Nerd Moment

Tonight’s post is not exactly about writing.  Instead, it’s a shout-out to Paul Shawcross, the Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget.  (Wow, he has a long title!)  He wrote the clever White House response to the petition for the USA to build a Death Star.

The man really deserves some credit for understanding his audience.  Even the title of the article (“This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For”) is a blatant reference to the Star Wars movies.  He did a great job with the response, too.  He started with the reasons why it wouldn’t be feasible (my favorite is “The Administration does not support blowing up planets”) and then continued to describe the many very cool ways that the government and private citizens are involved in space exploration and science.  And of course, there are Star Wars references sprinkled throughout.

Are you totally confused?  There is a website called We the People, affiliated with the White House, that allows US citizens to create and sign petitions.  If they reach a certain number of signatures in a set amount of time, the appropriate expert from the White House will respond.   Even if no one really took this petition seriously, the people running the site made a committment, and they stuck to it!

The concept is cool and this response is well written.  I had a nerd moment when I read it, and just wanted to share.