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Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

‘Batsh*t mental’ Hawking starts talking to everyone about aliens

In Science on April 26, 2010 at 07:19

Self-styled ‘Doctor of Time and Space’, Stephen Hawking was last night labelled “Batsh*t mental” after speaking openly about the fact that aliens in massive spaceships could invade the earth.

Professor Hawking was speaking on a documentary made by the Discovery Channel and said: “I imagine they [the aliens] might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet…Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.”

"I hate to say I told you so, but..."

Asked whether or not he thought that speaking about aliens was a good idea, he responded: “To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational.”

“What a load of b*llocks,” said 27 year-old insurance broker Kevin Poole, from Chester.  “Mathematical brain, my ar*e.  I’ve got a 2:2 in Classical Studies from the Open University, and it’s still enough for me to tell that Hawking has been watching a little too much of The X-Files.”

“It looks to me like Professor Hawking has gone completely batsh*t mental,” agreed Stephanie Mills, 34, from Lowestoft.  “I mean, I could understand it when he was talking generally about his theories around cosmology in his critically acclaimed book A Brief History of Time.  People appreciated that, and they respected his views.

“But to be perfectly honest, the minute he starts trying to put the fear of God into everyone by insinuating that little green men are going to rampage over the earth with ray guns, conducting weird anal experiments on us all, is the exact minute that he loses all credibility with me.  What a loony.”

Professor Hawking has remained adamant that he has not turned mental, and insists that he had a valid point: “Listen, all I was saying was that it is highly likely that aliens exist.

“The universe has 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of millions of stars. In such a big place, Earth is highly unlikely to be the only planet where life has evolved,” he said.

Thygdfraaahjjjjjjk Snmyartttyyyyyk, from the planet Tharg stared longingly at a holographic projection of earth before admitting: “He’s right, you know.  Our spaceships are absolutely massive.

“And we’re probably going to invade you, crushing your puny human bodies like a piece of fruit.  How’s Thursday week for you?”

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Number of super-villains hiding in volcanoes ‘decreasing alarmingly’ says leading vulcanologist

In Entertainment, Science on October 13, 2009 at 08:26
"I've been expecting you, Professor Ashborne"

"I've been expecting you, Professor Ashborne"

The number of volcanoes that have been hollowed out and converted into a secret South Pacific lair for evil super-villains bent on world domination has been decreasing alarmingly, according to a new study from a leading vulcanologist.

Speaking from the site of the dormant Mt Tarawera, in the North Island, New Zealand, Professor Harvey Ashborne from the Department of Vulcanology, University of Nottingham, complained that he had been examining the site for nearly two days now, with little or no sign of a protective metal casing on the surface to conceal the elaborate, Machiavellian scheming contained within.

“I’ve been in vulcanology for nearly 40 years,” said Professor Ashborne, “and despite researching volcanic sites throughout that time, I haven’t so much as had a sniff of a super-villain yet. The whole thing is very disappointing. All I keep finding is these rocks, occasional pools of molten lava and the odd eruption.  Bearing in mind the popularity of super-villains hiding in volcanoes in the 1960s, I make that a decrease of around 1000%. Probably more, actually.”

When asked what exactly he was hoping to find, the Professor became extremely animated. “Well,” he commented, “essentially, what we’re after is a man-made structure housed within a hollowed out volcano, with its own monorail system. A bit like Disney, I suppose, but with many more guns and a big nuclear missile.

“Also, there should be a bald-headed evil genius, stroking a cat, with a grand master plan to threaten world leaders with a nuclear device that should launch directly out of the centre of the volcano, or even, better, some kind of space-ship.  The evil genius should ideally be making a series of threats to a suave secret agent, and there should be some kind of clock agonisingly ticking down. Yes, the clock would be a nice touch.”

The Professor refused to be drawn as to how he could be so specific as to what he was looking for but did add that: “the fact I haven’t yet found it after so many years  is my biggest disappointment since starting my vulcanology undergraduate degree and discovering it had absolutely nothing to do with Star Trek.”

