[…] significant progress in the solutions of technical problems is frequently made not by a direct approach, but by first setting a goal of high challenge which offers a strong motivation for innovative work, which fires the imagination and spurs men to expend their best efforts, and which acts as a catalyst by including chains of other reactions.
Why Explore Space?
In 1970, Sister Mary Jucunda wrote to NASA scientist Dr. Stuhlinger about his research into a piloted mission to Mars asking him how he could suggest to spend money on such a project when there are children starving on Earth. Stuhlinger wrote back to her a thoughtful reply that’s worth reading, especially today.
Anonymous: What do scientists know (or think they know) about the origins of sentient life?
What do you mean by “sentient”? Is an amoeba sentient for you? It is for me.
[…] telling yourself that everything must work out is poor preparation for those times when they don’t. You can try, if you insist, to follow the famous self-help advice to eliminate the word “failure” from your vocabulary — but then you’ll just have an inadequate vocabulary when failure strikes.
Anonymous: I want a physicist for a boyfriend really bad but I'm not smart at all so would they be turned off by that?
You have problems with your physics homework, don’t you?