Not bad for a former junior tennis star turned English major turned physics post-grad who answered a newspaper ad. The recruitment method isn't a one-off fluke, either. Great Britain recruited its first astronaut -- chemist Helen Sharman -- with a radio ad. It seems as though mass media is a not an ineffectual method for drumming up interest in a career in astronautics, somewhat notably for women.
Fittingly, Ride's post-NASA career included the founding of an educational entity, Sally Ride Science, which encourages children -- particularly young girls -- to pursue education and careers in the sciences. Sally Ride Science Festivals encourage scientific inquiry by 5th- to 8th-grade girls, and they often earn notice by mass media publications.
That's not just some apropos application of astronautic avocation; it's a refreshing reciprocal representation of Geek Trivia.
Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can also follow him on his personal blog.