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Contest: Win a WMAP beach ball – day 2!

You can still tell us your favorite joke about the Big Bang until Friday at 5PM ET, though you’ll have some stiff competition – there are some good ones coming in! But here’s your next chance to win a prize pack of NASA stuff including a WMAP beach ball signed by Nobel Laureate John Mather! We’re excited to have these to give away… and jealous, because the one in our office isn’t autographed!


As we mentioned yesterday, these beach balls are in five prize packs full of NASA goodies that we’re giving away every day this week. Here’s how to enter today’s contest:

Tell us what television show besides The Big Bang Theory should have a WMAP beach ball – and why!

Think that the beach ball would be a perfect prop for a musical number on Glee? Or maybe it could be evidence on Law & Order! The “why” is the most important part. Post your suggestion as a comment on this entry.

Comments are moderated and we ask that you be respectful. No profanity please! Any comments with non-NASA links may be edited or removed. Please keep the political and religious humor to a minimum – as a NASA blog we’re steering clear of that.  We’re also unable to publish comments that contain mature content. We’re trying to keep this all-ages!

Entries must be received by 5PM ET on Friday, October 1. We’ll announce the winner next week and mail out the prizes!

Good luck, and keep watching for a new chance to enter every day this week. These contests are open to everyone.

Disclaimer: All opinions in this blog entry are that of specific individuals and do not represent those of NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, or Blueshift.

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  • Pete says:

    I’m keeping myself out of the running for a beach ball, as promised, but isn’t Stargate: Universe a natural choice? Granted, you may not be able to put it on the ship, but it could be on one of the ‘visits’ home via the stones.

  • ScottE says:

    TheBall should make an appearance on ScyFy’s Eureka!

    It could be used as a plot device to help explain the concept of the expanding universe to the not so quick on the uptake Sheriff Carter.

    Imagine a whole episode concerned with the latest Eureka wrinkle either reversing, or accelerating, the expansion process.

    “The Big AntiBang” could be demonstrated by sucking all the air out of the ball until it crumples into an appropriately (cgi generated) marble sized lump.

    “The Big Bust” could be demonstrated by rapidly overinflating the ball until it expands (again, via cgi) to fill the entire lab before bursting.

    In either case, Sheriff Carter’s wide eyed stare as the scientists sagely nod their heads, is standard fare for each episode.

  • Julio Vannini says:

    Bones: they have Jack Hodgins, which has a doctorate in geology. Having the beach ball would remind him about the origin of everything, including the minerals he loves.

    Castle: They could investigate the murder of an astrophysicist, which have made some unprecedent discovery or has been menaced by conspiracy theorists. :: evil grin ::

    (Wow, the 2 shows I was about to mention: SG-Universe and Eureka, with similar opinions.)

  • Brad O. says:

    Well, from the comments I see, Stargate Universe and Eureka have been mentioned, and I pretty much just think that I could imagine the beachball there as a set dressing or prop, and do not really have a good reason.

    So, I think that it would be great to see it as an artifact on Warehouse 13! Its power is derived from a scientist who wanted to perfect teleportation. You have to palm the ball with your right hand in Spock’s “LLAP” greeting, and the place on the map below where your middle and ring finger meet is the location to where you are immediately sent. Since such a specific gesture is required, a person handling the beachball wouldn’t usually be accidentally ‘ported anywhere. The downside? The location a person is sent cannot be pinpointed with any accuracy, since the point where those 2 fingers meet hadn’t been well-defined.

    (Huh. Don’t know if I’ll win, but that was a kinda fun contest question to answer!)

  • Dawn says:

    This is probably a stretch, but I think the beach ball should show up in an episode of Castle. Not that I’d like to see one of my people murdered even on TV, but a supremely nerdy murder victim would give all sorts of inter-network references. Castle already dressed as Malcolm Reynolds for Halloween, so now maybe he should come across an apartment full of sci-fi and science stuff. (The writers could look around my house for some ideas…) The ball could show up either as a reference to BBT, or as a sciencey artifact in itself.

  • Douglas A Swoope says:

    I think it would be a great back drop on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Oberman. He covers Space/NASA related stories all the time, and he’s a good joe.

  • C says:

    EVERY SHOW should have it. It could be like a “Where’s Waldo” lurking around in the background of sets. “Where’s WMAP” Extra points if you can somehow get it on to Gossip Girl.

  • Eric Sklavos says:

    CSI. They are crime scene investigators and not having that beach ball is a crime!

  • rindsay says:

    Definitely CSI: Miami. Think of the one-liners they could write for David Caruso.

    Stolen WMAP beach ball: “Sounds like someone wanted… [puts on sunglasses] some personal space.”
    Bloody crime scene in an astrophysics lab: “Now that’s what I call… [puts on sunglasses] red shift.”

    Endless possibilities…

  • Rick H says:

    I would say that Numb3rs should have one floating around, but they canceled it this season. CSI doesn’t sound like a bad idea. I’m a big fan of How I Met Your Mother too.

