Episode #28: Why the hell is space exploration important when the planet is literally on fire? (transcript)


Listen to this episode:

Read it later:


Quinn:    Welcome to Important, Not important, this is episode 28, my name is Quinn Emmett.

Brian:    And I'm Brian Colbert Kennedy.

Quinn:    Today's question is, Brian, why the hell is space exploration so important when the world is on fire? 

Brian:    And to help us answer that, we've got the very awesome Emily Calandrelli on the line. 

Quinn:    Yeah, she is impressive, The Space Gal, you can find her online at The Space Gal basically everywhere.

Brian:    All over the internet. 

Quinn:    Yeah, boy is she impressive. Brian, let me ask you a question. 

Brian:    Yeah?

Quinn:    Do you think anyone's ever said that about you or me? "Wow, is Brian impressive?"

Brian:    I'm going to say hard no on me and maybe for you.

Quinn:    I don't think, I can't imagine a circumstance where that would have been an appropriate measure. Another word, maybe, annoying, loud. I think we talked about the socializes at the inappropriate time thing before?

Brian:    Yeah.

Quinn:    Obnoxious, relentless, tired. All these words work. 

Brian:    Too much, I bet I got a lot of, he's too much.

Quinn:    Just too much. Emily, not so much, she's too much in a lot of ways, and it's-

Brian:    Like the good ways.

Quinn:    Amazing. She comes from West Virginia, she went to West Virginia University, she's an MIT engineer turned Emmy nominated science TV host-

Brian:    No big deal.

Quinn:    She works with fucking Bill Nye, she's a children's author and an underachiever.

Brian:    Yeah, she's a slacker basically.

Quinn:    Yeah, basically. Typical. Among other amazing topics we get into, we get into Brian's relative standing in Asgardia.

Brian:    We do have, so happy that we talked about Asgardia, and she knew [crosstalk 00:01:57].

Quinn:    She's not impressed by. 

Brian:    I was just thrilled that another person knew who it was besides you and I.

Quinn:    Yeah, I can't imagine. Yeah. Anyways. We get into the pros and cons of Twitter, which is everybody's favorite topic of discussion because society is crumbling.

Brian:    Twitter is insane. 

Quinn:    What a couple of weeks it's been, fuck.

Brian:    It can be so good and then wow, just wow sometimes.

Quinn:    Just wow. There was a headline the other day, this is Facebook, not Twitter. I don't remember what it is exactly, but it was like, Mark Zuckerberg apologizes for apologizing for Nazis. And you're like, "Oh man, it is just not going great out there right now."

Brian:    It really does, and she mentioned it, and it's been mentioned by a guest before, like sometimes, I just I'm like, "You gotta be shitting me," and want to throw my phone and never look at it again. 

Quinn:    But it's those type of headlines where you're like, "What?" Like, that we're here, we're there now. Okay. Got It. We're there now. The President threatening people, threatening Iran, in all caps on Twitter like before I've even had a chance to have my morning poop, you know? Just give me a minute. 

Brian:    I thought you were gonna say before I've had my morning coffee and then-

Quinn:    I don't have morning coffee. I'm not an addict like you.

Brian:    No, I'm not.

Quinn:    On that note-

Brian:    I'm not an addict. 

Quinn:    You know what, Brian?

Brian:    Yeah.

Quinn:    Here's the thing. Usually, we record together, people know that, I think. We're separated in the summers.

Brian:    Very sadly.

Quinn:    Part of the terms of the separation. So, I'm not there to take care of you on recording days and that meant today you didn't have coffee, which revealed to me about what? Eight minutes before we started.

Brian:    17.

Quinn:    There was none in your mouth. I should have known though, because can I tell you what?

Brian:    You can tell, you can tell.

Quinn:    Your mood, yeah, your mood without coffee, not going to cut it. Not going to cut it. It's not good for me.

Brian:    Not good for anybody.

Quinn:    It's not good for the people, it's not good for our relationship. 

Brian:    And what did you do? You were such a sweet angel, like you always are, and you got me some, this time via Postmates, because as previously mentioned, you are in another state, and it was-

Quinn:    Did we figure out what the past tense of Postmates is?

Brian:    Well, Postmate said Postmated I think, and I'm going to go with her because she's a genius. Postmates did, you take away the S, that seems weird to take away the S.

Quinn:    Right, because it's the name of the company. Did you know that if you're a Red Sox, the proper singular word is Red Sox.

Brian:    Oh really?

Quinn:    Let's say you were good at athletics and you signed a contract with the Red Sox, you'd say, "I'm really proud to be a Red Sox today."

Brian:    That just seems very wrong. 

Quinn:    Right?

Brian:    A red sox. But yeah, but I mean, Sox is a fucking made up work.

Quinn:    Right. It's very confusing. 

Brian:    Anyway, thank you for the coffee.

Quinn:    Anyways, did the coffee help? By the way, I'm glad we got it because we had some technical difficulties, and I just literally completely fell off the line, and you guys kept going, and I don't think that would have been possible without whatever 16 ounces of coffee you finally got. 

Brian:    It was so delicious. Here's what happened. It was actually sort of I felt bad basically. I heard my doorbell ring while like in the middle of my rant. So, I like didn't want to stop. So, we kept going, the doorbell rang again. I was like, "Well, fuck. Maybe like once this is over, I'll be able to just run outside and Postmates delivery person will have just like left the cup on my door." So, I get a moment, I ran outside, opened the door, no coffee at the door, but then I look up, and I see that there's a car in the driveway. And I was like, "Oh my God. She fucking stayed, and I can't believe she's still here."

Quinn:    She fucking stayed. Well, what's interesting is I finally looked down at my phone after all this, and I had about 10,000 messages from them saying like, "Hey man, I'm fucking here."

Brian:    Well, so she was still there, and I was like, "Oh my God. You're here, yes, yes." And I like go to put my shoes on to go meet her, and she gets out of her car ... and by the way, it's like 97 degrees in LA today. She's pregnant, and she's just been sitting in her car waiting for me to answer my fucking door.\

Quinn:    You fucking monster.

Brian:    But she was such an angel, and I was obviously extremely apologetic, and she said that the air was blasting in her car. So, I think everything ended up fine. 

Quinn:    Well ...

Brian:    I didn't say it ended up good.

Quinn:    It's not great. It's not great. 

Brian:    Fine. Anyway, thank you. Thank you again.

Quinn:    Okay. Let's think about this and try to rectify that next time. Don't think me, thank her.

Brian:    I did, so many times.

Quinn:    And good to know you just bailed in the middle of our conversation with Emily. 

Brian:    No, I didn't. I would never do that.

Quinn:    Good thing it didn't happen when I dropped off the line.

Brian:    She just has no one to talk to you.

Quinn:    Look, here's the thing. Nobody wants to hear about this. We should just go talk to Emily.

Brian:    Let's go talk to Emily.

Quinn:    Okay, bye. 

Quinn:    Our guest today is Emily Calandrelli. And together we're going to ask why the hell is space exploration so important when the world is sometimes literally on fire? It's a question I get a lot, and I'm sure a lot of a space folks do. Anyways, our guest is awesome. Emily, welcome. 

