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thoughts & musings :: CCC

Wednesday, 11 August 1999

Lunar Splashdown

In 1998, NASA launched the $63 million Lunar prospector in order to stare more inanely at that cold piece of desolate rock that floods small villages in Devon.

In March of that year, it was announced that there might be suggestions of water ice in some of the deepest darkest craters on the lunar surface. This caused a huge flurry of excitement over the prospect of putting Disneyworld on the moon. Not that anyone would want to go there, but the sooner that smarmy rodent is blasted into space the better.

The possibility of lunar choc-ice sustaining a colony of 'loonies' created a buzz about space travel that has not been seen since Buzz and Neil arrived home to confirm it was very dusty and would need one heck of a clean before health and safety would allow Ronald McDonald to sell the first McLunar sandwich. Even the obviously faked alien sightings have failed to arouse enough interest in living on the surface of the moon.

Once the Lunar prospector probe had outlived it's productive life, NASA decided to use the probe for one last cosmic ram raid. Someone overpaid in the ideas department decided it would be a great idea to crash the probe into the moon to see if the impact kicked up any water. Amazingly, no-one actually laughed at this 'obviously flogging a dead horse' scheme and everybody thought it would actually be a very good idea indeed.

Waving aside all images of astronauts standing around on the moon with umbrellas and buckets ready, NASA lined up the craft and readied it for the nosedive. There was, of course, the possibility that the craft would just crash and sit in a crumpled heap, failing to do anything else other than create a new crater and smudge a few of Neil's footprints. But it was worth a shot, it might just work. No, obviously it wouldn't, I know that. You know that. But they... well, they're NASA, they spend billions of money proving things like this. The moon is a rock... we know. A cold desolate one.. yes already. Inches are not centimetres... yep, check.

On July 31st, the probe swooped in and crashed...

NASA have not been contacted over this article at all, I just wouldn't know what to say.

Eclipse of the sun

As the millennium approaches, the rise of doomsday prophecies and cults is rapidly increasing. One cult, thought to be based in Dagenham is obsessed with damaging their own eyes.

Due to the astronomical alignment of several glasses of whiskey, some of the more obsessed devotees have seized upon the idea that your eyes can be more spectacularly damaged by staring at the sun whilst eating a pasty. This has meant that many have decided to travel all the way to distant Cornwall in order to fulfil the ancient prophecies concerning the prediction that whenever there is a stupid idea, thousands of people will spend lots of time and money proving just how stupid the idea is.

update-

Today there is expected to be a dramatic event in the skies as a cloud is due to pass in front of the sun. This will cast a huge shadow on the whole days events and much of the Cornish tourist industry is expected to be left in darkness due to bankruptcy.

viewing advice: Experts say that if you take a piece of blank card and stare down at this, this should be just as exciting as actually looking up at the eclipse itself.

Should you miss the days events, say by blinking, you can always catch the second lot of eclipses tonight. If you look up at the night sky, the experts predict that the moon will actually pass in front of the stars. During the 100% phase, you will only be able to see the moon and not the stars that happen to be behind it at the time.

WARNING: It is not safe to stare directly up at the moon whilst crossing the road or cutting a small child's hair.
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