There Are Heroes and Aliens Among Us

The greatest moment in the BCS Championship GameMonday night wasn't Oregon tying the game with less than three minutes left. It wasn't Auburn freshman Michael Dyer resurrecting his run, leading up to the winning field goal...with only two seconds left.

Instead, the greatest moment was when families of four servicemen in Iraq were honored on the field. Suddenly, a banner dropped, revealing their loved ones, flown home to surprise them. If you didn't tear up at that, well, you're more steely-eyed than I am. It was a wonderful moment which put a mere football game in perspective, and the tears of joy fell in a place which sure needed something uplifting—Arizona.

Tostitos, owned by PepsiCo , pulled off the surprise with the help of the USO. Bravo. Here's to the fun, not necessarily funny, business of lifting up spirits, of inspiring all of us to think about those who go above and beyond—not on the field, but off it. Thanks to those who have courage, those who have compassion, those who have determination.

And those who look up.

We don't look up much these days, our faces buried in gadgets. We look skyward even less. Earth has too many problems, why stargaze?

Perhaps it's a matter of bad marketing. Perhaps we need Tostitos to get involved.

Source: relaunches today after revamping its web site, spending $250,000 in a marketing campaign which includes "aliens" running around Manhattan.

The web site hopes to take space journalism where no man has gone before, saying it's "profitable and growing", having attracted 5 million unique visitors last month.

The timing is interesting.

The last mission by Space Shuttle Discoverywill take off next month. By June, the shuttle program ends. After that, NASA's future is...well...unclear. The Obama administration supports contracting out some near space work to private companies like SpaceX. Google's Lunar X Prizeseems to be the only visible effort to get back to the Moon. Where is NASA headed? What are taxpayers willing to pay for?


A Canadian hopes to put the space agency back on the front burner in terms of funding.

This NASA fan, who goes by the YouTube name "damewse," blames the space agency, not the economy, for its lack of public support.

"None of their brilliant scientists appear to know how to connect with the social media crowd, which is more important than ever," says "damewse," whose profile suggests the writer is a 24-year-old from Canada.

"Unless they can find a way to relate to the general public, support for their projects will always be minimal, and their funding will follow suit."

So "damewse" made this video, based on an earlier reading from Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot", hoping to generate enthusiasm for space exploration and investment. It didn't cost taxpayers a dime, and it is quite effective. Sign me up.

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