The Space Gal:    Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Quinn:    For sure. 

Brian:    We are very pumped to have you here, and if you don't mind, just tell us real quick who you are and what you do. 

The Space Gal:    Yeah. So, I guess real quick, I'm basically an MIT engineer turned science communicator, meaning I am at science TV show host, I do a little bit of science writing, I have a series of children's books. But yeah, my background's in science and engineering and now my quest is to make science fun for everyone. 

Brian:    That's amazing. 

Quinn:    And this gets weirder every time. But as usual, that is also Brian's exact background, very strange.

Brian:    Yeah.

Quinn:    Very strange. 

Brian:    It so weird, but the world is full of coincidences.

The Space Gal:    Very cool. So, MIT engineer also?

Brian:    Total same thing.

Quinn:    Oh no, I'm fully fucking kidding.

The Space Gal:    Oh. [inaudible 00:07:45] for you.

Brian:    I'm nowhere near your level.

Quinn:    And not even on the same playing field really.

Brian:    Oh well, all right.

Quinn:    No, sorry.

Brian:    All right, so let's set up our conversation for today. We are a big believers in action oriented questions here on the show. We want to get to the bottom of today's topic so that everybody gets it. And then because we are living in times that call for action-

Quinn:    Such a gentle way of putting it, not full on revolution.

Brian:    The swearing and the anger comes later. But yeah, and then we want to come up with some very specific steps that everyone can take to help actually make a change in the universe. 

The Space Gal:    Yeah, I like it. 

Quinn:    All right. So Emily, we do start with one important question to get at the heart of why you're here today. Instead of saying, tell us your life story, we like to ask, Emily, why are you vital to the survival of the species? 

The Space Gal:    Wow. I don't know that I would say that I am vital to the survival of the species.

Quinn:    Be bold, be honest.

The Space Gal:    Quite honestly, I do not think I'm vital to the survival of the human species, but I do try to do my part to make the human species a little bit better in my own communities. And so I think that one way that I am working to do that is by using empathy to drive my science communication. I'm from West Virginia. West Virginia is the number one state in the country when it comes to the fewest number of people that believe that global warming is happening, which is always very frustrating as a West Virginian to know, but because I'm from that community and from that culture, I understand that there's more to it than simply people not understanding the science. It's not that these people are ignorant or stupid. There are many, many factors, many corporate factors-

Quinn:    There's a lot on the line.

The Space Gal:    Yeah. There's a lot on the line, there's a lot of corporate influence from very powerful, rich coal companies that are taking advantage of poor communities in West Virginia, and obviously the coal industry plays a huge part because that was something that drove a lot of jobs throughout West Virginia for a very long time. And so for them, they see the whole environmental movement as a movement that people think of as environmentally friendly, but that is not a movement that has been friendly to them.

Quinn:    True. And they're 100% correct.

The Space Gal:    Yeah. There's parts of it that I think are a little bit overstated, like the fact that there has been more market and economic factors that have been driving the coal industry to its death rather than simply environmental regulations. Now that there are cheaper alternatives, we work in a capitalistic environment and coal industry that is not quite the cheapest option in the entire world anymore is not going to live on forever when there are cheaper alternatives, but they want to blame everything, or some people want to blame everything on Obama era environmental regulations. But there's a lot of factors. 

The Space Gal:    What I'm saying basically is that it's a very nuanced issue and that we won't get to that nuance unless we lead with empathy and learn to listen to these communities because these West Virginia people are good, hardworking, wonderful people that just have a lot of challenges, right? And we won't understand those challenges and help them to move on into the future, to a new future that doesn't have to rely on this outdated energy source of coal unless we kind of listen to them and empathize with their challenges. 

Quinn:    Sure. And I think that is so vital. And one of the folks we talked to early on was a reverend Mitch Hescox, I'm not sure if you're familiar with him. He leads some evangelical climate action. But history is really interesting. He has coal mining engineering degrees. His entire family was coal miners. His dad and his granddad, I might mangle this, both had black lung. So, he is again, getting to the nuance because nobody wants to be yelled at by Greenpeace anymore. Like, I totally get it. It's no fun. That's not a way to get anything done. You have to listen, you have to empathize, and you have to understand there's so many layers to this. These folks aren't happy about having their livelihood ripped away and they're also not happy that it turns out that their livelihood made their entire family sick. 

The Space Gal:    Right, exactly.

Quinn:    It's very, very complicated, but another message, another conservative climate activist talked to us about is, when we said, and it was a little bit of Mitch and another one was basically the messenger in many phases, especially sort of this last third, which is getting these hard to reach groups or hard-to-get-through-to groups over the line because everyone else is convinced. The Messenger is much more important than the message. Someone who can inherently empathize with those folks, who they trust more than stupid me and Brian and our damn podcasts. It's someone who gets it, who doesn't have to be from there like you are, but boy, does that make a difference.

The Space Gal:    It does. And I love that phrase; the Messenger is more important than the message, that is so, so, I've found to be true and true over and over again. 

Quinn:    Yeah, and basically we said, "How can we support you? What should we do?" And they're like, "Shut up, get out of the way, just donate to us so we can do our jobs." And I was like, "Great. If that's the answer, I don't care." Whatever the means is that gets us there, you know? 

The Space Gal:    Yeah, yeah. I mean, I would also say that, you can recognize that you're important in your own communities and that you can have your own impact with people who love and respect you. So, for me, that means, in just a very small way, talking to my parents about climate change and science because neither of my parents are scientists or engineers. They grew up in West Virginia and were way more supportive of coal growing up than I ever was. But by talking to them, my brother and I, my brother's a math teacher, so both of their kids grew up to be these analytical, logical, scientifically minded people, and my family is pretty religious as well, and so there's a lot of factors going on between the differences between my parents and me and my parents and my brother. 

The Space Gal:    And so just talking to my parents and giving them the scientific arguments, giving them, empowering them with the scientific way of thinking, they can use that to bring to their community, to bring the people, bring to their friends and family because their friends and family are way more likely to listen to my parents than to their like feminist, angry feminist, liberal daughter who they have come to think of an outsider.

Quinn:    Yeah, right. Who went off to MIT.

The Space Gal:    Yeah, exactly. So yeah, just talking to the people that you love so that they can talk to their friends and family, that really helps. 

Quinn:    Well, it's just like the idea of, bring your most popular friend to the voting booth with you because they will go and spread that message a little more. 

The Space Gal:    Yeah, exactly.

Quinn:    It really does matter. Well, that's awesome. Can I ask how that has gone with your parents?

The Space Gal:    Definitely, extremely well.

Quinn:    Oh, great.

The Space Gal:    Like way better than any type of conversation that I would have with extended family members. I have some extended family members that are also very progressive and also very scientifically minded, but there are some that have had lots of angry comments to me on Facebook from various opinions that I've had over the years, but my parents love me more than anyone in the world. So, I will never find a more captive audience than my parents. 

