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Rover

Posted on Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Dave!I don't know when it happened, but I'm betting it was after I watched Pixar's WALL-E.

I've started to anamorphize inanimate objects.

I find myself attaching emotions and feelings to things like my iPhone and my television remote control. I dropped my iPhone a while back and have been worried that it hates me for it ever since. I spilled Orange Crush on my television remote and felt it resenting me for days. This is new for electronics, but I've done it for years with living things... which is why I can't bring myself to kill a wayward spider in my home, and instead take him outside...

Dave Spider Shoe

I just don't need that on my conscience.

Unfortunate little spider.

Anyway... today I read that the Mars Rover, "Spirit," has been stuck in sand on the red planet for the past 10 months, and now scientists have given up on ever getting him out. All they can do is try to get him to turn towards the sun so his solar panels can collect enough energy to keep him from freezing in the Martian winter. The hope is that even though he can't move, he can still be useful for scientific research if they can keep him alive.

As you can imagine, I'm pretty upset at the thought of poor little Spirit stuck and freezing up on Mars...

WALL-E Spirit Rover

As if I didn't have enough things to worry about.

I suppose asking NASA to stage a multi-billion-dollar rescue mission is out of the question?

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Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    My blackberry hates me because I want to get an iPhone. It might also hate me because I tell it constantly that I hate it.

  2. Neil T. says:

    Spirit’s original mission was only 3 months long, so the fact that it is still mostly working over 6 years later is fantastic. It’s a shame it can’t move around anymore though.

    It’s sister rover Opportunity is still working and mobile however – again Opportunity is well beyond its original mission.

  3. whitenoise says:

    (sigh) If only Spirit had the new Apple tablet directing his movement…

  4. Hilly says:

    I think we’ve already discussed this but uh, I call my Tivo remote “precious”. Yes, that kind of “precious”. :)

  5. kapgar says:

    You’re only now anthropomorphizing inanimate objects. I’ve been doing that since birth. Where have you been?

  6. I feel bad for Spirit, too. All that hard work, doing what the scientists ordered him to do, analyzing data, taking soil samples, yadda, yadda, and they’re just going to abandon him. Heartless fuckers.

  7. LeSombre says:

    So, what I’m taking away from this post is that you’re somewhat clumsy. :-)

  8. Lisa says:

    Poor Rover! They could at least send another one up there to keep him company.

  9. RW says:

    He’s not stuck in the deep sand. It he was captured three days after it initially landed and NASA faked the whole test results since the government is covering up the capture because they don’t want to panic the populace.

  10. shutupandrun says:

    Wow RW really has that conspiracy theory thing down!

  11. Yeah I feel kind of bad about the poor bloke stuck in the sand too. Bless him.

  12. Ren says:

    I had an interesting discussion with my kids the other day about the difference between anthropomorphizing and personifying.

    • Dave2 says:

      The lines are kind of blurry. As I understand it, “personifying” is attributing human feelings and thoughts to non-human things. “Anthropomorphizing” is the same thing, but with the added benefit of making them physically appear to have human qualities to express those feelings and thoughts. Like making a Mars Rover have humanesque WALL-E “eyes” that can express despair and sadness. :-)

  13. Ren says:

    I had an interesting discussion with my kids the other day about the difference between anthropomorphizing and personifying.

  14. Karen says:

    I love when I luck into the NPR updates from NASA on those Mars rovers. Plucky little buggers just keep on going, years beyond what anyone could have hoped. I heard sometime last month on one of the radio updates that they were losing hope for poor Spirit, and it made me sad. I hold out hope that it’ll lurch free someday. Poor little guy.

  15. Sybil Law says:

    Ooooh – I totally get this.

  16. Finn says:

    I do this to, I think. Getting rid of old things makes me sad because I feel like I’m abandoning them.

    Maybe not exactly the same, but I get it.

  17. Jill says:

    Along the lines of personifying and anthropomorphizing non-human things, I am a firm believer in resistentialism – the theory that inanimate objects demonstrate hostile behavior toward us. Or more specifically – toward me.

    Every time the zipper on my jacket jams up or the street signal won’t wait that extra five seconds for me to make it through because I am in a hurry, I absolutely, positively believe that they (the objects) do it on purpose just to aggravate me.

    Ugh.

  18. Dan says:

    Saw this and thought of this post.

    Probably best you don’t read it though.

  19. Lauren says:

    I know this is an old post, but it came up in an image search and I can’t help but comment. I am close with several of the NASA scientists and engineers who operate Spirit and Opportunity daily, and they have absolutely no intention of EVER giving up on Spirit. While she is in low power mode at the moment, when she wakes up and takes a few months to recharge her batteries fully, the team has every intention of trying to free her once again. The only people who have given up hope are those who make the press releases 3000 miles away from the mission staff at JPL in Pasadena.

  20. Suebob says:

    Yesterday my yoga teacher asked how I was feeling. “I’m a little discombobulated. It’s like all my devices decided to rebel against me at the same time.”

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