The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

Things in Space

Asteroids are great. There are so many great things about asteroids that I'm feeling kind of breathless and dizzy. To begin with, there's "Asteroids," the video game, a fine example of certain death in a recursive universe. Then there's the whole shooting star phenomenon, without which we would have no excuse to use the word "Perseid." And finally, there are all the movies wherein spaceships are battered like a weevil in a box of Screaming Yellow Zonkers. The fact that actual asteroid fields are only slightly more densely populated than Wyoming dampens my enthusiasm not a whit. A-

Novae and supernovae
I'm a sucker for anything with an irregular plural, but I'm feeling somewhat hosed on the supernova front. I suppose I should count myself lucky; I've gotten to witness the year 2000, the Bicentennial, and the introduction of shaving gel, but I'd really be jazzed if there were some sort of bird-confusingly bright supernova destined to appear in the night skies before I kick this mortal bucket. That would be good. B

Comets have really failed to pull it off recently, should you ask me. The latest Halley visit was a big yawn, and Hale-Bopp was interesting only because cultists in name-brand sneakers took it so seriously. Plus every time one sidles close to our planet we have to listen to well-coiffed news anchors explain over and over that each is a mass of dirt and ice. So is Greenland, but I'm not expected to find that fact interesting, am I? The only really interesting comet recently was the one that was shredded and absorbed by Jupiter, which just goes to show you: we're rooting for the planets now. D+

I'm inclined to be positive toward quasars, if only because I play Scrabble. So I did a little research and found an interesting little page on quasars: They're actually massive galaxies which are very far away, which is interesting enough. But then I came across an explanation that the total quasaric energy that has actually reached our measuring instruments is about that needed "for a mosquito to make one 'push-up.'" A fascinating image to be sure, but that somehow ruined the mystique for me. I'm sure that in their own sector of the universe they're very influential objects, but now whenever I hear "quasar" I can only think of that one mosquito doing that one push-up. C

GPS Satellites
GPS satellites are nice because they can answer two of the three most common questions in my life: "What time is it?" and "Where am I?" If they could also somehow determine whether I have any clean underwear left, the bases would be covered. B+

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