Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Promises, Promises

Why do weather reporters always lie? I'm convinced that they know the reports they are making are wrong, and they do it anyway, just to mess with our heads. They keep their jobs, because they're all in on it together, and there's no competition from other, more honest, weather prognosticators, no fear someone else is going to come out with a more accurate prediction. They are also secretly sharing the real weather forecast with their bosses and station owners, and they are all chuckling about it behind everyone else's backs. It's mean. I and countless children in the Portland area were promised snow, and all we're getting is COLD. Where does that get fun? If I sound like I'm whining, it's because I am. It's so anticlimactic. I was all ready to snuggle into the comfy chair, with a big mug of tea, and stare contentedly at the meandering flakes drifting down to nestle into their chilly white beds. Later, I would have bundled up and gone walking with my Kedley in a winter wonderland. It was a good plan!! Hmmph. Good thing I went skiing a few days ago, and plan to go again soon, or this snow thing would really tick me off. As it is, I'm just in whine mode, and will get over it as soon as something interesting catches my attention. I'm sort of like a puppy, or a Kat.

Okay, attention caught. (Wasn't that easy?) Those of you who check in here regularly know that I'm a big fan of the whole Space Elevator idea. Electric elevators climbing a super strong ribbon up and out of the gravity well that keeps matter sucked to our fair planet make a fine alternative to the rockets that require so much fuel to boost them out to space that there's barely any room left for cargo. Not that watching rockets take off isn't fun and all, but someday I'd actually like to take a trip into the outer limits myself, and I just can't see it happening as long as the voyage involves massive amounts of money, and massive amounts of G-forces. I get carsick if the ride involves too much acceleration. I'm pretty sure I would get rocketsick too. Now, I know that a space elevator would have to book it along at a brisk trot as well, but the mph factor and direction would be much more likely to remain fairly constant once it got up to speed, thus eliminating my main motion issues. That's my hope anyway, and I'm sticking to it, as long as no Really Smart People tell me any differently. (I'll think about the whole sickness from free-fall thing later.)

This brings up a pertinent question, though. Where do you go to get your space elevator queries answered? Answer: Really Smart People, of course!! Follow the link I posted above, which will send you to the Elevator 2010 site. Here's what they have to say about themselves:

The dream of a Space Elevator is a monumental one. A vision that will not only further space exploration and knowledge, but has the potential to shape the existential future of the human race for centuries to come.

For the first time since it was initially conceived, this dream is now within our reach.

Elevator 2010 has joined the on-going construction effort, adding energy, resources and new initiatives to the ever-growing number of organizations, companies, websites and enthusiasts focused on the technical, political and economic development of the Space Elevator.

Our goal is to generate enough interest in the project, so that within five years the Space Elevator basic building blocks can be demonstrated as feasible, and full-scale design and construction can begin.

And hence our name. Elevator:2010. we promise to get an answer for you by then.

Elevator 2010 is a project of the Spaceward Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Here's the link to their Space Elevator Primer, which should give you the gist of the concept. Then, if you still want more Space Elevator fun, you can go on to the FAQ page. It'll provide you with a list of Frequently Asked Questions, and more importantly, answer them. Isn't that exciting? Even better, if you need a little help getting your head around the whole notion of an elevator into space, there's a movie. Well, okay, it's an animation. Since we don't actually have an elevator yet, it would be hard to produce actual footage of the thing in action, but the animation is pretty slick and movie-esque--not up to the standard of today's CGI, but what do you want with a free demo of a cool idea? Popcorn and Milk Duds? Just follow the link to the FAQs and off to the right, under the Elevator 2010 logo is a little "intro movie" link. Go ahead and click on it. It'll be fun. At least I think so. Honest. I wouldn't lie to you about it. After all, I'm not a weather reporter, or any deceptive mean person like that. Hmmph. Promise me snow and not deliver....

Update: We finally got a little token dusting, but only enough to make things inconvenient, and not enough to make things fun. What's more, it came at night, when I couldn't watch it fall. I am not mollified in the least toward the weather prognostication industry. They made a big deal of it all, and I didn't even have a reason to put on boots. I still say they're mean. Waah!!