Quinn:    That's good. That could go the other way.

The Space Gal:    Yeah. I mean, for them I was very lucky because they support me in everything that I've done even though they don't often understand it. And so they listen to everything, they're willing to be wrong, they're willing to learn new things and that's all I can ask.

Quinn:    God, that's awesome, and it is all you can ask. Anything more than that wouldn't be fair-

The Space Gal:    Right, exactly.

Quinn:    ... considering their background, and their history there, and all the things that they believe in. Interesting. So, you're fighting the hard fight. All right, so we do this thing. Let's establish some context for today, which means we call it context 101 with Professor Brian. It's not pretty at times, he does his best, but we are firm believers in ... like we said, it's like a book report thrown together the night before, but we're firm believers that since most of our listeners aren't actual scientists, didn't go to MIT, that we should make sure they're operating from a base understanding for each episode or something like that. And he gets really excited about this so we try to cut him some slack even if he's-

The Space Gal:    It's so fun.

Quinn:    ... even if his facts are just all over the place. So Brian, talk to us about the history of space exploration.

Brian:    No problem. All right, well, we've been looking up to the sky since, I don't know, how old are we? 

Quinn:    Current humans?

Brian:    Yeah.

Quinn:    200,000 years, 300,000 years, something like that. 

Brian:    Right, so for that long, and man, imagine how clear the sky must have been back then.

Quinn:    Right. No, let's talk about living in Los Angeles. No light pollution. We didn't even have fire at that point, but it was probably pretty distracting too. 

Brian:    I would think like 100% distracting, yeah. So anyway, we've been looking up there forever. Had no idea what it meant. A lot of ideas though. Most of them probably bad, probably a little off base. Finally saw through a telescope though in like the 1600s I think, saw some moons, probably planets relatively close up.

Quinn:    It must have blown minds. 

Brian:    Yeah. Right. But was anybody like listening? Did anybody care? Basically, everybody was fighting some sort of war most days of the week.

Quinn:    In the 1600s, yeah, if they didn't have the plague.

Brian:    Or yeah, died from the plague.

Quinn:    Or they just burned you at the stake.

Brian:    So, all right. Fast forward, thank God, and we take a picture of the moon in the 1800s or something like that. And again, plenty of wars still. Conquests, colonies, and meanwhile, oh Jules Verne comes along, right? And he's talking about, "Oh hey, I think we can go up there," and people are just like, "Well, where? Up where?" And he's like, "There." And they're like, "Yeah, where the fuck are you talking about dude?" And then so he just wrote some cool stories about it.

Brian:    And then some Russian cat whose name I cannot pronounce and won't even try, published the first like real paper on potential space travel.

Quinn:    And then there was Goddard as well, right? 

Brian:    Oh yeah. No, no, I know, I know. I'm just not trying to be like Super American centric about this. 

Quinn:    Well, yeah. We're going to do pretty bad later.

Brian:    Goddard, pretty huge. He basically grabbed a pen and a napkin and was like, "All right, well, this is a rocket." And then everybody was like, "uh huh, you're drunk. Bye-bye." And he said, "No, I'm serious. This is a fucking rocket." And then he launched a rocket.

Quinn:    Yeah. And then everything took off, right? 

Brian:    Yeah. Pretty Great. Okay. So, one way to put it, I don't think anybody felt that way at the time, but then German started kicking ass, okay? Major ass.

Quinn:    We're in the '20s, '30s now, so now we're also kicking ass at other things like extinguishing races of people and borders. But yes.

Brian:    So again, well, you get where I'm going now, which is like everyone has always sort of worked on space while simultaneously also dealing with a bunch of other terrible shit. 

Quinn:    Sure. Yes, I mean, we can have an entire podcast about how so much of the space tech comes from military races and vice versa. You're welcome for the chips inside your iPhone because of the space shuttle, right? 

Brian:    Right. Yes, yes. All right. Okay. So, that's like a whole thing that I have going on here, so just stop. Okay. So anyway, so now we're on to the shit people know about like some balloons go up, and some more like starter rockets. Most people are generally terrified of what the Germans are cooking up. Eisenhower was like, "Let's go to space." And then Sputnik.

Quinn:    Uh-huh. That hurt.

Brian:    Yeah, we got our asses handed to us and not for the first or last time. 

Quinn:    Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's fair. Yeah, it kept going. So what happened next? 

Brian:    Well, okay, so now we have pictures from space. We send there some animals, a lot of questions about that. Solar probes.

Quinn:    Sure. Great, great. So, we're in the, I guess, the 50s, 40s, World War II, we're under the cold war, Bay of Pigs. 

Brian:    Right. And then we have Yuri Gagarin, and Alan Shepard, and Valentine Tereshkova, samples, docking, Mars [kicks 00:21:20], Venus kicks, Mercury, Apollo.

Quinn:    But also Vietnam. Russia goes into Afghanistan. 

Brian:    Yeah. And the [Biking 00:21:27], and the Voyager, and the Space Shuttle, and the Hubble telescope.

Quinn:    '80s. So, we're in the first Gulf War. Rwanda, ISS, the Pathfinder.

Brian:    I'm playing your game here. The second Gulf War, 9/11.

Quinn:    We got the Kepler, we got Falcon 9, and now we're here at the present day.

Brian:    Right, where the Russians are kicking our ass again.

Quinn:    Yes, but you get my points. We've been doing this for a very long time, and also, not for a very long time. But we've stalled in a lot of ways, but most importantly, we've always pushed into space for one reason or another, and there's certainly no reason to slow down or stop now. 

Brian:    Well, thank you. I would argue it's more important than ever, instead of stopping, that we should double down.

Brian:    But let's get to our question to our amazing guests who may have run away after all of that. It is entirely possible.

The Space Gal:    No, I was enjoying that history lesson. That's very good. 

Quinn:    Well, don't fucking bank on it. Don't go teaching that to anybody. Good job, Brian. So, let's then focus on our question and bring Emily more thoroughly into this so she can tell us how all the ways we're wrong. 

Brian:    Oh yes, please help us.

Quinn:    Why the hell is space exploration so important when the world is on actual fire? So Emily, let's back up a little bit, or I guess, put in a broader context. How did today's current crisis differ, I guess, vis-a-vis threatening funding or threatening space exploration and scientific progress in general to the past. Like, when you go out and you pitch science and your enthusiasm for it to so many folks through your books, through TV, through your circles, I'm sure, and we talked about your people from your hometown, what are your biggest roadblocks? What are the biggest obstacles you run into? 

The Space Gal:    In terms of why people think space exploration is worthwhile?

Quinn:    No, I guess why would they ... Yeah, exactly. What is their counter argument and where do you find the most substantive counter arguments for, that's too Sci-Fi. We shouldn't be doing that right now when we got all this shit going on down here, essentially.

