Bleats

If The New Bachelor Is An Astrophysicist Does That Mean He Knows My Star Sign? And Other Questions

Look, it's a roundabout way to get more science on TV but we'll take it.

Melbournian Matt Agnew is the titular Bachelor in the Channel 10 show of the same name, and much is being made of the fact that he’s an astrophysicist.

But what even is that, and how does an interest in space relate to the pursuit of lurve? Glad you asked!

What does an astrophysicist actually… you know, do?

They study the physical and chemical makeup of the universe in order to answer fundamental questions about the cosmos. It’s a fascinating career, and there’s never been a more exciting time to be doing it – so, if anything, he shouldn’t be dating on TV when there’s data from LIGO that needs poring over.

Does that mean he knows my star sign?

That’s astrology, which isn’t science, and not astronomy which is science. Also, you just need a calendar to work out someone’s star sign.

Also, it’s garbage.

But yeah, probably.

OK, fine. What was his favourite NASA mission?

The Pathfinder mission to Mars in 1997, according to his pre-interview. Which, to be fair, is a pretty cool one: it had the Sojourner rover which was the precursor to all the subsequent planet-roaming robots.

He’s also very keen on finding other Earthlike planets, so is probably all over the current exoplanet surveys.

Mars, being pathfound.

Wait, have we found any of those?

Not yet. We’ve found a couple which are close-ish; there’s one called Kepler-452b that’s about 1.2 times as big as Earth and about the same distance from its star, but we don’t know much about it yet.

It’s also 1400 light years away, so not exactly next door.

Hold on, was this an excuse to force me to learn something about science?

Definitely not, perish the though. OK, yes.

How will we know he’s a scientist if he’s not in a white coat and holding a test tube?

Why… why would an astrophysicist have a test tube? They don’t do experiments with sun-juice, you know.

Will he be pepper his Rose Ceremony statements with lame puns about space?

Almost certainly.

If star signs aren’t a thing, why was NASA’s pre-Apollo mission called Gemini, huh?

[angry silence]

What should a potential partner ask him?

His thoughts on recent theories that all elements heavier than iron are created in neutron star collisions, and whether that sort of ruins the romance of the whole “we are all made of stars” thing or makes it HEAPS MORE AWESOME.

Or, you know, how he’s doing. Either’s good.

Will his mission to love solve any fundamental questions about our place in the universe?

Absolutely. Provided that the winning bachelorettes is an organic chemist specialising in extreme environments for life, or an engineer with senior qualifications in aeronautics.

Sure, not everyone would hanker for a finale that ends with a project proposal being submitted to a funding body, but we’d watch the hell out of that show.

Maybe This Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Series Will Finally Be Good

It really deserves a screen version that isn't garbage, please.

There’s a new TV adaptation of Douglas Adams’ beloved novel/radio series The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – and if it works, it’ll be third time lucky for the plucky franchise.

The new push is happening on US streaming service Hulu by showrunner Carlton Cuse (Lost) and co-writer Jason Fuchs (Wonder Woman), and since it’s only just been announced and the people responsible are currently working on other projects we assume it’s at least a couple of years away.

However, would it be too much to hope that it was based on the stuff Adams wrote for once? Because let’s be honest: the predecessors have been a bit… well, crap.

You don’t say?

The BBC did a well-loved TV adaptation in 1981 which used a bunch of actors from the original radio series, but had obvious budget issues (most notably with Zaphod Beeblebrox’s very, very fake second head) and inexplicably turned the sole female character Trillian – a genius mathematician and astrophysicist with a unquenchable zest for life and adventure – into a ditz.

Oh, that head. No. No no no no no.

Meanwhile the 2005 movie version of Hitchhiker’s Guide did a better job of her – played by Zooey Deschanel – but managed to get almost everything else wrong, including giving the main character Arthur Dent a redemption arc which made no sense.

He finally becomes “brave”? The dude lay down in front of a bulldozer in the very first scene! He’s irredeemably stubborn and grumpy and continues to be so in the face of all of the wonders of the galaxy! That’s the entire point of the character!

Anyway: I have annoyingly strong feelings about this material.

OK, I’ll admit that in the movie, Sam Rockwell was pretty great.

In any case, here’s hoping they take in the third and best book, Life, The Universe And Everything, because I for one have always dreamed of seeing an on-screen representation of Marvin the Paranoid Android having a conversation with a wild mattress in the swamps of Sqornshellous Zeta.

Don’t judge me.

Good Luck Explaining Any Of The Top 100 Jobs Of The Future To Your Parents

Well, someone's going to have to farm those crickets… right?

There’s a new report out that predicts what the jobs of the future will be, and the good news is that the future is definitely looking brighter if you’ve ever hankered to be a robot ethicist.

The list of the 100 Jobs of the Future was created in a collaboration of Deakin University, Griffith University and Ford, and it paints a vivid picture of what experts think Australia is going to look like down the road a-ways.

Some of those jobs are very familiar – early childhood teacher, for example, or data storage solutions designer, or personal brand manager and content curator (at least, if you’re Beyonce).

Or this fellow.

And some sound awesome. Cyborg psychologist, for example – which is about getting people used to using hi-tech prosthetics – sounds like a fascinating hi-tech step for current occupational therapists.

And who wouldn’t love to have a decision support worker in their corner wrangling data to help you make informed choices about your life and thus having someone obvious to subsequently blame when everything goes depressingly wrong?

The current system has some flaws.

Others, like cricket farmer, portend a future which sounds downright horrifying – as do de-extinction geneticist and ethical hacker, which is either someone that uses their hacking for good or something who has worked out how to hack ethics. Either sound dicey.

Other jobs appear to be a simple rebrand: for example, “weather control engineer” is job we today know as “supervillain”. And the abovementioned “robot ethicist” sounds like the position held by someone desperately yelling “No! No, iSteve – humans are friends! HUMANS ARE FRIENDS! DEPLOY SHUTDOWN PROTOCOL!” while cold metal claws close around their trachea.

GREETINGS PUNY BIOLOGICAL. I AM HERE TO PROVIDE YOUR MURDER-HUG.

In any case, we look forward to the blank stares your parents will give you when you proudly announce your new position as a nostalgist or virtual clutter organiser in 2028.

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