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The most interesting man in the universe


Arda Ocal
Reporter, The Weather Network

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 12:33 PM -

First, let's look at the facts:

He has traveled to space several times and shared it with all us earthlings each time.

He has witnessed with his own eyes countries flash before him, weather systems develop, cities light up and shut down and all the while describing it to legions of followers on Twitter.
He's lived at the bottom of the ocean (really!).
He's a certified ultrasound technician (show off).
He helped unveil Canada's new five dollar bill.
He was part of a ceremonial NHL puck drop while in zero gravity.
He's a talented musician.
He's a Leafs fan.

I don't think there's a soul in the world that wouldn't find Chris Hadfield and his stories fascinating.

It's not just his experiences, though, it's how he tells them. It's the perfect blend of passion, cadence, and artful vocabulary. He is a talented wordsmith. I wouldn't want to play him at Scrabble.

We interviewed him at Churchill's Lounge in North Vancouver, connected to the Holiday Inn Hotel. Fritz, the proprietor / barman there, saved the day. After 20 minutes of trying to find the best spot in the hotel, and nothing looking right, Fritz opened his doors early to let us in and set up by his model spacecraft... he just happened to be a big fan of Commander Hadfield's. Talk about serendipity.

My first interaction directly with Commander Hadfield came via personal phone call, informing me that traffic was bad and he would be a few minutes late. An interviewee rarely informs the media they will be late, let alone place a personal phone call (not a text, I should point out, since we are in 2014 and many people use that as their primary form of communication). What a classy gesture for a guy he hasn't even met yet.

Finally, we meet and shake hands. He walks into the lounge, says hello to Fritz and our cameraman Caaleb, and sits down. He doesn't mind what we ask and doesn't need to hear the questions beforehand, he's ready to go.

Then we started talking. And it became one of my favourite interviews of my career.

So, with all due respect to the Dos Equis guy, I'll call Commander Chris Hadfield the most interesting man in the world. His escapades are way better, anyway.

PART 1: WHAT DO WE LOOK LIKE FROM SPACE


PART 2: SPACE WEATHER, HOW COOL IS IT TO SEE SYSTEMS DEVELOP


PART 3: WHAT IS ON HADFIELD'S TRAVEL BUCKET LIST?


PART 4: ARE WE ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE?


PART 5: DEFINING SUCCESS, AND HOW ANYONE CAN GET TO SPACE


PART 6: WAIT, WHAT? SPACE MAKES YOUR HEART ROUND?


PART 7: SPACE TOURISM, IS IT VIABLE?

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