5 Reasons Colonel Chris Hadfield Is More Awesome than You
Colonel Chris Hadfield is better than you. In fact, he's awesome. He's the rock star of astronauts. Some say that nothing beats an astronaut. Well, in the world of astronauts, nobody beats Col. Hadfield. Here's why.
5. He's the First Canadian to Walk in Space
Chances are, you haven't walked in space. I'll even guess that you've never been to space at all. On the off chance you have space walked, you're probably not the first from your country to do so. Think back to the last time you did something first -- before anyone else. You probably can't even think of a time. Have you made your country proud? Next time you're at a party and trying pathetically to do a proper moonwalk, think about the brave men and women flying above your head doing actual spacewalks, and be humbled.
"I think I like Russian space food the best. It has the most natural flavour and it is more like the comfort food that I grew up with."
4. He's Done a Reddit "Ask Me Anything"
Reddit's "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) posts are a great way for random people to answer random questions from random Internet folk. Many of them are average joes with a slightly interesting twist. Perhaps a newly-released ex-con (yawn), male cheerleader (boring), or a former retail chain employee (who cares?). Tell me, though, when's the last time you did something so notable that people asked you questions about it? Something so ground-breaking that people wanted to know every detail about it? Coming up blank? Can't think of anything?
That's okay, because Col. Hadfield went to Reddit and let people ask him questions just before his launch to the International Space Station (ISS) in December 2012. While you were probably hiding under the covers waiting for the Mayan apocalypse that never came, he was preparing to go to space AND answering the questions of a bunch of random Internet people. The closest you've probably come to answering questions of an interested audience is the last time you spoke to your grandmother on the phone. (Call her more often, you jerk!)
Answering questions from logistics to the sheer awe of looking down upon the planet while in orbit, his AMA thread cemented his place in Internet culture history.
3. He Did It Again... From Orbit
How do you top such an epic thread on Reddit? Taking a page out of Hollywood's book, Col. Hadfield did the sequel set in space. Linking back to his original thread, his brand new thread came down straight from the ISS. And, as you can imagine, the only thing cooler than chatting with an astronaut on Earth is chatting with one who is actually in space. For real.
The thread got so popular, he got more than 7600 comments from Reddit's users; more than double what his first thread had. Even if it was just a fraction of those comments with actual questions, he still had more questions from fans than you'll likely ever get. Shoot, I'll even admit it. The last time I had dozens of questions to answer was at the DMV when renewing my drivers' license. My Jeep has nothing on the Soyuz spacecraft Col. Hadfield went up on.
"I will deliberately mentally get away. Play guitar by the big cupola windows and steal some time to truly appreciate what is actually happening - to me, and in history"
2. He Recorded the First Music Video in Space
Now, as far as non-astronaut musicians go, David Bowie is pretty darn amazing. It takes a lot of balls to do a proper cover of any of his works, but darn if Col. Hadfield can be the one to do it.
Sporting a repertoire of skills including guitar-playing and photography, he has made a brilliant cover of Bowie's Space Oddity. Not on Earth, mind you. He did it aboard the International Space Station. Using an array of cameras on-board the ISS he recorded a stunning video with effects you can't get anywhere else (i.e. with gravity).
So next time you and your coworkers decide to do yet another stupid version of the Harlem Shake video to slap onto YouTube, here's a second reason to make you feel ashamed at your terrible video.
"One last thing - huge thanks to my son, Evan, who encouraged me to do this AMA, taught me how to use Reddit, and set it up for all of us.
1. He's a Great Dad
Where did Col. Hadfield get most of his web-savvy ideas from? His son, Evan. Now, I don't have kids, but if I did, I know I probably wouldn't have the kind of job my kid brags about. Having an astronaut dad beats just about everything. (Repeat after me: Nothing beats an astronaut.)
Even ignoring that, my parents refuse to learn how to use a computer. My mom's greatest achievement is knowing that the little red X in the corner makes the window disappear. But Col. Hadfield? His son Evan showed him how to use Reddit, encouraged him to do his AMA threads, and helped set it up for his pops. Then, during the sketchiest parts of the mission (e.g. returning to Earth), Evan kept his dad's fan base updated on social media networks.
So just to be the good dad embarrassing his kid, he gave Evan a shout-out letting everyone know who was behind the whole thing in his first AMA thread. If that isn't a glowing recommendation for a future in social media marketing, I don't know what is.
Think I'm wrong? Give me your top 5 or tell me why you think you're better than Col. Hadfield in the comments below.