Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

'Space Vikings' Spark (Unfounded) NASA Waste Inquiry

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the erik-the-red-in-spaaaaaace dept.

NASA 147

sciencehabit writes "For Ved Chirayath, a graduate student and amateur fashion photographer, a photo project that involved NASA researchers dressed as Vikings was just a creative way to promote space science. 'I started this project hoping maybe one day some kid will look at it and say, 'I want to work for NASA,' ' says Chirayath, a student at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who also works nearby at NASA's Ames Research Center. He never suspected that his fanciful image would put him in the crosshairs of a government waste investigation triggered by a senior U.S. senator." The project was funded by an outside art grant. The best part: the investigation into the non-existent waste probably cost more than the "waste" would have were it funded by NASA in the first place.

cancel ×

147 comments

Most confusing headline ever (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44392955)

Keep it up, editors, you'll be good enough to work for the San Jose Mercury soon.

Re:Most confusing headline ever (0)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year ago | (#44393039)

I had absolutely no trouble parsing the headline. It makes perfect sense.

Perhaps you did not finish high school?

Re:Most confusing headline ever (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44393085)

No problems parsing the headline. However, my twisted mental faculties imagined things much more entertaining than what eventually played out.....

Re:Most confusing headline ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393103)

The headline sounds like there is a problem with how NASA handles unusable chemicals (waste), not about how employees were able to have some fun while making some congress critters mad unexpectedly.

Is his thought and mine parsed enough for ya'?

Re:Most confusing headline ever (4, Interesting)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year ago | (#44393567)

*sigh*

'Space Vikings' Spark (Unfounded) NASA Waste Inquiry

{Adjectival Noun + Noun} | Verb | {(Adjective) + Adjectival Noun + Adjectival Noun + Noun}

Subject | Verb | Object

I can tell the US education system has gone to shit when I'm reduced to defending Slashdot editors' word choices by diagramming sentences for dunderheads who were allowed to sleep all the way through 8th grade.

Re:Most confusing headline ever (4, Funny)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44393723)

Funny thing, I didn't even have to read TFA to know it was a Republican congresscritter.

Correct response to Grassley: (in baby talk) "who's a braying ass? YOU're a braying ass, yes you are!

Re:Most confusing headline ever (3, Insightful)

QuantumLeaper (607189) | about a year ago | (#44393819)

I know what you mean, I guessed it was a Republican who was complaining about waste. The only time Republicans complain about waste is when a Democrat has the Office of President, otherwise they are the largest wasters if money around.

Re:Most confusing headline ever (0)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about a year ago | (#44394445)

What planet are you from? No one loves big government, programs, and initiatives more than the Left, that's just well accepted. (well.. unless it's defense, then the Right sort of takes a lead)
No, I guessed it was a republican because this is slashdot, and some of us must make them look bad at every single, tiny, inconsequential opportunity.
This entire article is much ado about nothing, must be a slow news day; it's set to throw off suspicion of waste because they found *one* false positive, (stop the presses!) so they try to totally discredit the guy trying to prevent waste, while it's actually a good thing he's doing all in all. Sure, he screwed it up this time because the funding source wasn't what he thought, but there is truly stupid crap they catch too.
Lesson, kids: let's not try to prevent waste in government, that's just mean-spirited; instead, thou shalt not question the government's judgement in spending!

Wasteful spending of both Left and Right is something we should be on the lookout for, and crucifying a guy for a stupid mistake doesn't help.

Re:Most confusing headline ever (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year ago | (#44393129)

FYI: If you check TFA, you'll find the Slashdot headline is merely a slight variation on the original, so please take it up with the folks over at Science Insider.

Re:Most confusing headline ever (1)

QuantumLeaper (607189) | about a year ago | (#44393865)

Most headlines not matter where it is, are very rarely complete sentences. It would be like bitch about a title to a book because it is not a complete sentence.

Re:Most confusing headline ever (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393167)

It's pointless to criticize if you don't offer an alternative. How about "Space Vikings Spark Unfounded Accusation of Wasteful Spending at NASA"

Re:Most confusing headline ever (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44394639)

I suppose I'm the only one who misread "unfounded" in the headline as "unfunded", given the general topic. Here it would work even nicer.

Re:Most confusing headline ever (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393169)

Me no like dotty things or curly things around words, dotty things and curly things around words so scary!

why not? (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about a year ago | (#44393041)

heck might as well get alex baldwin too...