The Space Gal:    Yeah. Well, I will say that I do get the question, why are we investing money in space exploration when we have so many problems down here on earth? I get that question a lot, but I find that question inherently so funny because it sounds very much like why do we have e-commerce when we have so many problems around the world? Because it's like space exploration is an industry. It's a place to do business. There are private companies all over the world who are making money from space-based technologies, so it's just like an economy, right? It helps boost the economy of various countries around the world. And so then you can refocus and say, okay, that's fine. Who cares about commercial companies? I care about the government, why is our government investing money in space exploration? 

The Space Gal:    And to them, I say for three main reasons, and it's, one, to help boost commercial companies. Kind of like they did with the airline industry. The airline industry wouldn't be what it is today without the early R&D from organizations like NACA, which is NASA's predecessor. They did a lot of the very expensive, very time consuming research and development required to make air travel safe and cost effective, right? And then you pass it over to the airline industry to work out the rest of the economic kinks. But a lot of that R&D is too expensive for any private company to actually invest in. And so they do that for various ... NASA also does that for the airline industry today, various airplanes today, but also with rockets today. SpaceX wouldn't be SpaceX today without all of the work that NASA had done, all the legwork NASA had done in the early years. 

The Space Gal:    And then the second reason is because you might feel okay about the commercial side of things, but then you're like, well, why do we care about sending probes to different planets and moons? Why do we care about investing government money in that? And the reason for that is that, it's human nature to try to understand the inner workings of this universe that we have been born into. That is what makes our species different than every other species here on earth. And for possibly a more self serving reason, we learn about other planets so that we can better understand the planet that we live on. For example, Venus, we learned about Venus because Venus is basically, people refer to it as like earth's evil twin. It is also a rocky planet, it is about the same size as earth, has about the same, gravity as earth, but it is a fiery-

Quinn:    Boils and warm there.

The Space Gal:    ... landscape. Very, very warm there with like boiling oceans and acid rain. It no longer has any water because it has all boiled off and it is very much a cautionary tale of what our planet could be like with a runaway greenhouse effect, like what Venus has. And so learning more about Venus helps us understand what our planet could be like when we pump greenhouse gas emissions and burn fossil fuels on this planet of ours.

The Space Gal:    And then the third reason, so you have, boost commercial companies, help commercial companies get on their feet. Then you have the scientific aspect of learning about the universe and understanding our place in it. But the third reason is because 99.9% of species that have lived on earth have gone extinct. And to our knowledge, that's because none of them had a space program, right? Because something terrible happened here on planet earth and they could not escape to anywhere else. And so we send humans into space. We learn how to live in space, we want to send you further out into the solar system, learn how to bring humans to another planet because we want to better our chances of survival. We want to fight the odds of extinction. And so it's kind of like bringing humans to Mars is like backing up the human race on a Martian hard drive.

Quinn:    And I understand why that feels so Sci-Fi to people. I totally get it. It does feel like, boy, this came on quickly that you're telling me we definitely need to do this thing, and Elon Musk talks about having a backup plan and how he's hell bent on that. But again, if you take a step back, I mean, in what universe, literally, is not having a backup plan a good idea even if shit wasn't really going wrong. I mean, look, this is kind of what I mean when I talk about it in the context of past issues we've dealt with, whether it was the nuclear threat, or the Cold War, or Bay of Pigs, or plagues or pandemics, whatever, like you said. 

Quinn:    One of my favorite t-shirts, literally, part of the tone of our entire business is based on this amazing t-shirt I have, which is, it says, "Asteroids, nature's way of saying, how's that space program going?" And it's totally true. But we also look at it where, yes, the nuclear issue didn't go away with certain votes and certain changing of things, and there are certain issues that you can just vote away and everything stops or it gets better, whether it's healthcare, yada, yada. But we have now created issues that don't just go away with a single vote like climate change. We have set in motion a number of things that we just can't turn off. Like if we did go to zero carbon right now across the board and even started to pull it back out of the air, we're running 30 to 40 years behind, right? And the past couple of weeks have been a pretty gnarly sign of that.

Quinn:    So, I can see where you'd be like, "We have so much else to deal with here." But that's exactly why I feel like pushing farther out, pushing our technologies, our ideas of what technology could be to fly, for power, for air, for food, for building, for 3D printing, for protection from radiation, or identifying, classifying, investigating exoplanet. It seems Sci-Fi but we have to simultaneously build this backup plan. There's no like, we fix climate change and then we do that.

The Space Gal:    Right. And then also to point out, we don't leave our planet because we are trying to leave all of our problems. It's like you can simultaneously go to another place in our solar system and also still work on problems here on earth. I mean, it's not like the people that live on Mars are going to not have any connection back to earth. Like this will always be our first home. Everyone who goes to Mars will have family that they love here on earth, and so we're not going to Mars because we're like, "Ah, earth has been ruined. We just got to find a new-"

Quinn:    Fuck it. We're out of here.

The Space Gal:    Yeah, we're out of here. Like we've got to find a new planet. Like no. People who were early explorers didn't leave the areas that they were in because they were just like, you know what, there's lots of problems there. Let's just start over and see if we can create this perfect environment where there's no problems. That's not a realistic mindset. 

Quinn:    And if anybody did, they got a pretty rude awakening. I mean, I'm from and I'm currently in Williamsburg, Virginia, where Jamestown is, and there are some people who showed up with that mindset. And let me tell you, grass is not always greener, man. 

Quinn:    Side note. Have you ever heard of this little organization called Asgardia? 

The Space Gal:    I have, yes.

Quinn:    So, Brian has signed up for this.

The Space Gal:    Good.

Brian:    I did it for the good of the podcast. 

Quinn:    Yeah, he's pretty reluctant about it now because I harass him pretty good about it.

Brian:    Yeah, you sure do.

Quinn:    Yeah, it's pretty amazing though. There are some people, they're like, "You know what, I think we're out of here," which is interesting. 

Brian:    Emily, what do you know of Asgardia? Do you have any thoughts on it? 

Quinn:    Don't support him in this please.

Brian:    Is it just ridiculous?

The Space Gal:    I don't actually know too much about it other than they had that-

Quinn:    Neither does he.

The Space Gal:    ... huge celebratory event recently where they appointed their first head of state. But no, I don't know too much about it. 

Quinn:    I believe he has a, what was it Brian? A ceremonial necklace?

Brian:    Yeah, I think he has a ... it was a whole ridiculous celebration, I believe, that's already talk of-

Quinn:    That you missed. 

Brian:    That I missed and maybe happily. All right, that's good. Maybe we should keep it at that.

Quinn:    Yeah. All right, let's walk away slowly. So, let's pie in the sky a little bit here. Emily, so you're the head of NASA and you get to double the budget for the next 10 years. Again, we try to hang with what's happening right now, what's going to happen in the next 20 years. What are your top three priorities for the next 10 years with a double budget, which I don't think people realize that's still like a tiny amount of government funding.

The Space Gal:    Yeah. Right now we have less than half a percent of the entire federal budget, yeah. So, if the entire federal budget was a dollar, we'd have about half a penny for NASA. So, in the grand scheme of things, it's not a huge amount, but it is certainly, it's like 19 billion dollars, which is no small amount. So, you can do a lot with that. 

