Obama to NASA: 'I Understand There Is a Special Mohawk Guy Working on the Mission'

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Even the President knows Mohawk Guy!

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Reuters.

Bobak Ferdowsi's rocket-and-mohawk propelled trip to stardom continues. Today, President Barack Obama called the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to offer his  congratulations to the team for landing the Curiosity rover on Mars.

After the standard platitudes about inspiring children to become scientists and before the standard platitudes about protecting research funding, Obama had some fun with the team. (This is my own transcription from the live call.)  

"I understand there is a special mohawk guy working on the mission," Obama joked. "I thought about getting a mohawk myself but my team keeps on discouraging me. Now that he's received marriage proposals and thousands of twitter followers, I'm now going to go back to my team and see if it makes sense."



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Obama continued, "It does seem NASA has come a long way from the white shirts, dark-rimmed glasses, and pocket protectors. You guys are a little cooler than you used to be."

Well... maybe.



In any case, Curiosity's been in software update mode for the past few days, but here's the video update from Friday, so you can get prepped for the week ahead.

And as a special treat, I will note that I, like Barack Obama, once wanted a mohawk. The difference between us, though, is that I actually shaved one. Here's me in Madrid some years back:

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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