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Why You Should Be More Interested In Mars Than the Olympics

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the because-mars-is-awesome dept.

Mars 409

New submitter hugeinc sends this quote from an article by author Andrew Kessler: "Next week, while we're all watching NBC, a nuclear-powered, MINI-Cooper-sized super rover will land on Mars. We accurately guided this monster from 200 million miles away (that's 7.6 million marathons). It requires better accuracy than an Olympic golfer teeing off in London and hitting a hole-in-one in Auckland, New Zealand. It will use a laser to blast rocks, a chemical nose to sniff out the potential for life, and hundreds of other feats of near-magic. Will these discoveries lead us down a path to confirming life on other planets? Wouldn't that be a good story that might make people care about science?"

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409 comments

Mars (-1, Redundant)

Dan541 (1032000) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805257)

ya!

Re:Mars (5, Insightful)

Dan541 (1032000) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805263)

Because Mars IS more interesting than some boneheads chasing each other around a dirt track. Humanity needs to move on.

Re:Mars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805501)

Be nice, this is all they have left.

Re:Mars (4, Insightful)

DragonTHC (208439) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805729)

I see your point, but there's something to be said for being the pinnacle of human physical fitness.

It's exciting to see the fastest person alive.

Yea but (5, Insightful)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805259)

Running fast and bouncing a ball in a bikini is much more important

sexy sports stars (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805377)

they're athletes, of course they're in shape (okay, some athletes and/or some sports are an exception).
Minimal clothing is appropriate for exercising in the heat. Tight clothing won't get in the way (whether other players or inanimate objects on the field of play)/

Is is played up beyond that, though?

Re:sexy sports stars (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805421)

Yeah that explains why the rules for beach volleyball require men to wear speedo's (don't know the non-Australian term for this kind of swimwear :-) )

Re:sexy sports stars (1, Insightful)

Hadlock (143607) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805727)

They're also in the top one millionth of the population in terms of physical genetics (at least, for individual performers, team sports is less physically selective and more mental/socially selective).
 
The brain is very, very good at determining positive physical traits, and labels them accordingly as attractive. Then there's also the whole celebrity angle.

Re:Yea but (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805613)

Running fast and bouncing a ball in a bikini is much more important

It's not more important. The Olympics is science, in the sense that we get together periodically to empirically test our understanding of the limits of the (unaltered) human body. The results have practical application. For example: A convict escaped 96 minutes ago from an overturned van. Uninjured, what is the maximum distance he could have travelled? That's science; although someone who double majored in physics is right now spitting at his computer and yelling something about it being as scientific as an etch-a-sketch is to art, but there it is.

Secondly, it's a meaningless comparison: Space exploration tests a very different human quality than the Olympics does. The Olympics tests human physical attributes. Outer space tests human intellectual attributes. In a sense, NASA is our entry into the intellectual Olympics.

But let's be honest: Most of the time, watching science is very boring. It's not a spectator sport -- it's something you do. MythBusters is one of the few examples of where science can be portrayed in a format that is entertaining. Most of the time, it's arduous, painfully slow, occasionally expensive, and often humbling. As well, people don't get excited when the game is over and the announcer says "I don't know." People get very angry when their spectator sport doesn't have a definite outcome. Scientists, on the other hand, get excited by "I don't know." In fact, it's one of the only professions where "I don't know" gets you the respect and admiration of your peers... assuming they have to admit the same.

And you know what, watching bouncing, sweaty boobies, or a beautifully sculped man moving about is okay too. It'd be like me asking you to stop watching Heroes and watch Battlestar Galactica instead. You don't want BSG, you want fucking Heroes. So okay, watch your Heroes, and I'll watch my BSG, and let us both be happy, instead of arguing over which is better.

But if there was Olympic leap frog... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805261)

...Maybe I'd actually be interested in the Olympics.

Re:But if there was Olympic leap frog... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805597)

...Maybe I'd actually be interested in the Olympics.

Especially if unicorns are involved.

Re:But if there was Olympic leap frog... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805713)

If Obama came out in favor of oxygen, Republicans would suffocate in protest.

