05 April 2013


From Memolition ~

"Since its inception in 1958, it was made clear by the Space Act that the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) should go beyond studying just space ships.  The law  stipulated that its research and discoveries should benefit the general public.  NASA has faithfully stuck to that precept.  Today, you come in contact with products every day that you probably didn't know were the result of NASA research and development.  These 25 Coolest NASA Discoveries (not counting the innumerable additions to our scientific understanding of the Earth, the Solar System, and the cosmos) are just some of those everyday things that trace their origin back to the government branch commonly linked to space ships and telescopes."

The list includes (but is not limited to) ~

  • long-distance telecommunication
  • solar energy
  • artificial limbs
  • invisible braces
  • scratch-resistant lenses
  • memory foam
  • shoe insoles
  • smoke detectors
  • cordless tools
  • water filters
  • freeze drying
  • powdered lubricants
  • structural analysis software
  • pollution remediation
  • improved radial tires
  • light-emitting diodes (LEDs)
  • vision enhancing systems
Check out the 8-minute video for visuals.  If memory serves, Velcro (see magnified image above), GPS, and WD-40 should be on the list, too.  What a shame that such a productive agency receives less than 1% of the federal budget.  NASA boosts the economies of every U.S. state, and enhances all our lives.

Now think about that remarkable instruction ~ "R&D should benefit the general public".  Would it not be appropriate for any government-funded or subsidized activity to operate this way?  Industries from pharmaceuticals to agriculture, banking to energy, receive our support.  Should they not be required to provide a direct return to the public for our investment, rather than operating merely to maximize profits and dividends to shareholders?  We are their prime shareholders, since their license to conduct business comes from the taxpayers.  

This is one among many ways in which capitalism in its current form fails the public good.  When donations by corporations are made illegal, and those by wealthy individuals are limited, and lobbyists are outlawed on Capitol Hill, and election reform is enacted, we can reclaim our democratic republic from the corporate oligarchy it has become.

Just sayin'.

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