The Space Gal:    But I guess one thing that I would probably do is focus a lot of that into human exploration to Mars because there's this joke that sending humans to Mars is perpetually 10 to 15 years away, because you start a program and then four to eight years later there's another president who wants to change the focus and have their own big goal, and there's a ping pong effect between going to Mars, and the next administration says, "No, not Mars. Let's go back to the moon." And then the next one is like, "Not moon, Mars." "Not Mars, moon." And then all of these projects that they built that are specifically designed for one of those planetary bodies gets mothballed, and then eight years later, all the technology is outdated. And so it keeps getting delayed, delayed, delayed. 

The Space Gal:    And so unless we set a short timeframe that is going to be sustainable over the course of passing administrations, or something that you can get done in eight to 10 years like Apollo, then it's going to be hard to actually make happen in the near future. So yeah, I would double down on either Mars or the moon just to get one of those done.

Quinn:    Sure. Something back going. And I think Apollo, I think NASA's budget was 4% of the budget, something like that at that time. 

The Space Gal:    That sounds right. Yeah, that sounds ... yeah definitely.

Quinn:    I mean, right now, would just be a stupid amount of money. It would be incredible, and we're not asking for that much. I mean it'd be great, but we can do so much with just a little more. And I will say, it's interesting. The current president has tried to demolish both National Science money, and Basic Science research money, and NASA's budget, and for whatever reason, Congress keeps contradicting him and actually raising it, which is shocking and wonderful.

The Space Gal:    I know, yeah. 

Quinn:    Every time, I'm really pleasantly fucking surprised by that. 

The Space Gal:    I know. Especially like, yeah, is he wanted to cut the entire education budget at NASA, which I've never heard of a more short, just a very silly, silly thing. It would be absolutely disastrous especially for communities like West Virginia. For example, one of the best things that ever happened to me growing up in West Virginia was something called the NASA Space Grant. And the NASA space grant, every state has one, and they're funded by NASA's education office budget. 

The Space Gal:    And so basically, the space grant in each state helps the kids in that state find NASA programs, NASA internships, NASA research, NASA fellowships, so that they can get paid to learn about the space industry, and that works really, really well in states like West Virginia because in states like Massachusetts where you have the MITs and the Harvards or basically any other state that has those fancy schools, big companies will come to you to recruit. They will go to you and find you. The opportunities will come to you. 

The Space Gal:    But in a state like West Virginia, those big companies aren't coming to recruit you, and so you need someone there on your side to help you find opportunities to help level the playing field between all these fancy expensive schools and state schools like West Virginia where I went to for Undergrad. And then Trump comes in and says, "You know what? We're just gonna cut the entire education budget." That would demolish every NASA space grant in every state.

Quinn:    That hits pretty close to home to you.

The Space Gal:    It hits close to home because I wouldn't be where I am without the NASA Space Grant, because nobody was paying attention to me when I was an Undergrad student at a state school in West Virginia other than NASA. So yeah, it's a pretty ridiculous thing to do and it would make the dichotomy between the rich and the poor even more ... it would create an even larger gap between the opportunities between those two, especially [crosstalk 00:37:03].

Quinn:    Which is hard to do at this point. 

The Space Gal:    I know, I know. He's ambitious.

Quinn:    That's a kind way of putting it. 

Brian:    Yeah, he's something.

Quinn:    All right. So, human exploration to either Mars or the moon is probably number one. What else do you got? 

The Space Gal:    Definitely exploring different icy worlds. So, places like Enceladus and Europa, these moons of Saturn and of Jupiter are places that we think might be hospitable for life, and we haven't really explored them fully yet. And so I would want to do a ton of planetary exploration focusing a lot on those two icy worlds, to dig in deeper and really try to understand whether or not life exists there. Because I think that once we find any type of life, whether it be intelligent life or even simple basic microbial life, it will change the way that we think about human life in the universe, because once we find life on two different places, then we know that life is everywhere because. 

The Space Gal:    If it happened here, we're the only place that we've found life, and so there's this crazy possibility that maybe we are the only perfect, perfect environment where life could have thrived and survived. But if we find it right next door, then perhaps life is throughout the universe and completely ubiquitous.

Quinn:    True. There's a really interesting update to the Fermi paradox question just last week or the week before. Did you see that? 

The Space Gal:    No, I don't think so.

Quinn:    I'll send it to you.

Brian:    I think I know what you're talking about.

Quinn:    We have a link to it. Somebody ran some new numbers and was like, "Listen. It might be worse off than we thought." Something like, "Hey, now look, it's ..." I can't remember if it was 40 or 60% chance that we are solo, that we are alone. It's not guaranteed, but they changed some factor of it. I can't remember because my mind is a black hole and on the best way. But yeah, it's a really interesting question. But yes, just finding a second iteration of it, much less close to home makes you go like, "Oh, that math is way off."

The Space Gal:    Yeah, that's humbling.

Quinn:    In some capacity. 

The Space Gal:    Yeah, very scary type of thought.

Quinn:    I have a bunch of little kids, so many. And my oldest is, they're all very curious. They all love space. We've definitely already had a few of your books before this happened. 

The Space Gal:    Oh yay.

Quinn:    Oh yeah, for sure. They love this stuff. 

The Space Gal:    That's awesome. 

Quinn:    But we were talking about Enceladus recently. Oh, we were down at the beach. There wasn't much light pollution. We're looking up to the sky, we could look at some planets, and somehow we got to the topic of Europa and Enceladus and I mentioned there might be salty oceans underneath the ice, and my son was like, "Oh, what do you think is under there?" And I said, "Well, I don't know, it could be anything." And he paused for a minute, and he goes, "I hope it's full of teeth." And I was like, "Yes, yes." Like, who knows. We have no idea. I was like, but listen-

The Space Gal:    That's really funny.

Quinn:    I was like, "Buddy," we live in LA, so we have some friends who are actual rocket scientists out at JPL. And I was like, "Listen man, somebody's got design that sub that gets out there and finds out if it's full of teeth," like, "We need your man." And he was like, "Okay, I got this," and I was like, "Rock on dude, get to it."

Brian:    You are doing the thing that we always talk about, getting your kids excited about like being into science when they're adults, because guess what, we're going to need you.

Quinn:    Trying to, but I'm so tired and Emily has so much energy. I need her to handle this, to carry the slack.

Brian:    That's true.

The Space Gal:    I'll do the heavy lifting.

Quinn:    All right. So, let me ask you an alternative. So, let's say you're ... and take this the right way, a female Elon Musk who's privately funded, or I guess they're publicly on the stock exchange, but you're a lady, so you're not like a social idiot like he is. But the point is you've got a company like SpaceX. What do you do different than what he's doing now and also from what we just talked about with NASA? 

The Space Gal:    Oh Gosh, I don't know that that ... I mean, what Musk is doing, I can't imagine doing whatever he's doing any better. He is working hand in hand with NASA and being a provider for ... like a launch provider for the Air Force and for military assets, and working the legal gymnastics extremely well. I mean, to be honest, it is very, very hard to imagine any way that anyone can do what he's doing in the space industry any better than he's already doing it other than maybe just signing off of Twitter.

