September 21, 2005

No Moon Left Behind

Science rocks. I had to say that. Some people might read what follows and think Iím some anti-science freak. That couldnít be further from the truth. Science has brought us many great things like advances in medicine which have increased our health and longevity and the Internet which brings us porn. I applaud science and the scientists who sciencify for the benefit of us all. Like I said, science rocks.

Earlier this week, NASA made a great big announcement. Apparently, weíre going to the moon, baby! Yes, in the interest of exploring the many nooks and crannies of this great big old universe we call home, weíre headed moonward. Okay, okay. I know, weíve already been. But thatís not the point, right? How else are we going to spend $100 billion?

Do you have any concept of what $100 billion will buy? Besides half the cost of the war in Iraq to date or half of the estimated costs of rebuilding the Gulf Coast following hurricane Katrina? Hereís a hypothetical. Letís say Iím a billionaire. I just happen to have 100 billion-dollar bills in my wallet that Iím itching to spend. Iíd hate to be selfish soÖburgers for everyone! Who wouldnít like a burger right now (donít worry Ė I have veggie burgers for those of you who, like me, donít eat meat)? Well, it turns out with $100 billion I could buy burgers for 20,000,000,000 peopleÖif there were that many people on the planet, which there arenít. So, want fries with that? I can buy burgers and fries for 12,500,000,000 people. But damn, that's still more food than there are people in the entire world. So, Iíd like to buy the world a Coke. That means I can only buy food for 9,090,090,090 peopleÖstill more meals than people. How hard is it to feed the world anyway? Fine. My last offer? A full body massage or a hooker. Your choice. 1,639,344,262 of the planetís population should be very pleased with their fine fast-food meal and hooker (or massage). Of course, Iím sure there are already a bunch of people with plenty of burgers and hookers (or masseuses). Iíd better rethink this.

There are an estimated 36 million Americans living below the poverty line. With those crisp billion-dollar bills, I could feed each one of them 253 times, or spring for three meals a day over the course of 80 days (hooker [or massage] not included). Can you imagine how completely and utterly cool it would be to have the power to feed 36 million people for three months? How amazing it would be to put food on tables across the country for 36 million people, to temporarily eliminate the struggle for one basic necessity for a short period of time allowing folks to focus on other things like finding jobs, gaining job training or pursuing an education? Can you imagine the impact of helping this group of people use their money to find adequate child care, pay off medical expenses or put something back into the sagging economy?

I donít think going to the moon is a bad idea, as long as weíre able to answer a couple questions and make some difficult choices. What do we tell the soldiers in Iraq who are scrambling to weld iron plates to their Humvees because the government hasnít followed through on its promise of better equipment? (By the way, when youíre out in space and realize the government didnít adequately equip you, youíre fucked.) Or the folks diggging out from underneath the piles of rubble in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama? Or the veteran whoís trying to get the government to pay for a prosthetic leg? Or the seniors crossing the Canadian border in search of prescription drugs they can afford without sacrificing meals? Or the 36 million people living below the poverty line who could use a burger right now?

Methinks the President should focus on one thing at a time, mainly the welfare of the people living in the United States. To remind him of his civic responsibilities, please join me in Operation: No Moon Left Behind. Next time you see the president in person, drop trou and show him your own fleshy pink moon. Remind the President that there are moons here on earth that need his attention first.

All costs were estimated. Food costs were derived from average prices across major fast food restaurant chains. Burger prices were inflated a bit just cos. Rates for hookers were derived through extensive viewing of Law & Order episodes which are kindly provided by no less than three channels (NBC, TNT, USA) and can be found nearly every night of the week.
Burgers - $5.00
Fries Ė $3.00
Coke - $2.00
Hooker/Masseuse - Priceless. No, I'm kidding...$50/hour (prices may vary based on the rates established by each individual hooker/masseuse and his or her professional, uh, limitations.

Posted by Chris at September 21, 2005 7:30 AM

I'd like extra pickle.

Excellent post Chris, my boy, really excellent.

BTW... $50? really?

Posted by: zeno at September 21, 2005 8:28 AM

While I think we mainly come from different political philosophies (you just hate Republicans, whereas I hate everyone equally), I'm totally behind you on this one.

My idea? Privatize NASA. If someone wants to go to the moon for science, fine. It's like big drug companies -- if there's money in it, someone will do it. And they'll probably do it a lot better and for cheaper than the government will while spending our money.

The problem: Bush is a moron. Therefore, until he's gone and most of Congress is also gone, we're screwed.

Happy Wednesday!

Posted by: ~L. at September 21, 2005 8:37 AM

Brilliant! Postively brilliant!

