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Mr. X
2001-Nov-22, 01:46 AM
Is that pure genius? Or just bad astronomy

Comments people!

Quote 1:


"Mars is essentially in the same orbit... somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe."
Dan Quayle


Quote 2:


"Space is almost infinite. As a matter of fact, we think it is infinite."
Dan Quayle


Quote 3:


It's time for the human race to enter the solar system!
Dan Quayle, on the concept of a manned mission to Mars


Quote 4:


For NASA, space is still a high priority.
Dan Quayle


Laugh out loud and comment! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif
(NOTE: I don't even know who that guy is, but from what I have seen quoted from him, ouch!) /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Mr. X on 2001-11-21 21:55 ]</font>

Donnie B.
2001-Nov-22, 03:14 AM
On 2001-11-21 20:46, Mr. X wrote:
Laugh out loud and comment! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif
(NOTE: I don't even know who that guy is, but from what I have seen quoted from him, ouch!) /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif



The sad fact is that Dan Quayle is not a character in a bad television comedy, he's a very real American politician. He served as Vice President under George H. W. Bush I. It's truly scary to contemplate that this mighty intellect was a heartbeat away from the most powerful post on the planet.

Space and science are not his only intellectual challenges, either. You can find a quote from Quayle on almost any topic, and they make just as much sense as the gems above. Check out this collection:
http://www.xmission.com/~mwalker/DQ/

There's some comfort in the fact that Quayle's run for the Republican Presidential nomination last year went nowhere.

I always felt that Bush picked Quayle as a kind of assassination insurance policy. Who'd want to take a shot at George, knowing who was in line to succeed him?

Lisa
2001-Nov-22, 07:17 AM
Nah, I think George picked Dan as a sort of "Hitchhikers Guide to Politics". With Danny Boy blundering around sticking his foot in his mouth, no one was paying attention to what the rest of the government was doing.
So for four years we had a US Department of Comic Relief.
Lisa

Silas
2001-Nov-23, 01:01 AM
As a member of the thumb-tongued subset of the speaking public, I say, give the man a break... Let's see you go out in front of a graduating college class and deliver some remarks without making a single stumble...

1) Mars really is in a very similar orbit to earth's. It's actually possible that Mars' orbit is *better* than Earth's; there is some evidence to suggest that we are grazing the very inner edge of the "habitable zone."

2) Is space infinite or not? I think there is sufficient evidence to suggest that it is *multiply* infinite: not merely infinite in extent, but embedded withing a larger extent of causally isolated domains, originally separated by the "expansionary phase" of the early Big Bang.

3) Okay, yeah, we were born "in the solar system," and the phrase is inelegant... But he's right! It is well past time that we set up a moon base!

4) Space isn't NASA's only priority: safety comes to mind...

All that said, in my opinion, Quayle's biggest blunder was when, *after* his grammatical errors were a matter of public ridicule, he mailed out Christmas Cards that contined spelling errors. It simply showed that he didn't even *care* about orthography.

But, again, let he who has never made a typo cast the first stone...

Seriously: can anyone tell me if the Bush budget's (1989-1992) allotments for NASA were particularly frugal or profligate? Was the budget consistently cut or increased?

What a politician *says* is of little importance: where did the money go?

Silas

NottyImp
2001-Nov-26, 11:04 AM
Our American cousins must be very proud. Luckily, you've now got that master of elegant phraseology George "Dubbya" Bush.

P.S. Don't get all offended, now, we've got plenty of Turkeys this side of the pond...

David Hall
2001-Nov-26, 01:09 PM
I've been wondering recently who's worse in this regard, Bush or Quayle. It seems they've both given out their share of dandies. Of course Quayle had much longer time to produce than Dubya has had so far. So maybe it's just too early to tell.

My favorite Quayle-ism is one I caught personally. In a TV interview he once said that "The job of the vice-president can be summed up in one word: To be prepared." laughed my keister off at that one. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Mnemonia
2001-Nov-26, 02:30 PM
On 2001-11-26 08:09, David Hall wrote:
My favorite Quayle-ism is one I caught personally. In a TV interview he once said that "The job of the vice-president can be summed up in one word: To be prepared." laughed my keister off at that one. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif


Not that I'm trying to defend Mr. Quayle but I suppose that in some languages the English phrase "to be prepared" could be just one word.

In any case, potato still has no e.

Iain Lambert
2001-Nov-26, 02:50 PM
I see no big problem with Quote 2. While in real mathematics terms there is no such thing as 'nearly' infinite, I'll settle for it as a loose definition of 'definitely bl**dy massive, and we aren't even sure its not infinite'.

