Stars and Holidays

Stars and Holidays.

 I was doing a quiz about planets and stuff with my 4 year old son.

I found myself amazed by his knowledge of the universe. I certainly didn't know this stuff when I was his age. In fact I'm only learning it now. I asked him which planet was closest to the sun. "Mercury" says he. Which planet is known as the red planet? "Mars" Who was the first guy on the moon? "Neil Armstrong". Which planet is the hairiest? "Eh, Earth?" Which planet is nearest to the milk section in the supermarket (…And it's not the Milky Way)? "Eh Earth? Not bad for a 4 year old. It got me thinking though about all the stars out there and their scientific catalogue names like bxii4 or y3L9. Kind of boring names for kind of boring places.

 I guess all the exciting cultural events happen on Earth. Like Christmas or Midsummer's day and Mardi Gras. There are no holidays on these outposts. You'd imagine that the moon at least would have Armstrong Day: the equivalent of Columbus Day. Mars would have Rover day: A kind of Lewis and Clarke thing. Of course these are all American copies. We need some more international perspective. Perhaps on Mars we should have a Midsummer's Day celebration. Isn't the Martian year almost the same as an Earth year? These would all make fine holidays. I think that sometime in a Martian January might be a fine date for a James Day. And why not. If I don't claim it then someone else will claim it for themselves. It's a land grab already.

So I hereby officially proclaim January 19th (Mars time) to be James Day. While I'm at it, I'll proclaim August (Mars time) to be Mother's Month. October 30th can be Hil Day; May 15 is Ronan's day. March 10th will be Huck's day. Let's see if that sticks.

Is there intergalactic plagiarism out there? Are there trespassing laws yet? Is space still ruled only by the Laws of physics? Who's in charge?

It's odd how we assume that scientists and governments are in command. But in actual fact they are not. Who ever is up there is in charge. It's that simple at the moment. If two people are up there and one is armed then that person is in charge.

I guess those who keep an eye on space the most have their own appointed hierarchy. But until they actually get out there, they are really just playing at Spacemen. That will be fine until something useful is discovered. At that point it will all come down to who is better armed. Remember the old panicky sci-fi cry, "The Martians are coming, the Martians are coming"? Isn't it strange that it's turned out that it's us who are actually invading Mars? "The idiots are coming, the idiots are coming."