Since I gots some time to kill…

Here’s a couple interesting stories floating around that you may have missed ….

1.) Rovers complete 5th year on Mars. This is just freakin’ outstanding.

The two plucky probes were each built for a 90-day romp across the Martian surface, a mission that began when Spirit bounced to a stop on the planet’s expansive Gusev Crater five years ago today. Opportunity touched down on the other side of Mars a few weeks later and now – after half a decade – both rovers are still exploring the red planet after surviving more than 20 times their planned lifetime.

Now if the guys who designed these rovers could get together with the American auto industy…


2.) Marines buy cows for Iraqi widows.

The early sign is that the program is working. Widows, many with no other income, have a marketable item to sell, as well as milk for their children. Although Iraqis, particularly women, are often reluctant to participate in an American effort, the cows were immediately popular.

When the war first started, I said, “We should stop dropping bombs and drop LazyBoy recliners and satellite dishes on them. People are at their most dangerous when they have nothing to lose, so give them something to lose, and things will go much easier.” But Cheney and Rumsfeld didn’t listen to me. Well, they never really asked me, either.

But one of my many, many theories on people (in general) is that average folks just want to live in security and relative comfort, and be able to provide for their families. And when you give them the means to do it, a lot of the more extreme problems end.

This is just a great story, and goes to show what a little cultural understanding can accomplish. Go USMC! Buy those cows and help those ladies out!


And you know what else I like about these stories?
They go to show that small investments have the potential to go a long, long way.

3 Responses to “Since I gots some time to kill…”

  1. 1 blabsofsteele
    January 6, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Bravo to NASA and the Marines! These are both great stories.

  2. January 7, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Speaking of NASA and Marine’s isn’t it about time for another Starship Troopers sequel?

    Seriously, I’m hyper impressed by the Mars Rovers… I always wondered why they were given such a short lifespan in the first place and even though I expected them to last a lot longer – 5 years is just amazing. I can’t wait to see if Phoenix was properly named in the next few months…

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