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NASA Science Technology

NASA "Mohawk Guy" To Host Radio Show 93

An anonymous reader writes "NASA's 'Mohawk Guy' Bobak Ferdowsi, a flight director for the Mars Science Laboratory mission that lowered the Curiosity rover to the Martian surface in early August, will host a two-hour online broadcast on Internet radio station Third Rock Radio at 4 p.m. EDT, Thursday, August 30. The show, entitled 'Getting Curious with the Mohawk Guy,' will feature Ferdowsi discussing his experience with the landing of Curiosity, NASA’s evolving image, and renewed interest in science and exploration."
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NASA "Mohawk Guy" To Host Radio Show

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  • by wb8wsf ( 106309 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @11:14PM (#41174925)

    I wish Boback the best of luck on this show, and lots more in the future.

    Imagine, if people start thinking of science folks as neat...

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      My grandmother would not call him "neat". She'd use words like hippie slacker disgrace who will amount to nothing.

      • And what does she know?
      • your grandmother does not need to find science appealing, a generation still in school does

        the mohawk is a gimmick. a gimmick in the service of good

      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        Which goes to show you that your grandmother probably should be in a retirement home spending her last demented years try to stick nurses with knitting needles.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I for one find these actions deplorable.

      This only delegitimizes the agency, and will only turn NASA into some short-lived fad.

      The exploration of our solar system, and the face of the United States should be that of a professional one.

      Call me old fashioned, but the popularization of the agency through the embracing of pop-culture causes me to take the United States of America less seriously, and causes me to question my support of the country by continuing to conduct business within it.

      Trying to doll
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30, 2012 @12:38AM (#41175365)

        >> the embracing of pop-culture causes me to take the United States of America less seriously, and causes me to question my support of the country

        Yes, clearly a man with a mohawk is what makes America look bad. Not our war on drugs, wars on brown desert dwelling people, repression of gays, electing of disgraceful politicians like Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum [], or the fact that just weeks ago the civil rights debate in this nation hinged on buying a fucking chicken sandwich?

        What. The. Fuck.

      • Yeah, that whole popularization of the agency through publicity stunts like the Moon Landing was a big mistake...

      • by overlordofmu ( 1422163 ) <> on Thursday August 30, 2012 @09:15AM (#41177373)
        You do realize that suits and ties are dress-up costumes. They are in no way functional or necessary. Just like judge's robes are costumes.

        Business and law both rely on a great deal of theatrics to present the image of legitimacy. And these theatrics are enough for people like grandma and you that would prefer to make snap judgments based on illogical assumptions in place of actually thinking.

        Your apathy and love of tradition is holding the world back. Please begin to question the basic tenants of Western civilization so we can fix it before it is too late.
      • I agree 1000%. NASA grow up. The Will I Am broadcast pissed me off. What an incredible waste of taxpayer resources to promote a shitty pop star. What the fuck was wrong with transmitting 'America the Beautiful"? or something not under copyright so EVERY american could enjoy it for free.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      StarHawk is the first celebrity NASA has produced in generations. I think he's doing something right.

    • by wmac1 ( 2478314 ) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @12:45AM (#41175385)

      FYI The correct name is "Babak Ferdowsi".

      Both first and family names are famous Iranian names. "Babak" is the famous Iranian revoloutionaray leader ( ) and "Ferdowsi" is perhaps the most famous Iranian poet ( [] ).

    • by 1u3hr ( 530656 )
      As the saying goes, a wonderful face for radio.

      You don't get to work in Mission Control without being pretty good at your job, but that isn't what he's famous for: his hairdo..

  • Yes (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by tanujt ( 1909206 )
    Let's make a celebrity out of this guy with hair a little out of the ordinary, while the rest of the team, who worked just as hard, goes unnoticed and under-appreciated. Also, let's praise this guy so much that the only thing he has to be thankful about is his decision to get a mohawk, and not his engineering degree.
    • To be fair, lots of engineering goes into the formation and maintenance of a proper mohawk. I should know, I had a green one myself when I was still a stupid attention seeking twit.
    • There are plenty of other directors who have been interviewed on curiosity and other rovers. You should be proud of their diversity.
    • Re:Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

      by afgam28 ( 48611 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @11:23PM (#41174975)

      Ridiculous isn't it? A bunch of people land a fucking robot on Mars, and everyone's attention is on one of the guys' haircut.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        There is precedent, though. Look at all the fuss they made about the inadequacy of Gabby Douglas's hairdo when she won her gold medals. We're one big country full of don't-give-a-fuck-about-anything-but-your-hair.

