New Solar System Discovered Four Feet From Earth

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Issue 3007

Hero Firefighter: 'I'm A Hero'

MIDLAND, TX—Local firefighter Brent Koonce, who saved an infant trapped at the bottom of a 40-foot well Monday, is being roundly hailed by himself as a hero. "What I did was incredibly brave," said Koonce, who descended all the way down the three-foot-wide well to recover eight-month-old Midland resident Melissa Sims. "In selflessly risking my own life to rescue little Melissa, I am an inspiration to those around me and proof that heroes do exist." Koonce noted that once the girl was recovered, he performed rescue breathing on her, reviving her from a semi-unconscious state. "I saved this child," he said. "I am Yahweh, giver of Life."

Infomercial Host Skeptical At First, Then Delighted By Product

LOS ANGELES—After several minutes of heavy skepticism, television star and compensated product endorser Tom Wopat was won over by the DeFroster 2000, a revolutionary new device that defrosts frozen foods in literally seconds. "It's impossible," a disbelieving Wopat said after hearing about the remarkable product, available through an exclusive television offer for $24.99. "Why, this steak is frozen solid." Moments later, Wopat broke out in astonished laughter as the DeFroster 2000 proved him wrong. Wopat added that he is available for work.

Singer Cites Girlfriend As Reason He Lives, Dies, Breaks Down, Cries

NASHVILLE, TN—According to a song recently recorded by aspiring country singer Colin Barnett, longtime girlfriend Lori Sue Jennings is the reason he lives, dies, breaks down and cries. "Ooh... Lori Sue...," the song stated, "you're the reason I live, you're the reason I die, you're the reason that each night I fall and break down and cry." Reportedly, in addition to reducing Barnett to tears, Jennings is the woman without whom there is no him. It is widely believed that Jennings has such a tremendous effect on Barnett because she is all he's got in this world.

I Have Not Eaten Since 1978

What does food taste like? I cannot remember. This is because in 1978, my stomach and most of my small intestine had to be removed. All of my nourishment comes from intravenous tubes and subcutaneous injections.

How We Made It Through The Great Recession

The year was 1987, a time I'll never forget. The country was in the grips of the Great Recession, the worst economic crisis my generation had ever known. In October of that year, the bottom fell out of the market, tumbling a record 508 points in a single day. Back then I was green as hell, working with discretionary accounts at Tanner & Reamish with little more to show for myself than an office overlooking Wall Street and a few hundred thou in convertible securities. But I found out real quick what life was like back in '87.

I Despise Our Local Weather Coverage

I can no longer tolerate our local weather coverage. I turn on the Channel 7 news at 5, and for the first 20 minutes I get wonderful, beaming smiles and perfect hairdos on news anchors who banter back and forth amidst features that stress the hominess of our ABC affiliate. Some nights I'm so touched by the KidCares feature that I break down and cry in my TV dinner. I just can't get enough of those anchors!

The First Wife's Club Had Divorced Women In It

I saw an advertisement on the television set the other night while I was watching my favorite program, Archie Bunker, for the movie which is called The First Wifes Club. And I was watching the television with my wife, Toots, because she is often laughing at the antics of the wife on that program because she is a wife, too.

The Cigar Craze

All across America, more people are enjoying the rich, flavorful taste of cigars than ever before. Why are why lighting up?

Mafia Breaks Off Diplomatic Relations With CIA

WASHINGTON, DC—The Mafia announced Monday that after more than 50 years of close relations, the powerful crime organization is breaking off ties with the CIA. "Our partnership with the CIA has been extremely productive over the years, resulting in many great accomplishments, including the Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations, the creation of Las Vegas, and the near-overthrow of the Castro regime," Mafia official Joseph "Joey" Tucci said. "Unfortunately, that partnership is no longer effective." Tucci denied any Mafia involvement in the 1991 cancellation of The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd.
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Area Man

This Great Song, Bar Sources Report

TOMAH, WI—Pausing their conversations momentarily to call attention to the music playing on the establishment’s jukebox, sources at local bar Shepherd’s confirmed to reporters Friday that this is a great song.


New Solar System Discovered Four Feet From Earth

PALO ALTO, CA—In what is being hailed as the most significant find in the field of planetary astronomy in decades, astronomers at the Palo Alto Observatory on Monday identified a new, previously unknown solar system approximately four feet from the Earth's surface.

The system, located directly over nearby Van Nuys, is described as "a stable, elliptical binary system with at least four major planets, including two gas giants, an asteroid belt and several moons, approximately 17 million billion miles in diameter and some four feet off the ground."

Though the global scientific community is still reeling from the magnitude of the Palo Alto team's research, efforts are underway to analyze the new planetary system using telescopic spectrographic analysis, as well as shovels, in gathering data from distances of up to 48.5 inches.

Dubbed "Proximitus Terrari," or "Right Next to the Ground," the new system proves to be Earth's nearest celestial neighbor, beating out the next-closest system, Alpha Centauri, which is only four light-years from our sun, by a distance of four light-years minus a few feet.

Astronomers were also quick to put the new discovery into perspective. "Often it is difficult for the layman to comprehend the numbers involved when we speak in terms of celestial distances," Palo Alto astronomer James Chang said. "So, to help you understand, picture, if you will, an everyday household yardstick. Now imagine that yardstick, plus one-third of another yardstick more. This should give you some idea of what we mean by 'four feet.' In astronomical terms, it's really close indeed."

Added Chang: "You know, not many people realize that a whale is not a fish at all, but a mammal, like you and me."

Palo Alto astronomers believe this photograph may be evidence of a previously unknown planet.

Astronomers say the reason the new system went undetected for so long is that scientists traditionally aim their telescopes outward from the Earth's surface, equipping their observatories with lenses designed to scan trillions of miles away. "Nobody ever thought to look within the one-to-five-foot range before Palo Alto," a NASA spokesperson said.

"Our initial studies of the new system's closest body indicate that its radiation spectrum possesses a heavy composition of boron and magnesium," Palo Alto team leader Stanislaw Lando told reporters. "Also, researchers crawling under the planet who reached up and grabbed handfuls of it report that it feels sandy, and has big purple rocks on it."

Future research projects include a NASA mission to lean a ladder against the planet and attempt a manned climb to its surface, a plan tentatively scheduled for November 1997, with a projected cost of approximately 60 bucks.

Explaining the high cost of the mission, NASA director Frank Forman said, "We'd like to get a really high-quality ladder, just to be safe."

An unrelated plan, not sponsored by NASA, has already gone into effect, with an area car dealership attaching a 20 x 40-foot vinyl banner to the planet's exterior crust, which reads, "Al Vitense Chevy-Geo Is Out Of This World!"

"We must remember that when we observe a celestial object in the night sky, we are observing light rays that left that heavenly body a proportionate amount of time ago to the distance that object is from us," Lando said. "It takes more than four years for light from Centauri to reach our telescopes. In the case of the Proximitus system, though, this time-lag is significantly shorter, perhaps even one-third of that."

Added Lando, "We must also remember not to get too close, as our telescopes might bump into it, poking us in the eye with the other end."

So far, probes have detected no signs of life on the planet, or its neighbor, Proximitus Beta, located about a half-mile south, near the expressway entrance. However, scientists are still earnestly searching the two orbital bodies for evidence, both by penetrating their atmospheres with microwave transmissions and by standing next to them shouting up at their surfaces in the hopes that contact with some form of life may be forthcoming.