August 5th, 2008

lolcat: science

NASA celebrates 50th! Sorta.

NASA reaches 50 with pioneer spirit lost

So instead of jumping up and down about all the marvelous things achieved by the unmanned space programmes in the past 50 years, what does this article do? It picks on the manned space programme.

...Mars may be an impractical target, even with political commitment and the deployment of immense financial and technical resources, according to some experts – because of a problem usually overlooked by manned space enthusiasts.

“I do not see any way for a human being to make even a one-way trip to Mars, let alone come back again, because radiation levels on the flight would be too high,” said Steven Schwartz, professor of space physics at Imperial College London. “It is hard to see how you could protect against it.”

Nice one, Steve. Way to rain on everyone's parade. Okay, okay, so he's right, but still. And he's one of those traitorous Americans who chooses to work for a foreign institution. Er, sort of like someone else I know. *shifty eyes*
kusanagi/batou: loony fangirl

I laughed so hard I nearly peed

The bloke delights in seeing me squirm. Yes, in that way too, but what I'm talking about right now is that horrendous feeling you get while watching someone make a complete ass of him/herself and wishing you could stop it.

As a result, we end up viewing television programmes like Peep Show, which isn't what you think - it's much, much worse. Two hapless blokes who can't live harmoniously with each other and with opposing philosophies routinely fail at life, that's the premise. And they do it in the most awful, cringe-making way possible. Anyway, the point is, the bloke loves the effect it has on me, which is to make me turn bright red, bury my face in his armpit and whimper until it's over.

This weekend, I finally found something that has the same effect on him. I've been waiting over a year for this, and I may just have to download and keep this to show to him when he's being intolerably English and unflappable.

It was the Women's Institute Guide to Brothels, a programme about a couple of terribly sweet elderly ladies from Hampshire who go around the world in search of the perfect, safe environment for working girls. I spent about half an hour engrossed by it before I realized he was cowering behind me with his eyes covered. "What's wrong?" I asked. "Mmmphmmmishwhmmngish," he said from beneath the pillow. "What?" I repeated. He uncovered his mouth long enough to wail, "My mum is watching this!"*

He refused to emerge until it was over. Not even the moment when one of the girls whipped out her favourite vibrator to demonstrate it to the ladies could tempt him from the sanctuary of the duvet. ("I've never seen one before. Ooh, that's nice!" they said. "Bet she orders three as soon as she gets home," I grinned. "I can't believe my mum is watching this," he blushed.)

* His mother is a WI member.