Are We Losing the Space Race?

The Philae Spacecraft.
Photocreds: NASA

Unless you live under a rock (no judgement, if you do) then you’ve probably heard that today marks the first day a space probe has landed on a comet.  The European Space Agency’s Philae lander successfully touched down on Comet 67P/C-G (not that this name actually means anything to anyone). A live broadcast of the landing is going on now.

The Philae Spacecraft.  Photocreds: NASA

The Philae Spacecraft.
Photocreds: NASA

At the end of last month, an unmanned NASA rocket exploded just off the launch pad. Six seconds off the launch pad to be exact.  The video below shows the explosion. I suggest skipping ahead to 2:50.  Seriously don’t watch the entire video, I did and it’s really boring and nothing happens.

The EXACT SAME WEEK the United States saw a failure in their space mission Russia successfully completed a similar mission. The Russians were able to launch and dock their rocket, bringing about three tons of food and supplies to the space station.

Which brings me to my big question? Is the United States falling behind, or even losing the space race?

The term Space Race refers to a competition between the United States and Russia to prove which country had superior space flight capability.

So where does the United States stand? Europe and Russia have recently had immense success in their space missions displaying clear superiority over the American space program. Hopefully the U.S. will be able to step up their game and defend their title as the winner of the space race.

What do you think? Take the poll to vote whether or not the U.S. is losing the space race


Don’t Stick That in Your Mouth

Have you ever come across a warning label that makes you wonder why the maker even felt the need to put it on the packaging? I’ll throw in an example:

A sticker placed on a power tool, cautioning the user not to stick the device in their mouth.

A sticker placed on a power tool, cautioning the user not to stick the device in their mouth.

(If you can’t quite make it out, the highlighted portion of the image kindly suggests that you use this drill on wood, and not your teeth.) While this may be perfectly sound advice, to me it seems unnecessary. I personally have never finished up a project around the house, looked at my family’s DeWalt and thought, “I could probably save myself a trip to the dentist here.” And this is just one example; there are plenty of others.

The thing that separates me from the poor sap who tried to give himself a root canal – I’d imagine someone had to misuse the product before they made that little addendum to the warning – is common sense.

Earlier today we saw this video of a kid microwaving a glow stick. Then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, he holds and shakes the now supercharged rave accessory until *spoilers* it explodes in his face. If you’re impatient, skip to about 1:00, the father’s reaction is prime, and you should go into this video armed with the knowledge that glow sticks are non-toxic so you won’t feel bad for laughing.

Webster defines common sense as: “the ability to think and behave in a reasonable way and to make good decisions.” We would love to believe that most people possess this trait, but I’m a realist, and I know that the proof is on the internet. Plus in my book, common sense is about more than knowing how to avoid getting sprayed with glowing green goo; it’s about understanding how the world works.  It’s about knowing that “free” just means that someone else paid for it for you, knowing how to be a responsible adult, and an informed citizen. Our goal is to educate those who want common sense, and entertain those who have it.

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By Cole Ellenbogen and Kyra Azzato

And cast your vote in our poll: some people are book smart, some are street smart, and some are both. (Some are neither too, but nobody likes a full-time cynic.) Where do you think America stands?