NASA just announced that the Kepler Space Telescope has identified a planet that is similar in size and distance from its star as Earth. Our technology for discovering new exo planets is advancing. We can see planets many light years away from our home planet. This recent planet is located in the Milky Way but still unreachable by modern spacecraft. We have no way of making a journey from our planet to any of the planets we have discovered that may be similar to Earth. Even Mars, in our own Solar System is as of now unattainable for a manned mission to reach and survive for any amount of time, then return. Until we can come up with a type of propulsion that can get us there faster we may not reach these planets, even if we had to. I am reminded of the Disney movie WALL-E. The Earth became uninhabitable and they were forced to board a cruise ship in space, only to return when Earth was again inhabitable. If there came a day when we had to abandon Earth, I think we would be in a lot of trouble unless there is some secret technology that has been developed that we are unaware of. That would be the only way to be able to set a course for a distant star system and have any hope of a chance to reach it before your lifetime is over. Commercial space company SpaceX has stated that they will be working on a plan for a manned mission to Mars. After their failed rocket test last month, that might be on the back burner for a while until the problems can be worked out on the rockets, which are used on missions to resupply the International Space Station. I couldn’t imagine what goes into developing and troubleshooting rockets or space craft, I have a hard enough time with trying to keep my house clean on a regular basis. We as a whole society probably have no idea of the necessity to discover things such as exo planets or microorganisms because most of our lives revolves around things so distant from them. What most of them do not realize is that studying these things can help us better understand our lives on a daily basis. The things we learn can help us better prepare for what we face here at home or better understand why something is happening. We associate the degradation of our planet with the pollution caused by man and machine, but some planets have experienced total greenhouse effect without the effects of humans. We are trying to estimate what is happening to our planet based on a miniscule amount of time, compared to how long the Earth has been around. This may be just a trough in a vicious cycle of Earth’s climate shift that we have not seen before because we were not around to experience it. We are looking to other planets to try and answer some of these questions for us. Kepler is just one of many expensive projects to better understand our own planet by observing and studying distant ones.
Global Warming has been talked about since even the late 1970s. It has been the focus of many activists’ protests and many controversies among scientists. Here are my thoughts on global warming. If you think about a wave, not an ocean wave but a wave on a graph, at what point do you start a baseline to compare future trends. If the satellite that was launched into space to monitor polar ice cap activity was placed in 1979, when the ice caps were at their highest percentage of coverage, is it fair to use ant decline as “proof” of global warming. Normally you would use the section of the wave directly in the middle to judge the trends. If you use the peak of the wave, then any change in the ice signifies a false trend of decreasing polar ice coverage. Even still, according to an article NASA is showing that polar ice, even after a decline around 2005, polar ice is still around five percent above post 1979 amounts. Its funny to think how if this is true, then it depends on the time of when you record the data as to whether the trends are showing a retreat in polar ice or a normal decline in a steady pattern. If you think back to the days before science knew much about weather, and started recording weather around spring when the temperature was starting to rise, someone could report that the Earth was on a steady heating trend and could eventually catch fire. You need to gather a lot of data and show averages and trends to gain an accurate outlook of the big picture. Our temperatures vary year round and, while we have extremes to both ends of the spectrum, you can figure out a normal pattern of heating and cooling. Although I do have a friend who does landscaping in New Orleans and of course he swears it’s getting hotter year after year!
The same needs to be applied to global warming. We could just be experiencing a warming trend and a few years from now experience another cooling trend, showing the actual waves and trends. Anyone can manipulate information to corroborate their beliefs. Anything from omission to stacking facts to support their ideas can lead anyone to believe their arguments. Whether I believe global warming is real or not really doesn’t matter. I do believe that addition of industry and increase in population are incredibly adding fuel to the fire of polluting the air.
This is definitely having an effect on the Earth but in which way I do not know. Volcanoes emit way more pollutants than cars, but the rarity of an eruption does not put that amount of strain on the atmosphere constantly. Does the constant polluting of the air and water really mean global warming is here and we are all killing the Earth? Probably not, but we do need to keep control of what we do to protect our Earth. I am an advocate of industry, yet I believe we need to keep regulations in place to protect our habitat and not let it get out of hand. We are living on a non-renewable resource and although we are not going to be around long enough to see its end, I don’t want that end to happen any faster than it already is.
I have been extremely interested in anything to do with space since I was a small child. Seeing and reading accounts of the space race towards the end of the 1960s, really shows the competitiveness of companies to provide equipment and technology to further the accomplishments of our country’s space program. Back then our President supported America’s interest in space and the mysteries of the universe. It was more fueled by competition with other countries, which we believe were going to build a military base on the moon, than pure scientific interest. It’s funny how threats and war fuel so much in our world these days instead of science and intelligence. I guess that goes back to our early caveman days. Think of all of the good things that came out of the days of space exploration.
