Six In The Morning: Shuttles, Jobs, Layoffs, Blargh

1 AN END OF THE SHUTTLE PROGRAM RANT The last shuttle mission has launched. You can read stuff here, herehere and here. One thing that surprises me about this last mission of the U.S. shuttle program is how little outrage (is there any at all???) there is over the U.S becoming a second-rate space explorer. But that’s what happens in a country where politics are dominated by stupid bullshit like tax hatred, immigrant-bashing, obsession over embryos, guns, gays and God and of course trashing science, environmentalism and rationalism in general. If I ran the Democratic party I’d campaign on scientific achievement and attack Republicans for their un-American science-bashing. It would work. People really do value intelligence and achievement. Nobody says “I want my kids to be stupid.”

2 UNEMPLOYMENT BY THE NUMBERS The rate is 7.4 per cent for Canada and 4.9 per cent in Saskatchewan. Meanwhile in the, ah, United States, the rate is 9.2 per cent. Maybe our neighbours should invest massively in science and science jobs. Just a crazy thought.

3 OTTAWA BANKS ARE THERE TO HELP Before we get too excited over Saskatchewan’s low unemployment, let’s pause to watch with delight as our country eats itself! Federal public employees who’ve been fired because the Conservatives can’t balance a budget and are obsessed with cutting taxes are fortunately offered help with their severance packages by generous, good Samaritan banks.

4 NEWS OF THE WORLD ARRESTAPALLOOZA! One former editor is accused of bribing police, another — the former press secretary to the PM! — is being questioned over phone hacking and News International is being investigated for obstructing Scotland Yard investigation by deleting millions of e-mails.

5 EGYPT IS PROTESTING Lots of “grrr” in the streets.

6 THE DOWNSIDE OF CUTE SQUIRRELS Big power outage in downtown Regina last night. Hope it wasn’t caused by my buddy.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees. He's been with Prairie Dog since May 1999 and will die at his keyboard before admitting his career a terrible, terrible mistake.

3 thoughts on “Six In The Morning: Shuttles, Jobs, Layoffs, Blargh”

  1. Re #!: I actually welcome the chance to rethink the space program that the end of the shuttle should (hopefully) lead to. The shuttle program has always been not much more than a glorified satellite delivery and repair system. Sure, the work it did to support Hubble was great, but the shuttles were never going to help us get to Mars.

    All the real space exploration — Cassini, Pathfinder, etc — was accomplished thanks to conventional rockets.

  2. But this isn’t a “re-think”, this is a retreat/cutback/surrender. If it was a “re-think” I wouldn’t be this bitchy about it.

  3. Absolutely. But you were never going to see a new or expanded vision for NASA as long as it was stuck with that shuttle albatross. I suspect what you’re going to see for space exploration for the next few decades is a continuation of the unmanned probe program. Then when their robots bring some live microbes back from Mars, the whole program will come alive again.

    This is all assuming, of course, that society doesn’t descend into an orgy of war and cannibalism as the oil starts to run out.

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