Re: NASA: past its sell-by date
My son and I sat down when he was in high school here in the US and went over things I could do that he couldn't, things my dad could do that I could not, and then looked through books my dad grew up reading whose characters were doing things HE couldn't - children's books always lag the present by at least a generation. Basically, doing things that my grandfather - in Canada - could get away with would have gotten me in serious trouble with my parents, and my son a term in juvenile jail, even if I and my wife thought it was not that big a deal.
The acts themselves weren't any worse, but the social environment is far more restricted.
Chemistry at home? Heaven forfend, you could accidentally make something hazardous, toxic, or explosive through an error in mixing. Even BUYING chemistry lab supplies like glassware gets you on DHS and DEA lists these days. My dad actually kept black powder around the ranch for stump and boulder removal and my brother and I were instructed in its use for those various other purposes that did not include muzzle loaders - though we did that too.
Shooting? Well, that's generally a little less restricted in parts the US, but there are lots of citizens desperately anxious to catch up with the <irony on> progressive </irony off> UK. I used to go out hunting spring jackrabbits - good eating prepared properly - but these days, development has foreclosed on that - too many neighbors, dogs, livestock - three horses on half an acre looks cruel to me, and the same for cattle. The local vegetarians an vegans will actually try to educate me on the evolution of the human species. I have a degree in that, and they are more ignorant about the topic than a day in the arctic summer is long but they really don't want to hear it.
Knives,? Arguably, from what I hear and read, the UK might be rather aichmophobic and even more reactionary to knives and things that can cut than to firearms. Is it really true a carpet layer did a prison term for leaving a carpet knife - a tool of his trade - visible in his vehicle?