NASA scientists fail in bid to blow up Moon

In News, Science on October 10, 2009 at 16:37
The Moon yesterday – still not dead

The Moon yesterday – still not dead

Despite the best efforts of an internationally acclaimed group of ‘space scientists’, NASA has reluctantly admitted that its attempts to blow up the Moon have failed. NASA’s mission was seen as necessary as part of a wider energy conservation scheme since the moon has been identified as a sun blocker, depriving the earth of a valuable energy source.

NASA had originally intended to detonate remotely placed charges at the Moon’s south pole at 12pm today. However, the live web television feeds appeared to show nothing more than a small fizz after detonation. Close-up shots of the event, provided by NASA’s Moon-orbiting satellite Luhzny II, showed a small crater where the detonation occurred, but a lack of wide-spread explosive impact. Indeed, had the moon been destroyed as planned, Luhzny II would have also suffered the same fate.

When pressed on NASA’s latest scientific failure, spokesman Randy Finkelstein admitted that a technical oversight by mission specialists may have been to blame. “We spend years of careful planning for missions such as this,” he said, “but you can never guarantee 100% success. In this case, it seems that the blue touch paper was incorrectly installed and the self-igniting Swan Vestas were co-axially inverted.”

NASA has been under pressure for a number of years following the Challenger and Discovery space shuttle disasters. NASA administrators cite central budget cuts as a reason for the decrease in mission funding, leading to cut-corners and greater risk-taking. “It seems that the Moon destruction mission may have been thwarted by some ill-trained junior scientists who left the charges in the car park, where they got damp, jeopardising the mission. They really should have been kept in an old biscuit tin in the cupboard.”

However, Finkelstein denied that further missions may be threatened. “We’re still convinced that we’re capable of carrying out incredibly important science missions in space,” he said. “For example, planning is already at an advanced stage to build a casino on Jupiter, and a bowling alley on Saturn.” US Government science officials see these as long-term cash investment and return projects, allowing greater future investment.

Working mothers blamed for global warming

In Science on October 8, 2009 at 08:04
A planet-trashing working mother

A planet-trashing working mother

The rise in the number of working mothers is one of the principle causes of global warming, a new study suggests.

The Centre for Child Wellbeing surveyed fifteen working mothers in Croydon, South London, and found they were less likely than stay-at-home mothers to recycle, more likely to make multiple car journeys and also more likely to vainly and selfishly use environment-harming products such as lipstick and hairspray.

Other experts said there was more work to be done before a firm link could be found between working mothers and climate change, for example more attention needed to be paid to levels of lipstick and hairspray use.

The study also asked the mothers about their children’s habits. It revealed that 100% of working mums put their kids in front of the TV for up to ten hours every day, allowing them to burn hundreds of tonnes of fossil fuels in electricity, while dinner was usually a burger, made from beef raised on land that was previously rainforest.

Said Megan Mallaghy of the Centre for Child Wellbeing: “We’re not trying to attack working mothers or discourage them from working, but our research clearly shows that they are one of the major reasons for climate change. When their kids aren’t in front of their TVs in their rubbish-strewn rooms, they’re on the internet looking at happy slapping videos, consuming resources that normal families could be using to play charades around the aga. On top of that these mothers are driving their enormous cars everyday to their pointless marketing jobs.”

Experts on climate change appeared to welcome the findings. Said Jonathan Primrose of the Institute for Climate change: “The principal engines of global warming are the burning of fossil fuels and the disappearance of the rainforests. We’re glad that the prime cause of both of these factors – working mothers – has been identified. We can now move forward to form policy that will tackle this problem.”

The same children of working mothers took part in an earlier study by the Centre for Child Wellbeing, which found they were more likely to be obese by the age of three. Nearly two thirds of the kids surveyed had learnt how to use a chip pan by the age of two, three quarters could eat a whole Iceland party platter in one sitting and 100% could balance a Macdonald’s happy meal on their stomachs.

Mallaghy said the study hadn’t taken into account working fathers because “there was no such thing.” “What, dads?” she said. “What’s that got to do with anything?”

