I always promote the articles I read. :) This is a nice story, but something hit me, and it was this: "I was home on a weekend and had nothing to do, so I decided to look at some more plots from the GBT," he said.
Although I applaud the discovery, this kid needs to get out on the weekend. Somehow, I'm thinking he's a stereotypical nerd kid and this makes me sad, because far too many people think all space nuts are this way, so the field overall experiences a negative social aspect, which is totally bogus.
I'm a socialite that parties like a rock star on the weekends when the bills don't drain the paycheck too much...lol...and am still a Grade-A certified space geek. Plus I'm a fitness junkie @ 5'9", 190 and hit the gym 5 days a week. I also know some seriously hot girls who are into space/science/tech. The stereotype drives me nuts.
There needs to be a science geek calendar. :)
Don't get me wrong, I totally agree that what this kid did was amazing and great, but I also think the space, science and technology sectors need a face lift. We have far too many old farts, or "Lewis Skolnick's", in front of the cameras talking all things space/science/tech to the public. Face it, image matters in today's world, and this attachment to brains over appearance is a detriment to the cause. Yeah, we're smart, but that doesn't translate to the general public.
I guarantee you this, if you make a 5 minute Youtube video of 3 extremely hot women in bikinis (or hunky guys in swim trunks) talking about Moon water, spacecraft, CERN, or whatever else scientific and it will get a LOT of hits. Yes, some people will just drool over the sexiness, but if you increase the percentage of eyes watching the material, you also increase the percentage of people who might actually gleam some knowledge from the topic, or gain some interest in the subject. The eye candy brings them in, the subject matter astounds them.
We wonder why space budgets have fallen, but fail to recognize the obvious. It's the exposure that matters, and we need to learn how to market space to people who would not otherwise give it a second glance.