Photos From Space: What Astronaut Clay Anderson Is Reading

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Editor's note: It's getting harder and harder to find interesting things in the photos sent back from the International Space Station. Not only are there fewer internal photos being sent back these days, but someone is clearly screening them so as to not let anything interesting slip through. I am told that Mike Griffin's favorite communications guru Marsha Ivins used to do this screening personally.

I've looked, and all traces of Flat Gorby are now gone. But I did find several things in this photo taken recently of Clay Anderson as he uses a computer in the Lab module. Just above his head are two penguin toys. So I guess someone up there is a Linux user.

Of greater interest is this book which seems to have appeared when Anderson came aboard: "Book of Answers: The New York Public Library Telephone Reference Service's Most Unusual and Entertaing Questions".

According to the Library Journal: "What do NYPL librarians do with the most popular, peculiar, and humorous questions asked over a 20-year period? Find the answers, organize them into 27 subject areas, compile a 1300-term index, and publish it all in a book, of course. The result has enough whos, whens, wheres, whats, and whys to drive even the most dedicated trivia buff mad."

So, since this book was flown (at considerable expense) I guess Clay Anderson is expecting to be stumped by reporters (or students) during on-orbit interviews about topics that probably have nothing to do with space ... assuming we reporters (and students) don't have this book too, of course. Otherwise, I have to guess that living in outer space must be really boring if this is what you take along for reading material!

Reader Comments: "Regarding your last commentary at http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1227 - Clay has a daily trivia quiz that he does with MCC-Houston and (I think) the POCC at Goddard for fun. Apparently that's where he gets his questions from."

"Right after Clay arrived at ISS, he started a ritual of asking ground controllers in Houston and Huntsville trivia questions, getting the answer the following day. He apparently uses the book to get the questions and answers."


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