Sep 10, 2009

Three, two , duh!

Even if you don't like space exploration, you'll probably like this one. Japan launched its HTV automatic space vehicle en route to the International Space Station. I'll direct you to a video of launch, but I have to tell you something before you click on it.

Remember when you did countdowns before starting a game with your friends? The first few times we learn pretty much everything about the 'duration' of the count. A bunch of people start at ten, a nice round number, and then realize half way to zero that it's awkwardly long. Ten is good if you want to make it an official moment, like jumping into the pool from the roof. It also give you time to rethink things. Once you've done ten, then you start at five, much shorter and about one second from being awkward. Finally, if you're in a hurry, you start at three. Anybody that ever started a countdown longer than ten, let's say twenty, knows that this is a bad idea. Normally people start shutting up at sixteen, talk about the jerk that started it, and get back in the count at five.

This should be it. I lived with those notions of countdowns for thirty plus years and I'm pretty happy. NASA reinforced my neuron connections by starting at ten almost all the time. Then came JAXA, the NASA of Japan. They were launching that big new rocket and I was not going to miss it. So I sat in from of my computer and saw this:

The launch link

Why? Three minutes? Now, how much are they paying that girl? Did she lose a bet? Maybe it's a prank they play on new employees. Imagine doing that in English or French, you'd need some speed talker from the Guinness book.

Anyway, if they keep that up, I'm watching their next launch with no sound.