Wednesday, August 02, 2006

space shuttle Atlantis, global warming, planetary stuff

Atlantis is being launched again. I feel a kinship with it because the last time it launched, we were on our way home from Grand Cayman flying over Florida and Atlantis flew by us (I have pictures; I'll have to scan some in and post here). Plus I like the name, obviously. The next shuttle launch was the one that blew up on re-entry.
It seems strange to me that we spend millions of dollars going into space when our own planet is so screwed up. I understand that space exploration is important but right now we haven't got the technology to terra-form or live on other planets for any length of time. Our space technology has barely evolved since we went to the moon right after I was born. Compare that to the evolution of computers (including the internet) and even how much cars have changed. Obviously we build a lot more cars than space shuttles, but it seems like each trip up there we should learn something new and design something new based on it.
I've been watching Shark Week (of course) and it's amazing what we don't know about the oceans. Shouldn't we be exploring there first?
I watched the Global Warming-what you should know show on Sunday. It was basically a rehash of the recent cover article in Newsweek. But what struck me was the windmills. Why can't we have windmills? I don't think they're ugly. No uglier than cell phone towers and those lines of marching electrical transformers. I would have one on my roof. I'd have solar panels too, but not if I have to cut down my trees. I wish I could afford a hybrid car but I can't right now. But almost all my lightbulbs are the twisted florescent ones.

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