Brian:    I was hoping you were going to say that.

Quinn:    We couldn't be bigger fans. And I cry a bucket full of tears even though we're on the 20th time that Falcon 9 has been reused, and every time I'm just like, this is my everything. And yeah, just maybe just get off Twitter, just please.

The Space Gal:    Yeah. I mean, understanding his own power, and influence, and knowing the types of people that follow him blindly, there's a level of self awareness that needs to happen there, because it's like when you don't realize your own power and influence, it can be very, very dangerous. 

Quinn:    But what's really interesting about that, and again, this can totally be used for evil, and we can get into comic book movies whenever you're ready, is that lack of self awareness is really interesting when you hear the stories about how he basically taught himself versions of, at least, basic rocket engineering, and when he went over to Russia and they wouldn't sell him the rockets for certain prices, and he was flying back and he opened his laptop to show his scientists, and was like, "Well, what if we just do it like this?" There's a lack of self awareness there that permits you to not just to step over the line, but-

The Space Gal:    To try things. Yeah, that's so true.

Quinn:    ... to try things that other people would either be ashamed to do, or scared to do, or too nervous to do, or too conservative to do, and you kind of look at it and go like, look, Tesla's great, whatever they're doing, the issues they're having, I've got one, they're fantastic. But what he has done with SpaceX it's shocking. I mean, he is at times, single handedly dragging us into the future going, "We have to do this."

The Space Gal:    Right. Absolutely. Yeah. And I think that like that lack of self awareness, you're right, maybe has played into why he has been so successful. But right now I think what's being revealed is he also has a lack of empathy for hurting certain people, especially journalists, especially female journalists.

Quinn:    Yeah, agreed.

The Space Gal:    And so I've seen a lot of pretty hateful stuff happen directly because of the actions that he has taken because he doesn't know the impact that his tweets have or the impact that like having a diehard following that will just ... If anybody says anything critical about you online, they will go after you, death threats, lots of misogyny, they will reach out. I've had a Musk boys, as we call them, Musk boys.

Quinn:    What? That's a thing?

The Space Gal:    ... reach out to Bill Nye asking him to fire me from Bill Nye Saves The World because I had said something that wasn't roaringly positive, because I'm never like incredibly negative about Elon Musk because of the amazing things that he's done, only negative in the fact that his actions have really hurt some journalists online. But yeah, yeah. It's not a fun environment being someone who is a journalist that covers Elon Musk in a fair way.

Quinn:    There was a New York Times headline the other day, which was-

Brian:    Just wild.

Quinn:    Again, the writers of the articles, again, if you're not in journalism, maybe you don't know this, writers of the articles do not make up their headlines, but this was kind of incredible. I feel like I should find the exact thing, but it was essentially like studies shows females on YouTube face harassment. And you're like, "Really? No Shit." It's incredible. It just felt like, wow, how did you just stumble onto that when it's clearly so dark out there for folks like you that are trying to do the right thing and the positive thing.

The Space Gal:    Carl Sagan said, science is much more than a body of knowledge, it's a way of thinking. And so if you can teach them how to be a critical thinker, how to find interesting questions, to create a hypothesis, to make an experiment, to test that hypothesis, look at the evidence, and then derive a conclusion based on that evidence, and apply that to more than just science. Apply that to the news that you're seeing on your Newsfeed. Is this news from a reliable source? Let me go and find evidence to figure out whether or not this source is reliable or whether or not the source is unbiased. What has the source said before? If you can apply that to all things in life, then we will have people that can discern fake news from real news and just be a more scientifically literate society in general.

Quinn:    Absolutely

Brian:    That is so great.

Quinn:    And here's a question from me coming kind of back around to where we started. So, what about folks like yourself who've either left, or grown out of, or graduated out of a less than enthusiastic area, or kids who are still there more importantly, any specific thoughts or tips or support? I mean, obviously, we discussed every situation is pretty nuanced and they're all different, but giving those specific people the tools, like your parents, they are the most important messenger, even more important than you to go in and influence their community. Any thoughts on that front? Because that's an issue everywhere.

Quinn:    I mean, Gosh, we talked recently with someone from the Ocean Conservancy about how much the waters, the North Atlantic around Maine and other areas are warming faster than anywhere else in the entire ocean and how that has already started to affect the lobster population and fish populations going north, and will just decimate entire economies. But people like in coal mining, have built generations of family work and work ethic on these specific things, and it's going to take a lot for them to come to their communities and say, we have to adapt now or we're fucked. So, any thoughts on that front? 

The Space Gal:    Yeah. I think one thing that I've found useful recently is that, like we said before, the messenger is more important than the message, which is so true. Like, know who you are influential to and make sure that you are a messenger to those people, but the message is also very important. So, understanding that different stories will be heard by different people, meaning, when you tell your message, you should bait the hook to suit the fish. Tell a message that will be interesting to the person you are talking to. Talk about what they care about, not what you think they should care about.

The Space Gal:    For example, with climate change, for many years, the big message with climate change or the big image that articles would post when it came to climate change is this polar bear sitting on a melting iceberg in the middle of this ... It was a very powerful image, I guess, in terms of the story it was telling, but not that many people really care about polar bears in a way that's like, "I'm going to go to the poles, and I'm going to go save this polar bear with my vote." That's not going to drive people to make a change in their life. 

The Space Gal:    But if you tell the story of climate change, if you're in maybe an audience like West Virginia or another maybe conservative audience, talk about how climate change is a national security threat. That climate change itself and global warming itself may not create wars, but it makes all of the things about war more problematic. It creates droughts, it makes unstable regions more unstable because these people become more desperate with these crazy heatwaves, and drought, and it makes these desperate people more desperate in areas of the world that are already very unstable, and so it's putting our military at risk in these environments. 

The Space Gal:    Trump's own national security of defense has named climate change as a high national security threat. To the people that are influential in their tribes and their communities already, recognize climate change as a national security threat. And so telling that story verses telling a story about polar bears is going to be more impactful. So, making sure your message speaks to your audience is something that everybody can try to do. 

Quinn:    I love that and I think it does ... and we've spoken a little bit about this. Europe faced so many immigration issues in 2015, 2016, seemingly out of nowhere a little bit, and wonderfully, most of them opened their borders to these folks despite overwhelming numbers of foreign folks coming in, and they were pretty hospitable. That has now, for the most part, changed with sort of the populist wave that's consuming the globe at the moment. 

Quinn:    But what's interesting and a little terrifying about that is, is it feels like that really those numbers were the tip of the iceberg compared to what's gonna happen as droughts grow and places like Indonesia face huge levels of sea level rise in so many of these coastal cities. You look at the numbers at India alone, they said, 800 million people are threatened by climate change in the next 50 years. And to me, that comes back to both national security but also empathy, I guess, in general.

The Space Gal:    Yeah, definitely.

Brian:    I like that common thread here, that common theme, empathy. And I feel like every time we have one of these conversations, what comes out of it is that, you can't just go with the facts and the science, you've got to tell a story, like you just said Emily, a story that the people who you are talking to want to hear. So important. 

