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Friday, May 02, 2008

A Friday Funny "Well, that's interesting"

Imagine if you will that you're selected to do a tour on the International Space Station. You have to pack up everything you might need for six to nine months and fit it into a teeny tiny space. You're not working 24/7, so you'll need something to do in your spare time. There is a workout area so you can kind of stay in shape, and thanks to Apple, you can put every song ever recorded on your iPod, but what about books and movies?

There is an international multimedia library on the ISS. Have you ever wondered what you'd get stuck with once you blast off?
Imagine if you will that you are on the ISS for a tour of duty. You can only bring a few things with you, so you're relying on the ISS library to keep you entertained. And you arrive only to discover there is ABSOLUTELY NO STAR TREK. That's right: you can watch every single Star Wars movie, every single Matrix movie (including Animatrix), every Lost episode, all the X-Men, tons of Stargate episodes, and even The Princess Bride (yay!). But no Star Trek movies. No Star Trek TV shows. WHAT THE HELL, people? Why does the government hate Star Trek?!

I really couldn't tell you, but I can tell you that the book selections are a little less mind-boggling. There's a heaping dose of Analog and Asimov's SF magazines, the Foundation books from Asimov, some Greg Bear, some Kim Stanley Robinson, lots of Jules Verne, and an incredibly large amount of Lois McMaster Bujold's novels. (Somebody at NASA must be a fan.) There's also an inexplicably large number of the Xanth books by Piers Anthony, in case you need to jumpstart your 13-year-old humor glands while in orbit.
This is kind of funny. Many scientists credit Star Trek for getting them hooked on science, and this is how they repay Gene Roddenberry? (Personally, I can't believe they have The Princess Bride. What next? Space Balls?)

I can see a day in the not to distant future (especially if the movie studios get into the act) when this will radically change. (Keep in mind that some systems on the Space Shuttle were outdated by the time Columbia launched the first time... but I digress.) Movies can now be stored electronically on a memory card, and movie studios could release new movies to the ISS the same way they show first run movies in Iraq and Afghanistan to the troops. Books will be much the same way- pop a memory card into a book reader, and you have an entire book at your fingertips. Thousands of titles will fit into a shoe box.

The good news? At least, for now, they have A Charlie Brown Christmas.

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