Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Silly Stuff

My Favorite Astronauts

The power of Silly has not gotten the attention it deserves. Some are motivated to climb mountains "because they're there". Some jump motorcycles, skydive, or file their taxes late just for the adrenaline rush. But think how much has been achieved by those who said "wouldn't that be hilarious!"

Like my boys of Apollo 12, linked above. They smuggled a camera timer on board the lunar module so they could take a picture of the entire away team on the Moon, just to see if anyone would ask "er, who took the picture?"

I saw an interview of the crew describing the incident and the contortions they went through to hide their prank from Mission Control. They couldn't talk to each other at the time since they were transmitting back to Earth, and it would have Revealed All. Thirty years later they were still chortling about it.

And of course, MIT makes a tradition of this. Brainy types, if they don't take themselves too seriously, make excellent Silly people.

Now you may be saying, "This is wonderful! Snarkatron, how can I invite Silliness into my life?" Nothing is easier! First, you need to know the rules. Next, you need supplies. The rest, like getting to Carnegie Hall, is practice, practice, practice! Mostly you need to develop your ability to detect the silliness that exists, right now, all around you, and then you can progress to increasing it. That done, you can relax and read tales of silliness in other times, in other worlds. Others may mock, or stare rebukingly, but you will be having more fun.


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