Friday, November 26, 2010


Sweet! The Cassini Space Probe found oxygen on the Saturnalian...Saturnish...on one of Saturn's moons called Rhea. According to this article (from a British news site, so read it with an accent!), this is the first time oxygen has been directly detected which is a big deal apparently. I guess before this astronomers were just looking up and going: "Uhh...I don't know...argon?" But now thanks to the 3.26 billion dollar Cassini probe, NASA just licked a moon-and it tasted like oxygen.

Captain, I find this
implausible...even for us.

What's even more sciency is that it also tasted like carbon dioxide which can maybe possibly indicate the not completely out of the question possibility that there may be some sort of life-ish stuff. Not awesome life like a civilization of Wookies or Greek gods, but maybe bacteria or some kind of space algae. That would be something, the kind of something that would bring a certain underfunded space program some much needed space bucks.

Without bacteria, Jamie Lee Curtis
would have exploded years ago.
I know what you're thinking: "Big deal. We have bacteria here on Earth." It's true, we do. Why it's everywhere, killing people with infections and fermenting our many yogurts. What do we need with extraterrestrial bacteria? Well, the obvious answer is space yogurt (actually a thing!), but confirmation of life on some other planet/moon/asteroid/ringworld would be like the biggest thing ever. It would effect us all in ways we can only begin to imagine. Sure, today it's oxygen, tomorrow it's aliens. We're getting closer people, I can feel it. In preparation of first contact, I make the following predictions:

Breaking News: The Pope announced
today that he is, in fact, Catholic.
1-Panic, confusion and mass hysteria! Ok, it probably won't be that bad, but remember the time it was 'revealed' that some pro baseball players were using steroids (gasp!) and the 'news' was so shocking we had to have congressional hearings about it? Like, for days? I think it'll be like that. On some level I think we all accept that the universe is simply too big and too old to only have one planet that supports life. It's just common sense. But when we finally find proof, we're all going to need a few weeks to freak out about it.

"You'll never get you hands on our...
trees? Psychic pony tails?
What is it you're after again?"

2-World peace! If we learned that we were but one voice in an infinite choir of intelligent beings across the universe, we might finally learn to put aside our differences and learn to live in harmony. Of course, as soon as the kumbayas are out of the way I suspect we'll be invading a planet full of naked blue space elves in order to get our greedy hands on their rich deposits of gimmickonium. On the plus side we'll be strip-mining their planet as a united people. So there's that.

I don't care what planet you're from,
family photos are always lame.

3-Acceptance. Eventually the novelty will wear off, Progresso will start making extra chunky Plomeek soup, and everyone will eye with suspicion the Tenctonese family that just moved in next door. Not because they're aliens, but because they drive a Prius. What, do they think they're better than us or something?

"No, actually, it's not cool.
You guys are dicks."
Unfortunately for us nerds, all the alien-centered sci-fi we know and love will suddenly be rendered obsolete. It might someday seem like all the time we spent pondering hypothetical match ups between the Borg and the Replicators was in fact, wasted. Worse still is the possibility that our naive portrayals of aliens beings might actually offend the genuine article. I mean, imagine watching TV with your Insectoid Alien pal when suddenly Starship Troopers comes on. Awkward, right?

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