Posted by: Niki at September 21, 2005 9:01 AM

while i'm fascinated with the world of outerspace i'd have to agree with you on this one. it's not like the human race hasn't travelled to the moon a few times before now - and while that was all before my lifetime, really, the moon isn't changing all that much or all that quickly.

well said. :)

Posted by: suze at September 21, 2005 9:07 AM

You make an excellent point. But are you SURE you got those rates from watching Law & Order?

Posted by: Fraulein N at September 21, 2005 9:18 AM

I personally feel that NASA is feeling left out on the whole remake/nostalgia thing going on. I mean, all the TV Shows and movies we grew up on are being remade into blockbuster (or whatever the opposite of that is) movies. So NASA is jumping on the bandwagon and caught Dubya at a good time (right before his 3rd nap of the day) to get the approval.

Excellent post, you sleep-deprived musical genious!


Posted by: Mike at September 21, 2005 9:21 AM

I can't even get into this stuff b/c it makes me so pissy. And yes I agree with the comment that Bush is a moron. My most recent favorite comment was from last weeks presidental address in Louisiana in which he stated that he was going to look into the lack of military prescence during the disaster of hurricane Katrina. OF COURSE THERE IS A LACK OF MILITARY PRESCENCE IF OVER 40% OF OUR RESERVES ARE SERVING IN IRAQ!!! I swear to god, the man gets dumber every time I hear him speak. ARGH.

Posted by: Michelle at September 21, 2005 9:24 AM

"Science rocks."
How PC of you lol.

and only 50 bucks for a hooker?? That seems cheap to me, but then I'm a novice when it comes to those things.

Posted by: Betty at September 21, 2005 9:39 AM

You do have a good point.
However have overlooked the impact research done at NASA has on our lives. In the field I work in, I have seen vast improvements in the quality and speed of results we produce. The field of clinical microbiology was revolutionized by research done in order to send men to the moon. Robotics is another. These are only very small examples of how essential and valuable the information that filters down to more earthly pursuits has become.

Posted by: Theresa at September 21, 2005 10:07 AM

You do have a good point.
However have overlooked the impact research done at NASA has on our lives. In the field I work in, I have seen vast improvements in the quality and speed of results we produce. The field of clinical microbiology was revolutionized by research done in order to send men to the moon. Robotics is another. These are only very small examples of how essential and valuable the information that filters down to more earthly pursuits has become.

Posted by: Theresa at September 21, 2005 10:07 AM

You do have a good point.
However have overlooked the impact research done at NASA has on our lives. In the field I work in, I have seen vast improvements in the quality and speed of results we produce. The field of clinical microbiology was revolutionized by research done in order to send men to the moon. Robotics is another. These are only very small examples of how essential and valuable the information that filters down to more earthly pursuits has become.

Posted by: Theresa at September 21, 2005 10:07 AM

I disagree with this one, Chris. As we continue to decimate, deplete, and overpopulate the soil where we reside, you've got to plan ahead. I beleive that the current trend gives us no other option but to colonize the moon (within the next century) so that it can one day be a stopping point for travel to space stations. However, at the same time, we do need to take care of business here at home. Right now. That means channeling unnessessary spending to places it truly belongs.
How about if we start by taking any and all personal property belonging to the Commander and Chief when he/she assumes office and auction it to fund the greater cause? Kind of an imminent domain thing. Oh wait, where would they vacation? Well, I guess you could also limit them to a one week vacation like most employees. Then if they're elected to a second term, they get two weeks after five years of service. Heck, throw in a Disney cruise.
I really don't know where the funding should come from to help the less fortunate but I don't think it should be the space program.
$100 billion, really?

Posted by: Diane at September 21, 2005 10:31 AM

I agree that the moon isn't the most pressing issue these days, but I suppose it's also like other things in life... maybe there's never a time when it will seem like the best use of money. Granted, right now we seem to be having a lot of additional expenditures that are crucial so it does seem silly to spend a billion dollars to head to the moon (where we've already been) and then say "hmm, how are we going to find money to clean up the messes left by all the hurricanes?".

Posted by: Nicole at September 21, 2005 11:13 AM

ROFLMAO!!! ok now that i've chocked on my coffee and spit it all over my moniter, lolol

I think it was this line that really did me in...
"Hooker/Masseuse - Priceless. No, I'm kidding...$50/hour (prices may vary based on the rates established by each individual hooker/masseuse and his or her professional, uh, limitations"

But I loved the post and I agree.. we need to focus a bit more on things that really matter... while the moon and space are cool and all.. it's here at home that needs our attention the most.

