This Is Not Funny

So I’ve been thinking.

The Universe is big. Mind-bogglingly big. So big that it is really not possible to fully comprehend it. Unless maybe you’re Steven Hawking, and I’d be willing to bet even he realizes that the Universe is just ridiculously, obscenely big.

OK. So in all of that immensity there are lots of stars. Channeling Carl Sagan, I would go so far as to say there are billions and billions of them. And that’s oversimplifying it to an embarrassing degree. I’m not friends with any astronomers, so I don’t suppose anyone will hold me to task for that. But I digress.

Around those stars orbit planets. So many planets that I would be hard pressed to even make up a number to represent them. Maybe a trazazingajillion. Maybe more.  Maybe two trazazingajillion. And every day we’re learning more and more about many of them.

Every human being, alive or dead in July of 1969 is in this picture, save one - the photographer Michael Collins.
Every human being, alive or dead in July of 1969 is in this picture, save one – the photographer Michael Collins.

But for all that, there is only one (on which we can can say with certainty), that there is a precious, fragile gem. That gem is called life, and that planet is called Earth.

We live on paradise. Only Earth, as far as the best and brightest minds can say without doubt, harbors life. Cauliflower, amoebas, dogs, porcupines, stinkweed, naked mole-rats…and people. These things grow on the surface of this rare and tender place.

And of all these things, I can’t help but believe, it is the people that this vast Universe is most disappointed with. So much potential. So much actually achieved. So much more to do.

But forever, as far back as we can know, and as recently is this moment, we have invested unfathomable amounts of our existence … in butchering one another. We are simply incapable of living with one another without reaching out and killing each other.

And why? Because your skin looks different than mine. Because we believe in a different God. Or because I believe in God and you do not. Or because there is oil beneath your dirt and I want it. Or because today I decided that someone needed to die.

I know that there are many good people on our little blue ball. And these good people come from everywhere, look different from one another, and believe different things. But they see one another and think, “That person is just as worthy of his place here as I am, and I should accept him for what he is. My brother. My planetary cohabitant. Another version of me.”

We are all made of the same stuff: the remnants of long dead stars forged into living things. Think about that for a moment. The next person you see was once a brilliant, shining star, just as you were. Just as you both still are.

So how about we stop destroying our greatest resource – one another. Wake up. Be worthy of the gift the Universe has given you. Just stop.

Scientists: Iceland’s Grimsvotn volcano erupts in case of Rapture

In an effort to promote a volcano whose name could be almost be pronounced, Icelandic scientists announced that Grisvotn, called Iceland’s most active volcano, has erupted. The eruption was timed to coincide with the announced date of Judgement Day, May 21, 2011, “just in case,” according to authorities.

Although not as massive as last year’s eruption of the tongue-rupturing Eyjafjallajokull volcano, air traffic is being rerouted to reduce the temptation to radical terrorists who, as we know, just love to fly into shit. “The plume of smoke has reached jet flying altitude and plans have been made for planes flying through Icelandic air control space to fly southwardly tonight,” said Hjordis Gudmundsdottir, the spokeswoman for Isavia, the company that operates and develops all airport facilities and air navigation services in Iceland. She said that she expected the southward detour might cause a “temporary rise in the population of Antarctica,” then challenged reporters to say her name three times real fast.

When asked what would happen if the Rapture did not occur, Gudmundsdottir said, “Well, we like to blow these babies out regularly anyway. Otherwise all Iceland has to be known for is Bjork, and that, frankly, is just embarrassing.”

Other nations staged natural disasters to cover their bases in case of final judgment, including New Zealand, who put up some decent earthquake numbers, coming in at a 6.1 on the Richter scale, while the U.S. managed only a 3.6 in San Francisco.

All that was left of Mr. Toothrottington

In a related story, reports of a “partial” rapture in England are being investigated. Smithworth Dewcrest, Britain’s Minister for End of Days, said that Martha Toothrottington of Manchester, was praying fervently in her front yard when all parts except her skeleton and kneeling pad vanished into the air.

Dewcrest said the Ministry for End of Days was “very disappointed with the effort,” feeling that Mrs. Toothrottington “just didn’t put her all into it.” He was, however, “bloody well pleased that an Englishwoman at least got part of the way there. Certainly no one in America did even this well.”

And finally, Harold Camping, who is now considered a frontrunner for the prestigious “Crackpot of the Year” Award, released a statement saying that he was “checking his math,” and that he would “likely use a calculator” for his next end of the world prediction.

Farmer Witness to Rapture?

Witness to Rapture

Tennessee farmer Dwight Twiddlepoker may have been a witness to the much talked about Rapture that was predicted to occur on Satuday, May 21. “At jess a bit after midnaught I let the dogs out fer the night and POOF…they was gone!” he told reporters.

Asked if he thought they were raptured he replied, “Well that’s wut I thought at first naturally. But no. They chased a coon off that thur cliff and landed at the bottom o’ the ravine, fitty feet down. Plop. Jess like that.”

Asked what he did then, Twiddlepoker replied, “I went inta the house an’ tolt my wife, ‘honey the dogs flew in the air and they’s in heaven now.'” He was asked what his wife’s reaction was to the news. “She went a runnin’ to the cliff, hollerin’ ‘I’m a comin’, Jesus!’ An’ right over she went, down the ravine, fitty feet. Plop.”

Asked if he was going to join the rapture parade, he replied, “I believe I jess ain’t worthy, so I’m gonna go in the house, have me some shine and watch the rest of Leno.”