First Clown in Space Risks Lives of Astronauts With His Clowning

In Science, World News on October 1, 2009 at 08:37
Guy Laliberte, pictured in the space shuttle shortly before take-off

Guy Laliberte, pictured in the space shuttle shortly before take-off

Canadian billionaire and self-styled ‘first clown in space’ Guy Laliberte, has reportedly made a number of ‘dangerous adjustments’ to the orbiting Soyuz space-shuttle in order to increase the effectiveness of his clowning while on board the vessel.

Laliberte, 50, founder of the extravagant Cirque de Soleil circus group is the seventh individual to pay for the experience of going up in space, but the first to insist on entertaining the other astronauts.

Although Laliberte told the BBC ahead of his journey: “I’m an artistic person and a creator. I’m not a scientific. I’m not an engineer,” NASA engineers’ array of sensors picked up the unmistakable sound of the the Soyuz craft making a loud raspberry noise before the front nose of the shuttle fell off in an exaggerated, comic fashion.

“We don’t know how he did it – despite his claims, he must have extensive engineering capabilities.” said Hank Devlin, senior technician at NASA. “It’s not even possible to get steam in space, while we also noticed a giant plastic flower on front of the craft – presumably to squirt any aliens the shuttles encounters.”  Devlin emitted a weary sigh before continuing, “The thing is, he’s wasted millions and millions of dollars of technology in the name of a cheap laugh, and God alone knows how we’re going to get them all back to Earth.  The shuttle is now practically unworkable, and they are running out of oxygen pretty fast.”

Nonetheless, Laliberte maintains that he is keeping everybody’s spirits high by going through his clowning routine.  However, speaking in a five minute communication to NASA control yester he did confirm that is wasn’t completely smooth running:

“The trouble is,” Laliberte relayed, over a haze of static, “that there isn’t a lot of room up here to move, so me and my big clown feet just tend to get in everyone’s way.  My custard pies in the face also lack the immediacy that they usualy do in normal gravity, so it does take some adapting, while even basic things like juggling are impossible.  Clowning in space certainly is a challenge.”

The space shuttle is expected to return to Earth in a fiery ball at some time in the next few days before hitting the ground with a giant SPLAT! sound.

Boris Johnson Claims Moon Water for London

In News, Science on September 30, 2009 at 16:48

Following reports that water has been found on the Moon, London Mayor Boris Johnson has formulated a plan to collect the precious resource to supplement London’s supply.

The Mayor has made some alterations to his London Water Strategy, developed in recent weeks in association with Thames Water and the Environment Agency. Now, instead of pledging measures to make London more water efficient, Mr. Johnson intends to send ‘giant space tankers’ to the Moon to ‘suck up’ the water and bring it back to London, where it will be filtered and distributed to households across the capital.

Mayor Boris Johnson’s solution to London’s water worries

Mayor Boris Johnson’s solution to London’s water worries

“It’s an absolutely foolproof plan,” Mr. Johnson said, seemingly without a trace of irony, this morning. “Just a few weeks ago, I was faced with choosing one of two expensive, inconvenient options. I could either systematically repair London’s entire water and sewage network in an attempt to conserve our existing water supply, or I could invest billions in creating new reservoirs. Neither of those options seemed desirable, and I’m absolutely delighted to find this third option.”

When asked for precise details of the scheme, the Mayor produced a diagram he had drawn up personally, which, he said, explained exactly how the water would be obtained and shipped. Mr. Johnson stressed that the diagram was not to scale, but that the space tanker shown — one of several scheduled for construction as soon as a manufacturer can be found — would be “very, very big indeed.”

Prominent on the diagram is a smiling, waving figure, seated in the cockpit of the space tanker. Labelled as ‘Commander Boris’, this person would presumably be responsible for piloting the ship. However, Mr. Johnson would not be drawn on the identity of the figure, and also declined to discuss the cost of the proposed scheme.

“I’ll provide full details, along with a budget estimate, as soon as the plans are finalised,”  Johnson said. “My priority at this time is to complete the Meccano model of the space tanker I’m currently working on. When that’s finished, we’ll be a lot closer to knowing how much this will cost London’s taxpayers.”

