Party On, Nerd Army


by Karen Veazey

How did we do things before the Internet? Seriously. I’m Googling (see?) for a map of the track of Hurricane Isaac and up pops a crisis map, created by Google, naturally, tracking this one disaster. I don’t even have to go to the NOAA website anymore, it’s just there, magically implanted by Google on the search page. Cool. That wasn’t there yesterday but I’m sure they’ll have a new one for the next disaster.

I had this conversation with my sister the other day about the Mars Curiosity Rover. I’m calling it by its full legal name because I love the fact they named it Curiosity–as if a quirky little cat were just poking around Mars, sniffing in all the corners.

My sister is a science uber-nerd, and while I was sending her links to the NASA parody of LMFAO, she was telling me that you can follow @MarsCuriosity on Twitter.

I am so glad that Neil Armstrong lived long enough to see that happen. To see that his one small step has pole vaulted into a robot that is sending real time(ish) photos back from Mars. MARS, of all places. When I was a kid, Mars was where the real aliens lived, the far distant unknown of possibility. Now, it pops up on my Evo. How did we get here so fast?

I’m so glad we did. As my sister went on to say she spent the day of the landing checking Twitter in between appointments, sharing the joy of this magnificent moment with nerds worldwide. She doesn’t work with geeks, and twenty years ago – scratch that – five years ago, she would have caught glimpses of it on the news and celebrated quietly in her office. Now, we all have a seat at the party. Heck, we all have a party we can go to! How many nerds could have said that in high school?

No matter your passion – science, games, tech, books – thank God, Tim Berners Lee, and Google/Steve Jobs/insert-your-favorite-tech-guru-here for what we have. It’s a great day to be a geek.

*Check out this awesome page where you can pan and zoom on the landing site. Again, on MARS.

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