

Before I sign off for the night, I just want to say that it isn't 'one incident' that I base my thoughts on. I've thought this way for years now. I'm not a scientist, and I don't pretend to even know even a small part of what goes on in the space lab. I just think the money can be better spent elsewhere. I don't know about the 1% of the Federal budget, but I did hear that the program is one of the biggest spenders of the annual budget.

I know that you feel very strongly we should continue on, and I respect you for that.

BrianG

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

nancy s. on 2/03/03 at 22:52 (107882)

for most of my life i have pretty much felt as brian does about the space program. however, i don't feel i've educated myself enough about it, so i shall read up and then see if i feel the same. thank you for the links, nancy.

nancy
.

Re: What we did in school today

Julie on 2/04/03 at 05:24 (107898)

Thanks for this, Nancy. I'm impressed with the way you dive into things and bring up treasures for your students. And for us. This post was full of fascinating facts.

When we got married 40 years ago a friend gave us a wedding present of a pyrosil baking dish, explaining that it was 'made out of the material they use for the nose cones of American rockets'. That dish was my first inkling of the domestic spin-offs of the space programme. I used it for about 20 years until a chunk broke off it (ominous for the space programme!) and I bought a new one - which I'm still using.

What most excites me though is that you realise how important it is to acknowledge the big events and use them as raw material for your kids' education. That's wonderful!

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

pala on 2/04/03 at 07:47 (107908)

cut off the space program? it is one of the few things our tax money goes to that makes any sense at all. it the money is not used wisely there, and why should it be, it's govt run after all, then get new administrators to run it better. if you want to save lots of money brian then we can stop giving gigantic tax cuts to millionairs which now has us in biggest deficit ever. no matter. our kids and grankids can pay for that for eternity. beam me up scotty.

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

nancy s. on 2/04/03 at 08:32 (107912)

now that *would* be a better way to save money -- big money. i can't believe the number of ordinary folks who seem to think this is perfectly okay; i sure don't. it floors me.

nancy
.

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

pala on 2/04/03 at 08:50 (107915)

well yeah and not to mention the dismantling of the ammendments. i guess we can't afford them any more. no one seems to be noticing any of this. i guess perma war with oceania has distracted the populace. poor larry, who is younger than i am, and still able to get upset about this stuff has been in a dither of despair for about two years. time to apply some buddhist calming. ommm. ommm. ommmygod. ommm.

Re: What we did in school today

Nancy N on 2/04/03 at 11:40 (107929)

Wow, Suzanne, that is disappointing--I would think a history teacher certainly would be able to think of something better to say than 'I missed my basketball game.' Jeez. I agree that the coverage is ridiculous--there are other things going on in the world, and we should hear about those, too. I do a media literacy unit in this class, and we'll come back to this weekend's news coverage when we get to that unit. Media saturation is not, I don't think, good for our psyches. Our chaplain was lamenting in chapel this morning that while he's sad about the Columbia, something is missing that he felt with Challenger and with Apollo 1--the shock. He's afraid we're losing our ability to feel, and I'd add that I think that comes from the detachment we start to feel when we see a disaster over and over again on TV. We get desensitized to it and all we can feel is numb. I think that's a shame (and not a little scary, too!).

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

john h on 2/04/03 at 12:37 (107934)

The space program has produced numerous benefits for our everyday lives but more than that it is the nature of humankind to explore new frontiers. Today, the space program may seem like a waste of money and could be spent better in other areas. Probably many of our great discoveries have been made by people who were made light of and told it was all a waste of time. There are always people wlling and eager to push forward and advance our knowledge of what and who we are and where we came from. That lives will be lost, yes, as lives are lost in all great discoveries. I think we need to look beyond today, beyond this century. We do not know what exist out there in the cosmos and as great explorers before us, I think we are duty bound to as the Starship Enterprise did and that is to boldly go where no man has gone.The survival of our species on this earth could depend on it.

Re: Well said, John!!

