Monday, January 14, 2013

That's a No to the Death Star

The White House set up a petition system online called WeThePeople. Because we are a democracy. And of course people are using it to petition for all sorts of things, including a Death Star. And the White House had to make good on it's word that it would respond to any petition that received 25,000 signatures and respond to this request from The Empire which received over 30,000 signatures. These are my people. Maybe many of them also spent a good part of their New Years Eve on their couch watching the marathon of the classic trilogy of Star Wars. 
The petition for the Death Star began in November and stated "By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense."

The White House response, posted Friday, was written by Paul Shawcross who is the Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget. And his response, while declining us of a Death Star, shows that the force is strong in him.
Here it is:
“The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:
  • The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
  • The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
  • Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
However, look carefully (here’s how) and you’ll notice something already floating in the sky — that’s no Moon, it’s a Space Station! Yes, we already have a giant, football field-sized International Space Station in orbit around the Earth that’s helping us learn how humans can live and thrive in space for long durations. The Space Station has six astronauts — American, Russian, and Canadian — living in it right now, conducting research, learning how to live and work in space over long periods of time, routinely welcoming visiting spacecraft and repairing onboard garbage mashers, etc. We’ve also got two robot science labs — one wielding a laser — roving around Mars, looking at whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.
Keep in mind, space is no longer just government-only. Private American companies, through NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO), are ferrying cargo — and soon, crew — to space for NASA, and are pursuing human missions to the Moon this decade.
Even though the United States doesn’t have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we’ve got two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and we’re building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun. We are discovering hundreds of new planets in other star systems and building a much more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that will see back to the early days of the universe.
We don’t have a Death Star, but we do have floating robot assistants on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is supporting research on building Luke’s arm, floating droids, and quadruped walkers.
We are living in the future! Enjoy it. Or better yet, help build it by pursuing a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field. The President has held the first-ever White House science fairs and Astronomy Night on the South Lawn because he knows these domains are critical to our country’s future, and to ensuring the United States continues leading the world in doing big things.
If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us! Remember, the Death Star’s power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.

So he shamelessly promotes the space program, reminds us that robots almost as cool as C-3PO exist, and tells us that if we want more that we ourselves should pursue a career with the Force in science and math. (That's right kids-don't skip math class. Math is the future. They've been pushing that angle for years. And who knows-maybe if I had worked harder in science or math class I'd have a job.) But the big take away from this response to me is the part about the President "who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshamallow) cannon." What?!? Our President is a Jedi!

I'm intrigued and thinking of starting a petition to see some evidence of President Obama's light saber battling skills. And I am also wondering what this advanced marshmallow cannon is and what we will be using that for?
So while I'm waiting for signatures for the petition to join Obama's Jedi light saber training, I desperately want these awesome Star Wars kicks from Adidas. Even though they look like something my brother had in the 80's and cost $200. They will clearly be money well spent when I'm outrunning the marshmallow cannon attacks.
Plus, they'd look great with this Star Wars dress by Sugar Plum by Rachel DeCavage I once got to model in an eco-friendly fashion show. Yes that is made out of vintage Star Wars bed sheets. A geeks dream come true.

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