He is against carbon dioxide which is part of the same respiration process. Mass asphyxia in 3, 2, 1

Oh for the love of.. (4, Interesting)

Anrego (830717) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805269)

There’s insanely amazing stuff happening every day. Marvels of human achievement and technology all around us. And for each, there is usually a group of people around it who:

a) lives and breaths the stuff
b) can’t fathom why everyone else doesn’t feel the same way

It doesn’t work like this. Even if you could some how identify the one absolute “top of the pile” thing that everyone should be focusing on, it’s completely impractical for everyone to do so. It’s the same reason we can’t have every scientist in the world working on say, cancer research. You need some of them to be trying to figure out how to get rid of wrinkles.

Some people don’t care about space. A lot of people don’t care about space. Arguing that they should care about space because it’s a more “worthy” thing to care about than whatever they do care about is just ridiculous.

As to trying to frame the story so it’s more in-line with the stuff they are interested in... even more ridiculous. You can’t trick someone into caring about technology by turning it into a human interest story.

Re:Oh for the love of.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805323)

It's all part of the Space Nutter religion. Complete disdain for normal human activity, but somehow caring about the entire species getting off this rock. Presumably, the "species" is limited to the Cheetos-dust-covered, basement-dwelling morbidly obese translucently pale worshipers of 1960s Space Age propaganda.

Re:Oh for the love of.. (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805407)

It's all part of the Space Nutter religion. Complete disdain for normal human activity, but somehow caring about the entire species getting off this rock. Presumably, the "species" is limited to the Cheetos-dust-covered, basement-dwelling morbidly obese translucently pale worshipers of 1960s Space Age propaganda.

Still pissed that your parents wouldn't send you to space camp?

Re:Oh for the love of.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805447)

Still pissed that no one will ever go further than low Earth orbit?

PS: Your "joke" is as old as the crust in your pants.

Re:Oh for the love of.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805489)

have you been to space camp? I have and let me tell you, I could understand being butthurt for not being able to go!

Re:Oh for the love of.. (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805693)

Yeah. They get to climb into a real shuttle for a test firing. And every now and then, a little robot decides to launch them into orbit with no oxygen, food, or long-range communications gear.

No, wait....

Re:Oh for the love of.. (2)

KingAlanI (1270538) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805393)

Yeah, this was a blatant failed attempt to tie together two disparate news stories, however interesting they may be to certain people on their own.

Re:Oh for the love of.. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805459)

Wow.

We are sending a full size remote control car to another planet, and its just somebodies *opinion* that its news worthy and amazing.

You know what? It doesn't matter what people "care" about. Most of them are idiots who care about going to heaven.

This IS a more worthy thing to "care" about than whatever else it is that interests your idiot mind.

Though you wouldn't understand, being the drooling idiot you are. At least you are "normal" and "care" about the right things - TV, sports, religion, whatever other thing it is that you "care" about that is bullshit.

Re:Oh for the love of.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805471)

I agree, on the whole. But proof of life somewhere other than earth really is the sort of thing that broadens appeal. Just like how beating the Russians to the moon made people pay attention.

Meanwhile, it's good for people to hear what important things are going on. They don't have to become scifi nerds, but they might be a little less cynical about the nickel per month they give to nasa.

Re:Oh for the love of.. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805487)

I agree with the general sentiment, but I still don't think we need scientists figuring out how to get rid of wrinkles.

Re:Oh for the love of.. (2)

Anrego (830717) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805571)

I generally think having people working on the thing that interests them is important, even if there are better things they could be doing that don't. Mainly for two reasons:

a) Someone working on something they are passionate about is going to achive way more.

b) I tend to subscribe to James Burkes school of thought when it comes to progress. If you haven't read is work (or seen the amazing Connections series) the basic idea is that what drives change is largely unpredictable. Advances in one area lead to advances in completely unrelated areas. Thus, you never know what seemingly insignificant thing might drive a major advancement. Maybe someone will be working on something to make penises bigger and discover something that eventually leads to a cure to some major disease.

It's not a Khardashian (3, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805273)

People don't care about it because it's not lip-synching an over-produced pop song, it doesn't have actors trying to pawn things, it's not trying to sleep with a housemate, and it doesn't carry crab traps.

