Back when Disney Channel actually had guts to put something as real as this In one of their shows! this was why the old shows were better, because they actually had REAL legitimate values and lessons such as the one taught in this episode that we could relate to! now I can’t take new Disney seriously anymore. all it teaches you now is how to be an annoying stuck up teen
“ugh look at the tortoise it’s so depressed. All it does is lay there. It doesn’t even have the motivation to move.”
I want to address that. First of all, this is anthropomorphism and it is dangerous. Animals do not have the same kind of thought process, patterns, or emotions as we do. You are applying your feelings to an animal that doesn’t think the way we do.
No, the tortoise is not laying there because he is depressed or bored… He is laying there because THAT IS HIS NATURAL BEHAVIOR. In fact, if he were up and moving around excessively we would all be VERY concerned that something was wrong. He’s a 500 pound tortoise. His legs get tired. He is laying there because all of his needs have been met NOT because he is “sad” or “has given up on life.” That’s just what he does. If you went to their natural habitat, they would be doing THE SAME EXACT THING AS IN THE ZOO. That’s a good tortoise life!!
Same with the sleeping lions. They are not understimulated, THEY NATURALLY SLEEP FOR 16+ HOURS A DAY. that is what they do. That is their existence. Our experiences tell us that it means the animals are sick or bored, but it’s untrue! That is the way they have adapted. It’s what they naturally do!!
A lot of this misinformation stems from the human idea of “the wild.” Just because humans associate the wild with nature and freedom DOES NOT MEAN THE WILD IS ANY FRIENDLIER.
Predators, disease, resource competition, all those are VERY REAL concerns an animal must deal with in the wild (in addition to human caused threats such as climate change, poaching, and habitat loss).
So next time you want to say “that animal is sad/depressed/pissed that it’s in a cage” you need to ask yourself if you are qualified to make a judgement on that animal’s behavior. Have you spent countless hours watching and studying the natural behavior of the animal in question? Have you spoken with other professionals about how to properly keep or improve upon keeping the species? Have you spent days/weeks/months out in the wild observing these creatures?
We don’t just toss animals in a fence and call it good, folks. Every single aspect of their care is painstakingly thought out and managed.
I can guarantee that your average person’s pet dogs and cats are more bored with their life than our animals are at our zoo.
An out of this world career or internship might not be as far out of reach as you think. Check out all the ways you can get involved!
If you’re a student…
Our internships are the perfect place to start! We offer paid internships for spring, summer, and fall semesters to U.S. citizens currently attending an accredited university full time. Learn more at: https://intern.nasa.gov
If you’re a U.S. citizen who has graduated from an accredited college or university within the past 2 years (or 6 if you have served in the military), then the our Recent Graduates program is just for you. Accepted applicants are placed in a 1 year career development program with the possibility of an additional year, or even granted term or permanent jobs within the agency. Learn more at: http://nasajobs.nasa.gov/studentopps/employment/rgp.htm.
If you’re a professional…
You can search for our job openings any time at USAJobs.com. Create an account, then use the USAJobs resume builder. Want to make sure your resume maximizes your opportunity for a job at NASA? Check out our Applicant Guide: https://applyonline.nasa.gov/applicant_guide.html.
Astronomers lead interesting and quite exciting, lives.
I frequently get questions regarding the work environments, job prospects and pay. If there’s any part of you that yearns for the night sky and if you want to know what’s out there… perhaps this post can help you figure out if this is the path for you.
Astronomers, as you may know, use science and mathematics to unwrap the mysteries of the cosmos.
Do we live in a multiverse?
Are we alone?
Where do we come from?
These are examples of some of the large problems astronomers slowly chip away at. The work is philosophically and intellectually rewarding.
So what exactly does this work entail? Where do astronomers actually work?
(Image credit: Department of Energy)
Lectures are a regular part of the job description for many astronomers.
It’s a constant battle to ensure that the next generation is educated in STEM fields to ensure a vibrant world.
Many astronomers teach things from basic physics classes (often to a diverse student body of engineering, physics and biology students as an example) to astrophysics classes. Being able to communicate and present to large groups of people is important.
Not everything these folk do is lecture though. Astronomers do research too though and this research can be quite involved:
(Image credit: Keith Vinderlande)
(Image credit: W.M. Keck Observatory)
The above two images show the South Pole Telescope and the Keck Observatory respectively.
If you want a job that involves travel and adventure, you’ll almost certainly get both in this field. You may find yourself living in Arctic conditions for months in a night that never ends (seemingly). Whenever you go outside you might look up to the Southern Lights or the Milky Way.
Perhaps you’ll find yourself climbing the largest volcano on Earth, Mauna Kea, on your way to the famous Keck observatory. When you’re not observing you’d be spending your days below in Hawaii (and who wouldn’t like that?).
Some lucky astronomers find jobs at places like research laboratories (like NASA Ames or ESTEC in the Netherlands for example) where they get to spend the vast majority of their time on research.
Sometimes these sorts of jobs can involve working on projects that ultimately forward the work of astronomy without directly being astronomy itself:
(Image credit: NASA)
Plenty of people get their education in astronomy but end up helping groups like NASA, ESA or SpaceX build future robots and spacecraft to explore the universe.
Excitingly, we now live in a time where small startups are being founded to further private enterprise in space: companies are looking into mining asteroids, building tourist spacecrafts and inflatable space stations. Anyone with the right knowledge and motivation can be a part of this amazing new space race.
So what exactly does this workload usually entail? Well typically astronomy work involves lots of math. This is our tool to unravel the mechanics of space and time.
You’ll be using calculus pretty regularly and your education will need to prepare you for it. Usually astronomers get their Bachelor’s degree in physics and then their PhD in astronomy. Some go slightly different routes but that’s the norm.
In addition to math, astronomers learn how to program so that they can send certain complicated problems to be crunched by the massively powerful capabilities of modern computers.
In fact, astronomers get so well-practiced in computer programming that if they were to ever get tired of the world of academia and research, it’s quite easy for an astronomer to get a relatively cushy position as a programmer (I love repping that some even get jobs as Disney animators).
Over all, if you want to be an astronomer expect to spend lots of time at a computer and working out math problems. Expect to stand in front of groups every now and then to present research or teach a class and lastly… be willing to get your hands dirty. You will almost certainly do some traveling. As you saw above, many observatories are located in exciting and exotic places.
When it comes to working from your computer (which you’ll be doing often as an astronomer) there’s the cushy fact that this can often be done wherever you get an internet signal.
If you decide to go for the (often better paying) work as a software engineer, the same often applies.
You’ll be able to make your own schedule more often than other jobs and you’ll see and learn more about the world and universe than almost any other job there is. Astronomy is a rewarding profession that demands quite a lot from you, but gives back in spades.
Good luck on your path to the stars!
(Top image credit: Alan L, Eric Hill and NASA respectively)
Concept: waking up when my body is ready, and not to an alarm clock. A beautiful balcony view of a city where the weather is always pleasantly warm. A simple breakfast with the radio playing in the background, my dogs are cuddling by the window. My significant other sits across from me, sipping coffee and reading the paper. In an hour, I have to head to a job I love that’s within walking distance of my home. I’m happy and content, I love my life in its entirety.