PASADENA, CACalifornia Institute of Technology astronomer Dr. James Shrifkin stunned the scientific and space-exploration communities Tuesday, when he announced that the center of the known universe is his 9-year-old son Brian.
"The universe revolves around him," Shrifkin told colleagues at the annual American Society Of Astronomers convention at Cal Tech. "He is the most precious and wonderful child in all known creation."
Shrifkin said he first suspected that Brian, a straight-A student at Lakeside Elementary School, is the center of the universe last Saturday, when he scored three goals in his soccer game.
"After the game, I went home and thought about the many quantifiable properties of goodness my son possesses, including kindness, generosity and intelligence," Shrifkin said. "Formulating a rough Briancentric theory of space and time, I then collected more evidence, including the beautiful card he bought me last Father's Day and his spelling-bee trophy. The more data I had, the more apparent it became that my own son is the elusive center of the universe for which science has long searched."
According to Shrifkin, at the moment of the Big Bang, a swirling, primordial cloud of emBrianic matter existed at the center of what would eventually become the universe. As the explosion settled and galaxies formed, Brian remained in the center, where laws of physics originating within him dictated the development of space as we know it.
"Primary data indicates that Brian is a spatial hub around which all other activity revolves," an excited, proud Shrifkin told reporters yesterday. "Pulsars, black holes, and even the daily activities of myself and my wife Joan are merely 'fringe' events that occur in the remote, soupy mass of the outer universe, millions of light years removed from the truly important events, such as Brian's Little League home runs and science-fair victories."
Brian emits such a powerful field of gravity and significance, Shrifkin said, that persons and objects take on added significance by virtue of their proximity to him. As an example of this phenomenon, Shrifkin cited Brian's classmate Josh Alder. "The moment Brian first met Adler, it became important to know if this was a nice boy or just some punk his mother and I felt he should steer clear of," he said. "Such information was of zero consequence before he entered Brian's sensitive event horizon."
Shrifkin concluded by calling upon Cal Tech to establish a new Department of Brian Physics, with himself as department head. "My vast expertise on the details and history of Brian make me the ideal candidate to lead this new branch of science," he said. "For example, I can tell you every grade on every report card Brian has ever received, from kindergarten to the present. Go on, ask me."