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The Columbia Crew...(6 posts)

The Columbia Crew...QUiTSPiNiNArOuND
Feb 2, 2003 6:56 PM
I know it's not cycling related, but my deepest sympathy's to the astronauts and there family.

I hope they figured out went wrong, and that space exporation continues...
re: The Columbia Crew...andydave
Feb 2, 2003 8:31 PM
I second that. Thanks QUiTSPiNiNArOuND.
Think about this...Uncle Tim
Feb 2, 2003 11:12 PM
I know that the Columbia disaster is nothing short of a tragedy. Seven very brave people died in a horrible event. I, too, have a great deal of sympathy for the families and friends of these amazing people.

But let's keep this in perspective.

How many Americans died as a direct result of automobile usage on Saturday?

How many cyclists die each and every year due to drunk drivers, distracted drivers, bad drivers, impatient drivers, inattentive drivers, cell phone using drivers, negligent drivers, etc.?

It is good that we can tune in to the grief in a terrible loss such as the Columbia event. But this is more than offset by the fact that we accept too easily the carnage on our nation's roads due to some irrational attachment to the automobile.

A very cynical observer could note that perhaps it is easier for us all to take part in a public display of grief over a situation in which we have zero control rather than to cry out for changes that, while difficult to implement, would actually do something to lessen grief all across the country.
agreed - well said - nmMJ
Feb 3, 2003 1:41 AM
Why 7 astronaut's deaths gets more press attention than 7 (or more) othersTig
Feb 3, 2003 7:44 AM
I whole-heartedly agree with you on "A very cynical observer could note that perhaps it is easier for us all to take part in a public display of grief over a situation in which we have zero control rather than to cry out for changes that, while difficult to implement, would actually do something to lessen grief all across the country." Unfortunately, human nature gets in the way of fairness.

Public interest drives the press. Astronauts are public figures. Unlike egotistical movie stars or sports heroes, astronauts are part of a positive drive to improve the world and human existence through science and discovery. Not to say astronauts don't have egos. I've know quite a few, and some were very cocky! Most are wonderful people I'm glad to have as neighbors. The loss here is like a death in the family.

Most people in the world are basically on the receiving/using end of cultural and scientific advances. Too few are directly part of the evolution of mankind. No life should be more or less valuable than another, but those who take huge risks to improve the world should be respected and honored. The dramatic loss of American science and technology's icon, a manned spacecraft, has always been a blow to national pride.

The seven victims of the avalanche in British Columbia are no less important. They all had families and friends like the seven astronauts had. They chose to take a risk by backcountry skiing. The difference is that they weren't public figures working for our benefit. They were enjoying nature doing what they loved, like we love cycling. They made the choice to take the risk, but no one came along and ran them over except nature. Getting run over by a negligent driver becomes a crime in a moral and legal sense. Dieing in a shuttle re-entry due to yet unknown causes is a tragic loss for the whole world, even if 90% of humans have no idea how the tens of thousands of technological spin-offs have or will improve their lives. I have an old T-shirt from a past Space Awareness day that says, "Each Mission Improves Your World".
Exactly ...Humma Hah
Feb 3, 2003 9:19 AM
... I griped about that after Challenger, as did Chuck Yeager, who said they ought to return to flight with small crews and avoid flying it in cold weather until the problem was fixed. Due to their not launching for 2.5 years, we were short one weather satellite for quite a while. A number of people lost their lives in Atlantic storms as a result.

My biggest complaint at present is that NASA isn't taking ENOUGH risk. They've about "explored" Low Earth Orbit to death. We've done enough "effects of space flight", "mfg. perfect ball bearings", and "effects of weightlessness on ants" work. We should have been permantly on the moon a decade ago, and should be exploring the asteroid belt by now.

Imagine the odds of crossing the ocean 200 years ago, or taking a Conestoga wagon to California in the gold rush.