There is no Santa Claus.

July 28, 2011 § 6 Comments

Okay, Chinese scientists are starting to bum me out. Not only did a dude named Shengwang Du disprove time travel, but now it seems that a dude name Xi Xing is trying to pull the rug out from under the archaeopteryx.

The archaeopteryx (Archaeopteryx lithographica) was discovered in 1861 and since then has be known as “the earliest bird,” or maybe more accurately, “the earliest flying thing with feathers.” We had all agreed on it. It was one of those things in science that we had pretty much figured out: when it came to flying things with feathers, archaeopteryx was the first. It was around in the Jurassic period (plus-or-minus 150 million years ago). We imagined it flying around among the dinosaurs, eating prehistoric bugs and pooping on prehistoric windshields. But now the latest hot shot Chinese scientist, Xi Xing, has a rock with an old bird-looking thing in it, that he claims is older than archaeopteryx.

Xi Xing’s flying feathered thing (Xiaotingia zhengi) apparently existed plus-or-minus 155 million years ago, which means that it was flying around among the dinosaurs, eating prehistoric bugs, and pooping on prehistoric windshields five million years before archaeopteryx. I hate it when scientists do stuff like this. I don’t want to make a big deal out of it, but it’d be like if scientists came out and announced that gravity was more of a suggestion than a universal law. It’s like when we lost the brontosaurus. Do you remember that? When I was growing up, we basically had Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, the thing that looks like a turtle, the Pterodactyl, the thing with the gnarly spikes on its tail, and the Brontosaurus. But then in 1990s, our science teachers started telling us that Brontosaurus was actually Brachiosaurus, and also there is no Santa Claus, and that sound that you hear your parents making at night is not them “moving furniture.” So now the archaeopteryx is going the way of the Brontosaurus which went the way of the buffalo (so to speak). I, for one, am annoyed. I’m too old to be learning new kinds of dinosaurs. Especially ones with unpronounceable Chinese names. (@PaleoDudeXiXing: “I’m going to pick a bunch of Scrabble tiles at random and put them together to name this new dinosaur. Lol! #xiaotiangiazhengi #38points”).

Meanwhile, the Russian Federal Space Agency (for some reason abbreviated as “FKA”) has decided that if NASA won’t keep taking them widgets and sprockets, then they’re taking their ball and going home. Well, more accurately, they’re taking their International Space Station and going home.

The FKA have decided to “sink” the I.S.S. in 2020, because the United States has stopped the shuttle program and is no longer taking spare parts and spare astronauts up there. Russia’s plan is to aim the I.S.S. towards Earth, and try to get it to land in the ocean. They are apparently worried about space junk. Rather than aim the colossal metal jungle gym into the vast expanse of space, the FKA have decided to bring it back here to earth and drop it into the ocean. As if the fish aren’t dealing with enough of our human bullshit (pollution, oil spills, chopping up manatees in boat propellers, and melting the ice caps), we’re going to drop this overgrown piece of exercise equipment into their backyard. Thanks for taking another one for the global team, fish! We wouldn’t keep messing with you, but you’re so delicious! God forbid we should just let the I.S.S. wander off into the infinite expanse of space. You don’t want it to fall into the wrong hands and have creatures from Alpha Centauri 4 figuring out the recipe for astronaut ice cream!

I was about to lose faith in humanity, but then I remembered: “Katy Perry is hot.”

(I just doubled my google hits)

(@kidsoftherecession: “Beating the system! #suckittrebek”)

Speaking of “Suck it, Trebek” (raise your hand if you get that joke…well done), apparently the game show host and Canadian icon recently tore his Achilles tendon and generally messed up his leg trying to thwart a robber in a hotel. Apparently a woman broke into his hotel room at 2:30am and tried to make off with cash and valuables. But Trebek, as we all know, is constantly in a state of cat-like readiness, and as the woman tried to make her escape, he dashed off down the hotel hallway after her. Bravery, thy name is Trebek.

The thief tried to ditch the stolen goods in the ice machine, but was caught by police, with Trebek hobbling onto the scene, having torn his Achilles. At 72 years old, Alex Trebek is not really in the prime thief-chasing stage of life. And can you believe that Alex Trebek is 72? That might be the most surprising thing in this whole story!

(Alternate title for this article: “The recipe for astronaut ice cream.”)

Keep a good heart; the worst is yet to come.


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