Re:It's not a Khardashian (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805513)

So what you are saying is that NASA needs to start claiming that if there is life on Mars, it might be coming to get us!

Some headlines for Fox News:

"Rover to land on Mars to search for hostile alien life"
"Is the War of the Worlds coming? NASA will find out soon"
"Mankind Unleashes Nuclear Assault on Mars!"
"Earth Attacks!"

Also because (5, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805279)

The Olympics are self-important beyond their entertainment (or any other) value. Not interested.

Re:Also because (4, Insightful)

mfwitten (1906728) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805343)

A quick googling shows that about 10960 athletes from 204 countries have come together in competition within one city. If you can't find the value in that, then I feel sorry for you.

Re:Also because (0)

Kohath (38547) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805449)

Please explain the value then.

People from seperate countries do things together all the time. We have air travel and the internet. They can do things together, so why wouldn't they?

Re:Also because (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805709)

Please explain the value then. People from seperate countries do things together all the time.

What is different about the Olympics is that people do peaceful things. Unlike some of the other scenarios where people from some of these countries come together.

Re:Also because (1, Funny)

rhyder128k (1051042) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805467)

But only a few will have the honour of serving the Tripods inside the city of gold.

Re:Also because (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805605)

..and lead; Praise the Masters, the Cappers will be here soon.

Re:Also because (5, Insightful)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805473)

a billion people from all over the world have all come together to join Facebook. I still find no value in it though.

Re:Also because (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805543)

It's because of the opening cermony that the americans are pissed off. National Health Service and Unions when the brit's showed what achievements they were proud of (industrial revolution and human rights...) that really pissed off those toothless yankies without health care.

Re:Also because (2)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805565)

I can ignore it because NBC has ruined it.

The last time I saw good Olympics coverage was when I was in Canada and watching the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano via the CBC.

I'm skipping this one.

--
BMO

Re:Also because (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805607)

What is the value? Did the Olympic Games bring peace like the 6th and 12th Olympic Games? Did the Olympic Games bring happiness like forced evictions or hormone therapy to 'manly' women? How about the massacres and bombs? Or propaganda campaigns?

The Olympic Games are a joke. It is a capitalist system where the richest of the rich can watch elite athletes compete against each other and pretend that they are part of a world community while the local community is beaten into submission. It isn't the world community coming together, it is the world community of the 1%.

Re:Also because (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805665)

Finding value in that is not too hard.

All I have to do is to look back at the battle over broadcasting rights in this city (the rights holder doesn't have a free-to-air channel, and is obliged to broadcast some footage on free channels).

So yes, there's a lot of value in that. And no, I don' t care. I even completely missed the opening ceremony (the only one that I'd care to watch - it's usually a great spectacle) by completely forgetting when it was. If I remember I may try to hunt down a recording from TPB later. But for the rest, oh well, let them have their fun. I'm happy not to be in London now.

Re:Also because (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805507)

It is pretty much the one time the entire planet gets together, to accomplish "something" We compete with countries we are at "war" with in friendly games. It may not be much fun to watch if you arent into the sports that make up the Olympics, I tend to watch the swimming due to my swimming backround but thats about all I personally care about but there is plenty of value in the Olympics, entertainment and otherwise.

Let's be honest: It's ALL about money. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805555)

The Olympics are now (more than ever before) just a big sponsorship (as in ultra-capitalist) fuck-fest, period.

Not exclusive... (5, Insightful)

sackbut (1922510) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805281)

I'm pretty sure I can follow both. And be interested in both.

Re:Not exclusive... (5, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805419)

Exactly, the Olympics is a story about people achieving, the rover landing is about humanity achieving. Both are worthy to watching. I mean the Olympics is not like the Kardashians, WWE, or any of the other mindless drivel on TV. Not only that but they are not a case of one or the other. The landing will be at 1:31 am which is 5:31 am UTC so unless they the Olympics have events at 5 am you will not have to miss anything but some sleep.
In other words STUPID WASTE OF TIME FOR A SLASHDOT STORY. Maybe it would be better to spend time watching the Olympics and the rover landing than posting or reading junk like this.
   

Re:Not exclusive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805697)

Can we put the landing on tape delay so that the rover lands during prime time EST?