NERRRRRDDSS!! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year ago | (#44393123)

They probably all already had their own costumes, so they didn't have to spend anything there.

Reavers (5, Funny)

Ben C. (2950903) | about a year ago | (#44393063)

Space Vikings? Reavers are no joking matter.

Re:Reavers (1)

jakimfett (2629943) | about a year ago | (#44394029)

You, good gentleperson, have won one (1) internets. Please spend wisely.

Robbaz here, King of the Mun (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393065)

Who else thought of Viking Space Program? I can't be the only one.

Re:Robbaz here, King of the Mun (2)

Talderas (1212466) | about a year ago | (#44393435)

I thought of Lost Vikings.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393073)

The best part: the investigation into the non-existent waste probably cost more than the "waste" would have were it funded by NASA in the first place.

What kind of logic is that? Does the OP have knowledge of the future?

Re:Huh? (4, Insightful)

ArcadeX (866171) | about a year ago | (#44393121)

The best part: the investigation into the non-existent waste probably cost more than the "waste" would have were it funded by NASA in the first place.

What kind of logic is that? Does the OP have knowledge of the future?

Doesn't have to, you can look at previous investigations and extrapolate. You'd be suprised how much 'simple' paperwork cost the government where investigations are involved. I used to be a Government contractor, seeing my taxes wasted first hand made each paycheck withholding sting a little more.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393719)

Doesn't have to, you can look at previous investigations and extrapolate.

Why do you need to extrapolate the investigation cost? It was performed, so we know exactly how much it cost, right? Did you mean look at previous publicity stunts and extrapolate from that vs what was actually spent?

Re:Huh? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about a year ago | (#44394001)

Why would you presume that a government investigation has documentation that exactly details the costs? More likely, the investigators were paid via salary, as is the original senator, and other overhead such as electricity and gas for travel are lumped into general budgets. Thus, while the investigation certainly had a cost, much of it is obfuscated.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44394457)

I am a Government employee (posting AC), and I know that my overhead rate (electricity, gas, IT services, office space, etc.) is 55% of my total loaded rate. While this varies from location to location, and according to pay, it is nearly always between 40 and 65% (which is competitive with industry). I also know how much time I spend on projects. The cost to the Government is easily calculable.

We can't have this... (3, Insightful)

PrimeNumber (136578) | about a year ago | (#44393081)

This money could be better used for banker bonuses like our bailout money was.

Predictable (1, Troll)

coastwalker (307620) | about a year ago | (#44393115)

Remember folks its all about Bread and Circuses. Seriously I wonder why we bother to pretend that society still exists.

Re:Predictable (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44394733)

Remember folks its all about Bread and Circuses.

I suppose that in the context of science geeks, that would be "breadboards and cyclotrons".

*Grassley* is complaining about waste? (5, Informative)

spasm (79260) | about a year ago | (#44393141)

"This year [2008], the government-watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste named Grassley the fourth biggest GOP earmarker. The senator has proven himself a champion spender of other people’s money." http://spectator.org/archives/2008/06/10/chuck-grassley-king-of-pork [spectator.org]

Re:*Grassley* is complaining about waste? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393393)

Earmarks != waste.

I'm no fan of the practice but you're really trying to compare apples and oranges.

Re:*Grassley* is complaining about waste? (4, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#44393453)

They are waste. They are basically ways to buy votes. Bills should be voted on for their merits, not because if you vote "yes" you'll get a bridge in your district.

Re:*Grassley* is complaining about waste? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393799)

But if my senator doesn't get a bridge in my district then I'll have to elect another senator who can.

Re:*Grassley* is complaining about waste? (3, Insightful)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about a year ago | (#44393911)

They are waste. They are basically ways to buy votes. Bills should be voted on for their merits, not because if you vote "yes" you'll get a bridge in your district.

It really depends then on what bill the earmark is attached too. There is generally a big omnibuss spending bill. Earmarks on it are just about deciding what bridges should be built. Earmarks on federal law, wars, supreme court justices are unethical.

Waste vs Abuse (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about a year ago | (#44394773)

I'll disagree somewhat. We have constant campaigns against 'Fraud, Waste, and Abuse'. An earmark that actually results in a bridge(that will be used) being built would be Abuse, not waste.

