Friday, August 17, 2012

Jon Stewart: American Hero


I would give anything to get Jon Stewart's commentary on the NASA bed rest studies. "Really, you simulate space flight by staying in bed for weeks? Are we allowed to bring blow up dolls?" He could have a field day, because even when he pokes fun at something worthwhile and useful, he finds the irony and the humor in every human journey.

We should declare Jon Stewart a National Historic Landmark. Or at least his hair.

The Daily Show with John Stewart
Stew Beef reacts to the Mars Curiosity Rover Landing...

This has to be my favorite Daily Show video clip ever, ever, ever. And that is truly saying something, considering how often he and Stephen Colbert promote space program initiatives, astronauts, exploration, space station activities and technological progress in general.

Olympic coverage? Sure, we admire America's greatest jocks! But, what about America's greatest NERDS?

I love how he combines the "7 Minutes of Terror" video with a comedy routine, and popcorn-munching anticipation. For some people, that wasn't funny at all. We were biting our nails, knowing what was at stake for the amazing people who worked on this project for a decade or more, and what it meant for the space agency as a whole. But wait... no, looking back now... it is funny. NOW.

Honestly? Even if that rover died today, and didn't move another centimeter, the feat of getting it to the surface was a shining moment in human engineering skill, and everyone who got it there could be lifelong-proud.

Jon Stewart The Daily Show
"When Mission Control got word of the successful landing,
they, in scientific terms... LOST. THEIR. $HIT."

Soon, we'll be all aglow with news of lasers, spectrometers, chemical analysis and what the heck is in those Martian rocks! Knowing those elements will give NASA scientists new understanding of how Mars formed, how wet [and possibly even Earth-like?] it once was, what changed to make it so barren... and whether it could have ever supported life.

Jon Stewart will make that sound hilarious too. Waiting. In the meantime, someone please set him up on a date with Shirley in Propulsion.