      • Bingo. Best post in here.

      • Ridiculous isn't it? A bunch of people land a fucking robot on Mars, and everyone's attention is on one of the guys' haircut.

        Not just a robot, but a robot with a death ray

      • “Great minds discuss ideas;
        Average minds discuss events;
        Small minds discuss people.”

        -Eleanor Roosevelt

        The take home message is if you want people interested in a robot on mars, give the robot a mohawk haircut

        otherwise, you just need to make peace with the fact the greater mass of humanity just doesn't care, and will never care, unless it has kim kardashian's ass

    • Let's make a celebrity out of this guy with hair a little out of the ordinary, while the rest of the team, who worked just as hard, goes unnoticed and under-appreciated. Also, let's praise this guy so much that the only thing he has to be thankful about is his decision to get a mohawk, and not his engineering degree.

      It's just ye olde Standing Out In The Crowd. That is why a lot of "artists" nowadays don't know out of craziness what to do anymore: outrageous clothing, outrageous behavior, stupid-looking sunglasses, something to do with jewelry, etc. etc. Are they still good? Likely (sometimes with auto tune). Are there many, many artists who are far more accomplished but unknown? Absolutely. They just don't stand out hence are not noticed.

      Mohawk Guy got noticed. Great! Perhaps it goes to show that you don't have to look

    • Remember when you were in school and bored? You'd look around the room or out the window for anything remotely distracting because you didn't understand or didn't care about what was going on in the classroom.

      Welcome to the current state of science journalism.
    • Re:Yes (Score:5, Interesting)

      by WankersRevenge ( 452399 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @11:51PM (#41175145)

      Well, he was actually interviewed on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me a few weeks ago (you can find it online at npr). Evidently, he gets a different haircut for each mission and it was the team who voted him the Mohawk.

      It's the other guy - the former rocker turned physicist who managed the landing of the rover - who I find to be the interesting one of the bunch.

      But really, I don't care who's getting the camera time. so much as the mission hasn't been forgotten.

      I swear, the landing of the rover reminded me of the ending of the truman show. Everyone goes nuts at Trumans escape, and when the show ends, some dude asks, "whats on next?"

      • So basically he's doing what Gene Kranz used to do with waistcoats, but using his hair instead?

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      Anything that might convince the next generation of voters that space is cool gets my vote. If having a Mohawk and being "hip" or whatever does the trick, then so be it.

      You sound like one of those guys that was all pissed off that it took Harry Potter to get kids reading again, instead of "real literature".

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @11:26PM (#41174995)

    Some of you may not know who this "Mohawk Guy" is. He was originally born and raised in San Fransisco. By his early 20's he was a drifter, directionless and alone. He'd ride the bus all around downtown San Fran playing his boom-box too loud, much to the annoyance of the public. His spiked hair and bracelets discouraged just about everyone from voicing their opinion on the noise level until one day he met his match. Two brave men, both with thousands of hours of flight experience, boarded the bus and sat across from him. One man, noone ever knew his name, politely asked that he turn off that damn noise. He gestured rudely and turned his music up. The other man reached across the aisle and firmly pinched the man's neck, instantly rendering him unconscious, the boombox silenced the moment his head landed on it.

    This unexpected event gave him a new direction in life to pursue. He went back to school and studied hard. Twenty years later he found himself working on the Curiosity Project. And the end result of that goal? He broadcast that damn noise as loud as he wanted where it would bother nobody: Mars. []

    Noone knows the fate of the two airmen that boarded the bus that fateful day. Rumors persist that one was a burnt-out hippy that went to Berkley. However, noone was able to find any documentation of a man entering the hospital overdosed on LDS.

    One thing is certain: It will be centuries before we see all the profound effects this guy has had on the timeline.

    • by ackthpt ( 218170 )

      They both turned to a singing -- which was enough to discourage anyone turning their boom-box up.

    • Spok? []

    • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @01:21AM (#41175519) Journal

      As opposed to the guy who invented transparent aluminum, and ended up floating face down in the swimming pool of his sprawling Bel Air mansion, a pound of cocaine on the patio table, fourth wife, a 21 year old named Bunny passed out in the living room after a two-day long crystal meth binge and a couple of beach bums living in the guest house and using the hot tub to wash their clothes. Poor bastard couldn't deal with success and in his last months was heard blaming his out of control irritable bowel syndrome and his wife's predilection for cheating on him with the entire male staff of a nearby Starbucks on some crazy Scotsman who had given him the secret formula for transparent aluminum, talked into computer mice and consulted some grizzled-looking weirdo about the effects of time travel.

