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Post Archive
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August (1)

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
July (1)

Is it worth getting an education?
Thursday, July 7, 2011
June (2)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It Gets Better
Thursday, June 2, 2011
May (4)

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My first experience with science writing (Part 1 of 2)
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This is why we get vaccinated
Thursday, May 5, 2011

Monday Morning Jam
Monday, May 2, 2011
April (2)

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, April 23, 2011

So long, farewell ...
Friday, April 1, 2011
March (10)

Stay Tuned ...
Thursday, March 31, 2011

From the Union of Concerned Scientists
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Week 23 - Hockey Pool
Monday, March 14, 2011

March Madness
Monday, March 14, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, March 12, 2011

What a bargain!
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Technique Overload
Monday, March 7, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, March 5, 2011

Et tu FDA?
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
February (10)

Saturday Morning Serenade - A Hip Edition
Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wednesday Micro Hits (on Thursday!)
Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day
Monday, February 14, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, February 12, 2011

The GOP War on Science
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

People, how about some ...
Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, February 5, 2011
January (21)

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Are you married to your reagents?
Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Common Sense Tip #1
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, January 22, 2011

From the Baby Boomers, a Big "Screw You"
Friday, January 21, 2011

Student Worker - More Student or More Worker?
Friday, January 21, 2011

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, January 15, 2011

Holy moly!
Friday, January 14, 2011

Thursday Pondering
Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Electronic Office
Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Plug - January Edition
Friday, January 7, 2011

Bits 'N Pieces
Thursday, January 6, 2011

Latest Manuscript Review
Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The $4 gallon of gas
Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Our slowly shrinking (and dying) planet
Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's 2011 already? For reals?
Monday, January 3, 2011
2010 (46)
December (9)

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, December 11, 2010

The State of Microbiology
Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

2010 blogging meme
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Environmental Impact of the Christmas Season
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Music Snobbery
Thursday, December 2, 2010

Phantom Power
Thursday, December 2, 2010

What's Your Name?
Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
November (8)

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, November 27, 2010

Awakening from the food coma ...
Friday, November 26, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Donor's Choose Final Followup (Recipes #3 and #4)
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Monday Mess
Monday, November 22, 2010

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits (Peer-Review Edition)
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 2 of the ASA-CSSA-SSSA Meeting (#ACSMtg)
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
October (29)

ASA-CSSA-SSSA Meeting - Day 1
Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stayin' Alive
Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits (Vol. 4)
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

ASA-CSSA-SSSA Early Career Program
Monday, October 25, 2010

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits (Vol. 3)
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Donor's Choose - Family Recipe Number 1
Sunday, October 17, 2010

Making Good on Donor's Choose Bribe - Comfort Food Recipe 1
Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday Wrap-Up and Random Thoughts (Vol. 2)
Friday, October 15, 2010

First I Begged, Now I Bribe
Thursday, October 14, 2010

Finding Out Things The Hard Way(TM)
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits (Vol 2)
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Here's where I start begging ...
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#UnK3rn3d: Life Outside the Lab?
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

First fleas, now frogs?
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

No Fleas Please
Monday, October 11, 2010

My next Research Blogging article has been chosen ...
Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, October 9, 2010

Donor's Choose
Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Wrap-up and Random Thoughts
Friday, October 8, 2010

RB: Waste Not, Want Not.
Thursday, October 7, 2010

Research Blogging
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What if I were not a microbiologist ...
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

TJ's Tips on Manuscript Review
Monday, October 4, 2010

Chinese plagiarism and the death of English-language journals
Friday, October 1, 2010

Allow Me a Formal Introduction
Friday, October 1, 2010
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Thomas Joseph

It's a Micro World after all is a blog dedicated to discussing pretty much whatever I feel like. When I delve into scientific matters it will primarily be discussing microbiology (agricultural, bioenergy, and environmental focus). Otherwise, I'll probably ramble on about sports and life.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Awesome Stuff
Friday, January 28, 2011

Honestly, I'm surprised that I haven't seen more coverage of the Challenger tragedy in the news or the blogosphere today. It was a pivotal moment in our history, and it seems as if it's being forgotten. With that said, today is the 25th anniversary of the Challenger tragedy. It's hard to believe that I was in grade school when this happened, but I was. I remember watching the launch because Christa McAuliffe, a teacher, was one of the crew members. She was supposed to be the first teacher in space, but instead shared a more ominous fate with the six other NASA astronauts.

Challenger Crew

Challenger Crew (Courtesy: NASA)

I don't think, at the time at least, that I ever really gave it much thought as to why they were doing what they were doing, just that they died doing it. I certainly don't think Christa McAuliffe went up into space just to be the first teacher in space, though I must admit the challenge in and of itself might have been part of the motivation to do so (it would have been for me). Instead, I think as a teacher, she was doing it to inspire a whole generation of children.  As a matter of fact, she was slated to teach lessons from the Shuttle, one of which was entitled: Where We've Been, Where We're Going, Why.

Prior to Challenger (where we had been), men and women had risked their lives to place the human race into space, onto the moon, oribiting the Earth for months at a time. We had experienced one tragedy in Apollo 1, which killed three astronauts. After Challenger (where we were going), we experienced another in the Columbia disaster, which killed seven more.

Sacrifice - Forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of one considered to have a greater value or claim.

Is it safe to say that these individuals forfeited their life, something I think we can all consider to be something of high value, in the pursuit of something greater? I think each of these men and women thought so. They knew they were undertaking something extremely risky (at least compared to what most of us experience in a typical day), but chose to do it anyways. I think this not only made them brave, but shows that they believed in something greater than themselves.

Yes, I realize that I'm idealizing these men and women. I will readily admit that I am biased, and I do consider them national heroes. Why? I think they risked their lives so that we, as a nation, could push the envelope and advance our understanding in matters of education, engineering, science, and technology. They didn't merely go up and come back down for the sake of it, and while the motive to put a man into space may have started as a military exercise, I think it certainly moved beyond that. Each shuttle was laden with experiments, many designed by civilian scientists, to give us insight into our environment that we couldn't typically get otherwise. When looked at from that point of view, these men and women sacrificed their lives so we, as a human race, could advance our scientific knowledge.

Therefore, we as a scientific community, owe them a particular debt of gratitude. They gave their lives so that the rest of us could come to a better understanding of our world, and the worlds beyond our own. To which I say: Thank you Virgil Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chafee. Thank you Francis Scobee, Michael Smith, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnick, Ronald McNair, Sharon Christa McAuliffe, and Gregory Jarvis. Thank you Rick Husband, William McCool, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Michael Anderson, Laura Clark, and Ilan Ramon. Thank you for your dedication and thank you for your service to the human race. May we never forget the ultimate sacrifice you made.


We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of Earth' to 'touch the face of God. - High Flight, John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

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Blog Comments

Genomic Repairman
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Ron McNair was our state hero.  I remember being a shortass watching on TV in school as the damn thing burnt up.

Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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The local news channel is doing a week of remembrance.  Maybe it's a Florida thing, but I agree there should be much more coverage on this.

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I was watching it on TV when it happened. I was in shock- I couldn't believe it was real.

It was a very sad day.

Thomas Joseph
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Yeah, it was an extremely sad day. I remember where I was for both shuttle tragedies. It's one of those things you just don't forget.

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