10 November 2011
For those of you who listen to Morning Edition on NPR, you probably heard this story earlier today. For those of you who don't - and I know we only have six readers - here you go:
"Driving into Huntsville, Ala., it's clear what this city is all about: A giant Saturn V rocket looms ahead in the skyline. This is the city that made the Saturn rockets that took the Apollo astronauts to the moon.
"We're the only place in the world that still has expertise about going into deep space," says Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. He says the moment the Saturn V took off and put man into space, it turned what was then a rural farming community on its ear.
And the city has been on a high-tech growth spurt ever since. The place dubbed "Rocket City" is now a metropolitan area with 400,000 people, a high-tech enclave in a poor state.
But with NASA downsizing and the specter of automatic defense cuts looming, Huntsville finds itself in limbo...."
Read the rest of the story here.
At one point Huntsville was home to the highest per-capita concentration of PhDs in the country. It may still hold that designation. God knows you can't go to lunch without overhearing a conversation about...hell, I don't know what they're talking about. That's how I know they're crazy smart. (How's that for logic, huh? They don't teach that at MIT. Them's street smarts, right there).
Just in case Debbie Elliott and NPR are a little too erudite for your taste, I give you Rocket City Rednecks.
Have you seen this show on the National Geographic channel?
Three physicists and a retired NASA machinist building...stuff. Bomb-proofing pick 'em up trucks with beer cans and foam core to prove an armored Humvee doesn't have to be so slow and heavy...fueling a rocket with moonshine...you get the picture.
I have to admit the program does not portray Huntsvillians in the best light - they lay on the redneck routine pretty thickly. But, truth be told, the lead Redneck isn't from Huntsville, he's from "out in the county."
You know, kinda like CG1. :o)
(And that's what you get for making fun of people who eat messy sandwiches with a fork and knife).