I was into astronomy when it was still astrology

By Phil Plait | May 17, 2012 7:00 am

One of the things I love about the internet, and specifically Twitter, is how an offhand comment turns into awesome. And it happens within seconds.

For some reason, a super-hi-res picture of the Earth is making the rounds right now. It’s a gorgeous pic, and lots of people are sending me the link via email and Twitter. The thing is, I wrote about this picture back in April, on Earth Day. But such is the nature of the interwebz that stuff pops back up.

I appreciate that folks think enough of me to send me stuff, in case I hadn’t seen it. But in this case I figured I’d better stem the tide, so I tweeted about it, just basically saying thanks, but I already wrote about it.

Right after tweeting that, I realized how hipster it sounded. So I decided to go full hipster, tweeting:

It says, "I wrote about the Earth, it’s an obscure planet, you’ve probably never heard of it. #BadAstrohipster". I added the #BadAstrohipster hashtag as an afterthought; hashtags were originally meant to be used as a way to organize and categorize tweets, but now most folks use them as punchlines.

What happened next is internet magic. People picked up on this immediately, and within seconds I was getting brilliant replies using the hashtag. I retweeted some, but they started coming in so quickly I gave up. Instead, I’ve collected a few here for you to enjoy. This isn’t all of them, but these are the ones that made me LOL. You can search on the hashtag to see what all the others are.




This one was retweeted by Neil Gaiman himself!



The beauty of this next one is hard to overstate. It may take a little reading to get it, but I have to respect a joke about obscuration that is itself obscure. Wow.






And finally this one, which is hands down my favorite:


Thanks to all my brilliant tweeps, and don’t ever let anyone say Twitter is useless. It made me laugh, a lot, and that’s worth everything there is.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff, Geekery, Humor

Comments (23)

  1. So THAT’s what the AGN tweet was all about! Now I get it! A guy gets tied up in automobile repairs and misses out on twitter for a couple hours and all he-double-hockey-sticks breaks out!

    -I- was into COBE before it got all WMAPified.

    Nah, needs work.

  2. tmac57

    I’d like to pitch an idea for a new TV series about the life of hipsters.I call it ‘Braking Good’.

  3. Mathias R.

    Meh. You’re too mainstream for me now, Phil. :p

  4. Oh nerd jokes. They never get old because they’re scientifically accurate!

    My personal favorite is Ross Exton’s main sequence tweet. It actually made me LOL…

  5. Timmy

    Blogging about a Tweet about a previous Blog post? That is Internet magic! :)

  6. theoncomingstorm

    Remember the planet Earth is scheduled for demolition by the vogon construction fleet to make room for the new hyperspace onramp.

  7. firemancarl

    Great, this post made me get back on twitter. I’ll never forgive myself or you for this.

  8. DennyMo

    From a total Twitter-not: does the hashtag count against your 140 characters?

  9. sjgadsby

    DennyMo: Yes.

  10. mike burkhart

    How about this : The Moon, it hasn’t been the same since the Astronauts got hear. Those were funny. Off Topic : Wile diging in my closet I found my Starfleet Tecnical Manual and my Starfleet Medical refrence Manual , booth out of print . If you trekies or is it trekers (I get confused) can find a copy at a second hand store or yard sale buy it . They will tell you every thing you need to know about Starfleet operations before you go to the final frontier at warp speed . Also the tec manual is a sequal to the episoide about the Enterprise going back to 1969 and beaming a fighter piolt abord. According to the interduction all of the materal in the manual was some how downloaded to the Omha Airforce base computer form the Enterprise computer inadvertly and found during a computerchek in 1970 ,the Airforce concluded the whole thing was a hoax and tried to find the hoxers but never did.

  11. “Sunlight is so 8 minutes ago.” Sounds like one of those 4G commercials. :-)

    BTW, the Twitter images with the interwoven comments don’t show up correctly in Firefox (12.0, Windows) for some reason. Chrome and Safari show them just fine, however. (I haven’t checked into the actual cause yet. It’s probably either a bug in Firefox, or “broken” CSS/HTML that just happens to “work” in the others.)

  12. Ryan the Biologist

    “I was into black dwarf stars before they were cool.” #BadAstrohipster

  13. Ken

    I was into Spitzer before it got hot.

  14. Andy Beaton

    Colin wins the internet for his fossil record tweet.

  15. Sam

    Anyone else automatically add “Unlimited” in their heads when they saw a tweet by Sam Gunn?

  16. Some geotweeps and I had a #HipsterVolcanologist hashtag about a year ago. Unfortunately I didn’t archive it; I hadn’t realized just how quickly and thoroughly twitter looses things. At any rate, my favorite of my own submissions was “Did you hear about the #HipsterVolcanologist who was burned to death? Yeah, he got into basalt before it was cool.”

  17. inspiralrose

    Love it. For future ref, a niftier way to do this archiving would be Storify and then you wouldn’t be using non-WCAG-friendly images… (You just embed the Storify story which has all the tweets embedded…)

  18. Satan Claws

    Schrödinger was into domestic cat health before people started looking it.

    Clyde was into Pluto before Neil.

    I was into Star Wars even before the First Episode came out.

  19. WSF

    That Voyager Records tweet made me laugh so much.

  20. Mike

    I wear a toque to summer star parties? I don’t know, hipsters confuse me.

  21. Tribeca Mike

    It’s not a coincidence that earth rhymes with mirth.

  22. Matt B.

    I really enjoy some of science’s early stuff, before it went all “method”. #BadAstrohipster

    I think Satan Claws wins for the Star Wars one.

    P.S. OMG, I’m less than a week behind now.

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