Fraud: Selling/buying counterfeit Chinese parts rather than the real ones that will actually last through use.
Waste: Contracting construction of a building, screwing up the work document such that they end up tearing it down due to safety concerns.
Abuse: Claiming porn/alcohol/pay per view on your travel voucher.

Re:*Grassley* is complaining about waste? (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about a year ago | (#44393777)

Senators and House of representatives are the ultimate Government waste. I suggest we tackle waste at the root: by removing the entire Congress from the US political system. I mean, it's not like they're doing anything right now anyway.

What's that? They perform important, and things like government salaries, pensions, cadillac health care, corporate-sponsored outings to the Bahamas are just things that make government possible? I'm shocked at that news. Maybe we can come to a similar understanding for thinks like NASA researchers dressed as Vikings?

Re:*Grassley* is complaining about waste? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393939)

You misunderstand the game. No public expense is too great when pursuing potential political advantage. What if it was done on NASA's nickel? Grassley and like-minded wingnuts would be flogging those photos until the next Republican president takes office.

Re:*Grassley* is complaining about waste? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393971)

It's only waste whe somebody else does it, obviously.

Depressing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393143)

It has to be depressing to work for an organization where any diversion at all sparks a congressional investigation into your work.

Re:Depressing (0)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44393389)

NASA are not only used to such politics, they're the Jedi Fucking Masters of politics.

Re:Depressing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393897)

You mean to say that they've been eradicated, and the few survivors marooned on a few shitty planets and hedge all their hopes on annoying teenagers?

Re:Depressing (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44393965)

And they do a lot of fucking.

Re:Depressing (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393791)

It is not just NASA, but extends to other science work under federal grants. When I was an undergraduate and working for free for a project to get some experience, I spent some downtime creating a much nicer website and some literature for non-science types to understand the project. The head of the project was scared to put any of it up, as the grant didn't allow for outreach and he thought it looked like it was too well done or too much time was spent on it. So they stuck with a minimalistic website that didn't have much more than a publication list and staff listing. I've also since then see others warned of what they do on their free time if too associated with a project (not warned as in reprimanded and/or having their job threatened, but warned as in "You don't want to get into the drama that can produce.") Not all projects are like that, as some have outreach efforts, with slight funding or just completely based on volunteer work.

Vikings? Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393155)

I got no beef with the financial side of this because I have no reason to doubt the claim that no taxpayer money was used.

But is the stereotypical image of a viking really the one we want to present to the rest of the universe? Do we really want to frighten them by basically saying that we are going to invade their planets, kill whatever mostly resembles males, rape whatever mostly resembles females, and burn whatever mostly resembels crops?

I for one propose that we take a more humble and peaceful tone with alien brethen. Perhaps Space Mimes? Who could find that threatening? Or maybe Space Teletubbies? No, wait, NASA couldn't afford to use that trademark, especially not with this kind of heat from Senator Grumpypants (of the Iowa Grumpypants).

Space Kittens? I think that pretty much sums up a lot of people on Earth. Space Muppets? Was there already a Muppets in Space movie?

Re:Vikings? Really? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393261)

When the vikings came to North America they didn't commit genocide... just sayin'...

Its the germs, not guns and steel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393525)

When the vikings came to North America they didn't commit genocide... just sayin'...

Using your somewhat misinformed perspective: Only because they were outnumbered, had no firearms and were wiped out by the natives. The vikings hardly abstained from raiding, warfare or colonization.

Why is your perspective somewhat misinformed? The genocide of native american peoples was not really from guns and steel, it was really from germs. Vikings would also have carried european diseases that native americans had little to no immunity against.

Even if european colonists had been friendly, honest, fair and caring neighbors the native americans would have been largely wiped out by european diseases.

Re:Its the germs, not guns and steel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393661)

So by this logic, fleas were trying to literally commit genocide via the plague?

Re:Vikings? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44394461)

That might be the case not because they were necessarily peaceful, but because they had such little contact with Native Americans, and because they were so far from home and could not established supply lines that to sustain any kind of prolonged military campaigns.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norse_colonization_of_the_Americas

Re:Vikings? Really? (1)

tekrat (242117) | about a year ago | (#44393461)

" we are going to invade their planets, kill whatever mostly resembles males, rape whatever mostly resembles females, and burn whatever mostly resembels crops? "
------
And don't you think that's EXACTLY what we're going to do when we find another planet with life? The USA invaded Iraq on false pretenses, and basically shot at everyone who wasn't an American. And that's with oversight and real-time news reporting. Can you imagine the havoc we'll create when politicians and the media are 220 million light years away?