Posted by: Tammy at September 21, 2005 11:36 AM

I gotta say I'm with you on this one. I love NASA...anytime the shuttle went up to space, I had my face glued to NASA TV to see our scientists floating around in the outer space. I cried when the crews of Challenger and Columbia lost their lives.

But come on, WHY are we doing this? Is this the president's way of trying to divert our attention from the atrocities that are going on over in the middle East? WTF??? It doesn't make any sense to me. It's a big waste of money.

I asked my husband, who is a big NASA fan, why in the hell they were doing this...he thought (he may have even read this on NASA's website, I'm not sure) that it was a step towards our goal of exploring Mars. Whatever.

This may sound really dumb but when I found out they were going to the moon and were bringing back an Apollo-like rocket to replace the orbiters, I was disappointed. I love the space orbiters. It's so, expected , so cliche to send a rocket into space. Since 1981, we've been sending AIRPLANES into space. And now we're going back to those boring stupid rockets. Sigh.

Posted by: Colleen at September 21, 2005 11:39 AM

You crack me up AND make me think.

I like that.


Posted by: carrster at September 21, 2005 11:53 AM

I think you took this post right from my brain. I think science is cool and great but NASA - that don't impress me much.

Posted by: C at September 21, 2005 11:54 AM

my thoughts exactly, I think we have bigger issues to deal with and need attention than add on more expensive adventures exploring space. great post as always my friend!

Posted by: E at September 21, 2005 12:18 PM

I had pretty much this same conversation (sans hookers) with my sister about a month ago, or whenever it was they launched the space shuttle last, what exactly is it they are trying to do up there that takes precedence over the people down here? Research and exploration and all that is important and fine and exciting, but take care of your own first.

oh, and can I get a side of mayo for the fries or is that asking too much??

Posted by: Kathryn at September 21, 2005 1:12 PM

I love the idea of us going back to the moon, or to Mars!. I'm married to a space nut, and I'm a long-time Carl Sagan fan, BUT I agree with you here--Moon = Good, but not when it has to come at the expense of other needs and more pressing priorities. Unfortunately, we have only a finite amount of money (something the current president keeps forgetting), and agencies, including NASA tend to come up with their grand plans without thinking of HOW the money will come to them, and what programs will have to suffer. How about more of those "contribute $2, $5, $10" blanks on our tax forms so that those of us who WANT to see more money going to NASA (as opposed to say, Halliburton) or to the public schools, can check away?

Posted by: wavybrains at September 21, 2005 1:28 PM

Remember when Lance Bass was going to go in space? What a monkey-brain.

In regards to your first commenter... Private companies have been trying to bring space travel to tourism for many years. The Ansari X Prize Model awarded $10M to Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne in Feb 2005. Also Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic fortune has recently licensed technology to send tourists to "kiss" the edge of space and has sold I think over 100 tix for $200K a piece for a 2008 ride.

In other news, I've never been to space, but once lied about having gone to space camp.

melati = bad person.

Posted by: melati at September 21, 2005 1:34 PM

I'm sitting here in the Houston area staring into the face of hurrican Rita, watching the evacues from New Orleans getting flown out and fixin' to board up my house and all I can think is there are bigger issues here on earth. Lets spend that $ on our population, on actual human needs. I'm all for science and exploration but it seems to be a luxury when there are so many people who need help.

Posted by: Nic at September 21, 2005 2:00 PM

Bush's first choice was to launch a manned mission to the Sun.

NASA was reluctant, due to the obvious - the extreme temperatures.

Bush's response: "Well, that's why we'll go at night."

Posted by: Jason at September 21, 2005 2:02 PM

What if I wanted a bacon double cheeseburger, with ketchup, extra mustard, relish, lettuce, tomato, hold the onions? And gravy for my fries. And super-size the coke. How much would that cost?

And I agree. Priorities are so messed up. Imagine how rich your country would be in pride and employment if you made better use of $500 billion. It's insane. Let's not forget that there was a report out that $1 billion was "stolen" and they're looking for "stolen" funds from the rebuilding of Iraq. Blah. Don't get me started.

Posted by: Grace at September 21, 2005 2:04 PM

Sometimes I think it's just all one big pissing match for the politicians. Maybe during the elections (until we get a female canidate at least), we can make them whip it out and measure it during the big debate, and maybe then they can stop all this useless "who goes first" "who is right" crap.

Ughhh- just fed up today. Your post summed it up very well for me.

Posted by: Bonanza Jellybean at September 21, 2005 5:18 PM

Space exploraton is all good when we have a budget surplus or if private citizens want to foot the bill, but this is ridiculous. I have to agree with what most everybody else said. And you! It seems that $50 is a good average price for hookers...From what I ndetsand, they can cost anywhere from $10 - $500 depending on the quality and gender guarantee.

