Friday, March 04, 2005

The Stars Our Destination

Yesterday, millionaire Steve Fossett became the first man, at the age of 60, to circle the globe in an aircraft -- all 23,000 miles -- without once stopping to refuel. Now, forget that he's the same whacko who was previously obsessed with circling the globe in a balloon and think about the implications of this. He flew around the globe in 67 hours, by himself, and even though some fuel was lost on the way, his craft -- the GlobalFlyer -- made the round trip from Kansas to Kansas.

Last July, the 21st to be exact, Mike Melvill became the first man to enter sub-orbit in a private craft, the SpaceShipOne. He flew upwards for 62 miles, and experienced 3 minutes of weightless freefall completely outside of our planet's atmosphere. And he landed safely despite some damage to the craft.

We are a clever species. Ingenuity is inherent in us. We can write Moby Dick, we can map the human genome, we can look back from the mountain of civilization and see where we came from. And we can master the air. And none of this happened with governmental involvement. NASA is so outdated that it took another space disaster for them to realize their shuttles were 20 years out of date; actually, we have no right to blame NASA, it's their lack of funding. The "president" doesn't think they're important anymore. He can't see immediate monetary reward.

So, the good news is, we will get further into outer space. It'll just be very expensive. But I congratulate Steve Fossett and Mike Melvill, for showing us that when the government drops the ball, private citizens can pick it right back up.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Ashlee Reflux

I know I'm opening myself up for ridicule by other music fans, but I like Ashlee Simpson's music. Her show is another matter (boy, she just floats through life, don't she?), but I think her album was one of the best of last year in a music industry that is increasingly lame.

But can we please stop picking on her because she used acid reflux as an excuse for her shitty live singing? I have acid reflux, and it actually can be a serious problem. Before it was properly diagnosed I spent two weeks puking up everything I ate and drank (even water). It tears out the inside of your throat if not medicated, and with that and the extra acid from the vomit, I developed ulcerations on my larynx. Losing your voice is the easiest thing to deal with. I have taken Prilosec every day since summer 1998 (it used to be a $115 scrip drug), and without it I run the risk of developing throat cancer from the acid coming back to choke me. I wake up every morning coughing. So, yeah, it's kind of a serious problem with the digestive system.

And while I'm in a rant, these fucking commercials that say, "Prilosec isn't for immediate relief of heartburn? What's the point of that?" need to go the fuck away. Prilosec is basically a lifetime commitment for people with serious problems. You fat assholes who need to fix your little tummy ache because you over did it on black coffee and fried-egg-and-bacon-on-toast sandwiches with a sausage side, you guys have Maalox, Tums, and other little pieces of candy to make you fart away your indigestion. Some of us are sick, and some of us need to stop eating McDonald's every day for breakfast.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Black History Month Afterthought

"After the Egyptian and the Indian, the Greek and the Roman, the Teuton and the Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world -- a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world. It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels this two-ness -- an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings, the warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder."
-- W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, 1903

"I'm not black, but I know what it feels like."
-- Natalie Portman, Allure magazine, 2005

I swear I have no idea what to say to that...