Re:Vikings? Really? (1)

HappyHead (11389) | about a year ago | (#44393665)

And that's with oversight and real-time news reporting. Can you imagine the havoc we'll create when politicians and the media are 220 million light years away?

Are you kidding? Half of that havoc was because of the media coverage making soldiers want to show off and look tough, and politicians sending screwed up orders based on their personal (and highly uninformed) biases. (The other half was just because that's what "organized" militaries do. The unorganized ones are even worse.) That's okay though, any exploratory/colonial/invasion force sent out by earth will likely carry politicans and media with it to turn things into a messed up circus as well.

Re:Vikings? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44394761)

" we are going to invade their planets, kill whatever mostly resembles males, rape whatever mostly resembles females, and burn whatever mostly resembels crops? "
------
"And don't you think that's EXACTLY what we're going to do when we find another planet with life?"

No, I don't think that because in order to be an astronaut you have to be good at math and science :)

Business as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393159)

One do-gooder congressman complained about seeing lots of people sitting around reading when he visited the National Science Foundation.

How do you know in advance? (0)

Score Whore (32328) | about a year ago | (#44393219)

Seems perfectly valid to inquire as to why NASA employees are participating in a non-work activity during working hours. Since the photographs are identified as having been taken on Friday Dec 14, 2012 and the photos appear to have been taken during the day, it's completely valid to determine whether the NASA employees took a vacation day or whether they just slipped away from the office.

Re:How do you know in advance? (4, Insightful)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about a year ago | (#44393291)

A little fun can boost moral and increase efficiency far more than the loss of time. You will notice that most companies with knowledge workers take time for parties, outings etc.

The real waste in large organizations isn't from spending on photos, silly movies, or conferences in nice locations. The big waste is from spending on unneeded projects, or in starting large projects that are then canceled.

Re:How do you know in advance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393747)

...or in starting large projects that are then canceled.

Thankfully, congress ensures that this never happens at NASA.

IRS Star Trek Video (3, Insightful)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about a year ago | (#44393331)

I think they are just checking that NASA isn't wasnting money like the IRS did. The IRS used govemerment funds to create Star Trek videos with upper managment in them.

Re:IRS Star Trek Video (4, Informative)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about a year ago | (#44393913)

That video was made while training in the use of their new video facilities and cost them next to nothing. Try watching something besides Fox News.

Re:IRS Star Trek Video (0)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44394061)

That video was made while training in the use of their new video facilities and cost them next to nothing. Try watching something besides Fox News.

..umm. the video facilities didn't cost anything? it's IRS not hollywood or DOD recruitment agency.
since it didn't cost anything how did they accomplish that, deducted costs for the video facilities from their taxes as training costs??

Re:IRS Star Trek Video (4, Informative)

Agent.Nihilist (1228864) | about a year ago | (#44394227)

The video was made as a training exercise for the new facilities. The studio wasn't built to do the star trek video, the star trek video was done to train people for the studio.
In other words they used the existing training budget to do a fun exercise instead of filming 70's style PSAs that would never see the light of day.

Training videos (4, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | about a year ago | (#44394831)

This reminds me of the CDC's Zombie preparedness memo.

Some people bitched about the 'waste of funds' and such. The CDC pointed out that from their metrics it was viewed OVER 100X as much as their normal releases, for approximately equal preparation cost. Plus, well, if you're prepared for zombies, you're prepared about as well as you can be for many natural and unnatural disasters. The advice in the release was still standard disease/disaster prep stuff.

Re:IRS Star Trek Video (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44394265)

They paid for the video facilities to make internal videos for years to come. In training the staff to use the equipment that was purchased for training videos, they chose to do something that isn't as dry as teaching the tax code.

The programming equivalent is complaining how much that 'hello world' program cost to make because it requires a 1 grand computer to make.

Re:How do you know in advance? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393441)

Speaking of which, your post was posted on Friday, July 26, 2013 at what appears to be working hours (2:27 PM Eastern, so no earlier than 11:27 if you're in California). Are you taking a vacation day today? An investigation seems legitimate.

