Jun 27, 2009

the cretins cloning and feeding

Let me just clear something up right now: I don't hate humans.

As a matter of fact, I enjoy human inventions such as baseball, video games, and the craft of taking carefully composed and deliberate still images of places I've been, and there are quite a few humans in particular who have earned my admiration. The problem is that there are too many people and not enough room for all their stupid bullshit, not to mention the unreasonably excessive amount of offspring many of them choose to have. Humanity as a species would be done a favor if more individuals thought of how many resources the average human being consumes and its impact on the planet that sustains us before squeezing out little shits left and right as if counting little pigges on their toes. I love how the media just flocks to Octomom, as if littering the planet with her larvae is something worthy of the attention of anyone besides the humane society. Personally, stories like that makes me wish for a pandemic that does nothing to the population but leave 90 percent of it sterile. We'd all get along much better with each other and everything else if there was only one-tenth of us.

Jun 9, 2009

Geology rocks and space matters.

I received news that Gemini Observatory is shutting down for the entire month of July for telescope mirror resurfacing. I guess it's an annual tradition, since they did the same last year. Keck has one laser run in the month, but it's only six days long, and I would be given merely a fraction of those days to work. Looks like it would be the ideal month to jump on a plane and escape from the utter monotony and familial tension for a few weeks, since I wouldn't be missing out on hardly anything around here.

Another observatory, Subaru, is just starting to work out the kinks in their adaptive optics system. Ever since the 'Big One' of '06 destroyed their sensitive laser, they've been trying to g6et it going again. Whenever they do start operating the laser again, that could translate to more work available throughout the months.

It is also looking more likely that the Thirty Meter Telescope will be sited on the summit of Mauna Kea, right near the other observatories. This behemoth would take awhile to build, but it would introduce a significant amount of jobs both through the construction phase and in the form of research and maintenance positions. Of course, there are the usual native Hawaiian activists trying to fight it from defiling their sacred mountain, but the EIS draft suggests they won't have much to justify their argument. I can understand their point of view, but it's not as if they would be razing sacred temples or denuding hundreds of acres of pristine forest. The summit is hardly anything more than a huge pile of brown volcanic rocks, and I'm sure the ancient spirits residing at the summit can co-exist with another research facility occupying such a minuscule portion of their vast territory. If not, well, they'll just have to take over and scare all the astronomers back to sea level.

Mauna Kea is dormant, not extinct. Perhaps it could erupt again in my lifetime, but not nearly as likely as the neighboring volcano Mauna Loa. For now, it is at once the past of this island's creation and the future of astral discovery.