Monday, August 10, 2020
Now that the exploration of space is safely in the hands of eccentric billionaires, the folks at NASA have plenty of time on their hands to work on more important things. Having presumably completed their Obama-era "primary mission" of Muslim Outreach (see below), the agency has announced that they are now moving on to eliminating "culturally insensitive" nicknames for objects in space which are "actively harmful" and are painful reminders of "the systemic discrimination and inequality" inherent in staring up at the night sky.
For starters, NASA will no longer make reference to the "Siamese Twins Galaxy," a name which refers to 1800s sideshow legends Chang and Eng Bunker, conjoined twins who were not only "stars" but actually pretty darn cool. Seriously, they went from poverty to great wealth, married two sisters, and fathered 21 children. Now there's a mental picture you can't un-see.
NASA will now be referring to the twin galaxies as NGC 4567 and NGC 4568, apparently unaware that it's highly inappropriate to describe galaxies using n-words. The agency is also banishing the name of the "Eskimo Nebula" lest it offend any parka-wearing indigenous people who live in igloos and subscribe to "Sky & Telescope Magazine."
All of which is a good start, but NASA clearly still has a long way to go. Should vegans still have to be offended by the word "meteor?" Must the lactose intolerant be repulsed by the "Milky Way?" Do we want observatories burned to the ground by those protesting the term "Black Hole?" And what the hell were the astronomers thinking when they came up with the name "Red Dwarf?" Seriously, why piss off a group of people who have no ability to punch you anywhere other than in the balls?
Should a telescope have an eyepiece instead of a more inclusive we-piece? Shouldn't an orbit's "eccentricity" simply be referred to non-judgmentally as a "choice?" And instead of combing the universe for intelligence, shouldn't NASA spend more time looking out there for feelings?
Finally, we'd like to suggest that NASA put a special priority on finding a new phrase to describe the variations in sunlight reflecting from the seventh planet. Because even we're offended by "waxing Uranus"
FROM THE VAULT: July 6, 2010
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has revealed that the "foremost" mission Barack Hussein Obama wants him to accomplish is to improve relations with the Muslim world.
Speaking to Al Jazeera on the one year anniversary of the president's trip to Cairo to praise Islam, Bolden said that the president charged him with several tasks...the foremost of which was "he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science and math and engineering."
The president seems to be forgetting that the culture's last historic contribution to aviation science was the discovery of how to fly to New York using only boxcutters.
Posted by Stilton Jarlsberg at 12:01 AM