if you've ever asked me about my profession, programming, and whether I'm any good at it, I've probably said that yeah, I'm a decent programmer. What I do is mostly along the lines of scripting and integration, i.e. programming the glue that holds different high level prebuilt components together. Such sexy pursuits include: integrating Lotus Domino with third party LDAP servers and document management products, etc. I do some medium-wieight programming as well, but nothing, strictly speaking, that could be considered rocket science. The true rocket scientists of the trade, I always said, are the game programmers. These guys -they are all men as far as I can tell- design complex mathematical engines for the creation and management of incredibly realistic audio-visual experiences that perform seamlessly and enjoyably -to the delight of millions of ardent game players worldwide in four dimensions. They are the Einsteins (and Von Brauns) of the computer science trade. Backing up my assertion is the realization that John Carmack, a leading member of this august group, is indeed a rocket scientist in his spare time. Carmack co-founded and co-owns id software, which published some of the most popular action games of our time. I first began following Carmack's other company, Armadillo Aerospace, almost two years ago when my interest in the x-prize began. I've found this small company to be my favorite of the contenders, notwithstanding the realization early on that Scaled was going to be the team to beat. Carmack and his small cadre of hobbyists are seriously vying to build an affordable and reliable space transportation device. Check out their site, it's fascinating stuff.