Author: Crissie Brown

Morning Feature: Lessons from the Apollo Program

“If we can put a man on the moon, then we can do this.” I once heard that about curing the common cold. Today I hear it about capping the BP leak or switching to clean energy. There are lessons from the Apollo program, but that’s not one of them. (More) Lessons from the Apollo Program After his speech on the BP disaster last month, some were disappointed that President Obama did not call for an Apollo-like program to transform our energy policy. I agree that we must change our energy policy, and that doing so will require a national commitment. However, the Apollo program is a poor metaphor for changing energy policy. That program offers many lessons, but “If we can put a man on the moon, we can do anything” is not among them. Forty-one years ago this month, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon. It is among the most vivid memories of my childhood. I watched the landing live on television, and that fall my fourth grade classroom had a huge banner with Armstrong’s famous words: One small step for a man. One giant leap for mankind. Photos from the space program adorned my classroom walls for the next five years, and I don’t think my teachers were unique. “Then a miracle occurs.” For my generation, the moon...

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Campus Chatter – July 9, 2010

Argentina declared her independence from Spain today (1816). Also the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified today (1868), and Andy Warhol’s famous Campbell’s Soup Cans exhibit opened (1962). And the New Zealand parliament legalized homosexuality today (1986), almost 20 years ahead of the United States. “Exceptional” isn’t always good. Greetings and social banter here. Kossascopes below. (More) The Janitor Professor of Astrology must have watched Apollo 13 before looking up at the stars for your weekend Kossascopes. Oh well…. Cancer – The first moon landing was during your sign. That explains the hot, gaseous exhaust. Leo – The countdown to your weekend is in a programmed hold. It will resume Monday. Virgo – Poll the family for a go/no-go before rearranging those kitchen cupboards and drawers. Libra – Decorating the bed with fake moon rocks doesn’t seem very comfortable, but it’s your bed. Scorpio – Your mission control will be offline for the weekend. That could be fun, or scary. Sagittarius – Please don’t push that red button this weekend. No, the other red button. Capricorn – We don’t know why they named Capricorn One after your sign, and we’re sorry. Aquarius – Splash downs are fun in a swimming pool. In a bathtub, not so much. Pisces – There’s no evidence that cats enjoy space travel. Better change your plans. Aries – Think of your life as that flight path...

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Morning Feature: “You’re On Your Own” – Their Dream, Our Nightmare

“Inequality will exist as long as liberty exists,” wrote Alexander Hamilton. “It unavoidably results from that very liberty itself.” For at least a half-century, conservative writers have pitted equality and liberty as incompatible social ideals, and come down on the side of liberty. Liberty is the ultimate prize … if you’re wealthy. (More) “You’re On Your Own” – Their Dream, Our Nightmare The Alexander Hamilton quote above introduces a 1960 law review article titled Equality vs. Liberty: The Eternal Conflict. The author writes: No one questions the right of all men to equal justice under law, but propagandists have carried the doctrine beyond equality of rights to equality of things, and men are heard to proclaim human equality who would revolt at the suggestion that all birds, all fish, all cattle, all dogs or all race horses are equal. Of course, all men are not created equal any more so than are all other members of the animal kingdom. Even if they are created equal, creation ends when life begins, and life is always unequal. The article is a fairly typical philosophical defense of inequality: in any free society, some will acquire more than others. This happens because we have different talents and interests, and make different choices. A free society must not deny or limit those differences, and a virtuous society must encourage better talents, interests, and choices...

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Campus Chatter – July 8, 2010

Starving Christian soldiers marched around the Muslim-held city of Jerusalem today (1099). Also, Vasco de Gama sailed for India (1497), Commodore Perry sailed into Tokyo Bay (1853), and the Mounties began their March West (1874). So march or sail to work today. Or not. Greetings and social banter here. Good morning!...

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Furthermore! – Laundry, Motivation, and Inspiration

New viewers of the Tour de France are often bewildered by the “laundry line” at the bottom of the television screen. Yellow, green, polka-dot, white … why so many leader jerseys? The answer is motivation, and that can emerge in surprising and inspiring ways … like agreeing not to compete. (More) Cycling fans in the Belgian city of Spa were disappointed Monday. They hoped to see a mad sprint to the finish line. Instead they saw the main field – the peloton – form a wall to cross the line together. Commentators called it a “protest.” I saw it as an inspiring act of cooperation. The riders were motivated by the “laundry,” but not in the way the race organizers expected. First about the “laundry.” The Tour has several leader jerseys: Yellow Jersey – Tour Champion, based on overall time. Green Jersey – Most Consistent Rider, based on points awarded at the finish of each stage and designated points along the route. Polka-dot Jersey – Best Mountain Rider, based on points awarded at designated summits. White Jersey – Best Young Rider, based on overall time for riders under age 26. That’s a lot of “laundry” because there are a lot of riders – 22 teams of 9 riders start the Tour – and fewer than a dozen have a real chance to win the overall race. Many teams have...

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