Did you guys see this?
SPANISH WOMAN DECLARES OWNERSHIP OF THE SUN
But don’t call her greedy. She promises to use the profits to end Spain’s public finance crisis.
Speaking to the online edition of Spain’s El Mundo newspaper, 49-year old Angeles Duran explained that she began exploring potential ownership in September, inspired by an American man who previously registered himself as the owner of the moon, and a number of planets in our solar system. After consulting with local officials in her hometown of Salvaterra do Miño, in Spain’s Galicia region, she discovered that although international agreements bar countries from claiming ownership of stars, they don’t stop individuals from doing so.
Duran isn’t exactly modest about becoming the sun’s first proprietor in 4.5 billion years.
“There was no snag. I backed my claim legally. I am not stupid. I know the law,” she said. “I did it but anyone else could have done it. It simply occurred to me first.”
A document issued by her local notary public declares that Duran is now the “owner of the Sun, a star of spectral type G2, located in the center of the solar system, located at an average distance from Earth of about 149,600,000 kilometers.”
Duran hopes to charge everyone who uses the sun—from the owners of solar farms to sunbathers—a to-be-decided fee. She plans to give half of the revenue to the Spanish government, 20% to the country’s pension fund, 10% to research and 10% to ending world hunger. She’ll pocket the rest for herself.
“It is time to start doing things the right way,” she said. “If there is an idea for how to generate income and improve the economy and people’s well-being, why not do it?”
Oh man, I am not looking forward to that bill. Thanks to my sun-worshipping ways, I probably owe her big time. On the other hand, maybe I could sue for the weird moles that had to be taken off as suspected melanomas? Even after insurance, that was a $250 bill for the procedure and biopsies. And don’t forget the markup for ‘pain and suffering.’ One of those babies was on my hand!
At the same time, if this claim to the sun holds up as legal and legitimate (and I’m sure it can’t), then here comes my latest million-dollar idea.
WILL THE EARTH HAVE TWO SUNS BY 2012?
In the Star Wars saga, George Lucas imagined a world where twin suns rose and fell in the horizon. Looks like his vision may not be so far-fetched.
Astrophysicists say that Betelgeuse, the red super-giant that is the ninth brightest star in the sky, is losing mass—an indication of gravitational collapse. Brad Carter, a senior lecturer of physics at the University of Southern Queensland, explained to news.com.au that the star is essentially running out of the fuel at its core. “This fuel keeps Betelgeuse shining and supported. When this fuel runs out the star will literally collapse in upon itself and it will do so very quickly,” he said. The subsequent explosion will appear tens of millions of times brighter than the sun, meaning 24-hours of light on Earth.
“It goes bang, it explodes, it lights up,” Carter said. “We’ll have incredible brightness for a brief period of time for a couple of weeks and then over the coming months it begins to fade and then eventually it will be very hard to see at all.”
And while the celestial event could take place before the end of 2012, it may not occur for a million years.
As you’d expect, plenty of folks interpret the impending supernova as a sign of the Apocalypse. (Coincidentally, the Mayan calendar predicts Armageddon in 2012, and the word “Betelgeuse” has strong associations with the devil.) But Carter dismisses the doomsayers, pointing out that the implosion will shower the earth with tiny particles called neutrinos that are absolutely harmless. “They will flood through the Earth and bizarrely enough, even though the supernova we see visually will light up the night sky, 99 per cent of the energy in the supernova is released in these particles that will come through our bodies and through the Earth with absolutely no harm whatsoever.”
That does it. I’m registering Betelgeuse as my very own and charging the wazoo out of anyone that even says the word (let alone looks up into the well-lit night sky) over the two-week blitz. Michael Keaton had best not audition for any new work, as mere mention of my property is grounds for a lawsuit for copyright infringement. Betelgeuse was there long before anyone heard of Beetlejuice: I know my rights.
I think part of my claim will include the fact that that Betelgeuse is the only star I can accurately pick out of the night sky in any hemisphere due to the story I probably already told you about a collusion between my bad vision, childhood vanity, and the middle school with a planetarium in it.
Just don’t ask me to fly there and plant my flag to make my ownership official: we both know it’s a trick. By the time I get there, the imploded Betelgeuse will be long gone. Plus, it’s probably one of those trips where everyone I know will be dead by the time I get back. Granted, there are plenty of folks I won’t miss, but who will I talk about old Land of Lost episodes with if everyone who ever watched it is gone???
Lastly, I don’t know about you, but despite the associations with the end of the world and the devil, I’m kind of looking forward to the neutrino shower. Sounds cleansing. And fun; kind of Edward Scissorhands meets Tron.
As for the end of the world? End of the world, schmend of the world. Mark my words, as much as I’m down for a revolution, December 21, 2012 will be the same as any other day. As my grandma once put it: they’ve been saying that stuff for ever, and the world hasn’t ended yet.
So don’t go thinking you can shirk me out of what’s due. You take a neutrino shower, you owe me $19.99, payable via cash or charge. I don’t accept checks.
Why the low price? Well, because I’m reasonable, that’s why. There are seven billion people on the planet. No need to get greedy. Plus, I recognize that for those of you in third world countries, $19.99 is a months’ wage. In that case, I’m willing to take a yak or a handful of eggs or a rug or something. Don’t sweat it: we’ll work it out.
Enjoy your shower! Betelgeuse! Betelgeuse! Betelgeuse!!!