Culture: November 2016 Archives

Keith's note: Explore Mars had a "leadership dinner" in Washington, DC tonight. This is a group photo (larger image) posted on Facebook. Here we go again. Another space group has a meeting. Guess who shows up: One female, nine males (mostly older white guys). This is not remotely representative of who will - should - explore Mars. The folks at Explore Mars mean well. But this event is representative of a much more pervasive issue in the space advocate community - lack of diversity. Until the usual suspects in the space advocate leadership clique get the message that they need to be far more representative of the taxpayers/citizenry who will pay for their party their impact will be minimal - at best. More choir practice in an echo chamber.

Keith's update: I am told by a participant in this event that this was a "[this was a] random group based on availability. [The] president of the organization is a woman and two of the Board of Advisers are women (and another one pending), none of whom were present." That said, the gender and age imbalance is still unrepresentative of the real world and will continue to be so - until the space crowd gets the message that they need to reflect the reality of the world around them - not the one they imagine inside their heads.

Neil deGrasse Tyson: I'll grab Trump by the crotch when I meet him, The Hill

"Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson says he wants to use an unusual greeting when he meets President-elect Donald Trump. "When I meet President Trump, I may first grab his crotch - to get his attention - then discuss Science with him," Tyson tweeted Friday afternoon."

Neil deGrasse Tyson Tweets That He Will Grab Donald Trump's Crotch Inverse

"As it were, though, the only thing Tyson is going to be grabbing is attention, since this provocative tweet is just another illustration that the scientist has become a victim of his own celebrity."

Keith's note: Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye and Board member Neil deGrasse Tyson were frequent visitors to the Obama White House. Alas, it would seem that the Planetary Society's access to the White House is coming to an abrupt end - especially when a board member makes a crude comment such as this. Bill Nye was trying to get Trump to meet with him too just the other day. No more selfies with POTUS.

For Trump adviser Stephen Bannon, fiery populism followed life in elite circles, Washington Post

"In the early 1990s, he and [Julia] Jones, a screenwriter, struck up a conversation in a restaurant and decided to try their hand at adapting Bannon's idea for a version of Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus" set in space. That script went nowhere, but the two went on to work on dozens of film and television projects together."

Titus Andronicus, Wikipedia

"Titus Andronicus is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1588 and 1593, probably in collaboration with George Peele. It is thought to be Shakespeare's first tragedy, and is often seen as his attempt to emulate the violent and bloody revenge plays of his contemporaries, which were extremely popular with audiences throughout the 16th century."

Trump's Chief Strategist Appointee Once Ran Biosphere II Project, earlier post

Keith's note: I try and go out for a 4-5 mile walk daily in the early afternoon. Today it was cooler and windier than it was earlier this week so I grabbed a dark, long sleeve t-shirt at random. At one point three young boys - perhaps 8-9 years old approached me. I was talking on the phone so I was not really looking at them. Just as they passed me I heard one of them yell "NASA!!". How strange. After a second I realized that they had seen the small 1.5 inch diameter NASA logo on my t-shirt. I turned around and gave them a thumbs up - and one of the boys responded. You may recall that I posted a picture on Monday of a man holding his young son. I had spotted the telltale aft end of a Space Shuttle in the boy's hand from a distance. I learned from his Dad that he had just seen his first space shuttle at the Udvar Hazy facility a few miles away near Dulles airport. Both of these encounters happened within 20 feet of each other at the corner of Center Harbor Road and Wiehle Avenue in Reston, VA, a very short distance from Buzz Aldrin Elementary School, at almost the exact same time of day.

Coincidence - or proof of NASA's pervasive brand recognition? Or is Buzz hiding in the bushes whispering things to people walking by?

NASA Langley Flexes Creative Muscle at Innovation Day

"Panelist Karen Freidt, creativity and innovation program manager at Langley, introduced herself and immediately asked audience members to stand up, spread their arms wide, slam them back together, then shout at the top of their lungs."

Keith's note: So ... now there will be sanctioned shouting at NASA LaRC, I guess. Usually, when people start to shout at each other at work, less creativity is the net result. When I worked at NASA such behavior would have been called "harassment" - or at least "unprofessional".

Oh yes, for some reason Karen's name tag says "Bob".

The people who talk about "innovation" at NASA at these goofy, adult play-time events are rarely the people who actually innovate. When will this faux innovation stuff come to an end? NASA really needs to start taking itself much more seriously than fostering this internal feel-good nonsense.


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This page is an archive of entries in the Culture category from November 2016.

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