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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

I was into astronomy when it was still astrology

By Phil Plait

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.

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