The Weekly Geek: Spaced Out

As I run through the internet in search of geeky stories to entertain myself, I frequently come across stories about real life space explorers. You know, the guys and girls who have The Right Stuff — astronauts. So when I came across this little item detailing a new system that allows astronauts aboard the international space station to actually drink recycled sweat and urine, I stopped in my (virtual) tracks.

So momentous was the unveiling of the device that three of the officers aboard the station actually held a video conference and a “ceremonial first sip” of “yesterday’s coffee.” It’s an incredible technology — and surely a useful one in the resource-strapped environment of a small space station. However, I couldn’t ignore the humor in the situation. Nor could I ignore the fact that no women were present for this little ceremony — and hey — how exactly does one recycle sweat, anyway?

I have to admit, I spent my childhood wanting to be an astronaut. I basically worshipped Sally Ride (the first American woman in space) and totally scored an autographed picture of Shannon Lucid, the woman who had once broken an American endurance record for most time spent in space. I’ve always thought that flying in space was among the most badass professions — and of course, the closest thing we have to Starfleet in the real world. So kudos to you, recycled urine drinking astronauts. I raise my cup of cold, day-old tea to you.

Sally Ride

On a completely down-to-earth note, I’d also like to share a particularly hilarious Twitter-riffing site called Tweeting too Hard. On this little gem of a site, folks who try way too hard (or brag way too much) on their Twitter pages get lampooned — their offending tweet is posted for all too see — and for all to vote on.

According to the site’s very twee mantra, “We acknowledge the twivial nature of ourselves and of the Twitterverse. We pay our dues to the twansience of our thoughts and our existence. And we do not twolerate egotism or pretense. Think before you tweet. Welcome to TTH.”

A recent example: “this morning i passed what i thought was a calvin klein ad, but it was just a mirror…how WEIRD!” and my personal favorite: “A woman ordered a breakfast sandwich with sausage and bacon, while I had a whole-grain blueberry muffin. Am I justified in feeling superior?”

Some are so obnoxious you have to wonder if these folks are for real — but it’s certainly good for a laugh. Plus, if you know someone who constantly Tweets too hard herself, this could be a fun, anonymous way of getting the point across.