October 23, 2007

Dear Heaneyland

Time for another installment of the semi-regular feature in which I treat irrelevant search queries in my referral log as if they are letters to an advice column. Here's the question: "what will happen to an astronaut if it loses a tie rope on while repairing the spaceship in the space?"

It will drift in whatever direction it was moving when the tie line disconnected. If it were a human, the remaining astronauts would then presumably attempt to rescue it, but since it is a sexless cyborg, they will probably opt not to risk their lives to save it (the high cost of cybernetic astronauts is NASA's problem, not theirs).

Posted by Francis at 03:12 AM

What if the remaining astronauts are frelks?

Posted by: Tablesaw at October 23, 2007 06:32 AM

What are "frelks"? French elks? In that case, I ask you this: Why are there French elks, and not even American elks, allowed in the U.S. space program?

Also, wouldn't it be dangerous to send elks up in space, where the danger of instinct sweeping over them and spurring titanic antler-clashing combat between two rival males would possibly doom the entire mission?

Also, if you were really a tablesaw, wouldn't you be more likely to phrase your question not as "What if the remaining astronauts are frelks?", but "BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZBZ BBZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ SCREEEEEEE BZZZ WHIRRRRRR"?

Posted by: Jim at October 23, 2007 11:11 AM

An unsustainable reliance on elks is why the French space program has consistently lagged behind our own.

Posted by: Francis at October 23, 2007 01:15 PM

Stupid French.

Posted by: Rubrick at October 23, 2007 02:12 PM

Per Wikipedia, elk are only native to parts of Asia and western North America, not France. However, in Europe, what they call "elk" are what we (and Wikipedia) would call "moose." Moose, of course, are indigenous to parts of Asia, much of northern Europe, and throughout Canada and bits of the northern United States. But despite this, even these so-called "elk" do not seem to live in France. I see two possibilities: first, these French elk are immigrants, possibly from Finland--but France has historically been less hospitable to its immigrants than the U.S., making it unlikely that they would be trained in the finer points of space exploration--or, second, these French elk are actually Quebecois.

Posted by: Scott at October 24, 2007 06:52 AM

Worry not, Tablesaw, I know what a frelk is. It even showed up in this Mystery Hunt puzzle.

But mostly: I think Francis should use these things not as a chance to educate the public, but as inspiration for a Six Things. I'd love to see Six Things That Will Happen to an Astronaut If It Loses a Tie Rope On While Repairing the Spaceship in the Space.

Posted by: Lance at October 24, 2007 02:59 PM

I think these answers unfairly assume that the tie rope in question is the one keeping the astronaut connected to the spaceship. The questioner even went to the trouble of putting "the" in front of "spaceship" AND "space", just to make the distinction clear.

Posted by: Robert Hutchinson at October 24, 2007 06:39 PM
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