Carole C in NOLA on 2/04/03 at 14:19 (107955)

Amen to every word of what you said and with an exclamation point after each sentence!!!

Carole C

Re: What we did in school today

marie on 2/04/03 at 14:30 (107960)

thanks Nancy!!! I am going to use your idea in my class. I think I'll have the kids do some art work about the trgedy last weekednd. I will use all your ideas and websites to build on the project. Thanks to teachers like you we have great scientists at NASA...who knows mabie one of your students will go on to work there.

marie

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

pala on 2/04/03 at 14:48 (107966)

and we will go, as long as we have a dilithium crystal and some pointy ears.

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

Nancy N on 2/04/03 at 15:54 (107979)

Pala, you crack me up!

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

nancy s. on 2/04/03 at 17:05 (107991)

i don't know what a dilithium crystal is, paula (uh oh, i don't have your message in front of me and can't remember how to spell it), but i bought two big box lots of minerals, including crystals, at last week's auction. i love that stuff. i put them out with a sign: 'The Oldest Antiques in This Shop.'

anyway, i'll try to find one for ya, just in case you decide to get beamed up. some days, in the current climate, i'm very close to wanting to go with you.

by the way, i lost the message but agreed with you wholeheartedly about the looks-being-important phenomenon. my mother is a nice lady, but for years -- many years! -- she repeated over and over to me (with the bias of a mother), 'you're such a pretty girl -- WHY DON'T YOU WANT TO LOOK IT?' i was annoyed but just laughed till i was about 38, then i got tired of it. then in a few more years i got married and she quit saying it. phil doesn't give a darn what i look like. so refreshing.

nancy
.

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

pala on 2/04/03 at 17:42 (107995)

good i'm glad. i blather away for my own amusement. if it amuses others , so much the better. you would be surprised at how few people interpret my babble as humor. whatever. i've never cared much what the general masses thought of me. those who think i'm funny are , of course, exceptional geniuses.

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

pala on 2/04/03 at 17:53 (107996)

on nancy, nancy, you are t.v. deficient. good thing i'm here to clue you in. on the original startrek, which i was addicted to as a teen, the starship enterprise had to escape the klingons, or the space virus or whatever or the ship would blow up or capt. kirk would blow up or spock would have an emotion. . but scotty, in charge of the inner workings of the craft, was always buzzing up to capt kirk and saying 'i don't know if we'll make it capt. we are low on dilithium crystals.

earth crystals are beautiful are they not? that was a cute way to describe them. wave them around and make a wish, i hear they have metaphysical powers.

phil sounds like a real good guy. larry is the same .

p.s. a crew member had pointy ears.

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

Nancy N on 2/04/03 at 18:19 (108002)

Let's not forget the Red Shirts, who were always destined to meet an unpleasant end in each episode. And it was Spock who had the pointy ears and was always lecturing everyone on how illogical they were. Original Trek was pretty cheezy...

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

nancy s. on 2/04/03 at 20:44 (108013)

it's true, i am tv deficient. i'm so conscious that my skin feels raw. thank you for the whole star trek story, which did skip by me even when the tv was on.
are you talking about mr spock, with the pointy ears? see, i do know SOMEthing.
yes, earth crystals are beautiful, no question about it!
and yay to larry. my hat is off to him.

nancy
.

Re: Lets cut our losses, NOW !!

Ed Davis, DPM on 2/04/03 at 23:46 (108038)

John:

Every time I hear this discussion my thoughts revert back to the year 1492. I wonder what the Spanish people thought about the money spent on Columbus' voyage and how many people that money could have fed.

There are some things that are just so big and perhaps ephemeral that it is almost beyond our comprehension to be able to measure the future dividends. I feel that the space program is one of those things. I too think that we need to 'boldly go where no man has gone before.'

Check out the fopllowing web site: http://www.spacedaily.com

Ed

Re: VERY WELL SAID, Dr Ed!

Sharon W on 2/05/03 at 07:40 (108060)

:o)