Hey kids! It’s Science World!

It’s time to put on my Electric puffy white `science discoverer’ vest with the cut-out cardboard buttons stapled onto it by my mum. Slide into my brown undies - (why do undies never come in brown? You’d think it would be a natural colour for them to come in…however, I digress) – up over my brown undies goes my plastic bubble popper pants and a small hat made of eggshells glued together with toilet rolls and sprinkled with glitter and fluff.

There, now I look like a real scientist. Hmmm, something’s missing. Ahh! My Spiderman sneakers. And why have I dressed like this? I’ve got Wired magazines list of scientific discoveries for 2005 in my hands.

Reading this list I thought to myself, `I’ve gotta do poo.’ Then, after doing poo, I returned to read and ponder the Wired list. And then I thought, `I’ve only heard of a few of these things…how come?’ Guess I wasn’t interested enough until someone else had collated them together at the end of the year and told me they were important. Lucky we have these people around or I’d never know what to focus on in life.

And so to paraphrase and attribute, here is Wired’s collection of science stuff that someone on staff says is important:

10. Bigger than our moon but more interesting
The Europeans landed a rocket ship on Titan shaped like a Schnauzer puppy playing with a ball of wool. The very European sounding ship called `Huygens’ travelled 900 million miles and landed on Saturn’s largest moon. Titan’s surface is apparently orange and spongy and emits a low whooshing sound. Are they sure they didn’t accidentally land in Tokyo Disney?

9. Not another bloody Lemur.
Scientist’s have found a new animal. So far the number of extinct animals are winning out over the new discoveries but if we wish hard enough and go through each others garbage more often we may find some more new species. This new Lemur-like fella is apparently about the size of a little kitty, has a long muscular tail, is found in Borneo and sadly for it at least, tastes great deep fried.

8. They keep finding more Allens!
They haven’t given it a name yet but about 9 billion miles from the sun there’s another cold rock big enough to be called `planet 2003 ub313’ and it’s bigger than Pluto! (woow!) It must be lonely out there and really scary. You think being scared of the dark is big thing? Imagine being the last planet…or first if you think of it, in our Solar system! All that blackness. And behind you, sister and brother planets who aren’t even on the same plane as you. I think they should call the planet `Allen’ as only people called Alan will understand the rejection. Alienated just like that new planet they found, `alienated Allen’. Poor Allen. No one loves him. Just like the Allen’s on Earth and elsewhere. Man, am I glad not to be called Allen. What a looser.

7. Lil fluff gets thumped
NASA must have felt great about this afterwards. They launched a spaceship,(I love saying space ship) and called it `Deep Impact’. They put a copper tip on the end and then smashed it into a passing comet and revealed that it wasn’t hard and rocky but soft and fluffy. Poor lil comet. Bloody NASA bullies. You’d think all those nerds there would have some sensitivity after being beaten up at school by jocks but no, lessons learnt are passed on to the next generation. Please NASA! Won’t you break this vicious cycle of Domestic Violence!? Won’t somebody think of the kiddies? You bastards!!

6. Puffysaur Discovered.
I have to quote from Wired directly here “Palaeontologists in March accidentally stumbled upon the first soft tissue from a dinosaur” Now this is something I do remember reading. But `accidentally stumbling over soft tissue…from a dinosaur”!!?? That sounds a bit of a stretch even for me. `Kids! Pick up your toys will you, it’s a lab not a play roo- ouch! Hey, what’s this we have here?’ I have a suspicion that scientists are not clean freaks and they live in their own filth, like mad women on A Current Affair, occasionally holding up something they found in their ear and saying `…it’s a new Stem Cell!’ What else have they missed? It’s something I can’t get my head around…how do you accidentally stumble onto 68 million year old soft flesh? I’m sure there’s a Paris Hilton joke there and what does this all say about the `use by’ labels on Beef Jerky?

5.Quadriplegic Matt Nagle gets Braingate.
I’ll bet there aren’t too many people who can say that. `Hi there, I’m quadriplegic Matt Nagle and I have Braingate.’ Being a quad he’s probably lucky to be able to say that even. He’d just have people smiling at him politely while he made noises and bubbles through the spit in his mouth. But not anymore because Matt Nagle is the first person to get a chip in his brain that tells his body what to do (pfft, showoff!). According to Wired it allows his motor cortex to reach out and grasp objects. His Neuro-cybernetic interface allows him to control things like the lights and telly etc. The article doesn’t mention if he can do it by focusing his mind at an object like some sort of human universal remote or whether it’s a case of just getting up and turning a switch. “My mother was scared of what might happen, but what else can they do to me?" Nagle said. "I was in a corner, and I had to come out fighting." This is a good attitude from someone who could previously only drool and gargle at an opponent but also begs the question…what did they do to him?

4.It’s not all gas.
Science boffins, Astronomers most likely, have `detected’ a really small planet in another star system that isn’t all gas. It’s mostly rock and is one and a half times the size of earth. It’s so far away it’s pointless to spend anymore time thinking about it. Still, it’s nice to know it’s there.

3. Really tiny white goods.
Other science boffins with first names like Trevor, have finally made nano technology work for them. They’ve made some very small machines at a molecular level. Among the machines made are those such as a fridge and a car. Hey! How about a bunch of tiny machines that can go into the veins of my father’s brain and clear out the crap built up inside them so the blood can flow freely through them again? Nope. They made a fridge and a car. Sigh.

2. Big Jims Genome news.
This is probably big news. To me it’s quite underwhelming. Well, they haven’t invented an anti-gravity hover car yet and until they do that they’re worthless.
They (scientists with Devon sandwiches) have mapped the genomes of dogs, chimps and rice. Good onya. Well done. Now get back into that lab and don’t come out until you’ve finished my Jetson’s Car. It’s the 21st Century and I still don’t have a Jetson’s car!

1. Is it hot in here?
Wired says “Thanks to the Asian Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, global warming can no longer be ignored”. I’ll be buggered if I know what a Tsunami has to do with global warming and Hurricane Katrina…? Wired reckons the biggest discovery of 2005 is Global Warming. I don’t disagree with this, it’s a big thing. However I think people knew about it before 2005. Is it the biggest discovery of the past year? Well I would have thought some of the previous entry’s would have qualified over this. Poor old Allen must surely rank over this story at the very least. Is Global Warming natural or man made? Yes. In fact it can all be traced to two people in particular. A Gerry Halifax and his wife Gena. They live on a housing estate in Western Sydney and it’s all their fault. I’ll be camping out in front of their house with my Greenpeace buddies demanding the governments of the world do something to stop these people.

If you have any comments or think you know of a discovery by a scientist that ranks above Global Warming as the discovery of the year. Then why not keep it to yourself or write something in the comments section below. The best entry will win a special T-shirt from me.
Ross CarrollComment