Mainly Martian

There’s an interesting blog, “Mainly Martian”, by a non-fiction Mars author, that I dip into occasionally. He has some interesting thoughts about the recent SpaceShipOne trip to the edge of space and back.

He’s a pro-science writer, but here he’s talking about whether the achievement really makes much difference given the huge difference between visiting the edge of space and sustaining orbit – sort of like the gap between dipping your toe into a rock pool and swimming the atlantic. Instinctively I feel that it *is* a big step, but it’s hard to deny that it really represents a minor stunt rather than a major step towards privately financed trips into space. Interesting.

He also raises another good point – the relative dearth of good news reporting about space exploration – barring disasters. Personally I don’t think it’s all that bad; BBC News 24 at least gives time to coverage of launches and major missions. Mind you, News 24 sometimes seems fairly desperate for something to fill the air-time…

I do think that current TV News coverage of most issues tends towards the attention-grabbing simplistic headline, and science topics are no exception to this kind of misleading ‘sales’ strategy. Often the hopelessly dumbed-down headline survives long after their own experts have tried to explain how complex things really are. But I don’t have the energy for a long rant about either TV News or science coverage, so I’ll save that for another, even rainier day. 🙂

I’ve noticed that my journal is becoming relentlessly factoidal. I feel like I ought to display some angst, or something. The trouble is, I seem to be sickeningly contented at the moment. My gripes tend to focus less on how crap my life is, and more on critical issues of our time, like Horatio Caine’s annoying habits, or being woken at 5 a.m. by a small three-legged cat paddling my nose with her claws.

Life, don’t talk to me about life…

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