Saturday, May 24, 2008

Astronauts: What Are They Good For?


My oldest kid, Bigger E, is fifteen.

And she's pretty sharp.

Which you have to be to get through high school these days.


Because high school is the only place where you have to know everything about everything.

Which, of course, is not really all that new.

What is new, however, courtesy the good folks at places like the Fraser Institute, is the fact that if a kid wants to have any hope in heckfire whatsoever of getting into a University of decent standing they have to start getting almost all A's right off the bat.

Which is, if you ask me (and remember I'm an academic), flat out crazy.

Anyway, last weekend we were at a family gathering and somebody asked Bigger E. (who is one of those kids that gets tons of A's, regardless) how school was going.

Initially, she answered nicely, politely, and in the affirmative.

And then she, who is also very socially aware, mentioned that she thought Astronomy is stupid.

Turns out that it isn't pure science Astronomy that bugs her, so much as all the hype and money wasted on 'space travel' that could be put to better uses in the 'real world' (ie. on the planet earth).

Now, I'm a lousy one to argue against her on that last point, especially since I turned 11 and shut down the Apollo command module cockpit in my bedroom closet.

And, besides, I'm a life scientist not a space scientist.

But, in the interest of helping her out (and proving that not everything is 'All Bruce All The Time'), here's a good one for Bigger E. about how 'important' astronauts are (and how cool teenagers always have been and always will be) :


Very good live version here.


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