Picture this: you’re a wealthy billionaire who’s fuelling the space tourism industry by taking a flight to the Moon for a couple weeks. Launch from French Guiyana goes without a hitch, and within four days you’re within shitting distance of Earth’s largest satellite, orbiting until you’re ready to land. But then disaster strikes: a rogue fingernail scrapes at the circuitry controlling the engines, preventing your pilot from applying the braking thrusters for a soft landing. You’re on a crash course for the Moon’s surface as gravity takes over unhindered. The pilot is dead, along with all the other passengers. How do you safely get back to Earth?
As tempting as it might be, don’t attempt to fly the spacecraft back home: it takes years of training and mental conditioning to develop the skills and reflexes required to operate a vehicle designed to escape Earth’s gravity. Spaceships also require huge amounts of maintenance by entire teams of engineers to keep running, so given that your spacecraft is (most likely) a smouldering wreck on the Moon’s surface, you’re best off not trying to fix it if you somehow happen to be a space pilot.
Your best bet is to send a a distress signal back to Earth and wait for rescue teams to arrive, even if this means waiting several months while they build a state-of-the-art multi-billion-dollar spaceship to replace the one that you destroyed with your grooming routine. Either way, you’re looking at at least four days on the lunar surface assuming they dispatch a rescue ship immediately. Rummage through the wreck for a power supply and some lengths of cable to create a makeshift transmitter if the radio system didn’t survive the crash.
The lunar landscape is one of the harshest locations in the Solar System, with a complete lack of breathable atmosphere and little in the way of vegetation. Making things worse,when the Sun rises it will become unbearably hot, hitting up to 200C. If you’re lucky about where you crashed, there might be a crater whose shadow you can hide inside. If no such shade can be found, your priority will be to build yourself a shelter to hide from the elements. One thing the Moon has in ample quantities is dust – lunar soil. Mixing this with small quantities of your own urine will create a sort of clay that you can mould into bricks that will harden almost immediately thanks to the vacuum, which you can then use to build a makeshift hut.
You’re safe from the scorching heat, but as night falls you will have the opposite problem, as temperatures plummet to -170C. The barren landscape offers no fuel to burn for the night. However, you must look closer: the lunar surface is rich in helium-3, which in a pinch can be used as nuclear fuel in a fusion reaction that will produce ample quantities of heat to keep warm. Arrange your helium-3 in a pile, surrounded by some regolith bricks to provide containment to stop the reaction from fizzling out. Then you will need to find some sort of high-friction material from the spacecraft wreckage (ceramic plates from the heat shield will work for this), and rub together at roughly 10 percent of the speed of light to achieve the 100 million degree temperatures required to initiate nuclear fusion. You may be tempted to use water from your emergency supplies on the basis that hydrogen has a lower nuclear charge and therefore easier to fuse, but you’ll need that to stay hydrated. Besides, a pure H-H reaction proceeds via the weak interaction, taking billions of years which is time that you just won’t have.
“On one hand, it’s highlighting the plight of those on welfare – but on the other hand it’s doing so by painting them as obnoxious human beings. But they’re not, because they cook meals and look out for each other. But then they’re hostile to those Romanians, who are obviously good guys because they were repeatedly quoted saying that they wouldn’t steal and just want to work. I have no idea whether the show is left- or right-leaning, or what I even think about this show. Am I left or right wing now? I feel like I’ve moved onto the y axis of the political spectrum.”
A 25-year-old in Texas, USA, has become the first human being to overcome rigid body forces, it has been reported.
Joe Morel achieved hydrostatic equilibrium last Friday at approximately 1700 Central Standard Time upon consuming his third plate of cheesy chips, when neighbours heard an audible sigh of relief coming from a man whose bones and muscle were no longer required to maintain his shape.
The work-at-home trader’s diet drew the attention of his doctor, who made it clear that he was endangering his health – but after multiple warnings and Morel’s insistence that his weight was in ounces and not pounds he was recommended to eat even more in order to become sphere-shaped. This would allow him to roll in order to get around, as he had entirely lost the ability to walk a year prior and had outgrown even the most robust scooters that American manufacturers could offer.
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has scheduled a meeting on 28 March to discuss whether Morel will become the ninth planet of the Solar System, as he has also cleared his neighbourhood of any snacks as of this morning. Spokesperson Lars Christensen added: “He meets the three requirements set out in 2006, which is a pain because having a human being as a planet is as ridiculous as having 12 planets. We’re going to have to add more rules or get him to jump through some hoops, which will hopefully get him to lose weight.”
1. Stock up on porn. The more perverted, deranged and life-threatening, the better. In the coming years, good old-fashioned smut will become as hard to come by here as a clear day in London.
2. Invest in a microwave. If and when the local neighbourhood watch comes knocking thanks to new powers to investigate any households using VPNs, TOR, proxy servers or anything else to sneak contraband in past the great firewall of Britain, you’ll want to at least be able to plausibly deny that you were on RedTube. Pop your hard drive into a microwave for sixty seconds at full power to eliminate most traces of perversion, such as pornography, sites related to gay acitivism, sexual health and education, and even counselling. Just make sure you put on a pair of trousers, hide the Polish gingerbread you were snacking on and drape a Union Jack over yourself when you answer the door to make your cover story of reading the Daily Mail more believable.
3. Learn Mandarin. The Chinese have had a good 20 years to practice shielding the public from the Internet, so it stands to reason that Chinese sites to get around network filters will be the best. Speaking the local language would also come in handy when it comes to eventually moving to somewhere with less internet censorship.
4. Get a job in a big company, preferably in technology. Money is power, and you can bet that any self-respecting business will be able to buy itself into the internet the way it was meant to be used. Not a corporate cog in the system or too scared to use the company VPN for recreational purposes? Too fucking bad. Now you realise why Big Society is named as such: it’s all for the big guys.
5. Write to your MP in protest of internet censorship, and pray that he/she can see past the ‘think of the children’ smokescreen. You might instead pray that they don’t, because you want to make sure that your efforts have failed so you can throw your hands up in the air and say that you tried as a way to shut up everyone who criticises you for slacktivism on Facebook. But if you wanted that, you could just write them an email, and let the technological literacy of the average UK MP do the rest.