Saturday, November 11, 2006

NASA Seeks Couch Potatoes

news you may not know

Sounds Like A

Lot Of Work...

You knew your day would come. Years of intense slacking in front of the television, all of life's necessities within arm's length, has prepared you for just this moment in time. When NASA calls, you'll be ready to say to your wife, "Put it on the speaker phone. I've got beer and chips to manage here."

It appears to be a slackers dream indeed. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, is seeking volunteers for a study on the effects of weightlessness. The task at hand? Lay in bed, nonstop, for three weeks - eat, sleep, watch television, play games. OK, it's not all fun and games. Participants are not only restricted to bed for the television and snacks - they must also use bedpans and bathe while in bed. So much for the glamour of working for NASA.

The study is being conducted as part of NASA's ongoing research into the effects of weightlessness experienced during space travel. One group of the participants will remain in bed without any exercise for the entire period. The other group will be treated (subjected?) to a daily spin on a centrifuge bed that completes one rotation every two seconds. The rotation simulates gravity and allows researchers to assess the benefit of periodic exercise in comparison to the impact of total weightlessness.

SO far, surprisingly, NASA has found it to be difficult to recruit volunteers. Even with a payment of $6,100 for the study, a total period of forty-one days, they have yet to fill their quota. This should, however, come as no surprise to NASA scientists familiar with the work of Isaac Newton. As he detailed in his first law of motion, "A body at rest remains at rest..." Surely this is no less true of today's couch potato than it was of Newton's subjects of study some three hundred years ago. Men are, after all, men.

To read more about NASA's study of weightlessness, see NASA Exploration Systems.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Tim,

Are you signing up? Where can I go to put my husband on the list?

Just kidding...

Suzanne Lieurance
The Working Writer's Coach

10:33 AM  

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