- From the Christian Science Monitor - Astronomers have found a “Goldilocks Planet,” designated Gliese 581g. Not too hot; not too cold; just right to support LIFE.
- From the Associated Press and Wired News - The United Nations appointed the one person who will be the official liaison should planet earth be contacted by extraterrestrials
The UN originally picked a Malaysian astrophysicist named Mazlan Othman for the job. I’m sure she’s good, but off the top, I’m going to say she’s out of touch with the mainstream. She’s been cloistered in the United Nations’ Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA, really.) off and on since 1999. And now she has retracted her statement that the UN (she) should coordinate the international response to extraterrestrial contact. How can she be the right person for the job if she’s already backing away from it? The UN itself now denies the story, a clear lack of confidence in their first, knee-jerk selection.
Therefore, I humbly submit my pertinent qualifications: A. Worked thirty years with adolescents.
What other life form is more akin to an alien? Most of us know the experience of bringing up baby only to find, after thirteen or so years, that we don’t recognize baby at all. My thirty years interacting with partially formed humanoids makes me uniquely adept at listening and understanding when communication comes in the form of grunts and gestures alone. I actually love the little buggers. They respond to that. Maybe aliens would too.
B. Navigated the bureaucracy of public school policy, again for 30 years:
Should our guests arrive with a complex set of expectations, protocols, assessment, red tape, invisible tape, and duct tape, who better to side-step the adhesive and get right down to the bright shiny faces of our new immigrant friends, find their skills and interests, and acclimate them to our way? Why, I could have them moving from room to room every 55 minutes and eating government-issue cheese in no time.
C. Good manners and good sense.
If we get to Goldilocks first, I understand we must offer them a sign of our peaceful nature and inherent good will. The best gift would be something we’ve researched and know they want and need. Something superfluous here, and scarce there.
God, I hope it’s fat. FAT! YES! They want all the fat we can give them and they have the means to suck it out fast and pain free. Goldilocks is a beautiful blue planet populated by skinny ET’s. All they really yearn for in life is to fill out. And we can help.
NO! Politicians! That’s it! Goldilockians have a need for air—hot air. And they have too many trees and need more and more ways to consume the paper before it overtakes them. Their paint is all dried and their glaciers melted. They are desperate for something else to move slowly, imperceptibly. We can unload, er, offer our politicians.
Their welcoming gift, in exchange, we will accept --- oil? Too easy an answer, but okay. It might be nice to have a deep well with no strings. But that is so crass.
Is it too much to hope they might offer up their surplus of common sense, collegiality, and team work? Maybe they have tons of it bottled up on shelves in all their grandmas’ basements and can’t wait to share it like last season’s tomatoes before the new crop comes in. We’ll bring home cases of the stuff in Mason jars, tie ribbons on it, and distribute it at the holidays.
We could take intergalactic truckloads to Sacramento and Washington, D.C. Wouldn’t that be something?
Soon, we’d be overrun with a functional government, working selflessly, in concert, toward the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
Some say I’m a dreamer---I prefer visionary. I’m in touch with the needs of the people. I could fit right in at UNOOSA. Vote for me.