More Interesting Than Miley


Over the school holidays we spent a few days with some friends in the Blue Mountains where over a few glasses of red wine the conversation inevitably turned to twerk-gate and Miley Cyrus’ disgraceful antics.  When someone tut tutted that it was soft porn I chirped in with “I find it boring”. At this point Dadabulous called bull shit on me. “Crap. You are not bored by it. You are deliberately looking for it”. Don’t you hate it when your husband has a point?

I read my fair share of trash and am hardly in a position to lecture about the evils of celebrity gossip. Rather I’d like to point out that it is very easy to fill your head with more satisfying stuff.  Here a few things that have crossed my radar recently. I find them considerably more interesting than Miley. I hope you will too.

Voyager 1 – The Interstellar Mission

On September 12th whilst we were all still dissecting the VMAs, slut shaming or shaming those who slut shame, the Voyager probe sneeked out the back door of our Solar System. NASA announced that the Voyager probe has escaped the heliosphere – or the bubble of charged particles blown out from our sun. It is officially in inter stellar space. Lets stop and reflect on that. Voyager, a 722kg craft launched in 1977 has traveled 17 billion kilometres and is still beaming back invaluable data. The instruments aboard the craft are expected to remain functional until 2025 which will mean almost 50 years of continuous operation. Voyager flying through matter from other stars and for the next 10 years will send back information about the nature of space beyond our back yard. Holy guacamole! I find that way more intriguing than Miley’s naked butt on a wrecking ball. In fact it kind of restores my faith in humanity.

Voyager 1 - sneaked into interstellar space.

Voyager 1 – sneaked into interstellar space.

The Space Economy

On the topic of sexy rockets we have a space economy now. NASAs resources are dwindling an private companies are filling the gap thanks to eccentric billionaires – like Richard Branson, Elon Musk of Pay Pal and Jeff Bezo of Amazon. Recently NASA engaged two private companies Musk’s SpaceX and Orbital Sciences to deliver supplies and (a little further down the track) astronauts to the International Space Station. You can see where this is going. Over the next decade people and stuff will be shunted back and forth between earth and the geostationary orbit with the regularity of the Manly Ferry (well  not quite but there’ll be some traffic in the skies). Meanwhile Bigelow Aerospace are creating inflatable space habitats so that there’s somewhere to stash all those techies and their gear. These space tents will form the building blocks of future space stations and will eventually house people on the moon. Heck. Why stop at the moon? Elon Musk (who is said to the real life inspiration behind Iron Man’s Tony Stark) is pouring his considerable wealth into developing a rocket which could transport humans to Mars and back.

As for you asteroids – don’t think you can continue whizzing around the sun minding your own business. The human race is after you guys too. Planetary Resources is currently working on craft to explore and analyse near earth asteroids with a view to mining. It sounds like far fetched which is probably why heavy hitters such as James Cameron, Richard Branson (again) and Google’s Larry Pope and Eric Schmitt are bankrolling the project.

We’d better put Bruce Willis on ice. Human kind may be needing his unique asteroid busting skill set.

Oh My - Elon Musk has a really HUGE rocket.

Oh My – Elon Musk has a really HUGE rocket.

Hold the thought Bruce.

Hold the thought Bruce.

The Bone Factory

Meanwhile back on terra firma sciency types are exploring molecular frontiers of human body.  Biotech is sexy. Hows this for amazing? A Seattle company called Immusoft is developing a method where an individuals immune cells are coaxed into producing antibodies against specific diseases – in this case HIV. The researchers extract immature immune cells from human blood and place a genetic code for a new protein in them using a virus as a delivery boy.The modified cells go back into the body and some of them head to the bone marrow where they set up a manufacturing base. Here they become like microscopic factories pumping out the protein they were engineered to make. The protein is the antibody which fights disease. This is not some futuristic fantasy. Immusoft have made the technique work in mice and they are about to start human trials.

Down the track it may be possible to use this method to fight just about any disease that bothers us from cancer to Alzheimer’s to the aging process itself (which is certainly bothering me). Far out brussel sprout!

We can make B cells do our bidding.

We can make B cells do our bidding.

So here’s a thought. Instead of publishing open letters to each other about who is prostituting whom lets change our focus just a little. Whilst I too have joined the chorus moaning abut pornographic music videos ( I’m ready to move on. What can I say? I’m ahead of the curve.  Lets talk to our kids each other about more interesting stuff than Miley.



PPS: I have a question from a writers point of view. As blog readers do you like hearing about sciency stuff or would you prefer pop culture with a side of crumpet?

33 thoughts on “More Interesting Than Miley

  1. I need to read this post again after 9am when my brain is in gear. Pretentious me likes this type of post, sad me likes the laziness of talking about crumpet. When are you going to do a profile of Chris Hemsworth?

  2. I may be the last Westerner alive who has not seen the Cyrus woman twerking (and only found out what twerking was because someone insisted on telling me a couple of weeks ago) and hopefully never will. Not just this time, I’ve never seen her perform anything, ever, that I am aware of. Closest I came was when a friend sent me an email with a gif attached of the Cyrus person and some giant foam finger 🙂 I have no curiosity about this or most popular culture at all. I see the headlines when I log into Yahoo and it was talked about on Twitter a lot when I was still on there. I would not have been able to pick her out of a crowd 2 months ago and would like to return to that blissful time. I hope to go to my grave never having seen any of her much derided videos.