Iain Lambert
2001-Nov-26, 02:55 PM
Oh, and as for Quote 3, if you had to put up as much as we do with UK politicians debating about how much we should 'enter Europe' despite that being our continent as well then you'd find this one pretty unremarkable. He just means 'the rest of the Solar System'.

Iain Lambert
2001-Nov-26, 02:59 PM
Finally, for Quote 4, I'm sure you'll find a fair number of board members who don't really consider the LEO satellites that make up NASA's 'day job' these days to be 'proper' space at all. Under that viewpoint, the statement is about NASA still working hard on missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond, rather than being cut back to a haulage company for military and commercial satellite delivery. Sounds good to me.

Valiant Dancer
2001-Nov-26, 05:07 PM
On 2001-11-21 20:46, Mr. X wrote:
Is that pure genius? Or just bad astronomy

Comments people!

Quote 1:


"Mars is essentially in the same orbit... somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe."
Dan Quayle


Quote 2:


"Space is almost infinite. As a matter of fact, we think it is infinite."
Dan Quayle


Quote 3:


It's time for the human race to enter the solar system!
Dan Quayle, on the concept of a manned mission to Mars


Quote 4:


For NASA, space is still a high priority.
Dan Quayle


Laugh out loud and comment! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif
(NOTE: I don't even know who that guy is, but from what I have seen quoted from him, ouch!) /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Mr. X on 2001-11-21 21:55 ]</font>


I voted against George Bush Sr. for having this guy as his Vice President. Danforth Quayle had other serious (in my opinion) problems besides his public speaking gaffes. But politics is not the pervue of astronomy, so I'll stop there. Just like the British flinch when someone mentions Margret Thatcher, the US flinches when we hear the name Danforth Quayle.

ToSeek
2001-Nov-27, 02:54 PM
On 2001-11-22 20:01, Silas wrote:

Seriously: can anyone tell me if the Bush budget's (1989-1992) allotments for NASA were particularly frugal or profligate? Was the budget consistently cut or increased?



In terms of 1996 dollars, NASA's budget increased from around $12 billion in 1988 to around $15 billion in the 1991-1994 timeframe, after which it started tailing off again. I would guess that this has to do with space station work, but I'm not positive.

For purposes of comparison, in the same terms NASA's budget peaked at around $25 billion in 1965 during the building for Apollo.

Source
http://history.nasa.gov/pocketstats/sect%20D/NASA%20Budget.pdf (PDF file)

ToSeek
2001-Nov-27, 02:55 PM
What's scary is that the vice-president is the ex officio head of the National Space Council (established when LBJ had the job), so he's supposed to know about this stuff.

Kaptain K
2001-Nov-27, 04:06 PM
To me, the biggest perk of being VP would be living at the US Naval Observatory. In fact, if I were VP, they would probably move the VP residence just so they could get some work done /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

aurorae
2001-Nov-27, 05:17 PM
On 2001-11-27 09:55, ToSeek wrote:
What's scary is that the vice-president is the ex officio head of the National Space Council (established when LBJ had the job), so he's supposed to know about this stuff.


Most politicians (at least in the US) are lawyers. They know next to nothing about science.

There are a few who are lawyers and are reasonably intelligent... that's about the best we can hope for.

Ravenous
2001-Nov-27, 10:09 PM
My favorite Presidential quote (eventhough it comes from SNL): "Strategery." - G W Bush

ToSeek
2001-Nov-28, 01:55 PM
On 2001-11-27 11:06, Kaptain K wrote:
To me, the biggest perk of being VP would be living at the US Naval Observatory. In fact, if I were VP, they would probably move the VP residence just so they could get some work done /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif


Astronomer: "Mr. Vice-President, we've got some really important transit observations coming up. Um, Mr. Vice-President...." Turns to the Secret Service guys. "Can't you do something about this?"

Secret Service guys walk over and gently pick up KK. "Come on, sir. It's past your bedtime."

KK: "No, just a few more minutes. Saturn looks great tonight!"

They ignore him and keep walking.

Astronomer: "Thanks very much."

Secret Service: "No problem. See you tomorrow night."

GrapesOfWrath
2001-Nov-28, 03:03 PM
On 2001-11-21 20:46, Mr. X wrote:
(NOTE: I don't even know who that guy is, but from what I have seen quoted from him, ouch!)

I forgot that you not only were not from the USA but were from a different planet. Quayle didn't say all the things that people said he said, but he apparently (http://www.snopes2.com/quotes/quayle.htm) said those.

Irishman
2001-Nov-28, 03:38 PM
The thing is, there is the essence of a meaningful statement in many of those quotes, but they are so mangled as to be nonsensical in the actual form presented.

