For-real Awesomeness.

I love Mythbusters.  It is, perhaps, one of the greatest shows on television today for the simple fact that it combines mankind’s search for truth with the best aspects of simple science experiments.  It’s fun, it involves common beliefs and history, and has something for just about everyone.  Amazing things can happen every day on the show – there is always the potential for the unexpected.

And now, anyone with the ability to stand, hold things, and get themselves somehow to the site of the grand experiment can be a part of the show.  That’s right, you or I could be on Mythbusters as a part of yet another Solar Death Ray experiment.  If you don’t already know the story, the myth was busted.  And then MIT decided to step in and take the challenge to the next level.  They unbusted the myth, but were unable to completely successfully burn a model ship on a second attempt.  So.  Now they want you to help hold mirrors for yet another test.

If I had the money to spend on a flight, and vacation time, I would be there.  Alas.

One way or another.

I’ve never been a big fan of conservation.  The idea that all land should be put to good use has a certain pride inherent in it to my mind.  Who are we to say that our judgment of use is the correct one?  And, since conservation is not an exact science, how do we know we aren’t damaging the natural landscape, rather than protecting it?

A current example is the idea on the table to move endangered species to new habitats to preserve them from extinction.  While I mourn the extinction of any species, I wonder at the validity of the idea.  Obviously, those presenting it are aware of the difficulties inherent in such movement – species interaction in the new setting, and choosing between which species are saved, as well as the actual logistics of the movement.  But what happens when climate change or human encroachment threatens this same species again?  What happens, when despite our best intentions and most rigorous science, we make a mistake and destroy the ecology of a region?

It is time, and past time, to reject stopgap measures and really choose how far we are willing to push the world habitat.  We’re breeding like bunnies and taking over resources left and right  – how many species are worth that reckless expansion and waste?  I am human, and as such, I would have to say I would choose the life of a child over that of a puppy, or turtle, or rare endangered warbling crane.  But how far am I willing to to push that choice?