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article imageNASA's 'mohawk guy' Bobak Ferdowsi is new Internet meme

By JohnThomas Didymus     Aug 7, 2012 in Technology
The Internet has literally fallen in love with a mohawked NASA staffer Bobak Ferdowsi. He stood out among the his fellow NASA staffers during the TV coverage of the landing of Curiosity on Mars with his "badass" mohawk hairstyle.
Ferdowsi, a mission Activity Lead with NASA, spotted a mohawk hairstyle including red and black colors with yellow stars dyed in on the sides. His uniqueness among his team mates at NASA has led to tweets, memes and Tumblr accounts being dedicated to him. Buzz Feed summarizes the Ferdowsi appeal with an equation: Mohawk + NASA + Twitter = Swoon.
The Guardian reports that a female fan tweeted: "Cute, stylish AND brilliant!" A man blogging about the landing mission on Tumblr wrote: "Bobak Ferdowsi is the new standard of attractiveness. Good looking and smart. Us male-folk are screwed."
According to CNN, he is being hailed as the next-generation face of NASA. CNN comments with a picture of the "old guard at NASA" (from the Apollo 11 landing) and a picture of Ferdowsi representing the "new generation at NASA": "Forget Rick Moranis glasses, starchy button-ups and pocket protectors. Meet the new generation at NASA: Bobak Ferdowsi, better known as 'Mohawk Guy.'"
Smiling Bobak meme
Smiling Bobak meme
Bobak Ferdowsi  Teamwork meme (centre)
Bobak Ferdowsi, Teamwork meme (centre)
The Atlantic reports that Ferdowsi gets a new hairdo for each NASA mission. CNN reports he explained:
Bobak F.@tweetsoutloud
Folks asking about my hair, here it is. Been doing this for big events on #MSL #jpl #nasa #curiosity #daremightythings
The rest of his team voted for the mohawk style, The Atlantic reports.
The Atlantic comments that the hairdo also reflects "the humanity at the core of NASA's achievements." While the Internet celebrated NASA's achievement after Curiosity rover's landing on Mars, attention turned on Ferdowsi as embodying everyone who made the mission the success it has been so far.
Bobak Ferdowsi  Teamwork meme
Bobak Ferdowsi, Teamwork meme
According to The Atlantic:
"The Internet rewarded Ferdowsi's daring 'do in the best way it knows how: by making it into a meme. An instant one. The Internet gave Ferdowsi, in the space of an hour, a dedicated Tumblr. It gave him tags on Tumblr. It gave him a specialized visual taxonomy, featuring images categorized'as, for example, 'Smiling Bobak,' 'Nervous Bobak,' 'Teamwork Bobak,' and 'Busy Bobak.' And it gave Ferdowsi, who tweets at @tweetsoutloud, a cosmic rise in Twitter followers: nearly 8,000 of them in the past couple hours, up from a mere 200 before tonight."
Ferdowsi, according to Buzz Feed, is a 2003 graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a systems engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Buzz Feed reports he spoke about his sudden rise to Internet stardom: "I did not, of course, have any idea of what was going to happen. I’ve been having fun with my hair for each of our major events, a different color hair for launch, shaved things in the side of my head … little did I realize what was going to happen last night."
He added: “I haven’t sort of let the whole thing sink in yet. I’m still working on the, 'Holy cow, we made it to Mars.' Until yesterday, my Twitter was pretty much a couple family members, sometimes a co-worker. I was getting some texts or whatever, and I was like, Oh, yeah, I had a lot of friends who weren’t in the room that I’d worked on the project with and other people who work here at the lab, and I thought I’d share with them some of the exciting news going on. I didn’t really notice it yesterday until a couple hours after we had landed, and I had a chance to look at all the text messages, and I realized there were Internet things going on."
Bobak Ferdowsi  Mohawk Guy
Bobak Ferdowsi, Mohawk Guy
Ferdowsi said he enjoys being part of the NASA team: "Yesterday, my emotions and my reactions were just — because of all of the hard work I put into it personally, but also it's that here I am sharing this incredible moment with all of these people that have done the same thing. A lot of them, these are people I spend my time with outside of work. These are my friends. So, that’s really the incredible thing for me."
Bobak Ferdowsi  Mohawk guy
Bobak Ferdowsi, Mohawk guy
He spoke about what follows Curiosity's landing: "People should be excited about the science of this mission. We’ve got instruments on this rover... that will allow us to discover things about Mars, about the potential for life to exist on Mars, that we’ve never been able to. So, I’m hoping people follow along for at least a few months when we get all of this crazy science, and I think people will be shocked."
He has some bad news for his female fans: "I am dating somebody. She’s awesome. She’s put up with me working a lot of long hours on this project, and I am definitely looking forward to things being calmed down a little bit so I can actually hang out with her."
And what was her reaction to her boyfriend becoming an Internet star? "We laughed a little about it last night. But, I barely had a chance to see her since we landed. I’m sure we’ll talk about it soon. Hopefully she’s cool with it."
More about mohawked, iranianamerican, Meme, NASA
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