    • by jrumney ( 197329 )

      However, noone was able to find any documentation of a man entering the hospital overdosed on LDS.

      Maybe he didn't go to hospital, maybe he went to Utah where he now lives with his 3 wives and 11 children.

    • someone overdosed on Latter Day Saints?

      I didn't know Mormonism was that powerful

  • This guys claim to fame is he had a Mohawk! If someone else in the room has a Mohawk, would they be famous too? Is this all it takes to be famous in America these days? (Answer: YES!)
    • by jon3k ( 691256 )
      Wow you really don't get it do you? This is about changing the image of a group of people who've typically considered boring. It was INTERESTING because it was DIFFERENT. Not sure how you don't understand that.
  • Maybe he can shed some light on sugar around a planet [] Organic origins or just dumb luck, formed by a shock wave from nova/super nova.

    Or Galactus having a quick one for tea

  • by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @12:00AM (#41175199)

    if its internet only its a live stream or a podcast, for it to be a radio show it needs to be broadcast on ... I dunno RADIO?

    any moron can stream audio on the internet, its not quite the same as fighting for limited air time.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Dream on. A couple of weeks of being on the pop-culture radar maybe...

  • But, I think he got a lot of unwarranted attention; possibly at the expense of other coworker due more credit for the success of the landing. Another note, I was disappointed at the casual dress in the mission control center. Jeans and shirts, etc. Seems like they could have at least gone business casual for one day. It just looked unprofessional to me.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      oh, stop bitching. they were there to get the job done. dressing them as monkeys would not make them do it better.
      i'm sure they all are more professional than many slashdotters, especially those who whine about "suits !!!". they put a damn car on mars.

      i'm starting to suspect that all this complaining is coming from those who are forced to wear suits and are jealous of others :>

    • by blueg3 ( 192743 )

      It just looked unprofessional to me.

      They landed a robot on the moon. Maybe we should be taking tips on professional dress from them. It seems to have worked out.

      • by blueg3 ( 192743 )

        on the moon

        On Mars. On Mars. That's what I get for switching the order of Slashdot and coffee.

    • When I read posts like yours, I can't help but see a Dalek screaming: "Conformity! Conformity!"

      You may want to consider just to what extent you've been programmed to automatically associate certain looks with certain values. While prejudice saves a lot of time, it tends to make one miss out on a lot of interesting folks.

  • by trout007 ( 975317 ) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @05:45AM (#41176393)

    I am curious to hear what /.ers would like to see from NASA in terms of outreach. It seems most of the work goes towards kids. I'm not against that but many technical people would like to know more about what NASA is doing at a more technical level.

    What types of things should NASA be doing? For instance release CAD models of rovers so people can build one in ther 3D printer or release the code for the software flight systems.

    • I recently wrote a letter to NASA asking them to step up their 'adult' coverage. Kids are great but god damn it, i love space too.
      • Please give examples of what you want.

        • What i want is for them to NOT cut coverage of the lander SECONDS after we got confirmation it was safe. The landing team checklist was valuable info and they cut out to the NASA TV anchor. What I want is to NOT focus on a team members haircut to pander to kids. What I want is for them to realize sending a teacher to space is stupid. I want NASA to be NASA, a bastion of science, not pandering
          • Watch the Curiosity press conferences, then. Nice and adult.

            Also, for every person who says NASA should be a bastion of science, not pandering, there's another who says that NASA needs to sell itself to the public to keep interest up and thus Congress willing to give NASA money. Since despite their attempts at popular outreach NASA is still undoubtedly, unequivocally, unassailably, a tremendous bastion of science, I think the latter has the better point.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @07:35AM (#41176763) Journal

    OK, now that the "Mohawk Guy" is on the fame conveyer belt, how long before he's on Dancing with the Stars?

    Maybe we can just skip straight to the Mohawk Guy porn parody.

    • how does the robot on mars figure in the porn parody?

      i need to know

      no, i mean, i really need to know!

      tell me, please

      (breathing heavily, sweating)

  • We're not second graders. Neither the radio program title nor the slashdot headline could be bothered, but why not at least give him the respect of using his name?

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