You Missed It: Space monkey edition

I’ll say this first: I really like watching football, especially the NFL. However, I think we get a bit too hyped for the Super Bowl. Yes, it’s a championship game, but the frenzy leading up to it is a bit much. For a solid week, ESPN tries to find fresh angles, and the teams have to talk to the media for days about the same upcoming game. On top of that, all the big commercials leak, and it’s the only time anyone cares. If you were busy dodging questions about your banned drug use this week, odds are you missed it.

The wrong stuff?
This week, Iran shocked the world with its announcement that it launched a monkey into space and returned it to Earth alive and well. The reports from state-run media were never confirmed, and now critics are saying the launch was likely unsuccessful or altogether faked. They point to the video of the monkey before and after the launch, and how they don’t look like the same creature. If this is true, we have to commend Iran on its initiative to kill monkeys.

More than you asked for
Lena Dunham, the writer, star and sometimes director of HBO’s so-so show Girls has signed a deal with HBO to write the pilot for a TV adaptation of a personal shopper for rich New Yorkers. It’s unlikely that Dunham herself will be in the show, but she’ll no doubt find an excuse to get naked anyway. Yeesh.

Purplest teeth in the world
The U.S. is now the largest wine-consumer in the world, according to an industry analyst. According to Jon Fredrikson, the U.S. now makes up 13% of the global wine market, up 2% from a year earlier. Argentina, Chile and Australia were the chief suppliers to the American thirsty. Well done, ladies!

There’s a new neighbor in space’s cul-de-sac

Alpha Centauri. It’s a galaxy that space nerds named. We don’t exactly know where it is or how many smelly French people live in it, but we do know it exists.

As of this week, we also know that there is a planet in it. SPACE SCIENCE!

As it is, this is pretty big news, discovery-wise, but science fiction nerds around the internet are blowing their lids. Why? Because Alpha Centauri is a fairly significant universe when it comes to science fiction, whether it’s giant transforming robots or a galactic federation composed of pointy-eared people with crew cuts.

Now, does the newly discovered planet, known as eso1241 (real creative, science), actually have any life? Who knows, but if so, I’m sure we’ll be able to subjugate it.

Space smells like Bender’s shiny, metal ass

We know a couple of things about space. It’s black. It stiffles screams. But, what does it smell like?

NASA has hired scent chemist Steve “Hawknose” Pearce to recreate the smell of space via chemical analysis and astronaut’s recollections. (Whether the spacemen get that far-off look in their eyes as they recall moments of post-space walk undressing has little to no effect on the results.)

So far, we know that it smells metallic like welded electronics, sulfurous and a little bit like rum … so it’s Bender. And, Pearce previously worked out what the inside of the space station Mir smelled like: sweat, body odor and vodka thanks to Russian cosmonauts.

We look forward to both of these joining Yankee Candle’s baffling line of candles for men who secretly love candles, but want them to smell like leather and grass clippings.

Air Force succumbs to Skynet persuasion, dooms us all

Most people think that the military would be our last line of defense. Be careful with that line of thinking-it could end us.

The United States Air Force has sent the X-37B, a secret unmanned space plane into the great beyond. Its mission? That’s classified (we can only hope that it was zapping ET), but apparently it was a raging success. What won’t be a success is when the space plane kills us all.

Oh sure, Chris is just ranting and raving his wild theories again, right? Well then, tell me this college boy: what’s to stop the space plane when it does gain a murderous and brutal sentience? What’s that, no answer? I’ll tell you what’s to stop it: us.

Someone, get me my off-button gloves.

Kelso to run for ‘Handsomest Boy in Space’

The latest space-borne threat to the U.S. is nearly upon us: Hollywood Space Madness.

Ashton Kutcher has been approved for space travel on Richard Branson’s first spacecraft, Virgin Galactic. Does Sir Richard not understand the implication of sending a young actor into space, bombarding him with gamma rays and sending him back home to his studio?

We’re talking Joaquin Phoenix times 100 here, people. There aren’t enough late night talk shows to handle that insanity, Craigy Ferguson’s Scottishness notwithstanding.

And all the space banana peels we can eat!

Did your dreams come true this Friday? Maybe not if you were praying for the world, but if you ever wanted to be an astronaut, today is your lucky day.

Say it with us: space garbagemen.

In the past, you needed some fancy science degree or combat flight training for NASA to send you up in 30-year-old failing equipment. But, now that the shuttle’s retired and the U.S. is looking to save a few bucks where we can, there’s some 50 to 60-year-old garbage up there that’s looking mighty tempting.

The military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) believes that it might possible to finally trawl our orbiting cloud of space debris — a motley collection of old satellites, rockets and cosmonauts — for spare parts. This would simultaneously punch a couple of exit holes through the field of death threatening future space missions and supply cheap parts for new satellites and spacecraft. (Russia will have to continue building cosmonauts “the old fashioned way.”)

Who’s gonna do it? The Guys will, America … so long as independent space garbage scows are allowed to fly the Jolly Roger.

Take me to your brewer

The Space Shuttle program is coming to a close. While a lot of you out there might not care, you should, and here’s why: Not going into space means you can’t enjoy space beer.

We told you about how Sapporo Breweries grew barley from grains taken into space, but now, 4 Pines Brewing, of Australia, has come up with a beer designed for enjoyment by space tourists. They are saying with a straight face that even though zero gravity makes your tongue swell up a bit, affecting your sense of taste, the flavor of the beer will make its way through.

They say the altitude makes you get drunk faster on a plane, so maybe a single beer in space is enough to get smashed.

Editor’s note: Ever feel like all of our “That Whacky Australia” stuff is de facto “Booze News?”

That’s one small step for man, one giant unintelligble screech for droid-kind

This is definitely not the droid you’re looking for.

You thought NASA was done and over with? BAH! NASA is back, kids, and back with a fiery vengeance!*

It’s space season once again in merry ol’ Cape Canaveral, as NASA is prepping the space shuttle Discovery to launch from the hallowed and famous launch site before it’s shuttered. The destination? The space station. In spaaaaaaaace. Ahem. The shuttle will be carrying six astronauts, a big box of stuff and a robot, R2. The robot with a humanoid design (but nerves of steel) will be dropped off at the station, where it will show itself off to the other robots on the station by doing such revolutionary moves like opening a jar in zero gravity. We can then expect it to probably move onto taking over the space station before attempting to destroy the Earth in a nefarious scheme created with cold logic.

Don’t knock my cynicism. I’ve watched far too many sci-fi movies to not expect this.

*Fiery vengeance may vary, please check with your local listings and consult with your doctor before initiating any types of Pyrrhic revenge.

UN wants you for Space Ambassador

At least, if you’re qualified, that is.

Yes, you’re reading that right. This is not a satirical website’s attempt at humor (or at least, some other satirical website’s attempt at humor), nor is it an April Fool’s-esque headline: this is the real deal.

The United Nations has appointed Malaysia’s first astrophysicist to be their ambassador to space. No one knows at the moment whether this will be a strike for our on-going war on aliens (established in June of 1947, maybe July) or blow against a much needed wartime effort, as the UN is often wont to do.