Re:How do you know in advance? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44394297)

I'm guessing the moderator was also moderating Slashdot, presumably a non-work activity, during working hours.

Touchy!

Re:How do you know in advance? (4, Informative)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44393907)

It is like a general from the pentagon making a special flight to Okinawa to see if PFC Perkins pilfered a stapler.

The inquiry will easily cost more than the photos would have if NASA had paid for them.

Of course the senator has been called the king of pork on more than one occasion. He probably would have been fione with it as long as they had the photos developed in Iowa.

"100 year starship" study in same category? (1)

peter303 (12292) | about a year ago | (#44393271)

I heard a PR talk of NASA-funded 100 Starship Project [100yss.org] earlier this year. before I heard the talk I thought it might be a good idea to plan for the next century, but now I am not sure. It seemed very emphemeral. They commission annual conferences and give talks to school kids. The technologies seemed way too hypotheticlal.

6 offices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393285)

Senator Grassley has six offices in Iowa.

http://www.grassley.senate.gov/contact/contact.cfm

How much does that cost the taxpayers?
I doubt he's paying for that -- he isn't sitting in six different offices all the time, is he? /Potatoe

Re:6 offices (4, Informative)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#44393691)

Grassley has a history of sending drooling stupid letters full of dipshit questions to NASA administrators. Here [senate.gov] he's character-assinating the director of the Ames Research Center. Here [senate.gov] he's making shit up about NASA and Google doing something nefarious. Here [spaceref.com] is an account of him badgering them about procurement practices.

Note that all of them contain demands for detailed histories, rationales and future plans, all to be delivered with two weeks.

Maybe this grandstanding fucktard should start writing similar letters to the Secretary of Defense. I hear they get a slightly larger portion of the budget pie than NASA does.

YEAH... (2)

amoeba1911 (978485) | about a year ago | (#44393299)

Wow NASA probably spent hundreds of dollars funding this extravagant photo-op. Yes, considering how small NASA's budget is, you can confidently say NASA spent the majority of its funding on this photo shoot.

Nonsense (4, Insightful)

Jiro (131519) | about a year ago | (#44393303)

Claiming that the waste investigation costs more than the loss from the waste is meaningless. In order to see if the cost is worth it, you can't compare the waste that was caught to the cost of the investigation. You have to compare the waste that there would be without any investigation, to the cost of the investigation. As investigation discourages waste, the latter number is larger than the former number.

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393371)

Waste without investigation: $0 (NASA didn't pay for the thing being investigated)
Waste from investigation: $hella lots.

Looks like the investigation was a waste by your standards.

Re:Nonsense (5, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | about a year ago | (#44393611)

> Claiming that the waste investigation costs more
> than the loss from the waste is meaningless.

Sometimes, but not in this case. The first question should have been "What?!? Space vikings?!? Who paid for this crap? ... Oh, not us? OK then." The "investigation" should have been 1 or 2 phone calls.

Rule #1: Verify that your premise and assumptions are correct before proceeding. If you go into something thinking "This seems like a waste of tax dollars!", your first questions MUST be "Was it paid for with tax dollars?" To not do so is... wasteful.

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393659)

this

Re:Nonsense (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | about a year ago | (#44393755)

But the person requesting the investigation had better be damn sure he is not doing the same.

Just like I can't sit here and complain about my coworker on facebook as I type this response in /.

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393871)

That's obviously wrong here. These pictures were taken and posted online before an investigation was launched. The investigation did not stop any further "waste", so it's quite easy to say the cost of the investigation was more than the cost of taking these pictures.
"Agency investigators ...made contact with just about every person who took part in the shoot". What a waste of taxpayer money!
The article says props were on loan (free) and hints that the costumes were on loan (free).
As the investigators were being paid to investigate, and as the researchers did the photos on their own time, $X > $0, so the investigation cost more than the supposed "waste" it was investigating.

Re:Nonsense (2)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44394033)

This is not the first time the senator has called for a wasteful waste investigation. We need to investigate his wasteful spending immediately before he wastes on waste again.

When the potential cost of the waste is small, launching an investigation over a single incident is always a waste.

Re:Nonsense (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#44394183)

The issue is, Having people dressing up like Vikings is probably a few hundred buck. You look at it and you see that well it can't cost that much. Sure it may have cost tax payers money. But so does having you coffee pot filled daily. Or the refrigerator to keep their lunches cool.

