Mean Scientists Dash Hopes Of Life On Mars

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Vol 39 Issue 13

Man Not Sure What To Do About Vet's Request For Dog-Urine Sample

MISSOULA, MT–Dog owner Darryl Burkhard, 36, said Tuesday that he is unsure how to fulfill his veterinarian's orders to extract a urine sample from ailing cocker spaniel Sneakers. "The vet just casually asked me to bring in a sample, like I'd automatically know how to do that," Burkhard said. "Do I take Sneakers for a walk and then stick a cup under him at just the right moment? Or do I, like, fasten a cup to his genitals with a belt and wait for him to eventually go? Either way, I'm probably looking at some sort of really unpleasant dog-piss-related situation."

Girl From Coffee Shop Seen At Bar With Guy From Record Store

OLYMPIA, WA–Marissa Quirk, 21, that girl from the coffee shop, was spotted Monday at McCoy's Tavern with Greg Clarke, 23, the good-looking hipster guy from the record store. "I go into Crazee Espresso and Rainy Day Records a lot, so when I saw them at McCoy's together, I was like, 'It figures they know each other,'" said Dan Duckett, 22, who has long harbored a crush on Quirk. "It reminded me of that time I saw the guy from the vintage-clothing store with the cute girl who always announces the bands in the student union."

Side Effects Sound Awesome

SAN JOSE, CA–Watching a TV commercial for the prescription allergy medication Nasonol, local resident Troy Henderson, 23, remarked Tuesday that the drug's possible side effects "sound awesome." "Dizziness, drowsiness, excitability, loss of motor function, irregular heartbeat, tingling sensations in the chest and sinuses–man, Nasonol's got it all," Henderson said. "I gotta score some of that." Henderson, who does not suffer from any allergies, said he plans to call his pollen-allergic friend Steve to "hook me up."

Office Manager Still Undecided About Sharpie Redesign

HARTFORD, CT–Four days after the arrival of a shipment of office supplies from Staples, P&K Insurance office manager Patty Hildebrandt, 41, remains ambivalent about Sharpie's new "Twin-Tip" double-ended permanent marker. "Putting a fine tip and a broad tip on the same pen is very convenient, not to mention cost-effective," Hildebrandt said Tuesday. "Still, neither of the twin tips really works as well as a single-ended marker, probably because they're sharing the same ink." Hildebrandt recently took a strong stand against 3M's accordion-style Post-It notes, calling them "an abomination."

Dow Up 300 After Deaths Of 400

NEW YORK—Buoyed by positive news from the war front, the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared more than 300 points Monday after the killing of more than 400 Republican Guard soldiers near the northern Iraqi town of Mosul. "These deaths have really boosted investor optimism and confidence," New York Stock Exchange chairman Dick Grasso said. "Before this, we'd tried lowering interest rates, lowering taxes, and all sorts of other things to jump-start the market, but nothing worked. Lowering the population of Iraq finally seems to be doing the trick."
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Mean Scientists Dash Hopes Of Life On Mars

PASADENA, CA–A team of cold-hearted, killjoy scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory callously announced Monday that the likelihood of complex life on Mars is "extraordinarily low," dashing the hopes of the public just like that.

Mean old NASA scientist Cary Nicastro.

"What? Are they sure? I'm crestfallen," said Shreveport, LA, real-estate agent Martin Lucas, 47. "I remember back when I was a little boy, I'd dream of life on Mars. I'd lie awake under the covers imagining myself having all sorts of adventures with these Martians I befriended. How can those scientists just dismiss it so nonchalantly? What jerks."

Added Lucas: "Maybe next, they can do a study definitively disproving the existence of Santa Claus."

The scientists' misanthropic announcement was made at an 11 a.m. press conference, which many in attendance thought was going to be about something exciting, such as the discovery of fossilized organisms on Mars or maybe even Martian cities, complete with Martian ranch houses, Martian hamburgers, and Martian sewer systems. Instead, the crotchety scientists cynically announced that radiation levels on the Red Planet's surface are too high to make possible the survival of living organisms.

"Because Mars' atmosphere is far thinner than Earth's, solar radiation penetrates its surface at greater levels," said NASA's Cary Nicastro, whose team relied largely on data from the unmanned Mars Odyssey spacecraft. "The radiation measured by Odyssey was so intense, the chance of advanced surface life is virtually zero."

To many, the NASA announcement was, in the words of Bakersfield, CA, claims adjuster and science-fiction buff Bill Cartwright, "incredibly negative."

"[Nicastro] didn't even try to break it to us gently," Cartwright said. "Doesn't he realize that a lot of people think it would be incredibly cool to have a giant Martian invasion force next door? In the future, when scientists make statements like this, they should do it with a little more sensitivity and regard for our feelings."

Adding insult to injury, team member Christine Luo said freezing temperatures and a lack of surface-flowing water make Mars inhospitable to the future development of life.

"If flowing water does exist, it's most likely below the surface, possibly under the vast ice caps," Luo said. "These harsh conditions would present a formidable challenge to the evolution of complex organisms."

"Nyah, nyah, nyah, Mars is too inhospitable for life," said Columbus, OH, resident Bryan Olin. "We're scientists and we make everything boring. We want proof of everything and don't want space exploration to be fun."

Aeronautics expert and NASA watchdog L. Kennan Brooks said the space agency has a long history of being a total buzzkill, repeatedly shooting down the prospect of extraterrestrial life in our solar system.

"Since its founding in the late 1950s, NASA has willfully–and at great taxpayer expense–rejected decades of creative speculation about space," Brooks said. "In the '60s, it refused to investigate the existence of the Man on the Moon. The Viking Mars probe of the '70s left millions of third-graders deflated with its lack of data about flying saucers and little green men. And probes sent close to Jupiter in the '80s made no effort to prove, once and for all, if God lived there."

Instead, Brooks said, NASA stubbornly insists on analyzing cosmic data in the most coldly rational ways possible.

"They could be doing such exciting stuff, but they won't," Brooks said. "Rather than using the Hubble Space Telescope to prove the existence of black holes, we should be piloting a fusion-powered spacecraft straight into the heart of them, coming out the other side into a parallel universe populated by our evil, goatee-wearing doubles."

"They refuse to allow even the faintest possibility that the Martians can't be detected because they're invisible. Or maybe they occupy a different dimension," Brooks continued. "There's a world of possibilities here. These scientists should depend less on cold, hard data and more on their imaginations. They'd probably be a lot less cranky."

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