Tag: couch potatoes

Get paid to stay in bed: Nasa recruits couch potatoes for microgravity study

Does staying in bed sound like your dream job?

Nasa is currently recruiting a number of willing volunteers to spend 70 days doing very little at its Houston headquarters.

The couch potatoes will get paid around £3,000 a month as part of the US space agency’s research into the effects of microgravity on the human body.

‘Of all the potential challenges crew members encounter in the space environment, microgravity has proven to be one of the most difficult to mimic in an experimental setting,’ explains Nasa.gov.

‘Researchers and engineers are studying bed rest as an experimental analog for space flight because extended exposure to a head-down tilt position can duplicate many of the effects of a low-gravity environment.’

JSC2008-E-040148 (7 May 2008) --- Two test subjects participate in a bed rest research project at a facility in Galveston, Texas, not far from NASA's Johnson Space Center.    As part of the Flight Analog Research Unit (FARU), NASA maintains a dedicated bed-rest study facility at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. The facility is equipped with beds that can be adjusted into positions that reproduce the effects of different gravity levels on the human body. By manipulating these and other variables, the FARU team works to gather data and develop countermeasures that will be used to ease the effects of reduced gravity on future long-duration space missions. Photo credit: NASA
Two test subjects participate in the bed rest research project (Picture: Nasa)

Successful candidates will stay in a tilted bed 24 hours a day as part of the 70-day project, where they can play computer games, surf the internet or watch TV.

Researchers will then monitor how long-term confinement to a reduced gravity environment effects muscle and bone strength, cardiovascular function and mental health.

The ‘pillownauts’ will undergo a two-week rehabilitation period once the study is complete.

Meet me at the Owl-tar! Romantic bird fails to deliver wedding rings, falls asleep in church roof

It was supposed to come sweeping down in a magnificent display of elegance.

However, an owl, which should have delivered rings to a couple at the foot of the aisle on their wedding day, instead flew up into the church rafters and fell asleep for an hour.

The service, in the Holy Cross Church in Sherston, Wiltshire, had to be halted while desperate helpers tried – and failed – to coax the barn owl down.

The owl, named Darcey, had other ideas and felt that the corner was far too cosy.

Having fallen asleep for an hour, with red ribbons still attached to its feet, Reverend Chris Bryan decided not to sit through the pause, but continued with a set of back-up wedding rings until the bird felt ready to descend.

Owl meant to deliver wedding rings, falls asleep instead

The barn owl took 40 winks in the rafters of the Holy Cross Church in Wiltshire (Picture: SWNS)