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NASA It's funny.  Laugh. Space

ISS's Node 3 Might Be Named "Colbert" 276

Panzor writes "NASA is running a contest to name the new addition to the space station, Node 3. The polls are open until March 20. The selection that is getting the most votes is 'Suggest your own,' and the leading name besides the official four (Earthrise, Legacy, Serenity, and Venture) is 'Colbert.' Comedian Stephen Colbert suggested on the air that fans write in his name. On March 5th, his vote count passed that of Xenu and Colbert pronounced himself Scientology's 'Galactic Overlord.'"
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ISS's Node 3 Might Be Named "Colbert"

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  • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eggoeater ( 704775 ) on Friday March 06, 2009 @01:00PM (#27092897) Journal
    Let me explain it:
    Colbert and his show is one big satire on the right-wing and the pompous right-wind media.
    One of the most important parts of the satire is letting the fans play along.
    When fans vote to put his name on the space station, really they're joining in on the act.

    Its kinda like when Spinal Tap actually went on tour. Fans came to see them and did man-on-the-street interviews talking about how they've seen them on the past 12 tours and have been fans of theirs since the '70s, etc.etc., even though the band didn't exist until the '80s.

    Colbert, and Colbert fans, are doing the same thing only in the political/media spectrum and throwing it in the face of the right-wing.
  • Not likely... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by penguinstorm ( 575341 ) on Friday March 06, 2009 @01:04PM (#27092945) Homepage

    No it won't. One of the rules of naming such semi-permanent structures is that they're not often named after living people. Colbert is amusing now (though I find him annoying, to be truthful) but what happens if in 5 years he runs over a group of children in a drunk driving incident? Do you really want a NASA module named after that? Is that going to be funny?

    There are exceptions, but they're fairly rare and usually involve someone who either: a) invented the thing (Colt revolvers or Ferris Wheels), or; b) donated a tonne of money (anybody remember Enron stadium, or the Ken Lay Chair in Economics at Methodist University?)

    Xenu is too religious, and a government agency wouldn't name anything after Scientology.

    That's why NASA's suggestions are more benign, and why one of them will likely be chosen.

    Besides, the subtlety of the shout-out to the Big Damn Heroes is awesome and not overt enough to eliminate the name.

  • Now that I know that there a bunch of "liberals" pushing Colbert... I'm going to set out and build a script for my right buddies to get it named after one of America's greatest Presidents....

    In fact, we should even introduce legislation to rename the WHOLE space stations...

    The Richard Nixon Space Station.

    Man, that WOULD be the most expensive troll in the history of the world.

  • Re:weak (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Friday March 06, 2009 @01:12PM (#27093073) Journal

    In fact, the contest rules state that the poll is not binding and they'll choose whatever name they like. Sucks, really.

    Tell me about it. My alma matter [wikipedia.org] had the same rules when it voted for a new mascot. Nobody ended up happy.

    Jump'n Jesuits baby!

  • Re:weak (Score:3, Interesting)

    by je ne sais quoi ( 987177 ) on Friday March 06, 2009 @01:46PM (#27093527)
    I would actually prefer Battletoad over Xenu or Vista... but hey maybe I'm just biased against cults and unsuccessful operating systems and am not caught up on the nuances of what precisely a "battletoad" is.

    What I don't get is why anyone would lobby hard to name a space station module after a space ship. I could see naming the next generation launch vehicle Serenity, but a module on a space station? Meh.

    The last time this happened, a whole bunch of people lobbied NASA to have a space shuttle named after the Enterprise. What they got was the practice shuttle, that never actually flew in space. I would think it would be more memorable if they lobbied to get an actual shuttle that flew missions named after their favorite ship. Although, in retrospect, that shuttle will probably be seen by many more people than the actual shuttles since it is now sitting in the Udvar-Hazey center at Dulles (or, the Uday-Qusay center as my father affectionately calls it). So maybe it was worth it.
  • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blueturffan ( 867705 ) on Friday March 06, 2009 @02:12PM (#27093919)

    Its kinda like when Spinal Tap actually went on tour. Fans came to see them and did man-on-the-street interviews talking about how they've seen them on the past 12 tours and have been fans of theirs since the '70s, etc.etc., even though the band didn't exist until the '80s.

    And many of these Spinal Tap "fans" bood the opening act off the stage. And just who was the opening act? The Folksmen. If you've seen the movie A Mighty Wind, you know that the Folksmen are none other than Spinal Tap with different costumes and different music.

    Very clever of the boys.

  • Re:no (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hwyhobo ( 1420503 ) on Friday March 06, 2009 @03:40PM (#27095617)

    Now who's making claims without evidence? In my (obviously personal) experience, all the best lefties I've met stage demos, organise campaigns and attend political comedy nights.

    Very good point, I was imprecise. What I had in mind was ugly, messy street affairs, uprisings, revolutions, etc. Those usually happen when people run out of outlets for expressing their frustrations.

  • Re:Not likely... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by migla ( 1099771 ) on Friday March 06, 2009 @04:51PM (#27097011)
    Naming things after dead people can be not appropriate too. In Stockholm, Sweden, they named one of the new (in 2000ish) subway cars after Swedish pop star Ted Gärestad, who committed suicide by throwing himself under a train...
  • Re:Seriously? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by QuasiEvil ( 74356 ) on Friday March 06, 2009 @06:33PM (#27098853)

    And "Enterprise" is any different?

    Personally, I like both of them. I think you'll find a lot of very talented folks who really make this stuff happen have been influenced over the years by the creative folks who create scifi. Neither Gene Roddenberry nor Joss Whedon could engineer a space vessel any more than I could, but creative individuals like them almost certainly inspired some of those that *could* do the job.

  • by darthwader ( 130012 ) on Friday March 06, 2009 @09:24PM (#27100861) Homepage

    Colbert's naming games are nothing.

    A while back we (Canada) had a right-wing politician (Stockwell Day) trying to pass a law that would force a binding referendum if a particular number of citizens signed a petition for it. I think he wanted to stamp out gay marriage, or immigration, or some other thing that "white skin and red neck guys don't like". (Sorry I don't recall the details.)

    Before the "force a referendum with a petition" law passed, Rick Mercer (Canadian comedian who hosts a fake news show) started a petition to force a referendum to have Stockwell Day's name changed to Doris Day.

    IIRC, there were enough names on the petition to trigger the referendum, but the law itself didn't actually pass, so the referendum didn't happen.

    Now that's a naming game.

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351