Dedication to your beliefs is generally considered a good thing, but a limo driver in California is taking it a bit too far.

Mike Hughes, a recent convert to the theory that the earth is actually flat and not a sphere, is working on a steam-powered rocket to take him into space so he can prove his theory right once and for all, according to an Associated Press report. He told an AP reporter he plans to test out his rocket, which he built in his garage, Saturday by jumping over an abandoned California town.

That is some serious dedication. It also happens to be a little terrifying and I’m really hoping someone saves him from himself before he explodes.

AP writer Pat Graham describes Hughes as a “self-taught rocket scientist,” and I thought I wouldn’t read anything that disturbing ever again until I read the words “steam-powered rocket.” Um, I’m fairly certain we left behind steam technology for a reason, guys.

But Hughes, whose nickname is “Mad Mike,” has not abandoned the steam engine. Not even after his previous rocket — which he rode 1,374 feet back on Jan. 20, 2014 — left him using a walker for three days.

He believes so strongly in the steam-powered engine that he has decided it will take him to space, where he can snap a photo of the disc we’re supposedly all hanging out on right now. All because he has become convinced that scientists are lying to the world about the shape of the planets, which was determined by scientific reasoning hundreds of years ago and then confirmed when we went to space.

“I don’t believe in science,” he said.

There are very few statements that truly get under my skin. I mean, bigotry notwithstanding, I tend to be a “live and let live” kind of person.

But the words “I don’t believe in science” are like nails on a chalkboard to me.

Science doesn’t need you to believe in it. It’s like saying, “I don’t believe in math.” OK, well, enjoy being wrong because mathematics will still exist whether you believe in it or not. One plus one will equal two no matter how hard you believe it equals four.

There is a special kind of denial that goes along with the sentence “I don’t believe in science” that just grates on me.

I was slightly reassured when he went on to say, “I know about aerodynamics and fluid dynamics and how things move through the air, about the certain size of rocket nozzles, and thrust.”

However, then Hughes added, “That’s not science, just a formula. There’s no difference between science and science fiction,” and completely dashed my hope that maybe, just maybe, there might be some rational thought processes under the rough exterior.

One thing Hughes definitely has is dedication. Despite making $15 an hour as a limo driver, he was able to pull together $20,000 for a rocket and $1,500 for a motor home he found on Craigslist which he converted into a ramp. The project was primarily funded by Research Flat Earth, which is probably the only organization with any interest in seeing him succeed.

According to the AP, Hughes “scrounged for parts, finding the aluminum for his rocket in metal shops and constructing the rocket nozzle out of an aircraft air filter.”

“If you’re not scared to death, you’re an idiot,” Hughes said. “It’s scary as hell, but none of us are getting out of this world alive. I like to do extraordinary things that no one else can do, and no one in the history of mankind has designed, built and launched himself in his own rocket.”

Sometimes things remain undone for a reason. It isn’t lack of will or sheeple following the leader, but simple self-preservation.

I would say someone should tell Hughes how that building your own rocket worked out for Wile E. Coyote, but I assume he won’t believe it if he doesn’t watch the TV show for himself.

I almost feel bad for making a cartoon metaphor, because I legitimately hope he is stopped well before he gets to the point of shooting for the stars.


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