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news & opinion with no titillating non-news from the major non-news channels.


I am: progressive, not a wild-eyed Progressive; liberal, but shun liberals and Liberals; conservative, but some Conservatives worry me; absolutely NOT a libertarian. I am: an idealist, but no utopian; a pragmatist, but no Machiavellian. I am a realist who dreams.


I welcome all opinions.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Space Cadet Alert:
   Dumbest quote by a scientist

"I don't see any particular scientific reason to go back to the moon," said Douglas Osheroff, a professor at Stanford University and a winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize in physics. "If we want to beat the Chinese to the moon there's no scientific justification for the expenditure," he said. "It's a political one."

ya think?

And it ain't just for the prestige of it all. Unlimited resources, energy, revolutionary manufacturing techniques, the ability to drop asteroid-size rocks on your enemy with just a little push...

But in all fairness to the good professor, let me tell you a story that'll enlighten the story behind the story, and explain why I never made a career in the news biz.

While taking a couple journalist courses at Inver Hills Community College (yeah, I am deliberately naming names), I was encouraged to join the campus newspaper. The editor broke a story about the football team having some sort of horse ointment coerced on them for muscle cramps (DMSO, I think it was).

No, it wasn't made from horses; it was supposed to be used on horses.

There was no FDA approval for human use at the time, if there is even today.

Anyway, our advisor (sorry, can't remember her name) had me do a sidebar to the main story, getting quotes from people. One of the quotes she wanted was from the basketball coach from the University of Minnesota, a real name dropper (no, can't remember his name either - C'mon! this was almost a quarter century ago!). All we got from him was, "No, we don't use it"

She thought it was great. I guess my puzzled look demanded an explanation.

"Everyone knows him! It'll sell papers!'

So, I can just imagine this poor hapless Nobel Laureate being asked, "What scientific value is there for going to the Moon and beating the Chinese to it?"

Ergo, his quote

Oh, I was made editor the next quarter. A couple weeks later, I left the office key in the desk with a note to the associate editor, "Good Luck".


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