Remember when Mom put child-proof latches on the kitchen cupboards, ‘cause you weren’t smart enough yet to know not to whip yourself up a nice little oven cleaner and bleach smoothie? That’s why she put the sharp things way up where you couldn’t reach them, and kept a trigger lock on the .45 she kept under her pillow. She did these things because she loved you and didn’t want you to hurt yourself, an account o’ you still being a dumb kid and all.
Mother Nature has safety locks too.
When she was baking all that coal in her oven, she didn’t want not-smart-yet mankind to poison itself with it, so she locked it inside of a mountain. When 29 people are killed in West Virginia trying to get to it, and over 50 in Russia, it’s a sign you weren’t supposed to get to it.
When she was brewing all her sweet, sweet crude oil, again she didn’t want bike-helmet mankind to get sick on it, so she figured she’d hide it under a mile of water. And as if that weren’t enough to get the hint, I’ll put it under another few thousand feet of rock more.
But damned if we aren’t gonna do it just it just cause Mom told us not do. And now sure enough, we’ve popped the bubble. We poked a hole between the oil and the ocean and now we don’t know how to stop it.
I’m sure they’ll figure it out at some point and turn it off, but how much of this poison will contaminate the water?
Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to try to get it, kid.
The Space Shuttle Atlantis is set to make her final liftoff today, so may I please have a moment of silence for the end of the era of American dominance in space. What a maddening descent from first to worst. It used to mean something to America that we would be number one in space. What it must have been like in the prime of the U.S. – Soviet Space Race, culminating with one giant leap for mankind, brought to the world courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.
But then the moon became, well, just the moon, old news daddy-o. And with the technology to even think about Mars decades away, America lost interest. And politicians questioned the return on investment in space exploration – apparently Tang wasn’t enough. And so the funding of NASA gets cut and cut because it can’t justify itself to the public, which is largely not made up of astronauts and unable to really grasp the importance.
And so now as our shuttle program gets ready to launch into the sunset, and no clear program to replace it, the United States is relegated to second-class status in the space race. In order to get our cargo into space, we are now forced to hitch rides with our neighbors like Russia and China – and believe me, we’re paying the gas money.
Why does it seem like I’m the only one embarrassed about this? I should think this would be one thing the TEA Partyists would agree with me on, which would bring the grand total to one. How humiliating, how emasculating that the US now has to hope that other countries will have room for us in their payloads.
I used to be certain the first foot on Mars would be that of an American. Now I’m not so sure.