Karl's Corner - 02/02/2003

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02/02/03 so terribly sad

...As most know by now, Space Shuttle Columbia on mission STS-107 broke up while descending to Earth for its landing yesterday, killing all 7 astronauts on board. While everyone grieves for their families and mourns the tragic loss, the weezer community also feels the particular loss of the pilot, Commander Willie McCool. As reported on 1/15, Willie was a huge music and weezer fan, and brought his trusty blue album on the flight not only to listen to, but in hopes of getting a neat picture to contribute to weezer.com upon his return.
All this was precipitated by Willie's getting in touch with me last summer before the Enlightenment Tour. We agreed to meet at the Houston show, where he brought his kids to share in the weez rock. At the show he gave me a special set of STS-107 patches and such, including the signed photo below. Then when launch date approached, he sent an invitation to the band to attend the launch. Unfortunately no one could make the trip to Florida to attend, and I emailed Willie to catch up and see how everything was going that point. I imagine Willie was getting too busy preparing for the impending mission, as I never heard back from him. I feel so badly for his kids, who were so obviously proud of their dad and stoked on the rock.
The weezer community extends its deepest condolences to all the families of the crew of STS-107, and trusts that those 7 brave souls are now at peace.

...click on image for large size popup version...

For the latest on the story, see cnn.com, and nasa.gov.

Also, go here for a profile of Cmndr. Willie McCool. Of note is his quote in an on-board interview from several days ago: "I'll tell you, there's nothing better than listening to a good album and looking out the windows and watching the world go by while you pedal on the bike..."

weezer fans react .

...side note: many have been asking if that mysterious photo of a blue cd floating in a spaceship was taken by Willie. That photo was submitted to weezer.com well over a year ago as an 'authentic Space Shuttle photo', but attempts to verify who took it and when have come up empty so far. We later posted the photo in the "fans' stuff" section as its pretty cool looking regardless of its lack of verification.