A lighthearted look at news of the day:
NASA last week gave up on reviving its Mars rover, which has served 15 years. After sending 835 unanswered wake-up calls, scientists pulled the plug. I think they gave up too soon. As any parent of a teenager would tell you, it takes a lot more than that.
The rover was designed to last only three months, but it lasted 15 years. Oh sure, we can get a rover to work for years from millions of miles away, but we can’t design a laptop computer that won’t be obsolete within three months.
Some people in New York City complained, and now Amazon has decided not to build part of its new corporate headquarters there, after all. As punishment, New York no longer will be forced to give $3 billion to one of the world’s richest companies.
A state House committee hesitated last week when faced with the chance to redesign Utah’s state flag. That’s a shame. At its heart, this is a fairness issue. Utah schoolchildren, assigned to draw the current flag, end up hiring a team of artists and paying for tons of supplies. Kids in New Mexico, meanwhile, need only two crayons and about 15 minutes.
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Utah’s current flag contains two different years, a part of the American flag, a beehive, sego lily flowers, six pointed arrows, the state’s name, the word “industry” and a bald eagle, all surrounded by a gold circle and centered on a blue field. But experts say this is wrong; it doesn’t conform to the original description written into law in 1903. To school children: Don’t even think about it. Teachers won’t accept this as an excuse to get out of the assignment.
Americans averted another government shutdown last week as negotiators agreed to a compromise. President Trump won’t get the $5.7 billion he wanted for a wall, but he will get a lovely white picket fence with a swinging gate somewhere in New Mexico.
The president responded by declaring that if Congress disagrees with him, it must be a national emergency.