Posted by: Carrie Jo at September 21, 2005 5:57 PM

"your own fleshy pink moon". Uh-huh. Power to the pinkness. Leave out the black, red, brown, yellow and other colored moons. Fine. I see how uber liberal you are, Cactus. I'll take my fine yellow ass elsewhere then.


I'm pro-moon. Just do it cheaper and/or wait until the cities are rebuilt. But have to say that the announcement is way tactless, telling the world about the big budget production soon after a national disaster isn't a good PR move.

Posted by: Oakley at September 21, 2005 6:09 PM

that's pretty damn impressive that you figured all of that out! it really makes going to the moon seem like a serious waste of money.

Posted by: Dawn (webmiztris) at September 21, 2005 6:48 PM

Those are cheap hookers... but then again I don't imagine how a hooker that has to give service for thousands of people would look like.
PS. This is a wonderful piece of writing. I love it.

Posted by: ava at September 21, 2005 6:53 PM're missing the point. NASA isn't asking for an *additional* 100 billion dollars. They're talking about how they're going to spend the next 13-odd years of budget that they've already got coming to them. Your description is a bit one-sided and I think it will mislead people.

Posted by: Danno (Colleen's husband) at September 21, 2005 9:37 PM

Love the post!! I know, I've been gone a while, but see I didn't forget you :-) I love science too, I love the idea of exploring space because I think that is where future generations will find salvation from this over-crowded rock. I do however think as do you, that now is not the time for this. Our people need the money to rebiuld, but knowing this administration, they'll take from the social agencies that the displaced will have to rely on to live, so Katrina screwed up their homes and lives, but I think this administration will screw them over worse. Keep on with the good posts, it makes us all think!

Posted by: Nina at September 21, 2005 10:15 PM

I'm a new reader so I just wanted to say hello! And that I completely agree with everything you wrote in this entry. AND that you have a ridiculously good looking family! How is it fair that THAT amount of beautiful should all live under one household? :)

In all seriousness though, your baby girl is absolutely precious. And I love the 50 some-odd entries I've read of yours so far. Hope you don't mind a new reader :).

Posted by: Amber at September 21, 2005 10:41 PM

Excellent post, that is what I was thinking.

Posted by: Blue at September 21, 2005 11:04 PM

Could not agree with you more Chris. Only I hope you don't mind if I don't drop trou in front of the president but instead I just give him a good old fashioned earfull about what a crappy job he is doing.

Posted by: beanhead at September 22, 2005 7:05 AM


ur baby is really cute. =)

Posted by: ingrid at September 22, 2005 7:59 AM

I think that if there is a place to cut $ it shouldnt necessarily be from the space program. I think it's only the out-in-front example of spending money exactly so people will get pissed because the money could be better used elsewhere.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
It is a nice distraction from the actual outrageous and useless expenditures - tax cuts for the rich, corporate welfare, um 9 BILLION lost in Iraq, and countless billions to fight a war.
My suggestion - all the people who lied to get us into the war, we should use all THEIR money to fight the war first, then after their money is gone we can use government money.
Programs like NASA are one of the few programs I believe should be under government control, it's exactly the sort of thing governments are for - to have programs too expensive for individuals but for their ultimate gain.

Posted by: That Girl at September 22, 2005 8:31 AM

Until today I had still a little hope left there's one or two people around who are not in this for the porn. Ah well...

Anyways, I have no first- hand experience but from what I know hookers are way cheaper over here. At least that's what I heard on TV. :D

Posted by: nina at September 22, 2005 9:15 AM

btw this thingie let me say "porn" and "hooker" but did not want to let me post the word *nline (* = o) because it's "questionable content"? This TOTALLY made my day. hehe

Posted by: nina at September 22, 2005 9:17 AM

I charge waaaay more than $50. ;P

Posted by: Ms. Q at September 22, 2005 11:54 AM


Thanks for putting it in perspective, as usual. Exactly what I would've thought, if I were able to put it in words like that. I hadn't even HEARD about that $100 billion price tag. Craziness.

Posted by: Zandria at September 23, 2005 10:37 PM

Perfect! I wonder what the secret service would do if a large group of people walked up to the White House and mooned it? It may be worth organizing!

Posted by: Nicole at September 24, 2005 8:17 AM

Hi Chris! A little late on this, but I'm playing catch up. Just wanted to say that I totally agree about the space travel/cost/humans on earth argument. I actually was having this EXACT rant to my roommates the other day, funny.

(However if you really fed all those people burgers and fries every day for 80 days straight, wouldn't it turn into some mass version of Super Size Me? ;) )

Posted by: supine at September 25, 2005 5:16 PM