Just finished watching Apollo 13. I know it's dorky and cliche, but I'm always a little choked up and inspired by the end - when the entire control room at NASA erupts into applause at the safe landing and several of the guys get a little teary-eyed. Sure, it's the Hollywood version, but a room full of really smart, geeky types all busting their butts for a common purpose rings true with me. I don't know much about the space program, and I have to admit that I don't feel all that strongly about space exploration (as a budget allocation). But I just love the mentality of that mission, and I think it's something we've been missing for a long time. There was a problem up in space, and a ton of people down on the ground essentially locked themselves in a room with all the same supplies as the guys up in space and said, we're not coming out until we come up with a solution. It was completely unacceptable to them not to find a solution. I don't see very much of that these days. Take, for example, the spaceship Columbia. The panel that resulted in meltdown on reentry was known to be flawed before they ever left earth. But it hadn't resulted in a catastrophe yet, so they figured it would be ok.
Also, obviously, the geek-camaraderie appeals to me. I mean, it's at least some of the reason I'm in school. I felt it when I visited NIST too. This dorky excitement about the tensile strength of a material, or the speed with which they could make particles move. I really, really hope I can find that in some sort of career.
On an unrelated note, the silver lining to being sick is that starting to feel well again is like springtime after a bitter northern winter - I feel so damn good right now! I was ridiculously productive today, just because it was so nice to feel able to be productive again. I did research for my two upcoming papers, finally made the code for my consulting project work (mostly), organized some of my notes for qualifying exams, checked out an apartment complex for Daydreamer's Guide, and bought orange tulips (among other things). Then, I got a flat tire, which would have sucked, except that I remembered that I have AAA and not only did the guy come to my apartment to change the tire, he was able to patch it on the spot, so I don't have to run out to the mechanic's in the morning! Then I ran to Target and picked up some kickin' black mossimo flip flops and round vanilla candles. Since then I've mostly just been sitting around the house, but I'm ok with that. Hopefully I'll feel even better tomorrow, 'cause then I'll be unstoppable!