    I am aware that this smacks of pseudo intellectual posturing to those who follow pop culture. I don’t care.

    Science, however is hot. And when I read these sorts of things I am filled with hope for our future – thanks for this 🙂 Alzheimers is a terrifying disease, it would be wonderful indeed if they could cure it. How terrible that the brilliant Terry Pratchett is suffering from it. Just so wrong that such a brilliant mind, sharp as cut crystal, should be subjected to this horror.

    Voyager and anything to do with space travel fills me with wonder. Voyager in particular always makes me infinitely sad, as I visualise its solitary trek through infinite space. (Star Trek the motion picture, Vger, anyone?)

    This is a recording of one of the Symphonies of the planets on Youtube. The sounds that Voyager recorded on its way out of our solar system. I find it melancholy, when I feel like channelling my inner romantic poet I listen to this 🙂 It does something odd to my mood. Around the 4 minute mark it gets seriously weird. As the blurb says: “Voyager has left our Solar System forever. The sounds on this recording will never be made again in our lifetime.”

    As always with Youtube, do yourself a large favour and do NOT read the comments. Frankly I am amazed that the people who usually comment on Youtube are capable of operating anything above a light switch.

  3. All very interesting stuff, exciting actually. Science(not that I totally understand any of it) is amazing. If you can bring science in layman terms and keep the hot crumpets coming too I’d be very happy 🙂

  4. Isn’t Voyager amazing? And the Space Economy! I had no idea these mega-rich folk were serious investors in it. Amazing!

  5. I actually understood some of that so I’d agree with Alicia, science in layman terms with a side of crumpet would work for me. But hey, it’s your blog. write whatever you like, I say. xo

  6. If I can have Bruce Willis on ice at my house then science please…..ah ha! I’m being tricky…;)

  7. I just read about the Immusoft thing – isn’t just amazing! Of course we won’t benefit but our kids and grandkids might!! I’m a wee bit of a space and astro fan and so that is pretty bloody exciting about the Voyager – shame on me for not knowing this. And quite frankly there won’t be any advances in space unless private big wigs such as Richard get on board! You do have a way with words B xx

  8. On a different note, I take it you’ve seeenthe ad for the new Cormac McCarthy movie? I thought of you when I saw it…apparently you are now permanently linked to Fassbender.

  9. I’m never one to pass up a bit of slut shaming, ahem, but the science stuff is interesting too. My hubby is a super space geek. In fact, he was out in the back yard a few weeks ago looking for something in the sky, probably the voyager, who knows?! I was busy watching The Bachelor 😉

    • We’re not about slut shaming at Mumabulous. We are all for slut empowerment. Your husband and Dadabs sound like a bro-mance made in heaven. Which is great – nothing like two guys with big telescopes. HONK! I’d wager he was looking for the International Space Station. Did he find it?

  10. Definitely more interesting than Miley, thank you. Love anything spacey..thanks to Space Camp and Lea Thompson cira ’86. But I love a crumpet, too. Both together, they are pretty near perfect, I’d say. 🙂

  11. I’m not much into space, think the money could be spent better here on the planet we actually live in. Small town view I know. As for the bone factory that sounds amazing – this is the kind of thing that interests me!

  12. Oh crap I must google twerking as I still have no idea what it actually means, I do love me a bit of fact especially presented to me on a blog that I read anyways aka somewhere where the lazy me doesnt have to go searching for the info. Every now and then I like to throw those facts into conversations with the husband and kids so that I look really intellectual and then they leave me to read my housie magazines and New weekly trash in peace 🙂 x

    • New Weekly is a fine publication. The only problem I have with it is that Fass is NEVER featured. Is he doing nothing gossipworthy? He should be there by virtue of his hawtness alone.

  13. This is far too intellectual for my Friday! LOL.
    On Miley, I don’t really see what all the fuss is about, Sure … she did a hooker dance, but a gazillion women have gyrated their booty at the VMAs before her. I actually thought that was mandatory? I was more intrigued by Gaga’s g-string. Brave lady!

  14. Wow, the Immusoft work looks really interesting! I have a child with an immune disorder which means she doesn’t make enough antibodies so stuff like this both fascinates and excites me.
    I say go with the science stuff, any old writer can rehash the celeb stuff but it takes a talented soul to pull off the smart stuff 😉

  15. If only all of the fuss over Miley was put to good causes! The world would be a better place for sure 🙂
    I am not sure what or why Miley has so much attention over her video clips and live performances but I do reckon that her sales must be going through the roof. I like the idea of sharing more interesting topics with my sons, especially seen as how they are into learning about how space, stars and other planets. Now if only they made music/video clips about those topics!!

  16. Brilliantly composed bringing the fascinating world of science into the everyday. I love it and would definitely come back for more if delivered in such a way. Found you on FYBF.

  17. Love this post and the way it’s presented. Can’t we fit science and the psychology of crumpets in? That’s research, and interesting. :).

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