Quinn:    Yeah. Meet them where they are already not where you think they should be.

Brian:    Right. 

Quinn:    All right. Well, listen. Just again, to summarize, so I guess when arguing for or a space, focus on the commercial benefits in the back that anything that is profitable now was funded or started by the government because as you said, federal budgets dwarf what any private company can do. And that's true whether you're talking on malaria or anyone else, it's just ... it's a paradigm shift between the two amounts of money and what it takes to get those companies going so that they can then reap the profits and participating later like something like SpaceX is doing, and what a huge marketplace it could possibly be in the future. Focus on our need for scientific learning as humans or our need for exploration, but also of course, as the pure simultaneously developed backup plan that is seemingly more necessary every day.

Quinn:    For climate change, if they're focused on national security, then let's focus on national security and talk about droughts and things like that and the fact that, again, the military has said over and over again that this is one of the biggest issues that they are facing going forward. And just in general, use the scientific method and vet what you hear. There are resources out there. There's a lot of misleading stuff online, but there's some wonderful resources out there that can help you educate yourself and folks around you. Does that all sound about right? 

The Space Gal:    Yeah, I think you summarized that pretty well.

Quinn:    Oh, that's shocking.

Brian:    Beautiful. We're getting close to time here, huh? 

Quinn:    Yeah, yeah, we are. You want to hit her with the pseudo lightening round?

Brian:    We got a pseudo lightning round for you. First of all, again, thank you so, so much for talking with us today, Emily. It has been fantastic. We were very excited to have you on.

The Space Gal:    Yeah, thank you. 

Quinn:    I was just going to say, is there anybody else you feel like we should talk to? Anyone out there that's on the front lines that can help answer some of these big questions that folks are curious about enacting on or need to act on? Anybody you really believe in and follow out there? 

The Space Gal:    Yeah. I mean, basically, all of the YouTubers who are doing science right now are people that have lots of really wonderful opinions. So, I believe his name is Joe Hanson. He does Smarter Everyday. He has a really cool new YouTube series about climate change. Yeah, Joe Hanson is his name. I forget what's his ... Oh, It's Okay To be Smart. They all have like very similar names, but yeah, his is, It's Okay to be Smart, but he has a really cool new climate change series that is interesting. 

The Space Gal:    Vanessa Hill is a really great YouTuber who has a lot of interesting thoughts on psychology, and neuroscience, and just a lot of how humans are irrational creatures and how they cope with that irrationality with day to day stuff. Yeah. All those people are very, very wonderful.

Brian:    Excellent. 

Quinn:    Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Yeah, the enthusiasm is impressive and much needed, and I don't know how much we can actually move the needle. We try to with our ever growing list of listeners and readers. But you guys are doing such a service out there and we do really appreciate it. 

Quinn:    So again, the sort of lightening round here real quick and then we'll get you outta here.

Brian:    Save this first question.

Quinn:    Yeah. Sorry. Emily, when was the first time in your life when you realized you had the power of change or the power to do something meaningful?

The Space Gal:    Oh Man. I would say probably in college. I won my national scholarship called the Truman scholarship, which was something that I did not think that I ever had a chance of actually winning, and there were only 50 students in the whole country that were chosen and I was one of them. And I think that once that had happened I was like, "Oh, okay. Maybe me and these 49 other kids can be impactful in our own way." So yeah, I think that kind of changed my mindset on what type of impact I could have, whether it just be within my own state or on the national stage.

Brian:    What won you that scholarship?

The Space Gal:    So, that's a public service scholarship, so you have to propose a policy in your own field that you would like to pass if you had the ability. And the policy that I proposed was that NASA ... this was 11 years ago now, that NASA would partner more with private companies to both kinda bring NASA back in the public eye again, make NASA cooler for students and for just the general public to help garner that public support, and to help boost those private companies. 

Quinn:    Awesome.

Brian:    That's awesome.

Quinn:    You started this whole thing.

The Space Gal:    Yeah. I think it was all me.

Quinn:    I love it man. So Emily, who is someone in your life that's positively impacted your work in the past six months? 

The Space Gal:    Oh Gosh. Past six months.

Quinn:    Mm-hmm (affirmative), getting specific.

The Space Gal:    Let me see. What have I been doing in the past six months?

Quinn:    I ask myself that every day. 

The Space Gal:    Let's see. And like my go to answer for something like this in recent years has always been Bill Nye, mostly because I looked up to when I was younger, but in the last year and a half I've been able to actually see him work. I've been in the room while he prepares for his monologues, and prepares for what he wants to talk to the audience with, and seeing someone in their element who was a master of their craft, being able to be in the same room with that person as they prepare for that creative delivery, has been so impactful. Because you see the final product, but you don't often see the work that it takes to get there, and so being able to watch that happen has been really impactful because you realize that this creative product that you see that is so wonderful and put together and amazing, isn't simply natural talents that you can shoot from the hip and have this wonderful product, it takes a lot of-

Brian:    He had to work hard.

The Space Gal:    ... diligence. Yeah, you have to really practice. You have to do your research, and it takes work for everyone. And so being able to realize that talent is one aspect of it, natural talents, but putting the hours in matters so much. So, being able to see that has really impacted the way that I kind of approach my public speeches and when I go in front of audiences and things like that. 

Quinn:    I love that, because it does apply to ... I mean, there's this thing out there that's called ... the mantra is basically like, never meet your heroes because a lot of the times you can be disappointed, but the opposite of that is someone like Bill who's been in the public eye and has been putting himself in the public eye for everyone's benefit for so long, as it's easy to look at them and be like, look, it's just this crazy smart sort of crazy guy who's out there just spouting about science and how awesome it is and how impactful he's been. But then to see how the sausage is made and how much work goes into it, when you're someone who's trying to do something similar in the next generation, must be so impactful. 

The Space Gal:    Yeah. And recently, I saw the documentary that was on Bill's life, The Bill Nye film, I think it's called, and it puts things in perspective of this man who really is on a quest to try to make people understand science a little bit better and try to find the best way to do that, and it makes him feel more human and more real, because he has family, and family troubles like all of us, and he is working very hard in terms of trying to make something of himself, make himself more famous so that he has a larger platform so that people will be interested in what he has to say. And it just made him feel way more tangible and real.

Quinn:    Sure. And that's so important to recognize that they are complicated characters like ourselves. 

The Space Gal:    Exactly. Yeah. 

Quinn:    Not just, "Oh it's easier for you over there with your solar panels to talk about how everything is changing, but what about me?" And it's like, "No, we're all in this thing together, man." And it makes you just appreciate the lifetime of work that some of these folks have put in as well. It can be daunting, but it's also just so impressive.

Quinn:    What do you do when you're overwhelmed by all of this? 

The Space Gal:    By like the news and everything?

Quinn:    Yeah. Whatever finally gets you go like, "Man, what did that ... son a ..."

The Space Gal:    Yeah. Wine is a-

Brian:    Nice Emily.

