Testing For Smart

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April 26, 2011 by David Gillaspie

Who Will Pass

Climb up and slide down

A man and woman both in Oregon grew up in Mississippi.

Every word the man spoke said he wasn’t from here.

The woman could have been from California by the way she sounded.

They were married over thirty years to each other.

“How can one of you sound so southern and the other not?” came a question they often answered.

“Because I’ve never been ashamed of my origins,” the man said.

His wife smiled right along.  She’d heard it before.  She was a school teacher who needed to relate to her students in their comfort language.

A good southern accent brings many things to mind.  One of those things is education.  While it’s not true a southern man’s I.Q. drops twenty points when he speaks, he can tell you he’s had listeners talk to him like it did.

Is the rest of the country smarter than the south?  It’s not, but don’t ruin the funYou’ve heard of the Michoud Assembly Facility?  If you’ve ever seen a space shuttle launch, you’ve seen the goods made in Michoud, La., the external tanks.  

Does your state make anything comparable?

Higgins Industries in New Orleans, Louisiana, got its name from the man President Eisenhower, also known as the Supreme Allied Commander in WWII, said won the war for the U.S. 

Andrew Jackson Higgins built the landing crafts used on the Pacific islands and on D-Day. 

Has your local businessman been credited for winning a war by someone who was there?

Just over the Louisiana border sits the John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Mississippi.  If you stop at the the state visitor center on time, you’ll catch the bus to the StenniSphere

If you’re just stopping for coffee you’ll still see a full-scale model of the lunar lander used on the moon missions.  Take a drive down your local interstate and see what you find at the rest area.  Overflowing garbage cans, broken toilets, patchy grass, but no lunar lander?

Don’t be too surprised.

You’ve heard of the Marshall Space Flight Center near Huntsville, Alabama?  It’s also called the ‘leading national resource for advanced space propulsion research.’

The MSFC has had a hand in the Space Shuttle, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the International Space Station.  It’s a busy place.

Do you have a similar operation in your state?  Let’s hear about it.

The Kennedy Space Center sits near Florida’s Cape Canaveral.  Start with John Glenn and move forward.  It’s still sending big rockets up.

Instead of looking at the space industry ranging from Texas to Florida as a national focus, look at the communities it supports.  New people with different ways of talking might show up from Germany or New Jersey, but they all find themselves adapting to their southern environment.

Just like any other relationship, the environment also adapts to the new brain power on the block.

The next time you hear a southern accent and think of a Hogwaller, or a geographical anomaly two weeks away from everything, think rocket scientist and space exploration.

While you’re at it, figure out what outsiders think when they hear you talk.  Just know the south has cornered the market on space technology, as well as stretching one syllable words into two.

You might want to practice that one yourself.  If you’re smart enough, you might be southern enough. 

By David Gillaspie

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