Saturday, July 23, 2016

Leap day for celebrating leaps!

(Note: the following is one of various posts that were copied here from the forum for the sake of preserving the early days of the project. It was originally posted there on Mar 1st, 2016.)

Well, now that the Space Show interview is done, time to tear apart the Planning page and redo it as something more focused and useful. I'm deciding how to do that now and it will take some Javascript, so it won't be fast, especially as i only know basic JS right now and haven't practiced much. This time i'll do the work on CodePen and upload working versions to GitHub, so that if people have anything to say about it or want to add or change it, they can. Just register here and at GitHub (if you aren't already there).

New people coming in here see a long list of posts by mostly me, and recently a handful by Sigvart. Please don't let that hold you back from saying or asking what is on your mind. I'm learning, the site is young, and there is much to do.

I chose the day i'd be on TSS because it was leap day. For the past few leap days i've thought to myself, this is a day for a very special holiday, one that is more intense because it only happens once every 4 years. I think it should be a day for celebrating leaps - the turning points in human history when something happened that led to great changes. David Livingston mentioned Copernicus yesterday as such a thing. I also think of the steam engine, powered flight, radio, e=mc2, the discovery of the Americas, the invention of photography... It would be a great day for celebrating those special moments when an event enables the human spirit to suddenly expand, and those special moments are brought by great thinkers.

The space advocacy movement is a strong nucleus of people who believe in those leaps, and i think by making Feb 29 a holiday for celebrating them, Leap Day would become a way of reaching out to the general populace and encouraging them to value leaps as well. Because the more we focus on them and value them, the easier it is for them to happen.

The leap we 'space cadets' pine for is a full, proper, committed leap into space. We have lacked a way to really present that to people who don't know a lot about the science and engineering behind that, people who therefore have misgivings about how much would be gained for such a vast investment. What better way than to put on a party that honors the spirit of it?

So, i say we do something next Leap Day to really mark that message, and celebrate it as hard as we can. I vote for a parade. Okay, it is a cold time of year in a lot of places, but that has the advantage that there are no competing festivals. Besides, the end of winter has always lacked a decent holiday to brighten the cold and gray. And St. Patrick's really doesn't do it for me.

Yep, i say we have a parade. Something interactive for extra fun, and subtly educational. Something that gets the blood moving.

So, what city should we pick for the first such parade? San Francisco, home of Google, Tesla, and Silicon Valley?

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