David Cook: What I hope the Curiosity rover finds on Mars

David Cook: What I hope the Curiosity rover finds on Mars

August 7th, 2012 by David Cook in Opinion Columns

This artist's rendering released by NASA/JPL-Caltech on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, shows how NASA's Curiosity rover will communicate with Earth during landing.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

David Cook

Photo by Ashlee Culverhouse/Times Free Press.

  1. 1. A cure for childhood cancer.
  2. 2. A back-up cure for childhood cancer.
  3. 3. A back-up for UT Vols quarterback Tyler Bray, who - I'll wager - isn't done making mistakes yet, on or off the field.
  4. 4. A loudspeaker playing the soundtrack to "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."
  5. 5. An explanation as to why the women playing Olympic beach volleyball find the need to hug each other after every single point.
  6. 6. A chance to play on an Olympic beach volleyball women's team.
  7. 7. A plan for the total and complete boycott by every lottery-playing Georgian against the new online lotto. Hatched by Gov. Nathan Deal, the online lotto allows players - 18 years or older - to buy lottery tickets anytime, anywhere, through the Internet. Why not just legalize marijuana, tax the profits and put it into education? Both are exploitative attempts at revenue from the one body - the government - supposed to help people, not make them more addicted to tossing their money away at Scratch-and-Never-Gonna-Win.
  8. 8. A shoebox full of winning lottery tickets, purchased under the name of every orphan in America.
  9. 9. Some sort of black hole that sucks up every single politician, speechwriter and campaign strategist who tries to win elections through manipulation, lies and negativity.
  10. 10. Proof that politics can be an honest affair and television can be an enlightening display of entertaining and informational art.
  11. 11. Proof that love, actually, does win.
  12. 12. A way for teenagers - girls and guys - to be confident, brave and not victim to a sexist and objectifying mass media.
  13. 13. A way to be 14 years old and not suffer from bullying.
  14. 14. A way for every adult to spot bullying, and the powers and knowledge on how to transform bullies into peacemakers.
  15. 15. An Olympic sport that allows countries such as Montenegro and Namibia to win at least one gold medal.
  16. 16. A way to ensure that every American has a passport and uses it once every five years.
  17. 17. Montenegro and Namibia count as a real trip. Going to Cancun does not.
  18. 18. A hole big enough for Rush Limbaugh to fall into and never come out.
  19. 19. The end of sexting.
  20. 20. The end of the New York Yankees, traffic jams and heartburn, which are all essentially the same thing.
  21. 21. The end of coal.
  22. 22. A Catholic hospital in Chattanooga that will start acting like one. You know, the least of these and all that.
  23. 23. A way to make Aung San Suu Kyi a household name.
  24. 24. A way to put gardens in every school, kale in every cafeteria, smiles on every non-high-fructose-corn-syrup chewing face and childhood obesity a thing of the past.
  25. 25. A simple and just tax code.
  26. 26. A vision for the Republican Party that does not involve guns or gay marriage. A vision for the Democratic Party that actually does something.
  27. 27. Clean energy.
  28. 28. A place to hide Nick Saban's hairspray.
  29. 29. And playbook.
  30. 30. A way to give Derek Dooley one of the above two.
  31. 31. A way to ensure that being a schoolteacher in America will be the most noble profession possible, supported by politicians who come hat in hand asking for endorsements (Ms. Smith's Third Grade Class Endorses Mr. Corker!), a state and federal budget that declares education as a priority, parents who never complain and kids who always, without question, without being asked, at the end of every class, say "thank you."
  32. 32. Legislation that requires politicians to make a 23 or higher on the ACT before they can be elected.
  33. 33. Evidence that Michael Phelps really is not of this world.
  34. 34. Evidence that Dick Cheney really is from the underworld.
  35. 35. Jimmy Hoffa's body.
  36. 36. A fast route down Gunbarrel Road.
  37. 37. A return of American exceptionalism.
  38. 38. The missing link.
  39. 39. My missing checkbook.
  40. 40. And a reminder that we all live on this one beautiful yet fragile planet, unlike any other in the universe, populated with Monarch butterflies, snow leopards, earthworms and rainbows, so stunning and breathtaking that aliens from other universes would travel light years just to see a sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico, or taste homemade peach cobbler and a perfect Cabernet, or feel the breeze sitting on a front porch while holding the hand of someone you love, or experience the joy that comes upon realizing the pursuit of happiness can never be bought and that the best discoveries are the ones we make every day on this journey we call life.

David Cook can be reached at dcook@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6329. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter at DCookTFP.