News you can use

In which I am distantly connected to NASA:

This morning, my husband woke me with the news that a company located close to where I grew up had won NASA’s $900K Space Elevator prize for a prototype power-beaming device. “Huh,” I said. “I wonder if I know anyone who works there.”

Turns out, I do. I went to school with David Bashford’s sons, and I’ve visited his home on multiple occasions. (Hey, Mr. Bashford! You may remember me from such episodes as “that time I caught two kids making out on my washing machine” and “the short girl who liked reading to my daughter when parties got too crazy.”) I remember him as a stand-up guy who always made sure we played safely, even when lighting firecrackers. I’m glad this happened for him and his team. Space elevators may be giant sources of light pollution, but power-beaming doesn’t strike me as a limited-application innovation. Congrats, y’all.