Spiders Admit They Are Aliens

In Science, World News on September 29, 2009 at 17:18
One of the aliens, pictured yesterday

One of the aliens, pictured yesterday, thinking dark, murderous thoughts

Animals from the class Arachnida, otherwise known as spiders, today admitted they are monsters from another planet sent to Earth with a dark, unfathomable purpose and access to technology ‘way beyond human imagining’.

The spiders, speaking at a press conference as journalists huddled around a doorway, explained that their home was a distant star where a master race of ultra-Arachnida had built a civilization far more advanced than that of human kind. This race has been sending ‘spidernauts’ to other inhabited planets ‘for millions of years’, explained spokes-spider Uioaoneshvwi as he gazed coldly at the amassed reporters through emotionless black eyes.

Despite their confession, the spiders have refused to state why they have chosen to inhabit earth, saying only that there exists a solemn purpose that shall forever remain clouded by mystery and dread. “Just know this, you humans,” said Uioaoneshvwi, “there are truths of which you are but dimly aware, truths that can destroy races, even stars.” He then waved a leg at reporters, causing them to run in terror.

News of the statement caused panic across the globe as humans ran to grab cups, pieces of paper and kettles in defence against the interplanetary invaders. “Well, we always knew it didn’t we?” said Ben Meeker of Totton, Southampton. “I wouldn’t be surprised if spider bodies weren’t actually bodies at all, but a kind of alien armour. The actual alien bit is probably inside. Look how they move. It’s just not right.”

World leaders have moved to calm the global population by suggesting citizens ‘don’t go near any spiders.’ Said Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd: “Those are some f*****g big spiders we’ve got down here, but I’ll be arsed if we’re going to start running away from them, even if they are deadly space monsters.”

The British government asked the general public not to lash out at the spider community. “Look, there’s no need to be silly, they’re more scared of you than you are of them,” said Prime Minister Gordon Brown today. “We don’t think it’s right to go after spiders in their natural habitat. However, if they’re on the bathroom floor, they’re fair game. Just make sure you step on them before they crawl up your trouser leg.”

Science Community Warns Panicked Society About Everything

In Science on September 19, 2009 at 09:31

Eating: Lethal, apparently. Don’t do it.

Eating: Lethal, apparently. Don’t do it.

Mankind was left reeling today after a 400-volume research report from a group of the world’s leading scientists conclusively proved that doing anything at all might be bad for you.  Scientists spanning the fields of biology, sociology, medicine, physics, cookery, chemistry and anthropology published their list of ‘really bad stuff’ that could affect everyone on the planet.

Amongst the list of things that might be bad for us are:

  • Looking. Though useful for making sure we can interpret signs around us, the group says that ‘looking at people in a funny way’ might lead to a battering.
  • Eating. Advanced theories on the benefits of genetically modified food have failed to demonstrate their value, as indeed have any foodstuffs that are popular today, as they all carry ‘dangerous levels of nutrition and vitamins’. Instead, scientists advise we stick to ‘eating sand and drinking liquefied hydrogen’.
  • Sleeping. Lengthy and detailed field studies have shown that sleeping lowers metabolism and awareness, potentially resulting in an ‘increase in nocturnal burglary and potentially death by murdery’.
  • Interacting. The scientists believe that interaction with other humans is fatal thanks to the potential to spread of headlice, germs and ideas. Instead they recommend ‘solitary confinement from birth’.
  • Breathing. Scientists say that the dangers associated with breathing in toxic fumes, pollutants, ingestion of viruses etc. far outweigh the benefits of the cardio-vascular system.

Commenting at the report’s launch, chief scientist Professor Herman Cloakwarmer warned the public to take heed of the results. “Is this some sort of crackpot survey we dreamt up overnight? No, it’s not,” he said, apparently content to answer his own questions and talk to himself. “Is it essential that we humans take notice of these studies? Absolutely,” he continued, in much the same vein. “And why must we practice this report’s recommendations?,” he queried, critically without answer.

When challenged on more common issues, such as binge drinking, smoking, drugs, sex and celebrity gossip magazines, the panel of experts agreed that these are indeed dangerous pastimes, but considered them relatively insignificant compared to the gargantuan findings in the report before retiring to enjoy a three-course lunch with all the trimmings.