Re:Not exclusive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805427)

Where is it suggested or even implied that they're exclusive? Who are you arguing with?

Re:Not exclusive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805725)

ummmmm, From the freakin headline?
Why You Should Be More Interested In Mars Than the Olympics
I get the whole - I didn't read the article thing, but THE HEADLINE?
You need a few less significant digits in your ID before you start pulling that shit noob.

I'm capable of being interested in both. (5, Insightful)

mfwitten (1906728) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805283)

Join me in celebrating the wonders of our world.

Re:I'm capable of being interested in both. (2)

ambidextroustech (2597091) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805387)

I am with you. I really won't be too obsessed with the Mars rover because there aren't too many feeds from it. It's scope to the public is limited, unlike the Olympics.

That being said, this is HUGE. The discoveries of this rover will be comparable to the Hubble Telescope (if successful of course) but like HST, it may have some hiccups and upsets; we shall see either way.

You should be more concerned about this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805289)

Than Mars, & BY FAR http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IESrRo129I [youtube.com] (Wormwood's coming). Look up "U.S. Naval Map" on Google too alongside FEMA camps plus "New Madrid Fault" (plus Polaris/The NorthStar now moving in still photos when it was a solid point forever, this is indicative of earth wobble), with earth magnetic field failure and pole shift and then lastly, lookup Niburu/Planet X. Hope you're in a safe spot, IF there really is one.

Re:You should be more concerned about this (2)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805327)

plus Polaris/The NorthStar now moving in still photos when it was a solid point forever, this is indicative of earth wobble

Polaris has never lined up exactly with the Earth's north pole. And there's a natural precession or "wobble" of the Earth due to it being in orbit around the Sun, that will cause the axis to shift away from Polaris over the years.

Re:You should be more concerned about this (1)

ambidextroustech (2597091) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805397)

Yup, none of the Universe is static.

Re:You should be more concerned about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805463)

Watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eRaE-pWltA&feature=related [youtube.com] Stars are usually found with a binary pair star too mind you... this is ours and its bogus/wormwood from Revelations in the Bible! You're right about "not static", because neither are civilizations on earth because of this, every 3,600 years. You may find this 10th planet admission from NASA enlightening also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nR6oLoP9eNw&feature=related [youtube.com] after they "hid it" back in 1983, after first admitting it, then not (but now they are).

Re:You should be more concerned about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805403)

Not like now. Long term exposure photographs show it. It's also now widely known that the earth's magnetic fields weakening and FULL polar shift will occur soon. Niburu/Planet X's is also not a comet (Elenin, "extinction level event notable impact nemesis") it was later said to be, and though first spotted in infrared in 1983? It was "hushed up" soon after. The Russians even stated that much recently enough! Gosh I wonder why? Perhaps because every 3,600 yrs. this bastard passes thru and wipes us out ala Noah's great flood (see that U.S. Naval Map on that note, they're predicting that and they've gone under the seas into the caverns to do so). What's the "trigger"? Niburu/Wormwood kicking off the New Madrid fault. Helps explain the massive ruins on the bottom of our seas too (past civilizations wiped out by it and I think MANY times). FEMA camps galore with 3 body plastic caskets are in place too. Wonder why (not).

Re:You should be more concerned about this (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805595)

Not like now. Long term exposure photographs show it.

Long term exposure photographs have always shown it.

It's also now widely known that the earth's magnetic fields weakening and FULL polar shift will occur soon.

The former is known, the latter isn't known, though flipping of the poles will happen sooner or later. There however is no reason to expect pole flips to coincide with most other space phenomena, including potential near passes from high mass objects.

Perhaps because every 3,600 yrs. this bastard passes thru and wipes us out ala Noah's great flood (see that U.S. Naval Map on that note, they're predicting that and they've gone under the seas into the caverns to do so). What's the "trigger"? Niburu/Wormwood kicking off the New Madrid fault.

There's no such evidence of a 3,600 year global flood cycle. And the faults of the world don't create or release water.

