Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sunday night science lesson.


Here's another picture with my 'Star Man'(from around 1987)..a rather glamorous title for the man who thinks the universe centres around himself. In this picture I have taken the narrative a little further down the allegorical track! Now I am, all for focused single mindedness when per suing ones goals..but when held at the expense of others, it cannot be a good thing...in fact it is a catalyst for the breakdown of all we hold dear.
Some would say that the epitome of Man's distinction above all other sentient life on this planet, is 'his' ability to reason..to explore and discover, to invent and progress. To reach for the stars therefore is the ultimate in expectancy and evolution. this is so..but it is fraught with danger.
In this picture..Science becomes a religion (Shuttle on the church)..but whilst being the ultimate in engineering, the cost is measured more than billions of Dollars..it is the lives of those who pay ..those who depart this world wanting food in their mouths..clean water to drink..the freedom to think and say what they like...basic medical care.
I will forever despair as yet another group of educated white Americans and a token European are flung into orbit in a 'Tin Can' whilst no one can figure out how to save the lives of the Men Women and Children in Somalia..Lebanon..Iraq..those in the slums and ghetto's of almost every major city.....our own back yard!..........perhaps from way up there we can see them dying more clearly!?
Maybe it's all too easy to bolt metal to metal and fire it into the sky..I rant without the added bonus of education..but I hope you get what I'm trying to convey? The sole pursuit of ones selfish end might only offer death as my Star Man offers you as the viewer..The graves of the fallen litter the church of science (I'm not having a go at Scientology by the way!)...
Oh 'eck...I think I'd better have a lie down in a darkened room now..ah yes...it's bedtime!
P.S..Hello to Nina and Nigel..thanks for reading!

2 comments:

Ps said...

I couldnt comment on this earlier, as I did not have the relevant facts.
The Picture is brilliant --like all your other compostitons.I particularly like the expression on the self centred man--and the symbolism, of his holding a skull.

However, I have a different opinion regarding the amount of money spent, and the proportional benefits od Space research.Here is what I learnt:
________________________________
Some of the most frequently asked questions about the U.S. space program are "Why go into space when we have so many problems here on Earth?" and "What does the space program do for me?" These are legitimate questions and unfortunately not enough people have been made aware of the vast benefits the space program provides that increase the quality of our daily lives. Applications on Earth of technology needed for space flight have produced thousands of "spinoffs" that contribute to improving national security, the economy, productivity and lifestyle. It is almost impossible to find an area of everyday life that has not been improved by these spinoffs. Collectively, these secondary applications represent a substantial return on the national investment in aerospace research. We should be spending more.

Out of a $2.4 trillion budget, less than 0.8% is spent on the entire space program! That's less than 1 penny for every dollar spent. The average American spends more of their budget on their cable bill, eating out or entertainment than this yet the benefits of space flight are remarkable. It has been conservatively estimated by U.S. space experts that for every dollar the U.S. spends on R and D in the space program, it receives $7 back in the form of corporate and personal income taxes from increased jobs and economic growth. Besides the obvious jobs created in the aerospace industry, thousands more are created by many other companies applying NASA technology in nonspace related areas that affect us daily. One cannot even begin to place a dollar value on the lives saved and improved lifestyles of the less fortunate. Space technology benefits everyone and a rising technological tide does raise all boats.

One small example is the Hubble Space Telescope. Much maligned at first because of its flawed optics, it still produced better photographs than anything here on Earth. Once fixed, it has produced even more startling scientific data which we have only begun to understand and apply. One of the many spinoffs from the Hubble telescope is the use of its Charge Coupled Device (CCD) chips for digital imaging breast biopsies. The resulting device images breast tissue more clearly and efficiently than other existing technologies. The CCD chips are so advanced that they can detect the minute differences between a malignant or benign tumor without the need for a surgical biopsy. This saves the patient weeks of recovery time and the cost for this procedure is hundreds of dollars vs. thousands for a surgical biopsy. With over 500,000 women needing biopsies a year the economic benefit, per year, is tremendous and it greatly reduces the pain, scarring, radiation exposure, time, and money associated with surgical biopsies.

This is a "small" sampling of the many other ways that space technology has improved our lives and benefited mankind. It is truly a remarkable list and not nearly complete but I believe you will begin to appreciate the answers to "Why do we go in space" and "What does the space program do for me?" So the next time you hear these questions being asked, you will be able to explain it

Taken from

http://www.thespaceplace.com/nasa/spinoffs.html

Niall Young said...

Why am I not surprised that NASA would endorse their own work so possitvely? Of course the spin off benefits of long term armed conflicts should not be discounted..whilst man looks for more ingenious methods to kill his enemies..such things as the internet were created!