Astronaut blindness explained, hairy palms still mystery

NASA ruled out masturbation after removing the bathroom door did not affect vision impairment rates.
NASA ruled out masturbation after removing the bathroom door did not reduce vision impairment rates.

It’s not exactly well advertised by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on LinkedIn, but extended stays on the International Space Station — or in micro-gravity in general — may irreparably damage your vision. Two-thirds of astronauts spending six months or longer on the ISS now suffer from permanently blurry vision. Unsurprisingly, this “blindness” is fluid-related; surprisingly, it’s from brain fluids, not … idle hands.

We already know that fluid behaves differently in zero-G. What we didn’t realize is that, given enough time, the cerebrospinal fluid in the skull’s brain cavity flows willy-nilly and can eventually press on the backs of the eyeballs enough that they flatten a bit. And changing the shape of the eye even a little is enough to impair the ability to focus.

At the moment, NASA has no plan to prevent this as there’s no way to control where fluid flows within the skull. The only current possibilities are either shorter stays or inventing artificial gravity — which introduces its own problem:

Nobody installed seatbelts onboard the ISS.
Nobody installed seat belts onboard the ISS.

In space, no one can hear you complain about bagpipes

Roommates can be annoying, even if you’re good friends with or are married to them. But the good thing is that you don’t have to stay cooped up with them if you don’t want to. You can leave your place for a while and cool off. But your options are limited if you’re on the International Space Station.

American astronaut Kjell Lindgren learned that one of his friends died recently, and did what anyone else in morning would do, annoy the hell out of his roommates. He played the bagpipes, an instrument known for its unpleasant sound and volume. To honor his fallen friend, Lindgren played “Amazing Grace” on some bagpipes he had sent up on a recent supply mission for this reason. That means he knowingly trapped his roommates thousands of feet above the Earth and made them listen to his music.

No one asked him to play “Space Oddity” for an encore.

h/t to Hunter S.

Once an astronaut, always an astronaut?

The Sacramento Superior Court ruled Thursday that Jose Hernandez, a former NASA astronaut who served for two weeks aboard the International Space Station, can list himself as an astronaut on California’s primary election ballot. His occupation listing was challenged by “a Sacramento law firm with ties to top state Republicans,” who maintain that since Hernandez hasn’t been in space or NASA since January 2011, that being a rocket man is no longer his primary occupation.

Considering that only 327 Americans have gone into space since 1961 — and because he is probably a carrier of Space Madness (which we’ve previously warned about) — we’re pretty sure he’s considered an astronaut for the rest of his life. Besides, check out his Wikipedia page: Jose Hernandez (astronaut).

After all, once we sell this site to a Czech communal comedy farm, we’re still going to list ourselves as Guys.

Maybe they should send their moms up to the ISS

We already have a pretty good idea of how astronauts go to the bathroom. (It involves a vacuum cleaner and true grit.) We know how they eat. (Acrobatically.) We even know how they sleep. (Restrained to a wall because you’d have to be insane to eat and go to the bathroom in space.)

But, do you know how they do their laundry? Neither do they.

To date, they’ve been living the high life, wearing their underwear fresh out of the pack and then incinerating them. But, a new washing machine on the International Space Station could force them to live like the rest of us: wearing each pair until they run out, putting on swim trunks and washing them in a new low-power, low- water washing machine.

At least now we know that our collection of astronaut undies were a fraud.

They’ve got spirit, yes they do

So, you think you’ve got Christmas spirit, eh? With your giant nativity scene, Night Elf Mohawk ears and Ralphie bunny suit, do ya?

Well, just like everything else you endeavor in life, an astronaut’s got you beat.

Astronauts aboard the space station get not one, but two (TWO) Christmases. No, they’re not all the children of broken marriages. They celebrate the real one on December 25 and then the Russian one on Jan. 7 where everyone exchanges the same exact present.

(Hope you like vodka rations.)

Two Christmases may seem like a good idea, especially when you’re flying, but we’ve heard this all before:

Take it from Snee: Justice has a new s##tface

So, it turns out that there are costumed heroes roving the streets of Cincinnati. (Seriously, watch the video.)

Yeah, I was surprised, too. I thought Cincinnati burned down shortly after WKRP was canceled. But, no: Shadowhare, your friendly neighborhood guy-who’s-obsessed-with-Donnie-Darko-and-Watchmen, patrols the streets with his band of presumably twenty-something-year-old friends, talking to homeless people, annoying (yet, entertaining) cops and even communicating with other likeminded individuals online.

The first thing that came to mind was, “Where did I go after The Guys’ last get-together: The Absinthe-Minded Professors.” (We watched both versions while drinking absinthe and, after running out, then concocted our own “flubber.”)

No, I’m not Nightbunny. But The Guys fit the profile so much that perhaps we should fight crime, fueled by liquid courage. But, what would we look like? Continue reading Take it from Snee: Justice has a new s##tface