And a regular near pass by a large mass (Wikipedia says four times the mass of Earth) will frequently perturb the orbits of all the inner planets and the asteroids in the Asteroid Belt. We don't see any signs of that. All the inner planets have pretty circular orbits and there are many more asteroids in Jupiter resonant orbits (which is where you'd expect them to be sans Nibiru) than in unstable orbits (where you'd expect more of them to be, if Nibiru was coming through so frequently).

Re:You should be more concerned about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805655)

Listen to this and disprove its points http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crU9sM5QTUk&feature=related [youtube.com] I hope you do with counter facts. I don't want this to happen anymore than anyone else but it did scare me between it and the U.S. Naval Map plus the massive erection of FEMA camps (800 of them). Thanks.

Re:You should be more concerned about this (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805433)

You should be more interested in your dosage.

Re:You should be more concerned about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805505)

Look up the U.S. Naval Map on Google and New Madrid Fault, as well as FEMA camps. Heck, Former Governor, Navy Seal, and actor Jesse Ventura was even on it also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9EpqBf0oCY [youtube.com] on the Denver Airport (that will spook you, trust me). I hope I am not right at all. I only know what I've been seeing. This spooked me the most http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eRaE-pWltA&feature=related [youtube.com] Deny what's in the videos I posted in this exchange also. Good luck.

Yes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805299)

I, for one, welcome our new robotic life finding machines.

People should (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805321)

People should like what I like not what they like. Only my opinion matters and if you have any interests I don't have then you are wrong and should change that.

How much of an asshole do you have to be to hold an opinion like this? Some people enjoy sports and some people like polishing rocks. The world is a diverse collection of people and just because you might not care for the Olympics doesn't mean its wrong for any one else to do so.

Re:People should (3, Insightful)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805479)

People should like what I like not what they like. Only my opinion matters and if you have any interests I don't have then you are wrong and should change that.

How much of an asshole do you have to be to hold an opinion like this? Some people enjoy sports and some people like polishing rocks. The world is a diverse collection of people and just because you might not care for the Olympics doesn't mean its wrong for any one else to do so.

I do care where my tax dollars go. I would vote zero dollars going to any sport beyond the level of entry level kids sports. It would be a great world where those who vote for more arenas and stadiums get discount tickets to those. But those who vote for more space exploration and science get the vaccines, safer cars, weather forecasts, and get to fly in airplanes built using modern technology.

I don't care about either. (5, Funny)

colsandurz45 (1314477) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805325)

I'll care when the Olympics are ON Mars.

Re:I don't care about either. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805443)

On Olympus Mons no less!!

Re:I don't care about either. (2)

JoeRandomHacker (983775) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805465)

(Oblig. B5)

Franklin: "Well, the patient is confused, delusional. Unable to separate his natural sense of loyalty for his home team from the reality that they stink, and only got to the playoffs on a technicality."
Ramierez: "Yeah, what technicality? The Mars team hit more home runs than any other team on the books!"
Franklin: "Only because Martian gravity is 40% less than Earth normal. Alright, the ball travels faster and further skewing the results. Now once they hit Earth gravity, Helen Keller could bat better than any one of them."

Well... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805335)

I don't give a fuck about mars.

But i give even less of a fuck about the olympics this year. The entire thing is one giant commercial moneygrab anymore.
And everyone involved manages to fuckup their part too.

I'm more interested in how london is a police state under martial law because of the olympics... that's some messed up stuff right there.

Re:Well... (1, Interesting)

colsandurz45 (1314477) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805431)

I'm more interested in how london is a police state under martial law because of the olympics.

Oh please, London was a police state before the Olymipics.

WAY BETTER THAN THE OLYMPICS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805357)

I care more about space than the olympics! well done, thank you for bringing some normality into a competitive driven society! :D

Not watching olympics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805361)

Next week, while we're all watching NBC

No I won't be watching Olympics. I want to. But my family doesn't own a TV, in favor of the Internet (and thus more control of what we watch.) Oh, and all of our computers at home are running Linux, so no Silverlight plugin - which probably doesn't matter since NBC will be broadcasting diddly-squat online anyways.

Sooo.... I'm off to The Olympic Bay!

I am equally disinterested (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805363)

Travelling to Mars and running marathons seem similar enough to me that since I can do neither, meh!

Impact Of The Decade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805365)

Oh Dear ... Not Again ... Feet to Meters ... Meters to Feet.

