Memetic Mutation: Preston's snarky response to Caprice's assertion that Mars likes him: "That's like saying Brazil thinks your cute" spawned a Mad Libs generator that fills in "[ country, inanimate object, or abstract concept ] think's you're [ adjective ]".
The author jokingly suggested that fans make the phrase, "Brazil has decided you're cute" into a meme. They took him seriously. It's largely died out now, but you'll still get hits.
Paranoia Fuel: If you're a scientist you can suddenly come down with SRMD at any second while studying, living, or just doing your job. On one hand, this assures that you will create at least one thing of world-changing utility(the first person to be diagnosed with SRMD broke NASA's spaceflight monopoly). On the other, you'll spend the rest of your life on drugs that make you feel like your "head is full of felt."