Splat! Geek-in-chief Obama tests marshmallow gun

February 7, 2012

US President Barack Obama tested a new prototype Tuesday for his commander-in-chief's arsenal -- a high-powered marshmallow gun that sent a tasty missile screaming through the White House.

Watched over by a brooding portrait of his hero Abraham Lincoln, the US president fired the launcher and marveled at other inventions on display at a White House youth Science Fair.

Obama gleefully examined a "Skype on wheels" robot that allows elderly people use the Internet to talk to far away relatives and a unique sugar sachet that dissolves in a cup of coffee, to avoid creating garbage. But he could not resist the marshmallow launcher.

"The Secret Service is going to be mad at me about this," Obama said, before energetically pumping a compressor and shooting the marshmallow gun, invented by 14-year-old Joe Huddy.

Obama watched open-mouthed as the candy shot across the room before crashing into the wall near the entrance to the Red Room, an elegant state parlor which stuffed with rare 19th century French furniture.

All the fun of the science fair had a serious purpose. Obama wanted to highlight the importance he places on innovation, science and education -- which will be reflected in his budget to be unveiled next week.

The president says that Republican budget cuts would dry up the kind of government spending that is necessary to inspire a new generation of scientists and visionaries to build a competitive 21st century economy.

"The young people I met today... you guys inspire me. It's young people like you that make me so confident that America's best days are still to come," he said.

"When you work and study and excel at what you doing in math and science, when you compete in something like this, you're not just trying to win a prize today; you're getting America in shape to win the future."

Obama said that the budget he unveils next week will include programs to prepare new math and science teachers and to qualify one million more US graduates in science, technology, engineering and math over 10 years.

He also had some advice for journalists and editors currently obsessing over campaign trail fireworks and his chances of winning a second term in November.

"I'm going to make a special plea to the press -- not just the folks who are here, but also your editors -- give this some attention," he said.

"I mean, this is the kind of stuff, what these young people are doing, that's going to make a bigger difference in the life of our country over the long term than just about anything."

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not rated yet Feb 07, 2012
Props to the science fair, and the kids, and to the ingenuity, and the event. Sounds like everyone had a great time. And it is a great idea. I would love to see more things like this encouraged on local levels.
not rated yet Feb 07, 2012
/rant/ But it's a shame to even bring up any kind of political class warfare talk in regards to an event like this. Government spending, budget cuts, republican, democrat... None of that has absolutely anything to do with how innovative people, especially young people, can be. Or how adults should encouraging young people to be creative and innovative. Its not some budget or lack there-of that is the cause of young people being creative, Creativity is something that should encouraged by everyone involved with young people across the entire board. And saying republicans are hampering America's scientists and visionaries?! That bill isn't in place now, but yet science fairs and events are held all across the nation at schools and even the white house. And it is a very cheap trick and frankly absurd to throw in some last minute end of the term bill when we're already encouraging young people and already holding these types of things. Really... Shame on you... You're going too far...
not rated yet Feb 07, 2012
GOVERNMENT IS the #1 funder of research.

You can't count on private enterprise, because all too much basic research has NO recognizable, short term profit potential.

Schools struggle to put on science fairs and cancel them outright due to extreme budget cuts.

Children who don't get fed properly due to those same budget cuts are NOT very creative.

Children who go without the basics to turn their creative ideas into reality thanks to their parents or their schools lacking the funds don't go far with their ideas.

AND YES it IS REPUBLICANS who are to blame.

The notion that all this stuff happens DESPITE or withOUT government's helping hand is a BIG LIE.

Government ensures those who can't pay for a private education get one.

Government ensures the vast majority of basic research gets funded setting up the next stage for viable, usable designs that can be turned into usable products.

not rated yet Feb 13, 2012
You may as well come outright and say that people are stupid and cannot be trusted with their own money and it should all be given to the government to distribute equally. There's a word for that system of government. Go look it up. You may be surprised.
I want to know, when democrats became more obsessed about stealing money away from other Americans to give to their causes than actually working harder for those causes and giving the money themselves and making the country a better place with their own hands. No American has the right to tell another citizen how to spend their hard earned money. Period. So democrats, stop telling the government to take more money from more people for your causes when you should be taking up the damn initiative yourselves. Don't have enough money to give? Get lower taxes, so you have more to give. Start a business and give the profits to your organization. Propel your cause yourself instead of pretending like you're doing the right thing.

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