More Viscera

I’ve seen some videos in the past couple of days that contrast appealing to the head vs. appealing to the between-the-chin-and-the-navel region.  You should of course, decide for yourself which you find more compelling.

 This video very clearly and logically lays out the history of orbital laboratories and the benefits they provide. As we used to say at Caltech about people who didn’t actually stimulate us in any way, I find it very “nice and interesting.”   

Contrast that video to this one. It shows the solar system from above (with yellow sun in the middle and us, of course, as the third dot out from it.) As time progresses (note the year in the lower left corner) it shows the known asteroids – green for those that never cross our path, yellow for those that do but do not pose a threat, and red for those that could possibly hit the earth. If you’re impatient, skip to year 2000 or so when things start getting spicey. This video tugs on me along two visceral axes – both excitement about how new telescope missions show up like a flashlight turned on in a dusty room – and terror at how many red dots there actually are. Why NASA shows kind of funky CGI images instead of videos like this to drum up support is beyond me.

Of course there’s the NASA ad that just makes me want to jump up and yell “Yeah space! Yeah humanity! Raaaaah!” Ok, so maybe I like spaceships a bit much.

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