NPR : Morning Edition for Friday, Jan. 21, 2005

This morning on NPR’s Morning Edition, I found myself smack dab in the middle of the comedy that is the human experience.

Act I

Scientists launched the Huygens Probe some time ago, the purpose of this instrument was to land on Titan (a moon orbiting Saturn) and send information back to scientists. One of the scientists decided to do some testing and found that due to a ill-programmed software, the probe would not be able to send back any info at all given the trajectory it was approaching Titan with. Keeping in mind that you can’t fix the software (as the thing is up in space and all), what would be the solution? As NPR reported,* “It took several months, but scientists finally solved the problem by changing the probe’s trajectory.” Wow. Several months on that one, eh? And these people built the thing.

Act II

A DJ in Winter Park, Florida is going for the Guiness World Record for longest radio broadcast (110 hours). When the report aired this morning, he was on hour 71. After playing a snippet of a song by Modest Mouse, the NPR reporter asked him something to the tune of “Aren’t you supposed to identify that song?” To which he replied, “Yes, I played a song between 2 and 6 minutes long and identify it either immediately before or after.” Then he continued, “I’m not going to let 71 hours of work get ruined by some NPR report.”

Act III

Aiming a laser pointer at the driver of a passing car is now illegal in Florida. There is now a fine and I believe optional jailtime for such a heinous act. The official being interviewed this morning said that “This will send a clear message to anyone pointing a laser at an operator of a moving vehicle” then proceeding to refer to such individuals as “numbskulls” and “jerks.” This is the language being used by someone somewhere with the authority to institute laws. The intelligence level of anyone reduced to using the word “numbskull” to define anyone who isn’t in a coma or perhaps under the effects of anesthesia is stiflingly deplorable. It dawned the notion on my little brain this morning that perhaps those in power are only the fools, because anyone with any shred of decency or intellectual capacity would never choose to associate themselves with the tainting riffraff that would no doubt be there daily company.

*all quotes are more or less verbatim

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