1) I am aware that the entire story is a rather tragic event. As someone who has experienced the effects of mental illness in my own life, I know people can do some strange and tragic things. But you know what else I know from personal experience? However sad those events are, they are also often quite hilarious, even if I didn't quite think so at the time. Just because I find the idea of attacking someone while wearing a diaper hilarious does not make me a bad person.
After September 11th, I bet there a number of people who would have thought this or this not so much funny as offensive, particularly those who had family from those events, but that does not make them less hilarious. Something can be both tragic and hilarious.
2) I have nothing but the utmost faith in NASA to solve the problem. This was an isolated incident, and anyone who would exploit this tragic/hilarious event as a means of hurting NASA is an idiot. I am sure NASA probably has a pretty good mental health system in place, and there is clearly going to be a problem with self-reporting in this situation, since mental health issues would result in the loss of the chance to go into space, as stated both by Molly and in the article. So to clarify, I do not consider any system "broken;" this was an isolated incident. Even though it probably is not necessary (since this was an isolated incident), NASA appears to be thoroughly reviewing their procedures so it does not happen again.
I also consider myself a strong advocate of space flight and NASA. This incident does not change my support, even if I do consider it hilarious. I wish people paid attention to NASA for good things instead of the bad, but I'm not sure there is any government agency that the media turns its cameras on unless something bad happens (see FEMA, the Army/Army Corps of Engineers, the police, etc.).
3) I remain somewhat bitter towards engineers, particularly Craig (who I don't believe is a NASA employee), from my days at OSU. I had not thought about it in a while (as I said), but the fact is that engineers looked down on non-engineers at Ohio State, and it was extremely vexing. As Diane pointed out to me recently, I really REALLY hate when people think they are better/smarter than someone else by virtue of some trait such as age, race, gender, religion, social class, or college major. You people boo the business majors at graduation! Maybe social science majors and business majors have easier majors, and maybe our math skills aren't as developed, and maybe we were mean to you at one point or another, but the fact remains that engineers are somewhat haughty about their major. Possibly deservedly, since you do create some pretty cool stuff, and you do take hard classes, but engineers definitely do not lack for pride in their major. I had this discussion a number of times with non-engineers at OSU, so I know I am not alone on this.
I was reminded of that when I read that particular article, which I was given as a suggestion by Gmail. I now wish the engineers who created Gmail had not given me that article, since it really didn't illuminate anything and has brought up bad feelings I was pretty sure I was over. In the future, I only ask that engineers use their God-like powers of creation and destruction for good, rather than evil, and that they leave the God-like egos at home.
4) I did not think this was an issue that would cut so deep, since I thought my "commentary" conveyed a light-hearted tone (such as the title), but I sincerely did not mean to hurt the feelings of any of my friends. But I can't lie: this incident is funny to me. It is funny to lots of people. There is no reason to pretend it does not have amusing aspects, even in the midst of the tragedy. I meant my previous post to be a joke, but a joke is not nearly as funny when it hurts a friend's feelings. I am sorry for that. Peace.