Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Oh! Awwwww.

I'm sure many people have heard of the astronaut who lost a tool bag in space the other day

but I just wanted to say, the more I think about it the funnier it becomes.

Observe: You train your entire life. You run miles and miles, sit through hours of meetings, throw up in planes, build up your resistance to G-forces. You're constantly studying and are forced to open every aspect of your life like a book. You are probed and poked and interrogated. You're given simulations and scenarios and you struggle through them a thousand times. You learn to love Tang and powdered ice cream. Then one day you fly up into space and walk out into the dazzling light with your trusty tool bag. You turn around for one second--ONE SECOND--to wipe up a dab of grease and ZAP! Your tool bag wanders off into orbit and you've just blown the first and maybe only mission of your little astronaut life. Within a few hours people on earth are laughing and shaking their heads and leaning back in their swivel chairs to ask their cubemates if they heard about that astronaut who flubbed the spacewalk and sent her wrench set on the slow train to Alpha Centari. Every Jim, Frank and John is walking around sneering to their friends and saying, "Geez, well they could have sent me up. I'm no 'astronaut,' but I could have probably tied up my tools. You know?"

Sorry, nice astronaut lady. It could have happened to anyone.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pardon Me

With Bush leaving office, talk about federal pardons is heating up. Apparently, Bush has used his pardon less than any other President in recent memory. So he is, of course, being criticized both for his choice of pardons, and for not using his pardon powers enough.

Despite its potential for abuse, I like the executive pardon power. At it's best it speaks of mercy and the ability for an unfathomably huge bureaucracy to act in an intimately compassionate way. And, we get a little taste of what it might be like to have a King!

Anyway, what I really wanted to do was link to this. If you're short on time, skip down to the section called "Still in Prison" for some disturbing examples of people who should probably be pardoned, or at least have their sentences commuted.

Reminds me how thankful I am I didn't get into the lobster business.