NASA – Net Allocation Sorely Abused

When I woke up this morning and saw that this mess was on the top 3 for today’s headlines in science I just had to chime in. This is ridiculous. Then again, maybe it isn’t when you consider all the facts. Last night astronauts filmed a “trick video” using a fidget spinner on the ISS.

With that said, let’s take a look at the facts. I can’t help but wonder how much it cost to get that fidget spinner up there in the first place. Not to mention the fact that it is a “custom” fidget spinner (so, there was already some money spent there). Depending on what method was used, the cost per pound for NASA to send anything to the International Space Station is pretty ridiculous. It can cost anywhere from $2,000 per pound or as high as $13,000 per pound. Needless to say, getting cargo to the crew is expensive.

From what I could find on the web, the average “custom” fidget spinner weighs about 70 grams. So, let’s do the math.

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If you think I am making those numbers up, then here is a 2016 Business Insider article that covers some of those allocated costs for any given trip to the ISS. The cost for sending things into space is preposterous.

Setting all of this aside, let’s be generous here and give good ol’ NASA the benefit of the doubt. Let’s assume that since the fidget spinner is custom, it cost $20 while also going with the lowest possible cargo cost. Up front, this little “trick video” cost $350 right out of the gate (and again, that is being generous).

Part of me wants to get aggravated at this, but then again… we need to review all of the facts, remember?

So… with that, I can’t help but ask what the purpose of a fidget spinner might be. This Live Science article from August of 2017 hit the nail right on the head. Here is a quote from that article.

There’s no doubt that toys that allow kids to fidget can benefit kids with autism. Occupational therapists often use sensory toys like tactile discs, Koosh balls and even putties or clays to soothe kids who have sensory-processing issues. Similarly, research has shown that movement can help kids with ADHD to focus. 

Maybe the title of my post is wrong. Maybe, just maybe… it was money well spent after all. Because let’s face it, you never actually see any real science taking place on the ISS. It’s always just them doing flips, spinning their microphone, or flying. Maybe NASA sent that fidget spinner for a reason (to help these kids focus and get back on task).

But seriously though, space is fake and it doesn’t cost a dime to send anything up there. All of those cargo costs is just one way for the government to funnel massive lumps of money.

Because, at the end of it all this isn’t about 350 dollars. It is about 1.5 billion dollars per cargo shipment (which includes every time we send man as part of that cargo shipment).

But, who are we kidding… I am ignorant. Don’t listen to me.

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The Etsy Store is getting some major upgrades

So, I have a couple of supper crazy updates with the Etsy store. I recently got a new patch design up on the store for starters. It’s pretty epic if you ask me. I am stepping away from doing just circles and am going to start designing patches that are a variety of shapes to help mix things up in the store.

Other than that I have been doing a lot of major updates to the store. Not only have I changed the look and feel of the store to match my new website design, but I have also changed the name of the store to match that as well. With the store name now totally changed to match my website I wanted to take things a step further by tackling the analytics to help with search results (something any avid online merchant should do from time to time).

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So far I have been cranking through that just fine and have already seen a drastic increase in sales from what little adjustments have already been made. As of today I have tackled the analytics for the embroidery patches on the store. I still need to do the analytics for the buttons and screen print patches. But, for right now I need a break. Doing this type of junk is supper time consuming. Since I have gotten a lot done with the look, feel, and analytics of the store, I thought I would completely finish up my embroidery section by updating the photos.

This is where the frustration comes in.

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I cannot for the life of me get my camera to take a good picture. Although these look clean, I am not at all happy with them. But that isn’t the aggravating part. What frustrates me is that I have a specific look and feel that I am hoping to go for, but it just isn’t going to happen with my cell phone camera. No way, no how. The upside-downside to this is that I do have a great friend at church who does photography for a living. She could totally set me up and have the listings in my store looking jam-tastic.

The only issue with that is this…

If and when I add a listing to the store I don’t want to have to depend on her or bug her each and ever time I have a new listing get added. It just wouldn’t be fair to her nor productive for either of us.

If I am going to come up with a solution to this issue, I need to be able to replicate the look I am going for at home on my own time with what camera I have. Sadly, the camera I have isn’t that great.

Anyway, Etsy store rant over… I have been tackling a lot over at the store if you wanted to go in and see the updates. I hope to have two new patch designs posted in another month. And hopefully soon I will get this photo taking issue lined out. Once I have done that and have the embroidery section totally knocked out, I will move over to the buttons and screen prints.

Oh, and another update… will be adding stickers soon also! So, there’s that.

Cards are for serious people, which I am not…

Well, as silly as this may seem to most people I decided to take my website more serious like I used to back when I was touring with my music. I still have a lot of art that I put out from time to time, my music is still available for FREE… and I run an online store these days designing and selling patches, pins, and soon… stickers. Not only is art, music, and patches three good reasons to take my online presence more seriously without getting caught up on traditional social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, but… I feel like a lot of my views on science are relevant and valid.

Having said that, I just ordered some business cards. They are clean, simple, and to the point. It is just something to keep in my wallet for those moments when I run into people that strike an interest in my rambles about science or patches at random. Nothing more… nothing less. Regardless, I have been getting an urge to focus more and be more intentional with my time lately. And this silly little step is one example of that playing out in my life.

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