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Alright, here’s the thing. I don’t usually like to dissect my tweets, but there is one that requires a little explanation and defending. Last night I tweeted this and went to sleep:

This morning I woke up to several responses to that tweet, not all of them as poorly-worded as this guy, who apparently likes to go around the internet calling people idiots. To be optimistic, I’m grateful that I didn’t get the F-word adjective at least:

There were a few more responses that I’ll add on the bottom, but there was one more response that particularly compelled me, mostly because Kevin decided to come out of his silence just to speak up for his belief that I was wrong. His first ever and only ever tweet was for me, and I’m honored:

Let’s get down to it, then.

You see, anyone who’s ever attended school — hell no, anyone who’s been near a school, or drove past a school, or just heard of school — knows that Yuri Gagarin was the first man to journey into outer space. This is not new information, so we can stop throwing it at people like it’s a revelation. And, since we’re on the topic, I underlined “journey” because the first man in outer space, technically, was Alexei Leonov, who went outside of the space vehicle and ‘walked’ in outer space. I’ve had the luck and privilege to interview Mr. Leonov in 2006 for a publication, when he visited my university. But that’s just me showing off on that last one, sorry.

Moral is, Yuri Gagarin is not news. What seems to be news here is weight loss vs. weightlessness.

Everyone went on to ‘show off’ their knowledge about Gagarin that they completely overlooked the main concept of the tweet: weight-loss, as in “diet”, as in “I’m growing older and gaining weight and I envy the late Neil Armstrong for losing weight without cutting down on his food”. Maybe these tweeters aren’t familiar with what I do, which is going for a humorous twist on things, but whatever.

I’ve never claimed to be a genius, or even a man of average intelligence, but here’s a small review of weightlessness (a term related to Aeronautics) and weight loss (a term related to dieting and health). I won’t even use “big words”.

Simply put, your weight is a function of your mass multiplied by gravity. The formula is w = mg. In the absence of gravity, as is the condition in outer space, (g) is reduced to zero, rendering your weight zero as well. When your weight is zero, you did not “lose weight”, you’re weightless and floating in outer space, which is cute, especially if you’re unable to hit your companions with the Skittles you’re throwing at them. We’ve all seen the footage.

As for the late Mr. Armstrong, he was the first man to step on the moon, the size of which is roughly 1/4 of the Earth’s, rendering its gravitational pull at under 20% of our home planet’s. What this means for  Armstrong (and for my tweet) is that his “weight” (because gravity is not zero) still exists, but he now weighs only 20% of what he’s used to seeing on the bathroom scale. And without a diet.

So, yes, Gagarin was the first man to float dreamily in a spaceship in outer space, but Armstrong was the first man to experience a reduction in weight while (maybe-not-so-)firmly fixed to the ground.

Now go tell your friends about it.


PS: I used the twitter stats page because I’m both happy with how the tweet ‘performed’ and I’d like to show that there are at least 204 people who didn’t have a problem with the tweet. So “Thank You” to them, and to you for reading this. Here are the remaining 3 responses:


  1. Vineeth Jose says:

    Embarrassing :D :P

  2. haitham says:

    I don`t know ,,,

    ouchY maybe a good 1-word response :P

  3. Jano says:

    More people need to let go their lips and smile..

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