My favorite class in high school was astronomy. That’s because my high school housed an actual planetarium, an unusual feature that attracted field tripping students from across the city. I still remember taking constellation and star quizzes in darkness so enveloping that I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face, let alone my pen crawling cautiously across my notebook. My biggest fear was that I’d write one answer over the top of the previous answer and that when the lights came up I’d find a big scrambled scrawled illegible mess. Fortunately that never happened and the memory of stars circling in the darkness still brings a smile.
I guess Senator McCain never felt that way about astronomy because the incredulous comment he made last night about Senator Obama requesting a federal earmark for the famed Adler Planetarium in Chicago is only the most recent of many attempts to single the Adler out as an example of wasteful spending.
I’ve been to the Adler and I’ve taken my children there. They were as excited as I was to visit it. I don’t know how many millions of people, young and old, students, would-be or someday astronomers have visited the Adler Planetarium since it was opened in 1930 but it doesn’t seem that Senator McCain is one of them.
Visit the Adler Planetarium website here.
The Adler Planetarium released this statement to the press about Senator McCain’s remarks in the debate last night.