I always assumed that “The Mouse that Roared” was a not too subtle reference to Sputnik I, which was launched on this date in 1957. The satellite was the first human made machine to orbit the planet, and it was launched by the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. In some ways, Sputnik’s tiny “beep beep beep” sound heard radiometrically (but mostly metaphorically) in the west, from a Soviet-launched device flying over whatever countries the Soviets decided to launch it over … was the most frightening sound ever heard in the Situation Room (or the 1957 equivalent thereof) at the White House.
There is a direct relationship between Sputnik’s launch and the subsequent building of hundreds of college campus buildings, expansions of science departments, expansion of science education, and funding for science research in the United States.
It is a shame that today this intentional, self-reflexive effort to dominate the world via knowledge (albeit knowledge of weapons and rockets) has been converted today into the exact opposite; The fear mongering right wing militants have decided that it is better to NOT have excellent science research and science education. Why? Because it hurts their cause. Having a population schooled in rational thinking and the scientific method, and related thinking methodologies, is antithetical to the right wing’s policy agenda. For the most part, policy-making based on rational thinking about good data will lead to different approaches than policy-making based on business oriented special interests. It is very much in the interest of the right wing to keep science educators busy defending public education from creationism than it is to have a well informed, rational, skeptical population.
We truly have drifted close to rocky shores. I don’t think it is possible to stop the stupidity. We ignored it for too long.
Oh, I should clarify my obscure reference: The Mouse that Roared was a movie. At the least, check out the description of it, but better yet, get some popcorn and watch it some time.