Thursday, January 14, 2016

Best job title in the world

Recently several articles (for example, in the Washington Post) have appeared the press lauding the creation of a new position in the United States' Federal government entitled "Planetary Defense Officer." You might assume this is a military position dedicated to destroying extra-terrestrial warships, a job for which Will Smith is uniquely qualified, as described in the documentary film Independence Day. In reality, the new Planetary Defense Officer sits at NASA and his primary responsibility is to coordinate intergovernmental responses to impact threats posed by near-Earth objects, such as comets and asteroids. Having lived and worked on the edge of the Chicxulub crater, I think it is a good thing that someone worries about that topic full time.

Those who think that this is the best job title ever, are, I am sad to report, wrong. The best job title in the world is "Director of Time," who works at the U. S. Naval Observatory. I wonder, though, does the Director of Time have a TARDIS? If so, where does he park it?

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