I was listening to NPR this morning while driving Lady Chemistry to work, in part because I like NPR most of the time, but also because our options are Jee-ZUHUS, country music, gawd, a cackling hyena's morning show, Jee-ZUHUS, what passes for hip-hop these days, Jee-ZUHUS, Jee-ZUHUS, and more Jee-ZUHUS. Since we have no working radio at home, and can't stream radio without burning through our ridiculous cellular internet too fast, I can only listen to NPR in the car. While I enjoy this, it tends to put Lady Chemistry to sleep. This effect is not always beneficial.
Aside from the political reporting, the items which interested me were all in Space!, or Space! related.* As we all know, everything is better in space, or better once related to Space!. The space shuttle Endeavour is moving to the California Science Center, and will be cruising around posing for photographs, like the other shuttles have. The shuttle will be driven through the museum's neighboring urban areas at one mile per hour because the shuttle is both enormously big, and enormously fragile. Or so the shuttle claims, I think this is just another shameless attention grab. This trip will provide flickr and Instagram users ample opportunity to take all sorts of semi-artsy pictures of Endeavour passing Starbucks and McDonald's symbolizing two visions of American success, and probably also the opportunity to take all sorts of semi-artsy pictures of Endeavour passing empty stores and other available real estate symbolizing the end of the shuttle program and the twilight of America's economic hegemony. Internets, hear my call! People with photoshop skills, your assignments are in the mail. Instagram users, start filtering your bad photos now! flickr users, start doing whatever it is you do with those camera-thingies that don't make phone calls or send texts. Get on this.
The other bit about space was slightly more musical, and just enough to make me smile. NASA apparently shot some probes into near space to do some science, including recording the sounds made when charged particles impact our home's magnetic field. If you can't listen to it where you are,*** imagine the sound of a spring evening in the boonies. The peepers are chirping, a few crickets are peeping, and the raccoons haven't yet found your trash.
This bit reminded me of a previous thing I found on the internet, a live stream of sound derived from the information recorded by radio telescopes. I haven't found the original website with the stream, which I listened to in 2008 or '09 on my brother's computer, and my craptacular internet won't let me stream this site either. The music that results from the interpretation of radiation into audio is atmospheric.**** I have seen a lot of bands that come close to sounding like they are a planet, spinning in infinity and deflecting particles with a magnetic field, but nothing quite comes close. Maybe a Phillip Glass score, if you were physically able to make through one.
* This post could also have been titled "The Less Ragey Post of the Two I Wrote in My Head While Driving, Because Politics."
** In a related note, every single time I tried to type shuttle in this post, I first typed shittle, including the one in this sentence. I guess I remain unadjusted to this keyboard, or have fallen out of my habit of typing, or have some unconscious dislike of the shuttle program. I just did it again, how odd.
*** I know no one reads this anymore, but I like to pretend, so play along. You might even be wondering who is the intended audience of this note, if I don't believe I have any readers anymore. In answer, I say-WHAT'S THAT OVER THERE! and then run away.
**** This is a bad pun for so many reasons.