art by don dixon
EarthSourceMedia Reports for October 23rd, 2010
Come to Gliese
Its really nice
It smells like spice
The sun rises twice
See rainbow mice
and roll three dice
Take my advice
Just come to Gliese
Its Nice on Gliese (581g)
Intercom: Dr. Bell, its nearly 7:30 and I have to get home. Will there be anything more before I go?
Dr. Bell: Thanks Alice, no. It looks like its going to be another long one for me. You go ahead and get home to your family- theyre mad enough at me already!
Lab Assistant Alice: Nonsense, Dr. Bell. My kids talk about your work all the time. Theyre fascinated, really. See you tomorrow and dont overdo it now!
A glance at the calendar showed there would be a new moon and the night would be a dark one- great for seeing if you had time to stargaze. From as high up on the rural mountain as Andromeda Laboratory was situated, the night skies smacked with stars, each one a diamond, glued to a black velvet curtain and backlit with a laser.
Back on the desk, a hot cup of coffee sat steaming among a sea of papers, whose equations seemed to be drawn up in the mist and now swirled on the walls. The Doctor was tired, already having worked more hours than he cared to recount. Such was the curse of the Bell name. He was a direct descendent of Alexander Graham Bell, and like his great-great grandfather, the good Doctor was determined to enable long distance communication. In this case however, long distance was a bit more than a few rooms away using cups and a string. If the theoretical science could be worked out, in the words of Lily Tomlin, the party to whom I am speaking was going to be 20 light years away! Dr. Bells message would be directed toward a newly discovered and decidedly Earth-like planet called Gliese 581g, located in the constellation Libra.
Having always been intrigued by the idea of particles, Dr. Bells work naturally began by focusing on photons, the little dashes that carry light to your eye. These light particles come in separate little cars, like a train. Of course, you dont see light in little blinks, because the eye is sensitive to the particles and not the spaces in between. We see light as a steady, unbroken beam. And as some of Dr. Bells colleagues had discovered, even time is broken up in much the same way, in little train cars called chronons. Some even suggested the spaces between the chronons could be populated by inhabitants of an alternate dimension- they and we occurring in the same place, but at alternating times.
It was with this in mind Dr. Bell created his theory of particles called beamatons, capable of not only winding their way across vast expanses of space, but even, perhaps to carry mass within them. Mass, such as, say, the chemicals and electronic impulses complex thought requires. But the theory was scoffed at, and endless hours, months, and years seemed to go down the drain like so much soapy old bathwater.
That is, until one brainstorming session when Dr. Bell came to idea-to-try #97 on his list; to add a boost in power to the photon using radioactive laser-light. And thus, the streamaton was born! Faster than light and with greater penetrating power than a neutrino, this new and exciting particle caused the previously separated photons to fuse together in a steady, swift stream, which then allowed complex chemical reactions to take place within. He continued his work secretly, working mostly late at night and told no one of his new discovery- not even Alice.
If the universe were a hot frying pan, and the great chef splashed in water to dance upon the sizzling oil, that would be a perfect way to imagine the hot, random, and energetic dispersion of star matter. The majority is empty space, like an atom, but the bits of substance that make up the rest are a force to be reckoned with- everywhere and every when. And one of those force-filled little tasty bits is Planet Gliese 581g. Picture the Garden of Eden, sans the zoos, contractors, planners and economic development departments. The place was gorgeous, unspoiled and earthily-soiled. Pot grew so fast the leaves reached your nose before the smell did. The coffee and tea both shade grown- were the pride of the Milky Way Galaxy.
The planets official tree was the common willow, official sea animal was the Rainbow Whale and the official bird was the Golden Eagle- whose feathers were tipped in actual gold! But no one cared, because gold had no meaning there. Metals were not considered precious; instead, blue damsel flies were- and there were plenty of those. Red ones too.
Planets full of life out in the void of space werent so rare- but ones of this beauty were. The wise inhabitants of Gliese knew it, and they took great pains to keep it that way.
That was why Dr. Copernicus had invented planetary call waiting. Picture an answering machine with the receiving power of SETI, the complexity of NASA, and run on the star power of their sun, Gliese, and youve about got it. The thing was turned on 7 days a week, 252 weeks a year (Gliese was known as a hyper-spinner– a very fast turner, with 252 weeks every year). Dr. Copernicus always had an ear to the night sky. And then came the night of that fateful call- from Earth!
Intercom: Dr. Bell, Im back, and Ive brought you some leftover pasta. Ill put it in the fridge.
Dr. Bell: Thank you Alice. Im starved! Bring it right in, will you?
Sure, she answered, and the security door buzzed a moment later.
He let her in and she smiled as he gobbled it all down.
Alice, you simply wont believe what weve found. I cant talk about it yet, but soon
Alright, she said. But when its done, I implore you to let the authorities know. You deserve credit for all this work, and goodness knows the president can use some good news as well. Promise?
