Print

Zakarya is the Story Teller

i was leaving Brno and i ran into a strange man in the train station. He needed a train ticket to Vienna, which was where i was going and could not find the international ticket counter. So i showed him the counter, helped him getting a ticket, since they spoke no English at the counter and we sat next to each other. He asked me what i did and i told him i had the best job in the world (which i felt i did at the time), he replied this was impossible, because he had the best job in the world. Traveling from place to place teling stories. With time i have become convinced he is right.


Other Peoples Funny Stories

"How does Zakarya come from Adrian?" you might well ask. There is no acceptable contraction of the three syllable Adrian, so one day we decided to call him Zak for short. It was used some, but did not really stick as a name. So when i was designing my name, i wanted to honor this inspiring friend, (and the A. Z. initial combination worked nicely) but Zak did not flow right, so i expanded it to Zakarya. Using the phonetic spelling to avoid any confusion between it and the Biblical name and add an almost oriental flair to it.

After Adela and i got married we went to the Temelin Action camp and she signed in as Adela Paxova-Kubickova. Taking my first name (instead of the last name) and adding the "ova" that women add to their husbands names when they get married (and drop their own name). Not really knowing what i was doing i signed in after her as Paxus Adelova-Calta, which got a riot of laughter from the Czechs. The "ova" extension is only used for women, and it actually means "the property of". But i kept it, wishing to honor my wife in my name and tangling the traditions of our two cultures.

I would find out many years later that Calta was a Sicilian word for Castle, but when i choose it the only thing it meant was 'power' in a language i had made up many years earlier. Pax Calta, Peace Power, it seemed like a good combination at the time and looking back a decade and a half later, it would appear this balance is at the center of my identity quest.

 


Wisdom from the Edge

In a time not different from this one, but in a land very far away, there is a kingdom of wisdom. An in this kingdom there is a princess. One of her responsibilities is to know the land of the kingdom, both its people and its places. One day she traveled to the farthest edge of the kingdom, where it bordered a vast uncharted, unclaimed and unknown land.

She stayed at this point for several days appreciating the beauty of the large lake and looking with awe at the forest of the unknown land. As she was preparing to leave she decided to take one look back at this most beautiful view and was surprised to see a man emerge from the uncharted land.

The princess immediately went down from the hill and into this foreign land, for she was fearless. As she approached it was clear both that he was not from her kingdom nor were they of the same social class, for he was dressed nearly in rags, but this did not prevent there being an attraction between the two which transcended wealth and station.

After they had thrown stones into the lake and spoken quietly for several hours the pauper asked the princess "My dearest lady, would you be so kind as to tell me the secrets of the kingdom of wisdom?"

The princess who indeed knew these things was a bit surprised and said "Well, fair stranger, i am not sure i can grant your request, for i know not if you are worthy."

And at this the pauper jumped up and began a long slow deep bow to show his respect to the royalty. But almost through with his theatrical movement he stumbled (perhaps intentionally?) and then proceeded into a series of mime performances of mock clumsiness. And the princess began to laugh at his silly performance. Then he withdrew juggling balls from his multicolored bag and she sat astonished at his ability. He took out magic tricks and pulled her hair and she returned to laughing at his performance. After just a few minutes the princess was both amazed and laughing so hard she feared she would wet her royal pants.

"Stop, stop, i will tell you", she cried thru her tears of joy. "i know not still if you have proven yourself worthy, but i can laugh no more, i will tell you the secrets" The pauper now became quiet again and it seemed even the wind stopped to listen to the words of the heir to the thrown.

Regaining her composure the princess said quite seriously "The secrets of the kingdom of wisdom are three:

The breeze began softly to blow again. After a respectful moment the pauper silently packed his tricks into his multicolored bag and began to walk around the lake and out of the kingdom.

The princess called after him, "Fair sir, have you nothing to say about this wisdom?" her voice echoed over the water.

"Only this my lady", replied the pauper, "i understand your secrets and find them true, but you have forgotten the one rule"

"And what is that?" called the princess as she could barely hear the pauper.

"Do not take yourself too seriously" he said as he disappeared into the forest.

 


The New Prometheus

In the original myth of Prometheus, the hero ascends mount Olympus, where he fools the gods and steals fire from them. Returning to the surface world, this fire is given to humanity and used to build civilization. But Zeus is angry with Prometheus and condemns him to be tortured for eternity.

Recent information made available thru the Freedom of Information Act indicates some important details of the myth have been left out. It turns out the gods knew Prometheus was coming and was planning to rob them. So the gods hid all of the good fires and left only the worst one behind for Prometheus to steal [Prometheus wrongly assumed there was only one kind of fire]. Thus Prometheus returned to earth with the wrong fire and with the wrong intent and correspondingly built the wrong society.

There is now a place for a new kind of Prometheus. One who works with the gods instead of stealing from them and uses the best fires, which the gods hid from Prometheus in the places we have only now started to look for them - in the wind, in the sea and in the sun.

It is time we started working with nature - instead of stealing from it, harnessing the power of renewable resources in wind, solar and sea-based technology. And with these we can build a new civilization.

 


The Cooperators Club

It started as joke.