The Space Gal:    ... very powerful cooling mechanism.

Quinn:    Are you a red girl? White? What's your flavor? My wife's is Tequila.

Brian:    I love Tequila wine. 

The Space Gal:    Very particular type of wine. I like sparkling rose. That's my newest kick.

Brian:    It is so good. 

The Space Gal:    It is so good.

Brian:    Not too sweet, a little Dry. 

The Space Gal:    It is just phenomenal. In addition to that, logging offline for a while can be really helpful just to "recenter yourself" and just kind of touch base with your own life and remember that like there are terrible things that happened in the world, but then you can refocus on the good things that are in your own life and then be like, okay, get that energy back to go out and fight the good fight again in maybe a day or so. 

Brian:    Yeah. We talked about that recently with another guest too. I think that's such a good answer. Recenter-

The Space Gal:    Refocus.

Brian:    Refocus, yeah. And then tackle the next obstacle with that mindset instead of the like aggravated, it has a much better outcome when you do that way.

The Space Gal:    Yeah, exactly. 

Quinn:    Last thing. You were talking about how the threats that you face from Elon's Fanboys and from some of the other folks online, and I mentioned that there was an article in the New York Times and the headline said, Women Making Science Videos on YouTube Face Hostile Comments. It's just felt like the most understated headline of like the 2000s. It's just, yeah, yes, yes they do. It's dark out there. I think we just want to say thank you for putting up with that shit because it's so important what you're doing.

Brian:    Very much.

The Space Gal:    That's really nice to hear. Yeah, And usually, in my line of work, I don't get the worst of it because I do a lot of my work on TV, and luckily there is no comment section on your living room television. 

Brian:    Can you imagine. Oh Lord.

Quinn:    Oh Jesus, no.

The Space Gal:    Not yet. But yeah, whenever I do anything on YouTube, for example, or on Twitter of course, because I try to post thoughts and opinions on Twitter as well, how dare I, that's when the armpit of the Internet comes out.

Quinn:    Oh God.

Brian:    Thank you, thank you, thank you. All right. When you are online, when you get back online, how do you consume the news, Emily?

The Space Gal:    My go-to is Twitter. I just make sure I'm following all the major news networks on Twitter to make sure that I can find exactly what's happening and then click through to read from Twitter. So, I don't go just to CNN or just to New York Times or whatever, but I follow all of those publications on Twitter. And then when a big news event happens, especially when the president does something ridiculous, I also try to check like Fox News for example, to see what they're saying about it, because I know like so much of my family and my husband's family, they're from Missouri, like they only get their news from Fox News. And so it's very important to just understand what they're hearing. Like what information are they getting because that's literally the only source of information that they are going to hear about that news event, so what are they hearing about this?

Quinn:    Yeah, it's important. It does help you listen and it helps you empathize if you're at least somewhat prepared for the foundations that you're building on.

Brian:    Well, yeah. Right. 

The Space Gal:    Right. Exactly.

Brian:    Right what you were saying. Got To empathize, you got to know what they're thinking. 

The Space Gal:    Yeah, exactly.

Brian:    Okay. Such a good question. I hope you're ready. If you could Amazon Prime one book to Donald Trump, what would it be? 

The Space Gal:    Oh, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Brian:    Oh, I love how fast you've-

The Space Gal:    I think that that book is a book that all humans should read because it teaches you how to be a decent human being. It sounds so douchey. Like that is the douchiest title ever, but it really just is like, when you go to a function, and you're meeting someone, and you want to get them to like you, ask them questions about themselves and then listen to the answer. And it's like nobody likes being criticized or questioned when they are ... if they are just like telling a story at a social event and you want to make sure that they know that they pronounce this word wrong, you don't need to be the person to tell them that because that will make them dislike you.

Quinn:    It's so basic.

Brian:    Oh man. I love this book already. 

The Space Gal:    It's like such basic stuff. It teaches you how not to be an 'actually' type person in a conversation where they're just like, "Oh, well actually, I don't know that you actually know that thing correctly." Don't be that guy. Don't be that guy. And this book teaches you just the basic rules of how to be a decent human. 

Quinn:    By the way, I love that you kept saying guy, because it's so true. It's a man's thing. The 'actually' is such like an epidemic of male ... Oh, just such disastrous.

The Space Gal:    Yeah. I mean, I will say, when that stuff happens, it is never a woman, so it's #not all men, but also #never women.

Quinn:    Yeah, it's most of us. It's just terrible. We're just the worst. Well, that's an awesome suggestion. I do love that, and you're right, it just teaches you to just be a good human.

The Space Gal:    Yeah.

Brian:    Why the president need to read that book. Anyway.

Quinn:    Brian, finish it up.

Brian:    Groovy. Can you just let us know where our listeners can follow you online, Emily? 

The Space Gal:    Yeah. On Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, I'm at The Space Gal, The Space Gal, and then my website is thespacegal.com. 

Quinn:    Awesome.

Brian:    Perfect.

Quinn:    Awesome. Awesome. Emily, we can't thank you so much, thank you enough for your time today, and for all that you do out there, and what you put up with, and how hard you work back in your own community and with the people you come from to help get them on board despite the challenges, the very real challenges, in a lot of ways, that they're facing and that they've dealt with. It is important for all of us that those folks get move in but both understand that it can take some time and some patients, but also we got to keep this train moving because it's getting real fast. And only that sort of enthusiasm in spreading that can only extend further to things like space exploration so we can find out what else is out there and find another place to go. And for Brian and his ridiculous Asgardia people, they'll finally have somewhere to go.

Brian:    Listen, we're just at the beginning, okay? This might get better, maybe.

Quinn:    Well, we'll see. Anyways, Emily. Thank you. Keep kicking ass. 

Brian:    Thank you very much.

Quinn:    Thank you for your time.

The Space Gal:    Yeah, thanks guys. 

Quinn:    Awesome. We will talk soon.

The Space Gal:    Bye.

Brian:    Enjoy the cool weather in San Francisco.

Quinn:    All right. Talk soon. Bye.

Quinn:    Thanks to our incredible guest today and thanks to all of you for tuning in. We hope this episode has made your commute, or awesome workout, or dish washing, or fucking dog walking late at night, that much more pleasant. As a reminder, please subscribe to our free email newsletter at importantnotimportant.com. It is all the news most vital to our survival as a species. 

Brian:    And you can follow us all over the Internet. You can find us on twitter @importantnotimp, just so weird. Also, on Facebook and Instagram at Important, Not Important, Pinterest and Tumbler, the same thing. So, check us out, follow us, share us, like us, you know the deal. And please subscribe to our show wherever you listen to things like this. And if you're really fucking awesome, rate us on Apple podcasts to keep the lights on. Thanks.

Quinn:    Please. 

Brian:    And you can find the show notes from today right in your little podcast player and at our website, importantnotimportant.com. 

Quinn:    Thanks to the very awesome Tim Blane for our jamming music, to all of you for listening, and finally, most importantly, to our moms for making us. Have a great day. 

Brian:    Thanks guys.