I Think the Phrase Is


Source: tumblr.com via Tom on Pinterest

And just one more:

When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ball-point pens would not work in zero gravity.

To combat this problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion developing a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to over 300° C.

The Russians use a pencil.

11 Responses to “I Think the Phrase Is”

  1. JeffS says:

    Yeah, it’s amazing how we can find problems that don’t exist, huh?

  2. Gunslinger says:

    “The Russians use a pencil.”

    Making espionage against them as simple as an eraser.

  3. aelfheld says:

    Like crabgrass, some things just keep coming up.

  4. aelfheld says:

    As an aside, it’s interesting to note that inflation isn’t limited to the real world, but turning hundreds of thousands into $1.5 million into $12 billion would be a stretch even for Ben Bernanke.

  5. Skyler says:

    The costs and research time seems to get bigger and bigger with the telling.

    Of course, this story is not completely true. NASA used pencils too, but broken leads and wood shavings were realized to be very bad in zero G because they could float around and get stuck in things like eyeballs. Also, the wood and lead were not good for the pure oxygen environment.

    I believe the real cost to the pen company was about a million dollars. The entire Mercury project only cost $1.6 billion.

  6. tree hugging sister says:

    Geek joke, guys.

    Don’t overthink it.

  7. Yojimbo says:

    Hey, not overthinnking things is my specialty.

  8. Kathy K says:

    What aelfheld said… and it’s still funny. And still makes an excellent point, truth (or non) to the story aside.

    I first heard that one back when it was actually ‘timely’. Thanks for the nostalgic chuckle.

  9. Kathy K says:

    P.S. Happy April Fool’s day. 😉

  10. major dad says:

    Probably a mechanical pencil…

  11. Kate P says:

    I love that kitty!

    It took NASA ten years because my (former consultant) grandfather messes with everything. Nowadays, it’s his hearing aids. (I’ll have to ask him if he knows that story.)

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