We are traveling this weekend to a high school graduation, and for a large high school, one of the most excruciating experiences imaginable. It is not fault of the kids or the tedious one-by-one parade that they have to endure too, but rather the self-important and completely boring speakers we must endure.
This guy Nathan, who narrates the video from which I clipped the screen shot above, would be a great speaker. He is bright, inquisitive, creative, sardonic and funny. As smart people tend to do (before schooling kicks their creative asses into submission), he noticed that the Lunar Rover looked like a Willys Jeep. To test his hypothesis, he got hold of the schematics for both, and found them a perfect match. They are identical in every detail from wheel base to front bumper to placement of steering wheel.
Boeing, the contractor who made the jalopy, charged $238 million (today’s dollars) for the item. They got really lazy. Since this product was already being used in the Vietnam War and was already in mass production, they grabbed one off the assembly line and made a few modifications.
It did not matter that it was too heavy to escape earth’s gravity … It was not going anywhere except around a sound set anyway.
As I sit through the monotonous exhortations to be tomorrow’s leaders (or bureaucrats or soldiers or fast food dispensers) I am going to be chuckling inside at the ease with which we, the graduating classes of the sixties and seventies were fooled. Sadly, these kids coming up now are no better off. Propaganda works on us, and works with way too much ease.
Also, his hypothesis is much more complicated than I have outlined above, indicating a means of photo trickery available in 1971 that I did not know they had.