Thursday, June 18, 2009

Column: Things in space are getting ugly

There are certain things we simply do not yet know about interstellar space travel. For instance, once scientists finally invent warp drive, will it really look like the lasers in a Pink Floyd planetarium show? It’s just too soon to tell, although if it doesn’t turn out to look like that, somebody will have not earned his grant money.

But one thing we’ve always been able to say with relative certainty is that most space travelers will be — and I mean this in a completely dispassionate, scientific way — better looking than you. No offense intended, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned it’s that it’s very difficult to be taken seriously in space unless you look like Harrison Ford or Sigourney Weaver, especially in your underwear.

This is why new information from astrobiologist Dr. Lewis Dartnell is so shocking. According to the Telegraph of London, Dartnell says the effects of long-term interstellar space travel will actually leave astronauts looking short, fat and bald. No word on what Dr. Dartnell looks like, but I can’t help but wonder if he’s just jealous of the better-looking space travelers who got to make time with Leeta, the sexy Bajoran woman from episode 131 of “Star Trek: DS9.” Um … you, know, generally.

[Read the rest of AT LARGE by Peter Chianca here.]