Saturday, November 17, 2007

NASA's piece of the pie

The defense department is allocated 21% of the US budget, while NASA gets less than 1%. Nevertheless, the public is pretty sure that the same amount is spent on both.

The Space Review: Sustaining exploration: communications, relevance, and value
Americans in general have no idea what NASA’s “cost” is ... What we do know—and have recently documented—is that the public perception of NASA’s budget is grossly inflated relative to actual dollars ...

In other words, respondents believed NASA’s budget approaches that of the Department of Defense, which receives almost 38 times more money (see “Putting NASA’s budget in perspective”, The Space Review, July 2, 2007). Once people were informed of the actual allocations, they were almost uniformly surprised. Our favorite response came from one of the more vocal participants, who exclaimed, “No wonder we haven’t gone anywhere!”


Religious scholars mull Flying Spaghetti Monster -
It was the emergence of this community that attracted the attention of three young scholars at the University of Florida who study religion in popular culture. They got to talking, and eventually managed to get a panel on FSM-ism on the agenda at one of the field's most prestigious gatherings.

The title: "Evolutionary Controversy and a Side of Pasta: The Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Subversive Function of Religious Parody."