Apathy and Arsenic and Apollo (Oh My!)

So… I had entirely too much free time on my hands at work today. I couldn’t leave early, but I also couldn’t just sit at the nurse’s station and do nothing. I took to wandering the halls, pretending like I was doing something, or hiding out in the bathroom, playing solitaire on my iPod (and never winning a damn game).

This reminded me of two things.

First, the whole “hiding in the bathrooms at work” bit made me think of Shane in Apathy and Other Small Victories. He would always fall asleep in the bathroom of his boring office job.

Second, as I wandered the hospital corridors, I was reminded of a conversation I’d had two nights previous:

Ben: you should slip them arsenic in their pills
Ben: be the greybull angel of mercy [NOTE: For those of you who don’t get that reference, here you are– follow the link to start crawling out from under that rock you’ve been calling your home]
Sam: heh
Sam: i would if i could get my hands on some
Ben: its a hospital, they have it somewhere
Ben: i’m sure you’re crafty enough to get ahold of it

So then, naturally, I wanted to know if I could somehow access the more dangerous drugs (maybe not arsenic). If evening shift really was as unsupervised as it seemed.

However, the most promising hall (the one with the pharmacy and lab) is attached to the ER. The ER was being overseen by a cute bearded man, who kept watching me as I walked past.

The fact that one cute bearded man was preventing me from doing what another one suggested was not lost on me.

I ended up in the old people’s recreation room, reading a National Geographic from 2007.

Yeah…

It was actually pretty interesting. One of the articles was about the future of the U.S. space program. Considering the recent upheavals in NASA and NASA’s government funding, I found this old article amusing.

I’ll share some quotes with you (yes, I stole it and brought it home with me… sue me):

President George W. Bush has outlined a new ”Vision for Space Exploration”: to return American astronauts to the moon by 2020 and eventually send them to Mars.

Yeah… no. We’re not going to the moon anymore. So much for that plan.

NASA calls the new space mission Constellation, and has already ordered construction of new spacecraft- a 1960s-like capsule called Orion, famously described by NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin as ”Apollo on steroids”…

The first few Constellation moon trips- to begin perhaps as early as 2018- will be sorties to reconnoiter a projected outpost at the lunar south pole. Longer missions will follow.

Again, not gonna happen. In February, we heard Obama talk of canceling Constellation in 2011. Though he’s proposing a new plan for the future of space travel, it looks like the big moon-Mars initiative that’s been in the works for years is out of luck.

Anyway, the article as a whole discussed the ol’ space race (those were the days) and the future of space travel. It focused on the goings on in China and Russia, plus it ventured into the “promised land” of commercial space travel.

As I said, it was an interesting article. Nothing I haven’t read before (which would only make sense, seeing as it’s three years old), but I always enjoy me some National Geographic, regardless of the year.

However, I was not pleased with the quote at the end of the article:

“I do not see any need at all to justify human spaceflight on the grounds of what it’s going to do for science. It will do a lot for science, but that’s an ‘oh, by the way,'” Griffin says. “The drive to extend our reach- human destiny- is reason enough to go.”

First, I’m not entirely sure the overwhelming desire to conquer every bleedin’ thing we see can be classed as “destiny.”

But more importantly…

Science is never an “oh, by the way”!!

Damn you, Mike Griffin. Damn you.

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