A misplaced decimal and the whole mission and the fate of NASA in the most challenging budget year of the USA and all including EPA and NSF are now doomed ... Doomed ... DOOMED.

This is what happens when 'Geographers' are hired as 'Scientists'!

NASA will get what it payed for! In Spades.

LoL

When I was a kid... (4, Funny)

wzinc (612701) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805389)

...the Olympics (and all sports) existed for the sole purpose of preempting my favorite TV shows.

good job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805391)

on never privatizing nasa and it costing the world billion (yup the world, because you ain't paying enough taxes to cover your dept...)

Public ignorance is deliberate policy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805411)

Caring about space travel instead of games in the Circus Maximus would require an educated populace. An educated populace would be better equipped to keep asking inconvenient questions about why too-big-to-fail banks get government bailouts, while people losing their jobs (and all too often their homes) to outsourcing get nothing.

So.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805425)

Why can't I be interested in both?

Olympics can teach too (5, Insightful)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805429)

The Olympics can teach us all kinds things about government corruption and inefficiencies. How the IOC is allowed to change the laws of a country ranging from IP to road laws. How the IOC gets a country verging on bankruptcy to spend around 20 billion dollars so that the 1%, the VIPs, and a token handful of us rif-raf can feel important. One the best examples of this is how the VIPs got so many tickets that the stands are half empty for venues that are "Sold out". Another is that the city with some of the worst traffic in the western world created lanes just like they had in Soviet Russia that were limited to well connected people.

All this to watch various countries send their OCD athletes who have nearly destroyed themselves try for a medal.

Bread and circuses.

The only silver lining is that the company that was an inch away from privatizing the police in Britain has humiliated itself to a point where this won't happen. Another study in where a company that can't find its ass with its hands was able to schmooze its way into the corridors of power and milk this single schmoozing skill for billions.

If the money and effort (considering what that many athletes working out for that many hours must also be worth) put into the Olympics were instead were to have been put into science and space exploration we wouldn't be watching a car sized robot touch down on Mars but would be watching the amateur Olympic team representing Mars participate in a scaled down Solar Olympics.

The analogy seems problematic somehow (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805441)

So, if the golf analogy is correct - the rover was launched from earth and, after that, has not made use of any sort of propulsion technology for steering, course correction, or braking? That IS pretty impressive...

I'm a pretty pathetic golfer, but I bet my scores would improve dramatically if I had a team of people steering the ball after I hit it. Getting it to New Zealand might still be a bit of a reach, though.

(The rover is darn cool, seriously. I'm more interested in it than in most of the Olympic events.)

Re:The analogy seems problematic somehow (2)

Ichijo (607641) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805683)

Your scores would also improve if you didn't have to worry about air currents randomly altering the course of the ball.

An olympic golfer in London (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805455)

That would be pretty damn amazing, since the last time golf was featured in the olympics was in 1904. I'm pretty sure they've all been dead for a long time.

I like both, thank you. (3, Insightful)

The Wooden Badger (540258) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805469)

I reject the premise of the article.

First, as has been said in a couple other posts, being interested in the Mars story and the Olympics are not mutually exclusive. I like space exploration stories, and I like sports. There is no reason to have to pick one over the other unless we are talking career choices. Recreational level interest is a completely different story.

Second, the sports guy in me (exercise physiology degree, and I've coached a college sport) doesn't buy the idea that the accuracy or endurance is more important or impressive in the Mars mission. More impressive endurance based on raw miles is just silly. There wasn't constant acceleration during the whole voyage. Shooting from the hip, I would imagine it was a whole lot more like a lot of initial acceleration and then months of coasting. Similarly the accuracy comparison is almost laughable. Sure, if you just look at the amount of significant digits on what bearing you're hitting a golf ball the comparison is appropriate, but the Mars mission wasn't exactly launched by someone manually adjusting angles with the same amount of fine tuning as someone with sausage fingers playing Angry Birds on an iPhone. Never mind that the Mars mission wasn't likely to have any unexpected external forces altering its trajectory, and it most likely had some means of course correcting in transit.

