Bailouts – Putting them in perspective

$700 Billion for the bankers.

That’s $7 0 0 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 .

That’s $7E11.

Or perhaps $700,000 Million.

Since its creation in the late 1950’s NASA has spent about $400 Billion (actual dollars).  Adjusted for inflation the number rises to about $800 Billion, about what the whole bailout bill comes to with the $110 Billion in pork barrel spending that the Senate added on, including the critical $2 Million tax relief for the children’s wooden arrow manufacturers.  Those numbers (except for the $2 Million for the wooden arrow manufacturers) are from an editorial by George Fox Lang entitled “Sometimes Something Wonderful Happens” in Sound and Vibration, November 2008, Vol. 42, No.11.

They have put people into orbit and sent them to the Moon.  They have sent spacecraft on a grand tour of the outer planets that are still going far out into interstellar space.  They have sent robots to explore Mars.  They have developed all kinds of technologies and materials that we take for granted today and spurred the imagination of a generation of scientists and engineers. 

So what is it again, that the bankers are doing with their bailout money?

The Joy of Geophysics

The natural world is a wonder filled place. It can be at once both violent and subtle. The same earthquake that causes death and destruction in minutes on the other side of the world produces an ever so small shaking of my basement floor that goes on for hours. It is a laboratory for learning that is available to anyone with the curiosity to study it.

My education is in physics and I have been employed for most of my working life as a noise and vibration engineer for a well-known floor care appliance company. When I think about my interests though, they always have to do with earth sciences. I have been interested in the weather, seismology, and rocks since I was young. So I am an amateur “working” in those fields. The nice part about doing science as an amateur is that you can easily go whatever way your interests lead. I find adventure is searching for the subtle little things that go on around us every day right in our own back yard that most people never even know exist, or care.

This web site shares some of those adventures and the results of some of my projects. I will update it as time and inclination allow.

I hope you enjoy it…