On deterring space bastards
Those white-coated boffins at NASA are planning a return to moon exploration with the impending launch of the snappily-named Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
In the kind of public relations exercise that the Agency has been forced into in order to justify the frightening tax dollars they need for their $20,000 hammers, they have set up a website in which you can have your name placed on a chip that will be sent to the moon with the spacecraft.
So far, so good, and the kind of thing that will appeal to the inner geek amongst us all.
I cannot be the only person, however, who fears that they haven't thought this one through.
This is a scheme that's just asking for trouble, and inviting no end of grief upon the heads of the peace-loving, heavily-armed citizens of this fine blue/green planet.
While the U S of A splashes out squillions of dollars on homeland security, there's another branch of government blasting our personal details out into space!
What, I ask, if this database into the hands of a bunch of interstellar con merchants? They'll know your name AND exactly where you live (for eg: Albert O'Balsam, Planet Earth), and before you know it some three-headed tart claiming to be Darth Vader's widow will be constantly emailing you about the 80,000,000 space credits they need moving out of a bank account on Rigel IV before the rebel scum get their hands on it.
Then it's only a matter of time before you start seeing offers of Space Viagra, closely followed by "Grow Your Reproductive Tentacle By Up To Nine Yards", the kind of endgame that makes Apollo 13 look like a walk in the park.
They should copy the Soviets: Send up half a dozen copies of Health and Efficiency magazine. That's usually enough to keep even the most determined space bastards away from our planet.
When we are overrun by Space Hitler and his jackbooted hordes, don't say I never told you so.
I am not mad.