Have you heard that an asteroid is coming straight for Earth? Okay, not straight for Earth, but quite close in astronomical standards (by the way I always tell people I'm actually quite skinny in astronomical standards).
The image below is not from an Atari game. Nope. It's the graphic from NASA. The big green blob is the Earth and the little green blob is our Moon. The line is of course the path of the asteroid. Maybe I'm stating the obvious but it looks like a pointy boob to me.
Right, so my point in telling you this is not to discuss end of the world films, government plans to protect us (if you're an astrophysicist you'll probably get a spot in the bunker. If you can't even spell astrophysicist, well, put your head between your legs and kiss your arse goodbye), or even just to make jokes about the crude version of porn NASA is using our tax dollars to produce.
Nope. I'm here to tell you this groundbreaking piece of information that changes everything. Ready? NASA has an office that discovered this asteroid. What's its name? I'll tell you. Geez, thought that would've been bleeding obvious by now. The Near-Earth Object Office. Yup. It's called the Near-Earth Object Office.
NASA has an entire, well, office, to deal with Near-Earth Objects. Now, I'm not sure if they mean a literal office- like one little skinny dude named Dick (short for Richard) with a desk, a coffee pot and a fax machine who just scans the skies- or if they mean many rooms, maybe even a building dedicated to this study.
I'm not knocking it by the way. I've seen Contact. And the other thing I took away from the film other than Jodie Foster playing a hetero convincingly was that we look at only slivers of the sky at any given time. Hell they only discovered this asteroid on June 22nd and it's going to skin the Earth's knee, were the Earth to have giant knees sticking out about 7500 miles into space, on June 27th. I think we should probably have a whole building or even a series of buildings dedicated to this work. It could be called the Near-Earth Object Compound and I'd be totally okay with it.
No, my real question upon learning this is what the hell else does NASA have an office for? I mean, theoretically the Near-Earth Object Office could be studying asteroids as well as my ample ass. Both are close to Earth. In fact, my ass has way more chance of a collision with the planet than that asteroid does. Is some little scientist at NASA calculating the volume of my ass and wondering what kind of impact I could have on the gravitational field? It makes me wonder.
My ass is a bigger threat!
Does NASA have an office for Nowhere fucking Near-Earth objects? Or maybe an office for Things We've Seen in Star Trek But We Haven't Invented on-Earth objects? How about a Near-Mars Object Office? No? We'll just let those fuckers deal with an asteroid themselves? That's not very neighborly of us.
I wonder if NASA has a Naming Our Work Very Literal Names Office. I bet they do. And I bet that's who named this poor Near-Earth Object Office. Note, they chose to put the hyphen in. If you remove the hyphen does that mean nowhere fucking near Earth? No? Then if it doesn't change the meaning leave it out! That hyphen probably cost the taxpayer a cool ten million.
I guess I'll conclude by saying that I'm glad NASA exists and I'm glad they are looking for things heading right for us. I always wanted a job where I could pick up the red phone and say, "Mr. President! It's heading right for us!" And these lucky bastards are the ones who get to do just that. I think from now on that's what I'll call them. They will now be known as the It's Heading Right For Us! Office. See, they should've hired a hooker to do their PR.