Beyond those absurdities, it is the standard media treatment of space exploration stories. It's a brief mention of what is happening that leaves more questions about technical details than it answers. Please leave the unnecessary comparison and competition of two noncompeting, unrelated events. Now, if you want to talk about the technological dark ages the NBC executives call home...

The problem with the golf analogy... (4, Informative)

Yaztromo (655250) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805483)

...is that golf isn't currently an Olympic sport (but has been added for 2016), and isn't being contested in London this year.

And yes -- sometimes it is these little details that can cause the non-scientists to completely ignore you. Some will feel there isn't much use in hearing your message about space science if you can't even get the details right about what is happening here on Earth.

Yaz

Wouldn't that be a good story ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805485)

We all know, if science _did_ find life somewhere else, all of religion will burst into flames.

I for one, will be looking forward to that !!!

After last night's coverage on NBC... (3, Informative)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805503)

After the disappointing, and frankly insulting performance put on by Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera (who I watched while growing up as local TV personalities) and the execrable Ryan Seacrest interviewing Michael Phelps instead of showing the 7/7 memorial, and the NOT EVEN 5 MINUTES BETWEEN COMMERCIALS, I'm done with the Olympics for this go-round.

So much this: http://www.slate.com/blogs/five_ring_circus/2012/07/28/nbc_olympics_coverage_meredith_vieira_think_it_s_cool_to_be_ignorant_.html [slate.com]

FUCK NBC. Fuck all of this crap.

Yes, the Mars Landing is much more relevant. I would rather watch grass grow and paint dry than turn on NBC coverage of the Olympics.

--
BMO

Look for other sources (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805563)

I think you can find torrents from other sources.

Also there is an NBC Olympics app that lets you watch live feeds (I think that will mean no commentary).

I am with you in that I DETEST Matt Lauer and all of the same people you have been hearing for years utterly ruining the audio track for the whole Olympics.

Re:Look for other sources (1)

Macrat (638047) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805609)

Also there is an NBC Olympics app that lets you watch live feeds (I think that will mean no commentary).

So you are making recommendations you haven't tried.

Will the rover get a gold medal? (1)

kawabago (551139) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805557)

Silver? Bronze? All it can do is find life on another planet. And no guarantee the life it finds will taste good!

Re:Will the rover get a gold medal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805717)

Well, it's *made* of metal... and probably costs more than the Olympics, so...

Murphy Lander (1, Informative)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year and a half ago | (#40805573)

This is a complicated landing scheme. It makes me nervous. Unlike the last mission, there is only one rover, so it's all or nothing.

So this is no longer a global forum. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805627)

Why the fuck would we be "all watching NBC" from every other country outside the US?
The Olympics involves every country, too bad Slashdot doesn't.

Will the Mars lander have an endorsement deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805649)

That's what would make it really interesting. A big Nike "swoosh" on the side, to let any Martians it might meet know what shoes it doesn't wear but gets paid to pretend it does... Then people would start to care again. Set it up with a face book page, or let it "twit" about its travels and its findings... or wherever you do that...

August 3rd, 2012, 8:07PM EST. Just passed an asteroid that reminded me of the Dairy Queen sign. Aren't those Blizzards great?

August 3rd, 2012, 9:05PM EST. Could really go for a Blizzard. If I had one right now, it would stay cold because of the vacuum of space. Geez it's cold... ...and the like. Let the lander complain about its parents (NASA) sending it far away, and how homesick it is for Earth. Have it meet a friendly comet along the way, to share adventures with. I would lose what little respect I have left for NASA, but people would sure dig it!

Come to think of it, why doesn't NASA hold a reality show about a group of people on a fake voyage to Mars, to see if they can live in a tin-can sized space for 17 months... or they could do one where contestants have to build a rocket to go to the moon... a lot of missed opportunities occur when our government refuses to play along with the entertainment culture we have nowadays. Who Wants to Be A Rocket Scientist would draw lots of fans, and who the hell knows, maybe even educate people.

Summer Olympics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805669)

Aren't the real Olympics anyway. The only real Olympics is the winter games, and eve half of them don't count.

There is no life anywhere else. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40805735)

Anyone who suggest otherwise is trying to sell you something or wants to spend your tax money.

Going to mars is an absolute waste of resources.

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