It’s no exaggeration to say that Wednesday November 10th was an epic day in human history. The European Space Agency (ESA) landed a washing machine sized probe on a comet! This achievement was lauded as being on par with the moon walk. Lets put this event in context.
After being launched in 2004 the Rosetta Space Craft (which carried the probe) traveled 6.4 billion kilometers to catch up with the comet which is hurling through space at a speed of 20km per second. That is faster than Usain Bolt after a tin of red bull but not quite as fast as I would move if Tom Hiddleston rang the door bell. To make things trickier because of the micro gravity on the comet, the 100 kg probe weighs 2 grams out there. Landing the probe is effectively like dropping a piece of paper on an uneven chunk of rock whizzing through space somewhere between Mars and Jupiter.
Its a technical achievement that has been described as being like throwing a dart in Sydney and having it hit a bulls eye in Perth. Its also been called “the sexiest space mission that has ever flown into space”. However I disagree the sexiest space mission was the journey featured in Prometheus because Michael Fassbender wore a tight T-shirt.
Whilst the event aroused the public’s imagination it was somewhat overshadowed by A BIG FAT ASS. That’s right – Kim Kardashian poster girl for Assiscistic personality disorders chose to break the internet the following day.
Here’s how the discussion transpired at our place.
On Thursday the 11th of November my husband came home and remarked that the landing of the Philae probe on the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet had attracted very little media attention. He actually said “there wasn’t much coverage of the comet in the paper”. I told him that there was a good reason for that. Specifically Kim Kardashian had just flashed her ass in an attempt to break the internet. So much like the comet, there literally wasn’t much coverage of the ass in The Paper Magazine. (Boom Tish – thank you, thank you – I’ll be here all week)
“Aaah” said Dadabulous “that explains it”. God bless him, my husband had remained ass-unaware for the entire day. Its a sign that he’d spent his work day actually working rather than killing brain cells on social media. Dadabs went immediately to the boudoir and sat on the bed with the iPad. “Are you checking out the ass?” I queried. Its funny how KKs rear end has taken on an identity of its own. Its not Kim Kardashian’s gluteus maximus anymore, its just “The Ass” – much in the same way U2’s guitarist is known as “The Edge” and their lead singer is “the Wanker”. Dadabulous said “Yes, and what an ass it is. It’s huuuuuuuuuuuuuuge”. He turned the iPad towards me to reveal this.
My husband (bless his cotton socks yet again) is more interested in an epic space voyage and a feat of engineering than KK’s epic proportions (which are also a feat of engineering).
It wasn’t until the following day that Dadabulous encountered “The Ass” but only because Boris Johnson tried to park his bike in it.
In my 44 years on this planet I have never seen humanity ricochet between the utterly sublime and the completely ridiculous in such a short time frame. The analyst in me decided to run a brief comparison of the two events to make sense of it all.
Rosetta mission: Has been twenty years in the making, involved the expertise of 2000 people and cost 1.4 bil Euro.
The Ass: Something similar.
Rosetta mission: The 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet is is approximately 4.1 kilometres by 4.3 kilometres wide.
The Ass: Significantly larger.
Rosetta mission: From its chemical signature scientists believe the comet smells like rotten eggs, horse urine, alcohol, and bitter almonds. Ewwwwwwwwwww!
The Ass: From the look of it I’d guess it smells like silicon and olive oil. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwww!
Rosetta mission: Analyzing the composition on the comet may give us a greater insight into how the solar system was formed and indeed how life began on earth.
The Ass: Bears witness to the silliness of social media. Caused an acute shortage of olive oil in the USA. Invest in olive groves now.
Social Media Statistics
Twenty four hours after touch down the twitter statistics according to the Wall St Journal were ;
Rosetta mission: 479,434 tweets
The Ass: 307,782 tweets
Whilst neither “broke the internet” its heartening to know that the comet received more social media attention. However the Ass controversy just keeps on going. The Ass has been scrutinized from just about every angle – its impact upon feminism, its racist overtones, the extent to which it has been photo-shopped.
I conclude with this Sir PatStew meme.
Do you wonder at how the human race is so ingenious yet dumb at the same time?
Got any favorite Ass memes?
Isn’t PatStew awesome?