In case you've been living under a rock, you probably know that Monday is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.   I don't remember seeing it on TV when I was a lad, though I am told I did (I do remember watching the live liftoff of Apollo 17, since Kennedy is about an hour drive from my boyhood home in Florida and we went to that one) but most everyone middle aged and older will - it remains the most watched program in history(1).

Every so often, the concept of a moon landing 'hoax' rears its ugly head and it's worth a chuckle - elaborate conspiracies that require 10s of thousands of secretive participants are always worth a chuckle.   NASA screwing the pooch and erasing /losing the video tapes doesn't help matters.   We have some nifty special stuff planned for Monday but you'll note today our quirky inside-joke logo this weekend.   I shall explain for those lacking obscure American-pop-culture-reference knowledge ... most of us.

Roswell that Ends Well Apollo 11 moon landing scientific blogging

In 2001, the writers of a cartoon named "Futurama" skewered the moon landing hoax as deftly as anyone can without being the sort of sanctimonious and heavy-handed ridicule that turns people off (loud atheist scientists who bleat about religion every day, I mean you).

In the episode they travel back to 1947 ... you can imagine by 'Roswell' in the title what happens next.    Causality hilarity ensues (Bender, after Fry has accidentally killed his grandfather,  "And you are outta here!" ) but the reason it gets referenced in the logo above is the moon landing hoax.

Key quotes:  

President Truman: Fellas, this visit's top secret, so no one is to know about it except the senior officers, scientists, and one conspiracy nut no one will believe.

Bender: Fry, stop interfering with history! I don't wanna have to memorize a lot of new kings when I get back. 
Fry: I had no choice. I was about to not exist. I could feel myself fading away, like Greg Kinnear.

and the money quote ...

President Truman: Whistling Dixie! I want this sent to Area 51 for study. 
General: But sir, that's where we're building the fake moon landing set. 
President Truman: Then we'll have to really land on the moon. Invent NASA and tell them to get off their fannies.

Really, it doesn't get any better than that.


(1) In the relative sense, percentage of people at the time, not the literal sense as in gross number today, like movie studios use now to claim a movie is 'the highest grossing ever' - "Gone With The Wind" tickets sold at today's prices would have been a $3 billion plus movie, more than "Titanic" and all 6 "Star Wars" movies combined and practically everyone with a TV saw the moon landing.