Letters from the road: TV party with scientists

9:22 pm: Good evening, Kim! Right now I am hanging out with a bunch of Bay Area scientists gathered around NASA TV to watch the Mars rover Curiosity land. But right now I really need to touch down in the bathroom and release the number one lander into the porcelain valley, where we’re looking for traces of water.

Sorry, that was weak.

Well, I’m back from the bathroom and we’re still an hour out from the actual landing. The crowd is thinning out. Most of the local commentary in this living room consists of questions about the landing method and remarks about the one guy in mission control who has a mohawk. As you might have guessed from the fact that I’m writing a letter right now, I’m hanging back in a far corner keeping mostly quiet. I think mohawk guy looks like a hard worker who is maybe uncertain on a personal level about where he wants his life to be. But that describes a lot of us.

Waiting to land on mars got boring, so they changed channels. A Kenyan dude is kicking ass on the track. He looks like he’s hardly even exerting himself. Now it’s 9:43 pm.

9:44 pm: An Algerian just peeled out and beat the Kenyan. The American runner looks very vaguely like Abed from Community. Now there’s women’s long jump on TV. It’s really amazing how good these athletes are. Just looking at them, watching them compete, they don’t look like normal humans.

9:56 pm: Now we have the TV showing the Olympics, but the sound is from the NASA feed. This is working really well. It’s like the nerd version of syncing up Wizard of Oz with Dark Side of the Moon.

 9:59 pm: “We live in a solar system of riches.” I hope that means there’s gold on Mars!

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