Culture: February 2007 Archives

Clash of cultures in Tempe

Reader note: "Coincidentally, representatives of MTV's popular dating series, "Next," are interviewing candidates in the rooms next to three of the science subcommittees of the NASA Advisory Committee (NAC). Blonde ASU co-eds, spike-haired rock groups, and MTV production designers have been eyeing each other over coffee with Headquarters's bureaucrats, aging astronauts, and academics fashionably outfitted in their Dockers. So far, the "outreach" activities by the scientists consist of enquiring what MTV is and what does TV dating consist of these days."

Governing NASA

NASA Strategic Management Council Meeting: NASA Governance

"Griffin stressed the extreme importance of understanding and using the Agency's governance structure. He reminded center directors that they do not tell a mission director how to run his/her program or what program to run. He told mission directors that they do not tell center directors how to manage their institutions."

NASA GSFC Solicitation: Cultural and Current State Assessment of GSFC

"Over the next several months the Center will undertake a systematic future planning process. The foundation of this effort will be a cultural and current state assessment of the Center. Upon completion of this assessment, the Center leadership team will conduct a series of planning processes and establish the strategies for implementation. The cultural and current state assessment and subsequent planning processes will be designed, implemented and managed with consultation, support, and a proven track record in facilitation of the process from Frontier Associates."

Editor's note: This is curious. Shortly after Mike Griffin arrived, all of the 'culture' contracts NASA had put into place after Columbia were quickly ended. Now, the need for such activities has (apparently) resurfaced. I wonder what would have happened if NASA had simply stuck with what it was already doing (culture-wise) back in 2005.

Beam Me Up

Editor's note: Last May I spent some time in a windowless warehouse in an undisclosed location north of Los Angeles. While there I was interviewed for a TV special being produced in connection with the Star Trek prop auction held in New York last year. Two Star Trek related TV shows will air on the History Channel on 19 February. Star Trek: Beyond the Final Frontier and Star Trek Tech (airs on both 18 and 19 February). I am not sure if I will be in these shows since my footage was in and then out at one point while the shows were being edited.

Even if I don't get included, it was sure fun to see this collection of cultural icons. Imagine a warehouse the size of a supermarket with aisle after aisle of Star Trek props. Captain Kirk's rock climbing shoes, T'Pau's gown, phasers, gold-pressed latinum, transporter pads, and lots of Borg parts. It was all there. Part of my interview took place while I sat in a Klingon commander's chair (right image). They even beamed me in and out of it! (you actually do feel a little tingly for a moment).

While I sat there and talked about connections between NASA and Star Trek, I was fiddling with some of those colored floppy disks from Kirk's Enterprise and some isolinear chips from Picard's ship. Lots of fun.



Monthly Archives

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Culture category from February 2007.

Culture: January 2007 is the previous archive.

Culture: March 2007 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.