  • Susan Koscielski says:

    Destination Truth; Josh and his team go looking for the truth behind the Big Bang. Of course to start out with what ever vehicle they get to take them there needs to have half the team get out and push it to get it started. Then at the half way point the engine over heats so they have to spend some time in the bar from Star Wars while it cools down. They get a strange EVP that Josh takes to the Ghost Hunters who think it sounds like someone repeating “42” over and over. In the end the truth still eludes them.

  • jay says:

    Digitally replace all beach balls in Bay Watch with the WMAP beach ball… and see if anyone notices

  • Isabel Bacellar says:

    What about “Barney and Friends”? Kids would love to see Barney playing with such a wonderful beach ball. And of course the Dinosaur could give them a hint about what WMAP is!

  • C. L. says:

    No question, there should be a WMAP beach ball on Doctor Who. The Doctor could make small corrections to it while not flying the TARDIS, adding other parallel universes, etc. to the map from time to time. It’s a must-have for the alien who ‘burns at the center of time and can see the turn of the universe.’ Hands down, Doctor Who.

  • Brigitte says:

    Lots of great ideas out there… I think it would fit really well in the town of Eureka, but I also like the idea of turning it into an artefact for Warehouse 13, or putting it on a crime scene on Castle. Unless a geeky new Desperate Housewive were scheduled for next season?

  • James says:

    I think there should be a battle of wits over it by The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. They both have Neil deGrasse Tyson on their shows frequently. I say let Jon and Steven make their cases and let the people vote nationwide.

  • cap10curt says:

    It’s definitely the kind of thing Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz would own on Phineas and Ferb.

  • QuarkSpin says:

    They should have one on Hawaii Five-O. Head up to Mauna Kea as part of an investigation. Danno sees the WMAP beach ball and asks what it is. Says it’s cool and asks if he can have it to take back to his little girl.

  • Jamie Kang says:

    I would love to see the WMAP ball on Fringe, as it is one of my current favorite sciene fiction shows. Perhaps, Walter and Astrid could have it around in a space themed episode regarding the birth of our universe and the alternate one. But I could also see the ball used on America’s Next Top Model with a geek-chic fashion shoot, which would give the ball a lot of exposure (bad pun) to young people, hopefully generating interest.

  • Tony Rice says:

    I’d like to see it on the Mythbusters set. Thought it might get lost in the clutter.

    Certainly there is a WMAP ball lurking around AMES somewhere that they could drive over to M5 Industries. This show has strong NASA ties and did a great episode debunking “we didn’t land on the moon” theories.

  • Ameena says:

    I think the WMAP ball would be great for the new show “Community”. It could be used as a special lecture for a classroom at the community college. It would be perfect with a guest appearance with someone from NASA.

  • Bella reinke says:

    It should be on Gilligans Island with the professor stealing it from the head hunters who have come from another universe

  • Christina says:

    This may be a bit obvious, but the WMAP beach ball would be a great addition to children’s shows, especially science oriented educational ones. For example, you could have the ball on Fetch with Ruff Ruffman and have the contestants figure out what it represents and learn about the universe in the process.

    If you don’t mind having an animated beach ball as opposed to a real one, it would also be very amusing to have Sponge Bob playing beach volleyball with a WMAP beach ball. Or better yet, using the time machine that NASA surely has stashed away somewhere, go back in time and have the ball appear on The Magic School Bus. Mrs. Frizzle can use it to explain the universe to her class and then they class can spending the episode actually exploring the universe.

  • Andrew Becker says:

    Better yet, have it on the Office with Michael thinking it is something entirely different than what it is. Then when he is explaining that it is actually a representation of a Platypus egg, somebody can make fun of his error and explain the true meaning.

  • Peter says:

    I think Glee could be really funny. Imagine Brittany’s comments about it (really they would choose Finn for the comments so there is a small intelligence behind it). But the really funny part would be the song that they get to sing about it. No clue what it would be but it would be funny.

    Though I think Colbert Report has the best shot since Stephen Colbert collects stuff for the background already.

  • Grieg Pedersen says:

    $#*! My Dad Says. Come on, it’s Shatner! He’d ham it up somthing fierce!

  • Do-Ming Lum says:

    What about “Bad Universe” if any more episodes are going to be made? The WMAP beachball can be used as a prop to represent the current state of the universe, before a universal change in the ratio of dark energy destroys it.

  • Sheryl says:

    This one’s easy for me. The Colbert Report. Because Stephen Colbert has been awesome for NASA. And he’s got a space for it on his shelves near his portrait. :-)

  • Benjamin Hunt says:

    Of all the shows that needs the WMAP ball, I believe SyFy’s Eureka needs it the most. I’m sure they can come up with some kind of fanciful storyline involving microwave background radiation in which the beach ball could figure prominently. Of course, as others have pointed out, Stephen Colbert is another obvious choice given his previous involvement in other NASA activities. Any publicity is good publicity!

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