Dr. Bell: OK, Promise.
She left the office and the good doctor dove back into his toils.
The clock turned. A cigar burned. The clock struck. A theory got stuck. The lights flashed. A computer crashed. A bunson burner flared. The intercom blared.
Intercom: Dr. Bell, its eight oclock. See you in the morning.
But the doctor didnt hear. He was drifting off to sleep. The machinery was on full blast, the radioactive laser poured power into the beam, and the igniter continued to add spark. As the good doctor drifted into a deep sleep, the beam rocketed into deep space- toward Gliese 581g!
<<<calling gliese** calling gliese **come in this is planet earth **your sister planet can anybody hear me please come in>>>
Back on Gliese 581g, Dr. Copernicus shot right up out of his chair and stared wide-eyed at the screen-ceiver. <<YES THIS IS GLIESE WHOS CALLING OVER?>>>
At just that moment, the doctor had awoken from the dream. Oh my goodness, thought he. What the.. Im too tired. Got to stop working so hard
Dr. Bell turned to shut down the laser when another transmission spilled from the peakerspeaker:
<<YES THIS IS GLIESE WHOS CALLING OVER?>>>
Suddenly, the good doctor realized that by falling asleep, the streamatons had become dreamatons, enabling the long-sought, long-distance communication!
<<<calling gliese** calling gliese **come in this is planet earth **we read you loud and clear!!** please stand by while I get the president on the line**be back in 1 hour!!>>>
<<YES THIS IS GLIESE ONE HOUR IT IS-OVER AND OUT>>>
(one hour later )
Secret serviceman: Mr.President, a Mister uh, Doctor. Bell to speak with you, he says its urgent- something about dreamatons?.
President Pave-a lot: Yes Doctor, so you finally have some results? This funding cant last forever you know- stimulus or not, were 54 generations out now. Those people are gonna be pretty broke by then and hopefully, still registered democrats..
Dr. Bell: Sir, Ive done it! Ive established contact with another world- Gliese 581g! Theyre calling back in a moment, so here, let me put you through.
President Pave-a-lot: If this is some kind of a joke
Dr. Bell: No sir! Hold the line
Dr. Bell: <<<calling gliese** calling gliese **come in this is planet earth **your sister planet can anybody hear me please come in>>>
<<YES THIS IS GLIESE WHOS CALLING OVER?>>>
President Pave-a-lot: <<<calling gliese** this is the president of the united states **come in this is planet earth **your sister planet can anybody hear me please come in>>>
<<YES THIS IS GLIESE WHY ARE YOU CALLING OVER?>>>
President Pave-a-lot: <<<gliese** this is the president of the united states **the people of planet earth **your sister planet **we want to share our culture with you***>>>
<<GLIESE HAS ITS OWN CULTURE BUT THANK YOU MR PRESIDENT>>>
President Pave-a-lot: <<<and we value that culture to be sure***planet earth **your sister planet***we seek to share raw materials and mineral rights for fuel***to explore space>>>
<<GLIESE DOESNT USE MINERALS ANYMORE OR FOSSIL FUELS GLIESE HAS ITS OWN CULTURE AND WE TREASURE NATURE BUT THANK YOU MR PRESIDENT>>>
President Pave-a-lot: <<<and we value nature too but***planet earth **your sister planet***has been chosen by god***raw materials and mineral rights for fuel***to wage war**to keep our planets safe from terror>>>
President Pave-a-lot: <<<come in gliese***planet earth **your sister planet***we seek to share raw materials and mineral rights come in gliese**gliese?***gliese?***come in gliese***>>>
Dr. Bell: Um, Mr. President?
President Pave-a-lot: <<<come in gliese***planet earth **your sister planet***>>>
Dr. Bell: Um, Mr. President?
President Pave-a-lot: Bell, what in the hells gone wrong with this
Dr. Bell: Um, Nothings wrong with it Mr. President
President Pave-a-lot: Well, why dont they answer?
Dr. Bell: Um, I believe they have hung up on us, Mr. President.
President Pave-a-lot: What!? On the President of the United States? Hung up? Ill have them martians for breakfast! Griswald, call in the marines-
Dr. Bell: Mr. President, sir, its 20 light years away sir, and we..uh..havent got the..
President Pave-a-lot: Shut your mouth Bell-brain! Your funding is dry, dya hear me? Dry! Dry, dry, Why, the nerve of those- and with all we had to offer!-
Tags: gliese, planet, new planet, raw materials, marines. President, president of the united states, laboratory, light year, space, rocket, communication, telephone, computer, burner, experiment, theory, particle, photon, neutrino, galaxy, Andromeda, milky way, earth, whale, willow, nature, Alexander graham bell, joey racano, earth, source, media, activism, story, journalism, website, military, extinction, oil, gold, birds, golden eagle, damsel fly