Quote 1 starts out reasonably okay, in a grand scheme kinda way. "Mars is essentially in the same orbit as Earth". Well, not really, but in the scope of the Solar System, it is a fairly narrow band between the two orbits. It is reasonable to think that if Earth were in Mars' orbit, the environmental conditions would be conducive to life. But then he bungles up the next statement by mentioning canals on Mars. No, that information is about 100 years out of date. They were long since determined to be artifacts of the poor telescopes originally used for observing Mars. No canals. No channels. No flowing water. As for water on Mars, there is no free standing water. There may be water locked up under the surface. All the recent Mars images and the current water debates, though, took place 10 years after he made those comments. So at the time he was certainly out of his depth. Then he goes on to assert there's oxygen and thus humans can breath on Mars. That's just outright wrong.

Quote 3 has a modicum of meaning. His intent is that humans should be spreading out from Earth - to Mars, the Moon, space stations, asteroids, etc. Move out into the solar system from Earth. Except Earth is in the Solar System. But again, there's an element of meaning behind the bungled phraseology.

As for the "potatoe" incident, I will point out that "potatoes" is spelled with an e. In fact, that's a problem I'm prone to make. Couple that with the fact that the word "to" is pronounced too vs. the word "toe" with the long O, and if someone says "spell it like it sounds - poe tay toe", one could very easily add the extra e.

And one does need to show some care when looking at Quayle quote lists. For instance, there's one often bantied about that mentions "Latin America" and never studying latin, but that was not really something he said. That was a joke that Leno made. Still, he made plenty enough statements on his own.

[Had to correct a typo.]

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Irishman on 2001-11-28 10:38 ]</font>

GrapesOfWrath
2001-Nov-28, 03:49 PM
That's basically the point made at the Snopes site that I linked to.



On 2001-11-28 10:38, Irishman wrote:
And one does need to show some care when looking at Quayle quote lists. For instance, there's one often bantied about that mentions "Latin America" and never studying latin, but that was not really something he said. That was a joke that Leno made. Still, he made plenty enough statements on his own.


Republican Representative Claudine Schneider of Rhode Island, not Leno, according to Snopes.

And you gotta watch those typos. It's "bandied," not "bantied," isn't it? I couldn't even find banty in the dictionary, although I'm pretty clucking sure there is such a word.

SeanF
2001-Nov-28, 06:12 PM
Additionally, check out this ABC News (http://abcnews.go.com/sections/politics/OnBackground/onbackground990927.html) story.

Quayle was given a set of flash cards to have the kids spell (and he asked beforehand if they'd been checked), -- it was spelled "potatoe" on the card. Who would be so sure of a word's spelling that they'd question a teacher's flash card in public?


_________________
SeanF

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: SeanF on 2001-11-28 13:13 ]</font>

hullaballo
2001-Nov-29, 03:26 PM

hullaballo
2001-Nov-29, 03:27 PM
Funny I've seen these same quotes attributed to Al Gore, which is the guilty party?

Wiley
2001-Nov-29, 04:31 PM
On 2001-11-29 10:27, hullaballo wrote:
Funny I've seen these same quotes attributed to Al Gore, which is the guilty party?



Nope, it's Danny Boy. Check out the Snopes (http://www.snopes2.com/quotes/quayle.htm) web site that the Great and Angry Grape suggested and the list of sources at the bottom of the page. They also have video of Dan performing.

To be fair, all politicians, or anyone who has to speak extemporaneously, make these verbal gaffes often. It just seems like Dan's malapropisms were funnier and more numerous.

Fortunately, we have George W. to laugh at now.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Wiley on 2001-11-29 12:06 ]</font>

Irishman
2001-Nov-29, 05:13 PM
Well what do you know, it is bandied. Learn something every day.

GrapesOfWrath
2001-Dec-03, 06:23 PM
On 2001-11-29 11:31, Wiley wrote:
Check out the Snopes (http://www.snopes2.com/quotes/quayle.htm) web site that the Great and Angry Grape suggested

You can call me GAG for short

David Hall
2001-Dec-03, 06:36 PM
On 2001-12-03 13:23, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
[
You can call me GAG for short


Speaking of which, you might be interested in this (http://www.snopes2.com/language/misxlate/raisins.htm) little bit of folklore.

GrapesOfWrath
2001-Dec-04, 07:22 AM
Just don't call me GAR

Wyz_sub10
2001-Dec-13, 09:08 PM
Quayle is the Yogi Berra of politics - anything amusing or idiotic will be attributed to him.

In the words of Berra: "I didn't say everything I said."

Silas - I agree that slip-ups happen, but Quayle was beyond the norm in this regard.

I would also add that leaders need to be excellent speakers and communicators. It's an integral part of leading the masses. (a president can always hire brains to provide him/her with direction on policy, but it's the *president* that has the ultimate responsible for intilling the public with confidence in his/her leadership)