The other night I broke one of my primary rules regarding film selection when I found myself watching In the Bedroom. The rule that was broken? "Thou shalt not watch any movie that employs Sissy Spacek in a lead role without being forcibly compelled to do so." Such a rule exists to save me from sitting through a yet another patented Sissy Spacek cry-yell-and-break-things-a-thon. Unfortunately, In the Bedroom contained such a scene, including many other Sissy Spacek simply-break-down-and-cry scenes. However, the movie (minus those pointless bits of Sissy Spacek dreck) wasn’t bad. Definitely not what I expected given the title. My bike is resting in the garage again today. I’ve been ill all week with a mysterious collection of symptoms so I haven’t felt like sitting on my trusty steed for nearly an hour a day in sub-zero wind chills. The day before the Shuttle Columbia disintegrated in the atmosphere, I’d finished Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff. Having read the book, I felt particularly attuned to the dangers that astronauts faced and the accolades (or lack of the same) that many of the early astronauts got and that many of the modern astronauts do not receive unless they are killed. You have to wonder how astronauts who flew after the Challenger disaster and before the Columbia disaster feel about the accolades accorded to the dead astronauts who were on the Columbia. More than once I’ve seen the astronauts who were on the Columbia labeled as "heroes." Does that mean that all astronauts are heroes but we, as a society, only acknowledge the heroism of astronauts who die in the line of duty? Or are astronauts only heroes if they die while performing their job and live astronauts are simply brave passengers on a particularly unique bus? Either way, it seems hypocritical to label the Columbia astronauts as "heroes" while denying that accolade to all the other astronauts who have flown on the Shuttle. Either all astronauts are heroes, or no astronauts are heroes. However, I seriously doubt that society is prepared to examine its use of the word hero to avoid watering down yet another form of praise. The Columbia astronauts were brave, smart, and supremely skilled, but unless one uses the mythological sense of the word, they were no more heroes than anyone else who has ever gone into space on the Shuttle.