I dreamt the Martians shot down our polar lander last month, and the government and news media immediately tried to divert our attention with a clever but ultimately faulty ploy. They dropped a starburst of NASA officials into the talk show orbit. These talking heads deftly proceeded to put a sunnier spin on the lander's ominous disappearance, claiming it was merely a victim of NASA's so-called "faster, cheaper, better" policy.

Many of your colleagues, and perhaps even you yourself, had to miss NASA's TV gabfests. That's because so many were helping teachers write lesson plans for...

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