FROM THE VALLEY: Houston, we have a problem

Tom Valley


Let's face it, NASA is a failure. They have been since they first started sending rockets to space. I mean, admittedly, I know very little about the subject, but simply based on their own stated goals, NASA has never accomplished what they set out to do.

“What is it they set out to do?" you wonder. (Thanks for wondering.) I'll tell you what it is.

Every single time any sort of multi-million dollar spaceship sits on the launch pad, just prior to liftoff, the obligatory press release states that the mission's deep-rooted objective is to find “the origin of the universe.” And as evidenced by the fact that they are still sending rockets into space, it's apparent they haven't found it yet.

Here are a few questions: What does the origin of the universe look like? How big is it? Do they know where to look? Does anyone know?

Good Lord, when I misplace the TV remote, at least I know what I'm looking for. Not to mention, my search is usually confined to a room or two. The universe? C'mon, man, there's a lot of area to cover out there.

I wonder if Mission Control has ever thought about using social media to see if, just perhaps, someone else has seen it. Maybe some guy or gal has unwittingly come across it somewhere and could steer them in the right direction. It wouldn't hurt to ask.

And let's just cut to the chase. What are they going to do once they find it? Will it cure cancer? Will it help feed the hungry? Will it solve the mysterious blindness this country is reeling from, a blindness immorally kept alive by the narcissism of a pathetic loser? Will it help the Buffalo Bills win a Super Bowl? Will it help the Buffalo Sabres win the Stanley Cup? OK, maybe that last one is a stretch. But, you get my drift.

Hey, here's something recent: A couple of weeks ago, NASA announced that they may have found a possible exo-planet in a different galaxy. It's 28 million light years away. (An exo-planet is simply a planet that orbits a star. Like the planets in our "solar" system.) May I be the first to say whoop-de-damn-doo!?

Seriously, who cares? What benefit am I going to reap from that information? Unless, of course, I'm on Jeopardy and the category is “Useless information that you won't reap any benefit from.”

Sure, it scratches a curious itch, but that's a pretty expensive back-scratcher. And it's 28 million light years away. That's one helluva road trip! Admittedly, it's a cool discovery, especially since I can't even find my car keys tucked somewhere in the sofa I'm sitting on.

And while I'm on the topic, it was 10 years ago that NASA sent a probe to the planet Jupiter. Ten years ago! And the probe is still functioning. How does that happen when I have to plug in my cell phone every eight hours just to respond to my friends with the laughing-so-hard-it's-crying yellow emoji?

Whatever. Let's move on.

On a completely different topic, and one of a more serious nature: A committee of Brazilian senators has recommended criminal charges against that country's president for crimes against humanity in his handling of COVID-19. Apparently, he downplayed the gravity of the situation which resulted in the world's second highest death toll. Who's No. 1? Take a bow, America. (Chant along with me … we're number one, we're number one.) I guess that makes us ... great again. I'm so proud.

More news. From New York City, surgeons announced that they took a kidney, grown in a genetically-altered pig (no idea what that is), and placed it in the body of a brain dead patient where it functioned properly for 54 hours. Great to hear! That means if you're a brain dead alcoholic, you've got a little over two days to frequent the can before you shut down and burst wide open. (No word on which brain-dead politician was used in the experiment.)

Finally, if I can pull some of these topics together: Perhaps NASA could send a probe to Congress and look for intelligent life there. ... Nah, on second though just another waste of money. Actually, two wastes of money, when you think about it. Anyhow ...

That's the way it looks from the Valley.

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