Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Three Unrelated Things That Are Kinda Related

#1: Ten Year Old Boy Wins the 30th Annual National Rotten Sneaker Contest

Apparently, kids from across the nation gather every year to see who has the most horrificly disgusting footwear in the country. A panel of judges ranks the sneakers for their soles, heals, toes, laces and odor. It was the stench that earned Noah Nielsen the top prize: a $500 Savings Bond, $100 for new sneakers, and a whole box of Odor Eaters. To quote the champion:

"The stank was from rubbing my toes back and forth and making them sweaty.”

The panel of judges included a city official, a black Labrador retriever, and an odor expert from NASA. This brings us to Related Unrelated Thing #2:


The answer is yes, and here's an interview with one of them.

Talk about a crazy job. Basically, he just sits around and smells things that are cooked in 120 degree heat for a few days and makes sure they’re “okay” to go up into space. After talking about how astronauts wear diapers, he describes how he became a NASA sniffer:

“I started with NASA in the fire department when I was 18. I was young and healthy and they asked me to be on their Odor Panel. I've now done 744 "smell missions," over 100 more than anyone else.”

Which brings us to Related Unrelated Thing #3:

#3: NASA also has a FIRE DEPARTMENT?!!

I’m assuming this isn’t like, you know, the boring type of fire department that goes around saving people’s lives. This is the NASA Fire Department where you walk into an office and ask, “Excuse me, is this the HR Department?” and they say “No, I’m sorry, this is the Fire Department” and you don’t say anything back because you suddenly wished you played with space-fire all day.

But alas, despite more half-ass research, I couldn’t find any more information about it, nor the other awesome NASA departments that simply must must must exist (Ice Department, Wind Department, etc…). So if anyone knows anything about this, please throw it in the comments below, ‘cause I’m honestly really curious. In the mean time, you can try and get awesome NASA jobs here.

And now, to complete whatever crappy circle this may have been, here’s a blurry picture of a guy whose sneaker is on fire:


Chris's mom said...

That looks dangerous!

Why doesn't NASA use heat-resistant ceramic tiles instead of wood in that laboratory?

Monica said...

Wow, this officially confirms that Chris's mom is way funnier than chris.

I could be wrong but I think the NASA fire department deals more with the launches than with fighting space fires. Most major airports have their own fire I guess NASA is just like an airport fire department for really awesome, fire-throwing planes.