Now you have NASA design a replacement shuttle, give them near impossible specs, have them create a bunch of working prototypes then cancel the project because they decide space is no longer politically interesting, is much different.

Re:Nonsense (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about a year ago | (#44394485)

Sure it may have cost tax payers money.

It didn't.

Re:Nonsense (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44394531)

Claiming that the waste investigation costs more than the loss from the waste is meaningless. In order to see if the cost is worth it, you can't compare the waste that was caught to the cost of the investigation. You have to compare the waste that there would be without any investigation, to the cost of the investigation. As investigation discourages waste, the latter number is larger than the former number.

it was just a hunt after the pictures had already been taken.. ..and you know what, the investigation would never have needed to be official if they had just asked where the money came from.

In light of IRS... (3, Insightful)

alta (1263) | about a year ago | (#44393317)

In light of the IRS making Star Trek training videos I really don't see any problem with digging into all Government entities searching for waste. Glad they didn't find it here, but I'm also glad the checked.

Re:In light of IRS... (4, Informative)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about a year ago | (#44393899)

You're a fool swept up in Republican lies and propaganda. That video was made while training in the use of their new video facilities and cost them next to nothing.

Re:In light of IRS... (0)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44394117)

You're a fool swept up in Republican lies and propaganda. That video was made while training in the use of their new video facilities and cost them next to nothing.

What the fuck does IRS need video facilities for and why does upper management need videojockey skillzz? they spent dollars for getting that facility and time for making the video. that is not next to nothing.

Re:In light of IRS... (3, Insightful)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about a year ago | (#44394345)

Let's see. They could be making internal training videos, saving money on training new hires or adjusting old workers to new rules. They could be making public instructional videos, saving money by reducing the number of mistakes made by the public. They could be making any number of different videos that could more than pay for the paultry $60,000 cost of the facility.

Re:In light of IRS... (1)

Agent.Nihilist (1228864) | about a year ago | (#44394825)

It should also be noted that they spent over twice that much money on speakers for a single conference.

Re:In light of IRS... (4, Insightful)

Guru80 (1579277) | about a year ago | (#44394207)

Except for the issue of costs. Those hours spent contacting everyone, filling out paperwork and digging around for ways to fire someone cost far more than a few photos in costumes paid for by an art grant earmarked specifically for this kind of thing. It really could have been as simple as 3 phone calls.

Call 1: Head of the department the participants work in - "Nope, wasn't during scheduled meeting times, cost us none of our money and I'm a freakin space viking! One guy made us sound cooler than anything you guys have done since the moon missions".

Call 2: Photographer - "No, I didn't interfere with their work and it cost you nothing. I have a grant to make NASA look awesome and sound freakin badass! Space Vikings! Just in case here is the number to verify freakin vikings in freakin space money"

Call 3: Grant people - "Yes we gave photographer a grant to take pictures of space vikings, glad to see you aren't living up to your reputation as one of the biggest wasters in congress with your sensible approach to verifying the facts and not ordering a full blown investigation into the space viking thing".

Re:In light of IRS... (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about a year ago | (#44394255)

There is a problem though if any investigation is going to cost more than any waste that could have possibly happened. Especially if said senator could have just sent a polite letter to the administrator to ask about where the funding for the photo-op came from.

GSA, IRS, et. al (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393329)

This shouldn't surprise anyone. The federal bureaucracy has recently been astonished to discover that their excess money disposal activities aren't particularly amusing to the public. One of the symptoms of this disconnect has been stupid parody video productions emerging from both the GSA and IRS. Confusing this NASA vikings thing with that is understandable.

Damage from corruption is subtle; the chilling effects of suspicion not the least of these.

FTG (1)

AndyKron (937105) | about a year ago | (#44393429)

Senators should be spending their time creating work-around laws to the Constitution, rather than waste it with this nonsense.

Wrong pond (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#44393559)

If you want to go fishing for corruption, why not go look in more obvious place like where 24% of the budget gets spent? That would be a much better payoff if you want to clean up corrupt funding. Otherwise, I would file this under "because, space geeks" and stop spending money on the witch hunt.

[*] http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_budget_actual [usgovernmentspending.com]

 

Re:Wrong pond (1)

QuantumLeaper (607189) | about a year ago | (#44393917)

Republicans only know how to do witch hunts or they ignore it when they have the power of the white house behind them. Some of the biggest spenders/wasters are Republicans, if you check the facts.

