My background is science and engineering; from the first day I set foot in a physics lab back in ancient times, it’s always been so. And—trust me on this—I’m not about to change at this late stage of my life.
But given a growing propensity in this country for people to let belief trump reason, it’s never easy to convince the unknowing of their unknowingness.
I came across a term, “Conceptual Science,” a few years back. I have no idea who came up with it, but I love its definition: “the declaration of pre-research CONCLUSIONS while preemptively dismissing ALL factual contradictions to said conclusions.”
Even though counter-intuitive reality eventually kicks the daylights out of emotion-driven intuitive logic, this fact rarely makes the unknowing stop and think.
As well, particularly in matters of science, each side of the ideological spectrum has its own platoon of the UNKNOWING. And regardless of the side involved, they always seem to “know” what they don’t know much louder than those who DO know.
Here’s an example. This one happens to involve an obvious RIGHTIE who believes that Barack Obama is the Antichrist, that Rush Limbaugh is a paragon of political moderation, and that Fox News is a virtual tidal wave of truth.
But to be fair and balanced, I promise that I’ll write about a future example from a LEFTIE that will be every bit as partisan and just as STUPID as this one.
While this involved a loud, slightly tipsy “expert” interpreting Obama’s dealings with both Iran and Russia as being LIBERAL crap, his solution was for “us” to “park” a spy satellite over “there” to see what they’re actually doing instead of wasting time with all this “pussying” around.
And keep in mind that I’m paraphrasing a bit here; he peppered his thinking with a generous helping of expletives that I’d rather not include here.
I’ve written about this stuff in other forums, but it never hurts to rehash it as necessary.
First, relative to satellites, NASA uses the term “park” to mean a satellite in a geostationary circular orbit—and there is only ONE such orbit—22,300 miles above the Equator.
And it’s not “parked” as in stopped; it’s circling the Earth once every 24-hours. It’s just that to an observer on the ground, the satellite seems NOT to be moving simply because it’s tilted toward the Equator, but actually is moving in sync with a ground observer.
With Earth spinning due East, if a satellite in orbit is inclined northeast-southwest, it’s not matching Earth’s spin. So it’s not going to appear “stationary” to a ground observer.
And since it would be moving out-of-sync with Earth’s spin… well, you get the picture.
We can’t place “spy” satellites over Iran or Russia, and Obama—or any other human being, for that matter—has nothing to do with it. It’s all about the laws of physics!
If you want further proof of this, take a ride through your neighborhood and observe all of the satellite TV dishes; they’re all pointed SOUTHERLY. And depending on which satellite they’re pointing to, some will point due south; others will point southeast; while still others will point southwest.
But regardless, all satellite dishes in the Northern Hemisphere (above the Equator) will point SOUTHERLY. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, satellite dishes will point NORTHERLY.
Were it not for this geostationary characteristic, satellite communications would be all but impossible. Imagine what it would be like—not to mention how EXPENSIVE—if every satellite dish on every home in the United States had to track an out-of-sync satellite.
But with a geosynchronous orbit, all we have to do is point the dish ONCE and leave it alone. And we can do the same with spy satellites, but we can’t “park” them any old place.
Far be it from me to interrupt RIGHTIES bashing LEFTIES and vice versa. Nor does it actually pay to jump into the fray even when their intuitive logic is heading straight for a fatal collision with counter-intuitive REALITY.
Life is grand for the unknowing; it’s best just to let them revel in their own ignorance. And given the tenor of this particular hissy fit, along with the free-flow of Budweiser®, it was probably much safer as well.