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Staring at the sun: The eclipse, technology, and the Final Frontier


Staring at the solar eclipse with Joe Pappalardo | Back: Technology by Blaze Media

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Memes about staring at solar eclipses had the mistaken assumption that the temptation of staring into an apocalyptic burn would afflict many of us.

“I suspect damage. The possibility of it being caused by a solar eclipse is a bit of an exaggeration,” he says with a little laugh, “but I’m not so sure right now. I can still see spots.”

Joe Pappalardo is definitely my favorite science writer. He’s one of my favorite authors in general. Magazine Writer and Popular He has contributed byline articles to Geographic, Time, Esquire, Texas Monthly, and Smithsonian Magazine, as a contributing editor for Mechanics, National He is part Hemingway, part Kerouac, part has given us a writing style that is a scientifically oriented philosophy.

Joe writes about B-17 gunners, jungle spaceports, western gunfights, and sunflowers. His book, Sunflowers: The Secret History, describes the complex and surprising history of sunflowers.

Why is there a spaceport in the remote jungles of French Guiana? How do people die on Mars? How should we preserve the Declaration of Independence? Should we fear drones? What was the Wild West like for cops and criminals? Watching the solar eclipse on a Concorde plane What does it look like? How bad are the battle scenes in the Star Wars sequel trilogy? Will we ever see spiritual elements in AI? How can we fully realize the original creation? Why did the CIA hire a murderous monk? Is North Korea’s nuclear threat a real threat? Will the future of space exploration depend on the egos of wealthy Big Tech giants? What role did sunflowers play when the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union?

These are just some of the topics Joe Pappalardo is well-versed in.

So I wanted to talk to him about the eclipse.

And, perfectly, this took us into space and up into the stars.

Throughout this interview, you can sense a joyful back and forth between wonder and doom. What a great tug of war between progress and decay!

The solar eclipse brought people together and created a sense of unity. “There are very few events like this that bring everyone together.”

Joe also says there is a generational divide in accepting new ideas and disruptive technologies, and some people resist change.

He spoke about the unique characteristics of astronauts and the future of space travel, which may involve more diverse participants and commercial spaceflight. SpaceX has ambitious plans for the next few years, including launching Starship and landing a booster on the same launch pad.

Giorgio Agamben said, “Technology is really nothing else but human action toward a goal.”

His father influenced Joe’s interest in space and science. They are scheduled to hold a presentation at Starbase this week. I will contact you again once they have completed their journey.

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