[VIDEO] While Cmdr. Chris Hadfield spent some of his time aboard the International Space Station tweeting and re-tweeting cheesy Valentine’s Day wishes Thursday, the Victoria Advanced Technology Council took the time to send the Canadian astronaut a message of its own: “Victoria — more than just tea and flowers Hadfield.”
That tongue-in-cheek message was sent in the form of a one-minute eight-second video loaded on YouTube around 3 p.m. Valentine’s Day by VIATeC in response to Hadfield’s Jan. 13 tweet that accompanied an orbital image of Victoria.
Hadfield’s tweet in January: “A few from the West Coast. Here’s Victoria, B.C. Have tea at the Empress and take time to walk through Butchart Gardens. pic.twitter.com/qldYYptu.”
While it was a nice shout-out to the capital region, the local high-tech sector decided to have a little fun with it and take the opportunity to respond and, at the same time, enlighten Hadfield on what Victoria is all about. “It’s definitely not meant to be a shot at anything in particular, but it’s to highlight things like Victoria being named the most creative city, fittest city and smartest city,” said Dan Gunn, executive director of VIATeC, and star of the short video.
In the video, Gunn is shown doing a “spit-take” when he reads Hadfield’s original tweet about Victoria. He then calls his team to action — he actually says “set phasers on stun” — to send the space station a message.
The video then shows lasers being readied and fired from the legislature buildings, Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre and VIATeC’s headquarters in the Scott Building on Douglas Street. The beams of light hit the International Space Station etching the message that Victoria is more than flowers and tea.
“Here is one of Canada’s greatest ambassadors and we thought we should let him know that there’s more to Victoria than he might know about,” said Gunn, who tweeted the video link to Hadfield with the message: “A special Valentine from Victoria B.C. to Canada’s coolest spaceman.”
Gunn said Victoria would be Hadfield’s kind of place, given the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in the city stores data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the region is home to a $2.65-billion high-tech industry.
“In no way do we mean to say some of the establishments mentioned in [Hadfield’s] tweet aren’t important. This is just saying that we are more than that and it’s important to all of our economy to let that get out,” said Gunn.
The video was the brainchild of Gunn and Victoria-based Race Rocks 3D, a local 3-D animation company and game developer, which put together the effects and shot the video.
It’s just the latest ripple effect of Hadfield’s time on the International Space Station that has been highlighted by mass media coverage because of his tweeting (he has more than 360,000 followers), an interview with William Shatner and playing music with the Barenaked Ladies’ Ed Robertson.
“The Canadian space program has done a remarkable job in leveraging [Hadfield’s position as station commander]. I’ve never seen as much coverage of the Space Station,” said Gunn, noting that could cause its own ripple effect as it inspires young people to learn and get involved.
>> VIATeC’s video for Hadfield can be found on YouTube by searching “Racerocks Valentine.”
© Copyright 2013