Items like GPS, cell phones, certain tools, and tons of scientists fueled by the excitement and admiration of astronauts were all results of the pursuit of the knowledge of space. It was not just the astronauts or the NASA engineers that were excited about the many missions.
The public was also extremely proud and intrigued by all of the new achievements of our astronauts. This encouraged more youngsters to take on challenging courses to become scientists, engineers, soldiers, and even astronauts. Even companies competed to develop suits worn by astronauts, vehicles to transverse the moon, and the engines that bring them there. The public benefitted by many offshoots of these competitions. Fast forward to present day. Now the President pulls funding from the shuttle program and there is no space race. Other countries are still making progress on their space programs and even reaching the moon as we did back in the 60’s.
Today the space travel performed by the USA is done by private companies. Companies like SpaceX, Virgin, and Blue Origin are just a few of the private companies attempting to replace the space shuttle. Space received the contract to shuttle supplies back and forth to the International Space Station by proving it could do so safely and actually at half the cost than the government could do it. All of the companies have been delivering satellites to space, but SpaceX is now working on getting a contract to shuttle astronauts back and forth to the ISS.
The popularity and thrill just is not there anymore for the general public to get excited about the developments going on in the space industry. It seems like today if the news isn’t about racial tensions, looming war, or financial markets, no one is really interested. My kids have shown such an interest in what I have shown them of space and exploration, it is a shame that it isn’t as publicized as it was back then when America considered the explorers of space, heroes.
So, how does science impact business?
Science has many implications on the world around us, especially in the business setting. Think about it. Most businesses have some sort of interaction with computers. Computers mean technology. That technology is science! Data is compiled each second for hundreds of thousands of businesses around the world. With this data, business men and women harness the insight necessary to drive our financial markets, our trade, and our society.
This data is used by everyone in a company whether they realize it or not. It is used by the accountants and CFOs in the finance department. Numbers are crunched by marketers, advertising clerks, and promotional specialists to better understand their marketing return on investments. That’s right… everyone from the cashier giving money back to the customer or the retail salesperson picking out the perfect outfit for a client uses science on a daily basis to hypothesize, to calculate, and to make projections as to what will happen. Math is not a far second either. By understanding how science and math are useful in the business environment, people can further harness the negotiating, strategizing, and relevant details necessary to make themselves indispensable in a corporate or business ownership area.
On top of mathematical sciences are social sciences. These play a huge part in the business atmosphere. The interactive relationships between individuals in society are something we all deal with each day. And, the more you understand and can realize to when key events happen the better you will be able to position yourself in a business setting. For instance, if you can recognize the cues being given off from a customer that they are ready to buy, you can close a sale more quickly. On the other hand, if you recognize, using nonverbal cues, that a customer would like to leave and is disinterested, you can cut rope and move onto the next prospect.
When science is broken down into its most simple elements, it’s easy to see that it’s not just complex compounds or difficult formulas. It’s reality, and it truly impacts us all, from the tiniest bee to the largest elephant.
Think about it… where would business be without science? We would not understand computers. We’d probably still be writing on cave walls and running from lions. With the minds of Einstein, Galileo, and even the most current and brilliant minds of people like Stephen Hawking or Neil Degrasse Tyson, we are able to absorb the world around us as it is broken down into its most simplest form.
Science truly enlightens the mind and it is contagious in its form. Once we learn one aspect of science, it paves the way to understand many different paths from there. For example, if you have a boating business, and you need to understand the waves and different microorganisms that affect the environment and boating, science will help you do that. You could visit a small business site such as www.repairdocks.com where these guys have to know about different species of wood borers to gauge the devastating effects on damage to piers.
It would be easy to visit the site and see how these guys are surrounded by science. However, the people that take the time to understand the relevancy of science on their business, in their world, and around them will be the ones who flourish. Their business will reap the rewards and benefits not seen by those who spend time elsewhere. They will also be able to provide better solutions to their clients and customers. Why? These business owners will be able to provide better answers because they will do polls and research analytics to fully comprehend what their customers want and need. There is nothing worse than creating a product that no one will buy. Unfortunately, too many business owners fall into this trap. You must fully utilize the rewards science has given us. Know your market, know your customer, know your niche, know your strategies. When all this is pulled together completely, you will take the market by storm. You will outdo the competition. You will be the go-to person in your market, in your town, heck, maybe even in the world.
Business owners need to think more prudently. They need to be more aware. They must understand the dynamics in play every day that are impacting the decisions they make. A bad decision could mean heartache for the business owner reliant on their business alone to put food on the table. There should be research done on an ongoing basis to fully understand how their business will continue to grow. Continue to thrive. Think about this. What are you doing in your business to make a difference? To ensure your success for years to come? Are you using science to your benefit? Maybe you should. Contact business owners in your area to see how they are using science to succeed.
Not many of us understand the molecular breakdowns and details behind science, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that science is constantly at work in the world around us. We’ll use this blog to demonstrate different ways the science impacts our lives on a daily basis.