Thursday, 5 February 2009

On things out of this world

We saw the Space Station a couple of nights ago. We got an email alert from younger daughter's school (they're doing some kind of "visit Mars" space project next month --- kill me now), and dutifully dragged younger daughter out onto the snowy waste that is our street in February. The evening star (aka Venus) shone brilliantly as we scanned the western horizon, while puzzled pedestrians making their way home from Loeb's tramped around us. We waited for what seemed a long time as the light faded further and the temperature edged further into the minus twenties.

Suddenly, the Resident Fan Boy exclaimed, "That's it!" Just as the website promised, a bright speck, only slightly smaller than Venus, appeared to the west-northwest and moved quickly to the southeast directly over our heads, moving faster than a jet plane, but slower than a shooting star, so we had plenty of time to gaze at it in wonder, thinking: "There are people in that speck and it's hundreds of miles up!"

Younger daughter and I agreed that it looked exactly like the Who dust-speck in the classic cartoon Horton Hears a Who (the one by Chuck Jones, not the rather rubbish version in the theatres last year). Here's the only thing I could find on YouTube, set inexplicably to "Baba O'Reilly" by The Who. The space station didn't veer all over the place like that, but it did seem to wobble a bit: Resident Fan Boy and I amused ourselves by imagining tiny voices call "Help me! Help me!", but decided it wasn't that funny.

We hurried back in to warm up and told elder daughter about our adventure. "Why didn't you tell me," she said rather indignantly.
"Well, what did you think we were calling about?"
"I dunno...I didn't hear you."
"We didn't think you wanted to."
"Well, I would have..."
Sigh. We're awful parents...

On a less cosmic note (well, maybe not...) I understand Lux Interior of The Cramps has just died. I had rather a soft spot for their video of "Garbageman" from 1984. I just love the way he moves as he sings. And, for some perverse reason, I'm fascinated with the gold lamé tights his wife Poison Ivy sports for this.
If you're orbiting out there somewhere, Lux, this is for you.


Jane Henry said...

As chance would have it my bro was in the UK last week and saw something bright in the sky which we all concluded couldn't be Venus and was probably the space station. Spouse and I used to watch it in the summer but it seems to have moved orbit and we don't see it anymore.

Thanks for reminding me of the Cramps. There was a long conversation about someone who claimed to have met them and what she got up to((most of it unrepeatable) written on the walls of the girls loos in a nightclub I used to frequent in Liverpool. I always used to wonder who they were. The lame tights (or are they leggings) are truly something aren't they? What's shocking is how NORMAL that kind of clothing seemed at the time...

Persephone said...

I never remember gold lamé leggings seeming normal, but maybe that's just me...