Friday, October 15, 2010

# 8 - Name a Star (& other unrelated ramblings)

So I've been staring at the screen of my laptop for days (or what feels like days) wondering what I'm going to blog about. To be honest, I'm doing a bunch of stuff on the list at the same time, but not finishing much of anything... and it's giving me anxiety! I alternate between studying my photography course material (#5); knitting that damned scarf (#10); reading a book a month (#24) - which by the way I'm still on book 1 in month 2 - not good; starting to learn Italian (#15) and I haven't crossed anything off my list for a while. Then again, it's about the "experience" and not just checking things off the list, right?

So I thought I'd give myself some instant statisfaction and knock one out right now... # 8 - Name a Star. Found a place online (free advertising - I should get my star on the house!), and for only $19.95 I get to name a star in the constellation of my choosing and I get a personalized certificate. I cannot buy the star, however, which is a good thing on many levels...

First off, what would I do with a star? It's not like I can actually put it in my pocket and save it for a rainy day. Then there's the fact that I already have a shopping "problem" - I don't need to elaborate on this one since I'll eventually get to # 38 (No shopping for 2 months! Ya, that'll be interesting - I should pre-order the valium now). Lastly, there's the fact that you really shouldn't  be allowed to buy a star. They kind of belong to everybody, and kind of to nobody at the same time. And this last point is what brings me to my dilemma of naming a star... why the hell did I put this on the list? What did I think I was going to gain from this? It's not like I'll live forever through the star - is that what I thought? Does the symbol of naming a star make people feel eternal, like even after they leave this earth, when people look up at the sky, that somehow they'll be there in that moment too? Is that ridiculous? I don't know.

To be honest, it sounded like such an easy thing to do... But, reading further into the website, they explained that they will "launch my star name into space" - What?!? What does that even mean? Like how do you launch something so intangible as a name into space? Well, they save the data ("celestial archive" as they call it) onto a computer chip and then when they're launching either a commercial or scientific rocket or satellite or whatever, they basically just put the computer chip on board. LOL! Now THIS is ridiculous. It's kind of a turn off how cheesy and pointless it is. So really, the $19.95 I'm paying is in some way funding their space missions - and I'm not OK with that. I kind of feel like it's drug money or something equally unethical. I have no idea what their space missions are all about, why would I give them money? For all I know, they're plotting something evil or spying on us from outer-space. Maybe they're in cahoots with hostile extra-terrestrials and planning to blow up the world and are just practicing their escape route and I'm supporting them by naming a star for $19.95. That's it, I will have no part in the end of the world, I'm looking up another company.

(Time Elapsed: Like 5 minutes)

Oooh! I like this one... It's Canadian which is always a good thing, but it's way more expensive (further leading me to believe that the previous website was up to no-good shenanigans), $100 for the basic package! Same sort of thing, certificate, sky chart and an astronomy book. These people seem way more "legit" though... as in they're not in cahoots with evil ET. But do I really want to spend $100 on a piece of paper? I mean I know that this is a symbol, just a novelty item even. No scientist will ever refer to the star as "Lise's star" or whatever clever name I come up with, they have all these alpha-numeric codenames that are no fun. It won't actually be officially recognized by anyone other than myself. And there are thousands of name-a-star companies out there probably renaming the same stars over and over. It's such a load of crap, but what a money-maker! Ahhh, I'm so torn on the matter.

So - now here's the important question - however I do it, what do I name my star?

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