So a guy got a call from the International Space Station and he let it go to voicemail because he didn’t recognize the number. A lot of people are making fun of him for this but I’m firmly in the sympathetic camp. I’m pretty sure I would have done the same thing. Most calls I get are from numbers I don’t recognize and I ignore them because they’re probably spam. I dealt with that enough when I was in my office. I always picked up my office phone whether I recognized the number or not because I never knew who might be calling even though, for a long stretch, I’d get at least two calls a day that would start with the blare of a ship’s horn followed by some pre-recorded offer for a free cruise. I wouldn’t hang up the phone right away. I would put it down on my desk and after a minute or so I’d hear someone saying, “Hello? Are you there?” I figured if they were gonna waste my time I’d waste theirs and eventually they’d hang up.
Admittedly if I had a friend on the ISS I’d find out what the area code was in case they called. It would be really cool to have a friend on the ISS because that’s probably the closest I’d get to space. A few times the ISS’s trajectory has made it visible from Nashville and my wife and I have driven out to a high spot to watch it go by, a small silver speck zooming along at more than 17,000 miles an hour, which is why it’s a good thing they don’t give out speeding tickets in space.
I’d also want to know what time zone the ISS is in. And is it on Daylight Savings Time? Since it orbits the Earth approximately ever hour and a half this wouldn’t make much difference although I know they want to stay on a regular schedule and I can’t imagine what the jet lag must be like for new arrivals.
Getting back to phone calls there is one call that I still regret missing. It wasn’t a number I recognized but I was asleep when it came in, but if I’d been awake I think I would have taken it. According to my phone it was coming from Ghana. The caller left a message and I’ve saved it although I can’t understand what they were saying. There are approximately eighty different languages spoken in Ghana so I’m not even sure I can narrow it down, but the caller was very emphatic and it didn’t start with a ship’s horn so I don’t think it was an offer for a free cruise.
And on an unrelated note…
That Haywood Banks clip was everything I sadly expected. I too have saved a phone message I received from my late brother. I wish the family had kept his phone number for a few more months so I could have listened to his recorded message again. Did you ever try to get the message from Ghana translated?
I’ve never tried to get the Ghanaian message translated. I’d like to try but what I’d really like is to meet someone from Ghana who could help. Once at work I got to meet a librarian from Kenya and before he arrived I learned a bit of Swahili and I’m pretty I’ve ruled that out as one possibility, along with English, French, and German. In all, out of the eighty different languages spoken in Ghana, I think I can narrow the possibilities down to about seventy.
Can you actually call an earth number from space? Was it a cell phone or a land line? All I ever get is telemarketers!
Apparently you can call an Earth number from space but it’s not easy, although I would think that someone who had a friend on the ISS would be somewhat prepared to get a call from there. All I’ve ever gotten is telemarketers too but now I wonder if I should take a few of them in case they’re calling from space.
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That’s brilliant and I wonder where semaphore ranks in there. Or a signal lamp.
Whenever or whatever you communicate, Chris, I pick up eventually. Thanks for all your wonderful messages.
I like that we’ve found a good line of communication.