Sunday, August 28, 2011

Scientists Discover Comic Rays

May help explain human stupidity.

By Bengt B. Bjornsson, Reporting for Stand-Up News

An experiment at CERN, Europe's high-energy physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, is finding evidence for a new type of ray from outer space.

You may remember, if you paid attention in high school physics (if you were smart enough to be there), or in college physics (if you were smart enough to be in college), that there are things called "cosmic rays".

These mysterious particles come crashing to earth from deep space at super-high energies, and are responsible for poor TV reception, genetic mutations, and scaring cats.

Stranger than truth.

Well, even stranger rays have now been discovered. These are "comic rays". (Which researchers sometimes refer to as "funny bunnies" or "chuckle zaps" in unguarded moments).

Comic rays are stoking a long-running argument over the role of radiation from distant stars in altering the mental climate here on earth.

For over a century scientists have known that particles from space constantly bombard Earth. This is true.

This is true, but boring. Unless you are standing where you can get hit.

These "cosmic rays" have some role in cloud formation, causing ball point pens to leak, and making your boss irritable.

No news there, but still none too good.

A different sort of beast.

Comic rays, however, are different.

When even scientists, who should know better, are saying odd things in public, then something is going on. And the evidence seems to be all around us.

For instance, remember Donald Trump's Presidential campaign? Yep. This can be explained by comic rays.

Kim Kardashian's sudden huge rise in popularity? The same. Comic rays at work.

Lady Gaga, the daily news, the price of gas, and pretty generally everything you can lump under the heading of "WTF is it with life these days?" is due, at least in part, to the effects of comic rays.

What's the outdoor angle? How about the seemingly irrational urge for some people to strap packs on themselves and go out hiking in the woods for days, weeks, maybe even months on end.

Some skepticism remains.

Of course all this is still a bit tentative.

"At the moment, the new theory actually says nothing about a possible comic-ray effect on clouds and climate, but it's a very important first step," says Dr. Runti Pundit, a researcher investigating the phenomenon at the Second City National Laboratory near Chicago.

And of course there are those who will never become believers, like Mush Rumble, noted conservative commentator and drug addict, who refuses to even believe in gravity until he can see it moving around with his remaining good eye.

So the jury is still out (said to be recovering from a night of carousing, no less -- which might just be further evidence that comic rays actually do exist).

"At the end of it, we want to settle it one way or the other," mused Dr. Pundit, easing himself back down onto his familiar embroidered whoopee cushion at the end of his routine.

(For the record, it should be noted that Dr. Pundit, to his credit, has never been backpacking.)