Saturday, January 28, 2017

Apollo Mnemonic

Why do I do the things I do?

You won't find the answer to that question here, just one of the things.  :-)

Last week, I was sad to hear of the passing of Gene Cernan, the last astronaut to set foot on the Moon.  That got me thinking that I've always wanted to have the names of the Apollo astronauts memorized.  Growing up, they were always quite important to me, but I think I could have only rattled off the crews of Apollo 1 (whose fatal fire just had its 50th anniversary yesterday), 11 (duh), 13 (because of the movie), and then just Cernan from 17 (for his special final status).

Again, I don't know why I would want to memorize them all, but I've done similar things in the past.  I once could recite the names of the first two centuries worth of Roman emperors in order, and also the names of the 20 divisions of the Mayan tzolkin calendar.  Maybe a few other lists that I've, um, now forgotten about, too.  :-)  It's not like I ever made a public show of that knowledge... it's just that I liked knowing it.

Anyway, I still don't know if I'll try to cram these astronaut names into my memory, but I did have fun creating a one-page "cheat sheet."  If I go ahead and try to memorize, I'll stick this in my pocket and refer to it as I study.  I looked around for something similar, but all the other infographics were either too busy (i.e., wouldn't look nice printed on paper) or didn't contain what I wanted.  I jazzed it up a bit with the mission patches and the informal call-signs for the ships, and I thought I'd share it here:

Clicking on the above gives you a medium-resolution JPG image.  I've also put a nicer PDF version at this Google Drive link.

Hey, if I can't use this blog to share the fruits of my weirdness, what good is it?


  1. Replies
    1. You know, sometimes I come across those articles that give you top-ten lists of tips for making a successful blog and maximizing your hit counts...

      ...and I start cracking up because I probably violate all ten with each and every post. :-)

    2. There's a saying: Be anything but don't be boring. Mission accomplished!

      (Btw, did you catch Hidden Figures? I loved that film.)

    3. Not yet, but hopefully soon... I've been hearing about it since way before it opened (science twitter FTW!), but we haven't made it out to the theater since the last Star Wars.