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Astronomy Picture of the Day


Monday, July 11, 2011

Shuttle Diplomacy: Watch Neil deGrasse Tyson Explain How the Space Shuttle Was Never Really About Science

Posted by Alex_Pasternack

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    Among those gloating over the demise of the Space Shuttle are none other than scientists, who argue that the costly and overly complex program was sapping valuable resources from real space science and sending them up on toilet repair missions instead.

    But this animosity is based on a false premise, astrophysicist and Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson reminded us at the World Science Festival. The Shuttle was never really intended to promote research or fulfill NASA’s goal of space exploration. Instead, like the Apollo missions to the moon, the $160 billion Shuttle program was the product of politics.

    As inspiring as the grandeur of the spaceship has been to legions of young people – and as important as it was in fixing the Hubble telescope – it was actually the Western battle against the Soviet Union – and later, other diplomatic interests – that left NASA operating this amazing low-orbit dump truck. To criticize the Shuttle for not doing more science, or to say that that the Shuttle budget should have been devoted to science, is to misinterpret reality. The money wouldn’t have existed at all if the program hadn’t been political.

    We’re afraid to say that to ourselves. We know that if we say we’re going to do science with it, that’ll sort of gather more adherents. And we feel more comfort in selling it that way. But selling it that way was the delusion… There are reasons for doing things in this world that are not driven by science.


    Read an interview with Neil and visit the Neil deGrasse Tyson Motherboard.

Joan Parker Nailed for Assault After Kissing Homophobe Preacher at Gay Pride Rally

By Cory Zurowski in Police bungling, bad clergy

Bible-thumping preacher James Belcher abhors felching and anyone who partakes in a sharing of the love. He's also a hater of bi's, trannies, bull dykes and sodomites. Packed with that full matching set of unmagnanimous baggage, the Man of God took to the streets recently...

The event which attracted the attention of the 49-year-old Belcher's devout crosshairs was the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Day in Salisbury, North Carolina, a town located about 45 miles southeast of Charlotte.

On a flawless Saturday afternoon beneath the big sun of a hot southern day, approximately 2,000 prideful and flaming homosexuals, cross-dressers and bisexuals sashayed down the town streets in solidarity, shouting slogans like, "We're here! We're queer! Get used to it!"

Also on hand was roughly 200 raging homophobe protestors, Belcher among them.

As the day's colorful and vocal festivities were rocking and rolling, there was Belcher calling out the sodomites, who he said were doomed to an eternity in Hades because they won't marry within heterosexual circles, have kids only to divorce, and scar their offspring with worthiness issues for the rest of their lives.

One of the pride day's participants -- 74-year-old Joan Parker -- spotted Belcher ranting and raving and not playing nice. Instead of hollering back at the preacher man, the AARP card-carrying uber lesbian decided to show Belcher some love.

After all, isn't that what Jesus would do?

Belcher turned to squawk at a man who was about to snap a photograph of him. It was at that same time when Parker embraced Belcher and planted a big wet one, her lips snuggling up to his cheek.

With a Bible clasped in one of his hands, Belcher then thrust his arms skyward, turning towards a nearby police officer who witnessed the lip-to-cheek-trespass.

Belcher was soon telling police that Linkhe wanted to press charges; Police Chief Rory Collins agreed.

"... [I]t wasn't done as a show of affection," he said. "It was an unwanted touching."

Parker was slapped with one count of misdemeanor simple assault. If convicted, the sentence for a first-time offender is a max of 30 days of community service. She's due back in court Sept. 12.

Belcher argues that Parker's disingenuous kiss move "was just one of the many attempts to silence the preaching to those in need of salvation who practice a death style that they call a lifestyle."

Parker counters by simply saying, "I thought he needed a hug. So I gave him a hug."

Original here