Geek or Jock?

While the Jocks are glued to the Olympics, the Geeks are watching Curiosity, which due to touch down on Mars in a few hours time.

I am indebted to the wonderful Mary Roach for tweeting this link to a great short video on the amazing event that is about to happen.  It was Mary Roach who wrote Packing for Mars, which makes interesting points about how long distance travel for humans involves a fair few hygiene issues.

The rover is now less than ¼ million miles from Mars, and closing at around 8,000 mph.  So it will be there tomorrow. If the extraordinarily complex landing routine goes off OK, we will have another, better than either Spirit or Opportunity, rover sending us pictures of the surface of Mars.  The  last lot were pretty wonderful.

Maybe I am just a geek, but I cannot help feeling that these staggering achievements in space are rather more worthwhile that watching people run around – a primitive activity that is hardly new. I admit I did quite like seeing the athletes run around the Serpentine (I used to run around the Serpentine for exercise when I live in London, sometimes, on a Saturday morning, and then drop off on Queensway to pick up proper French Croissants from Pechon on the way home.  Just for Jeanie’s sake, you understand.  But I did think it a bit weird for them to be running anti-clockwise.  I, and pretty much all of the other Saturday morning runners, used to do it clockwise, for some reason that now eludes me).

And, if I am to be frank, it is mildly fun to watch the Oz broadcasters trying with minimal success to cope with the abysmally poor performance of Australia this time around, and the corresponding success of Team GB.  Not that it would matter a hoot, except that it matters to them.

Ultimately, what is more absorbing: Olympic Agony and Ecstasy, or the discovery of Mars? For me, it is Mars. I’m a geek.

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2 Comments

Filed under Culture, Sport

2 responses to “Geek or Jock?

  1. neville

    I was drawn to the hyperbole of waking before dawn to watch the fastest man on this planet run to shave the smallest part of one second .. One billion + people(I mentioned hyperbole) shared the experience with me and I felt strangely connected with them all and revelled in the sense of global community celebrating the athletic ability of one of our own from Jamaica. The wonderful sense of sharing did not last long when the moment was lost by some snake oil pharmaceutical company destroyed offered us all the same performance if we should consider their brand of vitamins.
    Whilst I do marvel at the thought of mans achievements in delicately plopping this unmanned laboratory Winnebago on Mars and wait with feverish anticipation for all the exciting news from NASA I feel conflicted that I get as much excitement from an old fashioned footrace albeit commercial free . Simple things!.

  2. Good point, Neville!
    I entirely agree with you about the ridiculous snake oil vitamin pills!
    But I still think that the Mars stuff is more interesting!

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