Geeks are a lot like hobbits: Aside from enjoying a good fantasy story and a hearty meal, neither of us venture beyond the comfortable confines of our home unless there is an absolutely necessary reason to do so — which still necessitates heavy consideration. That’s the stereotype, anyway. Case in point, NASA’s teaming up with Foursquare to present those conquering their agoraphobic tendencies with a Curiosity rover-themed badge if they follow NASA via the social media platform and check in when they arrive at a NASA visitor center or any other approved locations — such as a museum or planetarium — that provide an educational experience. Sadly, events like Star Wars movie marathons at your local theater or science fiction conventions don’t count toward receiving this special badge.
According to a NASA press release, those that receive the rover-themed badge on Foursquare will be greeted with this delightful — albeit a tad patronizing — little message:
Get out your rock-vaporizing laser! You’ve explored your scientific curiosities just like NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars. Stay curious and keep exploring. You never know what you’ll find.
Peeling back the many sugar-coated layers, the message might as well be saying:
Congratulations, you actually made the effort to wipe junk food detritus off your shirt and discover that endless expanse otherwise known as the real world outside your door. Since recognition for the completion of mundane tasks is all the rage these days, here: An intangible merit badge for your troubles.
All jovial sarcasm aside, the badge is meant to commemorate the Curiosity rover’s checking in on Foursquare from Mars — the only user with the distinction of having done so on another planet. Just wait, little rover, we’re going to colonize Mars and become the planet’s mayor soon enough!
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