Astronomy

How Nice it would be sometimes to just say Beam me up Scotty



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There Goes the Neighborhood

In this "good grief...what next?" world, we should always look for promise and wonder.

And, as ever, NASA has delivered.

The heroes at NASA have just upgraded the long-laboring Hubble telescope. Although the famous sky-eye has performed well beyond its original specs, it recently suffered from a rare "Irony Overload" when it overheard a partisan politician say, "It's not fair! I don't remember anybody ever questioning George Bush's legitimacy to be President."

No it didn't. The Hubble overheard no such thing. Such a remark would surely set off some kind of pan-galactic logic / anti-logic implosion.

Actually, the Hubble has been working a treat ever since the set-up team noticed they'd missed the next-to-last instruction in the "How To Deploy The Hubble" manual:

Remove lens cap.

But now, thanks to the new-and-improved Hubble, we've seen grand, glorious images of a distant star, caught in the cataclysm of its final stages it's dying throes. Majestic and maddening. An amazing display.

And, in a way, such a discovery helps us to recognize our place in this vast cosmos. A TV news crew interviewed one noted physicist, who looked like he was being attacked by his own hair, and the hair was winning. According to the pate-panicked scientist, our own Sun will give up and go dark in exactly 5 billion years, next Thursday. Ironically, ole Sol will snuff out just 8 days before we pay off our national debt.

Obviously, due to the unimaginable distances involved, the Hubble is actually looking into the past. Isn't that wild? Everything the telescope shares with us happened long, long ago, sometime during Dick Clark's childhood.

In fact, the new Hubble has peered so deeply into the endless universe that it actually spotted a crash-proof, virus-free Windows operating system.

No it didn't.

But the Hubble II does have an amazingly long reach. NASA believes it has managed to mark the distant edge of the President's ego.

And, perhaps most amazing, the Hubble has discovered many inhabited worlds! NASA teams knew they were on the brink of such discoveries when a road sign was revealed, 400 light years away, that read, "You have now reached the Gated Suburban Connecticut Galaxy. Please keep driving."

The Hubble found a fascinating planet with two Suns, a world where all decisions were made based on a monstrous government manual, issued by the Department of Redundancy Department. On this planet, citizens spend most of their lives standing in the wrong line, fuming, because they had been given the wrong form in the previous line, which was in an alternate dimension, in a building that no longer exists.

The US Congress quickly put together a fact-finding junket, eager to learn some new tricks. Sadly, though, the exploration team ran out of food while waiting for an entry visa, and had to secure a loan from ACORN's "prostitution and family planning" division.

The Hubble discovered a planet where people had post-existing conditions. Imagine! They had conditions that they didn't even have yet. And we think it's hard getting health insurance coverage here.

The telescope located one planet where a government official, an all-growed-up human being, makes the claim that house pets should be able to sue their owners.

No it didn't.

The Hubble did not locate any such thing. There's no such planet in the universe. No species is that stupid.

But it did find a planet populated by 5 billion beings - and every single one of them was a unique species.

Yep. A planet comprised of 100% minorities.

The White House, noting this new bloc of potential voters, whipped up plans for an intergalactic speech, but couldn't work out the logistics for setting up synched teleprompters in two different galaxies.

And the universe smiled.

No it didn't.

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