Jun 182014

A ticket to ride XCOR’s suborbital Lynx spaceplane: $10. The hitch: it’s a lottery.

Ticket to Rise

This seems like a decent enough idea to me. Spaceflight is *waaaay* beyond the means of regular folks, but as the success of lotteries across the country shows, people are more than willing to cough up a handful of bucks for a vanishingly small chance of winning.

This is a way to fund charities as well. You can choose from a list of charities that your money will go to, including dubious but well-known organizations like PETA and a bunch of charities I’ve never heard of, like “Girl Tank” (which turns out to be neither of the two things that immediately sprang to mind), and the somehow awesome-sounding “Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.” Sadly, the list of charities seems kinda newagey (at least one of ’em is all about “transcendental meditation”); I’d be happier if there was an organization organizing a “nuclear reactor for every neighborhood” or “end poverty by assassinating tyrants and theocrats and instilling capitalism” or some such, but hey, cheap space flight!

There are a half dozen or so different donation amounts, from $10 to $1000, with five lotto tickets per dollar donated. Maybe it’s just my browser, but the website seems kinda squirrely to navigate.

 Posted by at 9:28 am
  • Bruce

    “Girl Tank”…..either a giant tank filled with water with girls in it or the Katusha anime.

    • Anonymous

      More or less my thought, though I specifically imagined either just a large container with girls in it, or an M-1 Abrams with a SAL-9000 unit installed.

      • Anonymous

        Lori Petty not included.

  • Bruce

    Girl Tank…..”Petticoat Junction” but this was just 3 girls in a water tank.

  • Anonymous

    if you mean the David Lynch Foundation, when referring to “Transcendental Meditation,” I think you’ll find that some people believe that teaching TM is better for humans than an awful lot of more mainstream charities you might find more respectable.

    http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org/africa.html There’s a reason why the UN relief agencies are investigating how TM can be taught to 100 million Africans as soon as possible.

    • Anonymous

      > some people believe that teaching TM is better for humans than an awful lot of more mainstream charities

      Sure. Lots of people believe ridiculous things. Even TM:

      For those unfamiliar with TM, *this* is the best it can do for launching people into space:
      Thanks, but I’ll stick with rockets.

      > There’s a reason why the UN relief agencies are investigating how TM can be taught to 100 million Africans as soon as possible.

      Because if 100 million Africans learned western science, engineering, economics and medicine, they wouldn’t need relief agencies anymore?

      • Anonymous

        Try teaching a woman suffering from PTSD, who watched her husband killed before she was gang-raped by his muderers in front of her children, any kind of higher educational program before you deal with her PTSD.

        In fact, try teaching-school-level subjects to middle school students when you haven’t dealt with the pervasive PTSD found in students in a school where “Most of the students in our school have a family member who has been shot, who did the shooting, or who saw a shooting.”

        When PTSD is prevalent, no other educational program works until after you deal with the PTSD. Once you deal with the PTSD, suddenly everything else tends to work as intended.

        • Anonymous

          On this episode of Wacky Superstitious Non-Sequitur Theater…

          Let me know when hopping around on your ass like a damn fool cures PTSD. Or cures anything apart from your wallet being too fat.

          • Anonymous

            As a matter of fact…

            While someone who still has PTSD wouldn’t qualify to learn the TM-SIdhis, Father Gabriel Mejia, a Roman Catholic priest in Colombia who runs a network of 54 orphanages, teaches TM to his charges.

            Once they qualify to learn, he then has them learn Yogic Flying and the other TM-Sidhis techniques.

            The Archbishop of Colombia confronted him over this rather bizarre teaching regimen, and asked what the heck he thought he was doing?

            Father Gabriel’s response was “talk to the children.”

            The archbishop DID, and after examining the “before/after” picture of Father Gabriel’s charges, backed off.


            Now, over in Mozambique, President Joachim Chissano never suffered from PTSD, but learned TM and the TM-Sidhis and found that it was so helpful for him that he ordered his entire cabinet and military command structure to learn. While he was in charge, the country flourished and eventually, he was awarded the continent’s highest honor.

            Even years later, his tenure was so legendary that it gets mentioned in glowing terms: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/out-the-darkness/201212/can-meditation-change-the-world

            Recently, the government of Brazil announced that they were setting aside money to train 48,000 TM teachers, one for each public school in Brazil, so that all 45 million school-age kids can learn TM for free.

            Just because you think it is crazy, doesn’t mean that everyone does.

          • Anonymous

            > Just because you think it is crazy, doesn’t mean that everyone does.

            Just because you think it’s *not* superstitious claptrap doesn’t mean it isn’t. How many people bought into spoon-bending? Thetans? Crystal power? Feng Shui? Ghost hunting? Alien abductions? Hari Krishnas? The Moonies?

            Check back in when you have a verified video of one of those TM idiots *actually* floating around. Until then, it’s just more newage, to be added to the pile of bullcrap that humans have convinced themselves of without a speck of evidence.

            “The reported value of the Maharishi’s organization has ranged from the
            millions to billions of U.S. dollars and in 2008, the organization
            placed the value of their United States assets at about $300 million.” There ya go.

          • Anonymous

            The largest single asset in the USA is a full-blown university that was purchased for $5 million 40 years ago, and built up for the past 40 years.

            Recently, Jim Carrey gave the commencement address.

            It’s a real university with real students and real graduates that go on to graduate school at more famous universities. How much do you think a real university goes for these days, even a small one?


          • Anonymous

            Wow, so they paid a washed-up comic actor to give their measly 285 graduates a half-hour speech. Well, that changes everything.

            How many of their students got degrees in something useful, as opposed to degrees in “Maharishi Vedic Science?”

            Also: the “university” is vegetarian-only. Never trust a school that doesn’t serve a good burger.

          • Anonymous

            Over 1/2 (129) of the 285 degrees awarded were MS in Computer Science.


          • Chris Jones

            129/285 is not over 1/2.

          • Anonymous

            OOPS. I r lysdexic in my memory.

            The official word from the school:

            Maharishi University of Management granted degrees to 285 students representing 54 countries — 62 bachelor’s, 219 master’s, and 4 doctoral degrees. Over half of the graduate students, 126, received an MS in Computer Science.

          • Anonymous

            I suppose it’s nice that they are moving away from flacking newage nonsense like TM towards something more useful like computer science, but if I was in charge of hiring at a tech firm I’d be dubious of a graduate from a place like this. If another school was devoted to the “science” of E-meters and rooting out body thetans, the fact that they also graduate some students in, say, computer science is not going to make their e-meter work any more respectable.