Re:Wrong pond (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44394479)

Democrats only know how to do witch hunts or they ignore it when they have the power of the white house behind them. Some of the biggest spenders/wasters are Democrats, if you check the facts.

Or if you prefer some other pointless drivel here is the same thing replaced with Whigs:

Whigs only know how to do witch hunts or they ignore it when they have the power of the white house behind them. Some of the biggest spenders/wasters are Whigs, if you check the facts.

As you can see, you've contributed absolutely nothing to this conversation, no factual points, just a lot of being you being a blowhard. Now please will you do us all a favor and kill yourself.

"Government Waste" is just an excuse (0)

Required Snark (1702878) | about a year ago | (#44393605)

The GOP hates science, so going after NASA fits right in: "Let's go after them uppity intehlectuals, they're a bunch of godless atheist scum who believe in evolution. NASA sez the earth ain't flat like the Bible tells me, so why are they getting my tax money?"

Grassley has to pander to his base. Verifiable facts, science, and technical achievement make them feed inadequate. He knows exactly what he is doing. Generally the places where the GOP is in control are the places where stupidity is considered a virtue.

Re:"Government Waste" is just an excuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393801)

The GOP hates science

Yeah, like that Gingrich fellow, who wants moonbases and direct-from-sun power.

Verifiable facts, science, and technical achievement make them feed inadequate.

Really? Because from what I've been able to see over the past three decades, the Republicans fucking LOVE technical achievement.

I'll give you verifiable facts and partial credit for science. Neither party is interested in verifiable facts, and both parties care about science only so long as it pushes their agenda.

Re:"Government Waste" is just an excuse (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about a year ago | (#44394507)

Ah, the old "one side is as bad as the other" fallacy.

Have you been listening to Bobby "something called volcano-monitoring" Jindal again? Been sucking up the far right's climate denial campaign?

Paul Gazis' Viking attack procedures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44393627)

Someone should contact Paul Gazis, as he's the author of the (un)official NASA procedure for dealing with Viking raids.

http://paulgazis.com/Humor/Vikings.htm

The history of the procedure is here.

http://paulgazis.com/Humor/Vikings_History_Of_This_Page/Vikings_History_Of_This_Page.htm

NASA funded research into how to have sex in space (1)

yayoubetcha (893774) | about a year ago | (#44393715)

Seriously, when I worked for a NASA funded project (around 1989), I discovered that a researcher got funded for doing "science" on how to have sex in space.

The project cost something in the neighborhood of $150,000. The researches came up with a piece of technology to make sex easier in space: a big rubber band wrapped around the partners. Money well spent.

Why Vikings = Space? (1)

nbauman (624611) | about a year ago | (#44393877)

FTA:

Last year, Chirayath began working at ARC, where he helps develop small, compact research satellites known as “CubeSats.” The technology, developed in part at Stanford, reminded him of Viking explorers who, from the eighth through 11th centuries, “travelled farther and saw more in much smaller ships than had been used before their time.”

For the Republicans, NASA"s only legitimate (2)

mark_reh (2015546) | about a year ago | (#44393887)

mission is to try to send a rocket to heaven and find Jesus.

Rocket Logic? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#44394335)

'I started this project hoping maybe one day some kid will look at it and say, 'I want to work for NASA,' ' says Chirayath

"Hey, lets shed our nerdy image by cosplaying!"

Most cries of government waste are red herrings (1)

runeghost (2509522) | about a year ago | (#44394407)

Sure, the government (and its employees) sometimes blow money on amazingly stupid stuff. Sometimes the amounts of money involved seem mind-boggling to thee and me. But take a step back and look at things in perspective; compared to the real gross abuses going on (corruption from post-facto bribes and regulatory capture, the implementation of secret programs of all stripes, idiotic policies, and poor implemention) 'waste' isn't anywhere near being one of the U.S. Federal Government's more serious problems.

They violated NASA procedures (3, Funny)

Plazmid (1132467) | about a year ago | (#44394879)

Clearly they have violated Standard NASA Ames Procedures [archive.org] for dealing with this sort of thing.

They failed to fill out a both the DARC-820AD -- 'Identifying a Barbarian Attack' and FF-1066AD -- 'Report of Viking Raid' forms.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...