If you laughed at that picture, you learned your astronomy in a better, older time.
5 Bafflingly Prudish Moments in History
#5. We Needed a Less-Naughty Pronunciation of “Uranus”
I remember learning about Uranus as a kid, and everyone laughed, and then we stopped, because, y’know, even though it’s a damn fine joke — because it sounds like a body part, get it — it got old at around 9 years old. But apparently scientists and newscasters got tired of seeming silly, so they changed the pronunciation of “Uranus.” Oh, let me help you: “URAN-us,” which, as it turns out, still has “urine” in it, so it’s still kind of funny, but not as funny as “your anus.”
Hey so Chris Hadfield wrote us an article (!) involving pooping and peeing (!!!!!!!).
6 Ways Movies Get Space Wrong (by Astronaut Chris Hadfield)
#5. Going to the Bathroom in Space Is Awesome
For the solid waste, air sucks it into storage, where it’s exposed to the vacuum of space, which kills off any bacteria and neutralizes the smell. We have to brace ourselves in order to keep the digested remnants of our freeze-dried ice cream from floating off into the station, but other than a bit of an upward draft, it’s rather comfortable. The waste is packed onto returning supply ships, which burn up when re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere (so if you saw a shooting star in early 2013, you might have had me to thank, although I wouldn’t recommend wishing upon it).
For urine, men use a funnel and women use a cup. These attach to a tube that sucks the urine into storage, where it’s later converted into drinking water. It’s expensive and impractical to bring water up to the station, so every drop of refinable liquid counts. And you can pee upside down, which I did, just for fun. Wouldn’t you?
It was almost a century ago, but The New York Times used to throw mad shade.
4 Smug Predictions That Were Hilariously Wrong
#4. The New York Times Had to Retract an Editorial Calling the First Rocket Scientist Dumb
In 1920, the New York Times decided to call shenanigans on a paper by some guy named Robert H. Goddard, who claimed to have figured out a way to propel a rocket to the moon. Now, doubting such an idea all the way back in 1920, when some New Yorkers still commuted to work by donkey, wasn’t so outrageous — hell, there are people alive today who think moon trips are only possible through Illuminati/Stanley Kubrick trickery. No, what’s special about the Times’ anti-space travel column is that the writer goes out of his way to shit on Goddard’s work and imply he’s dumber than a 15-year-old.
If Picard solved the shit out of a Borg Rubik’s Cube in real life, the high-fiving would be louder.
5 Things Movies Always Get Wrong About Space
#5. Space Explosions Don’t Look That Impressive (Although They’re Even More Dangerous)
Without atmosphere (and oxygen to burn), where the hell are those giant fireballs coming from? In reality, a space explosion looks less like apocalyptic blasts and more like an object that got up one morning and said, “To hell with it. I’m calling in sick to existence.” And you know what else requires air in order to register? Sound. That’s right: In addition to lacking all those sexy pyrotechnics, a space explosion would also be more or less silent.