Wednesday

November 22nd, 2017

Insight

Intergalactic news

Paul Greenberg

By Paul Greenberg

Published Nov. 8, 2017

It happened shortly after earthrise on a small planet in the galaxy known as the Milky Way because of how it diffuses light, which is said to be aesthetically pleasing to certain species scattered throughout greater Galactica. It's a rare sight, but not unknown in the annals of space travel. Singularities, it turns out, are not so singular. Like most events, this had happened before -- and certainly will occur again as the universe maintains its steady course till the end of everything. And then, in the biggest of bangs, is created again.

Today's big story and scandal concerned Teslatonics, a multi-planed enterprise that has been investigated before but without any indictments being filed by the universal prosecutor. This time the company is supposed to have been caught using the most primitive of methods to get its space ships in shape for flight and its quarterly earnings report in shape for investors.

An enterprising reporter is said to have filmed videos of spare parts for Teslatonics' Spaceship Model X2 sport-utility spacecraft piling up in the repair yard after attempts simply to hammer the misaligned parts into shape with rubber clubs had failed.

Teslatonics' chief executive and buck passer, Elon Musk XXXIV, claimed all its design problems have been solved but doubts persist among Teslatonics' workforce. Some of the stressed-out workers say they are being forced to work beyond their capacities in order to meet the company's ambitious goal of churning out 5,000 spacecraft a week by the end of the solar/lunar cycle. And there is talk of a strike that would shut down the whole planet.

The talk has unnerved some investors who once considered Teslatonics a safe bet. Now it begins to look like a bet they might just lose. The big board in the Soyuz Metroplex shows the price of Teslatonics' shares plummeting to record lows. Now even comrade Musk has acknowledged that the company is experiencing "production hell."

Yet the latest Musk in charge of the company claims all these problems will be resolved satisfactorily. The challenge, he explains, "is fine-tuning the bring-up of certain automated production processes. However, this will result in higher volumes and even safer production for our employees." But his words seem to be falling on deaf ears as the Intergalactic Personhood of Engineers and Machinists sets up an operational base only several hundred kilometers from Teslatonics' headquarters, where its organizers are proceeding to make camp. It all sounds like more trouble for Teslatonics' business empire. Stay tuned for late-breaking news on this ever-troubled front.

Now for the weather: Temperatures on wildly spinning Mercury should remain as, well, mercuric as ever while those on boiling-hot Venus should vary slightly from molten to sulfuric. Mars should remain as red as a hot stove. Interplanetary static has interfered with transmissions from Saturn's rings while the Van Allen belt of asteroids posed no danger at the moment.

But forecasters warn that there's no telling when one of those rolling rocks might break loose and head our way, so earthlings should stay alert for any approaching danger. Neptune remains stable, as does Uranus. But there is still some dispute about whether reports from Pluto should be fully accredited because scientists seem unable to decide whether it's a planet or just a large rock tumbling through space.

A frontal boundary is likely to produce radioactive clouds with a chance of acid rain for most locales in the next 24xspace divisions. Much of the galaxy can look forward to lightning storms and drier conditions as the galaxy turns. This concludes this cycle's intergalactic news report.

Let there be light,

Your faithful correspondent

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Paul Greenberg is the Pulitzer-winning editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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