I Really Love Science

Falling through the universe at the speed of life

By David Glenn Cox

The Jeff Bezos private space program, Dickmobile One. To prove once and for all that up is still out there, and still calling to us. Us, with $25 million dollars each, for the ultimate space ride experience of a lifetime. “SPACE, AND YOU WERE THERE!” They had a bad day last week when Dickmobile one’s engine went flaccid and was no longer thrusting into space as fast as before.

Obviously, there was a problem. Launch officials were trying to remain calm and think about baseball. Then it happened! The launch abort system kicked in and ejaculated the capsule in an unexpected fiery display of sparks. The unmanned capsule was carrying “science experiments.” Yeah right, so were my Estes Rockets with the C6-5 engines when I was eleven. What sort of science research can you learn from up, that we didn’t learn first from Gordo Cooper in 1962?

Officials swear, this has never happened to them before. That perhaps it was too much alcohol in the fuel or perhaps the rocket was tired, or it was getting late. Too much stress at work. Don’t take it personal; it wasn’t you. You know, sometimes, it’s like life like throws these little historical reminders at us of the Gilded Age. The days of Caesar with 100,000 slaves and concubines to attend him, with unimaginable wealth, or a private space program.

It makes decadence blush, for the same money Bezos’s could have been hailed as one of the greatest humanitarians ever. Giving billions for cancer research and ending world hunger. My favorite part in the Addams Family was when Gomez would blow up his model trains. That evil glee and scary look in the eye, before pushing the plunger to blow it all up. Proving the well-worn principles of physics time after time, only using real trains.

Bezos could buy a rocket off the shelf. You don’t have to build your own any more Dr. Goddard. Start small and work on the capsule, (Sky Car) then move on to the rocket motor. Then maybe, with enough time and friction and excitement, the project might be able to stand up on its own. It’s a money sink, it’s nature’s way of saying you have too much money. Tesla was one of the smartest men ever to live and he invented the remote control before he invented radio. He didn’t try to do them both at once.

The failed spent rocket grew smaller as it fell, until it appeared shriveled after landing in the desert and sleeping peacefully among the desert dunes. Not to be disturbed, no midnight at the Oasis. Not even space debris, but near space debris. People collect space debris, but near space debris, not so much.

It is a project without a goal but to go up. To build a rocket to take us up there! Beyond where even birds dare to fly. A rocket which is neither novel nor unique in its approach. Offering no revelations of technology since Chinese invented gunpowder allowing us to travel up.

It isn’t even an orbital vehicle; it is Evel Knievel’s sky cycle with big windows and taken to even more grandiose and insane proportions. An amusement park ride, “Now, You Too can jump the Snake River Canyon! Put on your crash helmet kids and climb aboard with spaceman commander Jeff!”

He’s opening up outer space for humanity or opening up outer humanity for space. He’s opening outer space for humanity in the same way a slingshot opens up the air space for rocks. He adds nothing to the conversation only up. Anyone mind you, anyone with $25 million dollars can go into outer space now, regardless of your race creed or color.

You too, can prove Alan Shepard was correct when he was the first American to go up, into outer space. You too, can experience 15 minutes of weightlessness for the everyday low, low discount price of just $25 million. (Sorry, no credit cards or frequent flier miles or discount coupons accepted on weekends.)

Maybe after they get the space ride perfected, they might build us a nice high-speed log ride. Something nice and sporty, comin’ down that mountain riding on that log at about say about 2,000 miles per hour. For science of course, always for science. Or maybe a Jacque Cousteau Atomic Submarine to open up the ocean depths to the general public.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Zeppelins were all the rage. The latest in high-speed luxury travel, with tickets costing thousands of dollars. And we all know how that ended, don’t we? No different than flying on the Concorde a generation later. Ending in much the same way. Mrs. Aster hid jewels and expensive bobbles in her Hamptons centerpiece. She gave her guests little garden tools to dig out the gems after supper. “Oh, we’re having such fun!” Opening up gardening!

Andrew Carnegie a robber baron from another century said that after you have enough for your life and your children’s lives and their children’s lives. You should give the rest of it back. Or start your own space program maybe! One or the other, who remembers which these days?

I don’t mind the Dickmobile One space program so much, outside of its blatant decadence and childish fantasy nature. It’s exclusive luxury travel. That’s all, it’s not science, it’s play time. Nobody is doing anything for humanity here. You know, many years ago, I participated in a scientific study on the effects of alcohol on the twenty-year-old male brain.

Results were conclusive, how many beers did it take to knock me down on a Friday night? Twelve or maybe thirteen, although that number dropped significantly to eight or nine, if weed was involved. I wasn’t a lush or pothead; I was only doing it for science. So that others could learn from my research. I really did love that science a lot. And I was proud of my part in expanding mankind’s knowledge. Willing to risk life and limb for science. You’re welcome.

If you have $25 million set aside and budgeted for an afternoon’s entertainment. You should probably reevaluate your priorities in life anyway. It’s not science, but only alcohol fueled masturbation and coming too quick. 21st Century robber barons, gentleman scientists all, playing with themselves.

Dear Sir and Friend:

You seem to be in prosperity. Could you lend an admirer $1.50 to buy a hymn-book with? God will bless you. I feel it; I know it. So, will I.

N.B.—If there should be other applications, this one not to count.

Yours,

          Mark

P.S. — Don’t send the hymn-book; send the money; I want to make the selection myself.

Mark Twain’s letter to Andrew Carnegie mocking his generosity and his lack of self-indulgent scientific curiosity.

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