A handful of friends sitting around in the Pink Floyd coffeeshop in Am*dam. The conversation had been lively for a while and the atmosphere was thick with haunting melodies, sweat smelling smoke and dangerous ideas.

"Oh Max, please tell us about irresistable ideas, again" one of the assembled pleaded mockingly.

"Shouldn't this assembled group of great minds be able to come up with a meme, a self reproducing theory which is powerful enuf to change the world" teased Sigrid.

Cooperators Manifesto

An agreement for Mutual Aid: If we are to change society, we must take responsibility for it ourselves. We need to break out of the existing anonomous social structures. We must recognize that there are voluntary associations which we can form with people who we do not necessarily know. This manifesto is designed to create a flexible structure which is a beginning in turning things around. Use it if it is useful, change it as needed.

An Agreement to be Identifiable: Since the desire to to communicate to people who we do not know, we need to visibly identify ourselves. The initial proposal is to wear a small button of pin which has the letters "CC" or the words "Cooperators Club". And to permit growth of the Club, carry copies of this agreement and a few buttons and distribute them as it makes sense.

An Agreement to Aid: To the best of our ability at the time of a request from another identified member of the Club, we will do what we can for each other. Especially, sharing things which can be easily shared and providing our efforts in varying forms on a voluntary basis.

An Agreement to Communicate Directly: We need to recognize that this change in the social structures can only work if we can trust people who we have little or no previous experience with. To do this we need to make an extraordinary effort to say how we feel, early and clearly. If people are taking advantage of our generosity or idealism, we need to express it.

An Agreement to avoid using Money: Money is a powerful tool. Regretably, it is far easier to abuse and cause damage that it is to be genuinely helpful. Part of creating a society of cooperators is figuring out how to work together minimizing and avoiding the use of money as much as possible.

Not long after the Manifesto was written the name was changed to the "Cooperators Contract", which had a somewhat better illiteration (in English anyway) and sounded less poliically threatening.

Describe how the movement grows, give success story examples

Give examples of failures and recovery, splintering and reforming (philosophical divisions), perhaps outlawed somewhere. Fundamentalists - CC in e-mail addresses and on business cards.

Finally, the formation of the first international Progress, an alternative to a Congress. No formal program, all informal discussions, working groups on topics and creation of mutual assistance networks.

 


Prince Midas

"My Father was a fool", the prince of the kingdom of Midas said as he looked down on the body of his father. King Midas had just died of a broken heart. For the gift he had for turning what he touched to gold had gone horribly wrong. He had accidently touched his own daughter, his pride and joy, killing her. He cried over her golden statue, frozen in her last movement to kiss his hand. He cried and cried, until finally he too died.

Prince Midas scorned his father and removed the ring of Midas from his hand. The ring had belonged to the ruler of the land for over 1000 years, and now he was the hier to the throne. "I will learn from my fathers foolish mistakes" the Prince claimed.

He went to the alchemist, who had given his father the golden touch and instructed him to empower the ring with such a gift, so that its wearer can turn what they touched into gold. The alchemist worked for many days and nights, but finally succeeded in the Princes request. The Prince tested the ring and indeed it worked. He promised to pay the alchemist in gold, immediately upon receiving his bill.

The Prince set foot immediately to expand the empire he had spend his whole life learnign to run. He had been schooled by the finest tutors and wisest minds of the kingdom, he spoke 5 languages and was reputed by many to be the wisest monarch in memory. Prince Midas summoned many experts to his courts, the finest minds in the known world and together they designed the development of his kingdom.

His political advisors suggested that he give as much freedom and power to the people of his country as he could without giving up the throne. They advised that he use his power of wealth creation to insure that there was a prosperous middle class and that even the poorest of the poor were not sick or in need of food or shelter. The Prince followed this advise and soon local councils were coordinating many tasks thru directly elected officials. The free press sprang up like mushrooms on a rotting log.

The economic advisors suggested that he invest heavily in universities and research facilities to improve the condition of industry and commerce in his kingdom. They suggested he hire the best talent from away lands and bring them to the capital with large salaries and well equipped offices, laboratories and facilities. The Prince agreed with this council and soon institutes and creative places covered the land.

The military advisors suggested that the Prince tour all of the neighboring countries and establish trade relations and strategic alliances with them to increase their wealth as well and reduce the chances of a military assault on the land of Midas, which would be perceived as growing too rich. The Prince appreciated this wisdom and soon set off to make friends and business partners in other lands.

All of the advisors recommended that he tell no one about the power of the ring. He was sure they were right in this also, and they all swore a blood oath to secrecy.

One of the Prince's trips was to the kingdom of the East, here he met the fair Princess Marcella and they fell in love. Soon the two were married in a gala ceremony in the capital of Midas and the beautiful princess was the source of great pride and joy for the Prince.

Many years passed and the kingdom of Midas prospered, trade relations helped the surrounding kingdoms, increased democracy encouraged the populace to take part in policy and solution building, Midas was heralded by his free press and by that of the neighboring countries as the best ruler in the history of world.

Then one day the monarch of the kingdom of the East died, leaving only Princess Marcella as an heir. The Princess offered the kingdom of the East to her husband to rule and there was another great celebration at the joining of the two kingdoms and the Easterns welcomed their new with the land of Midas.

But word of the magical ring reached the ears of the incompetent ruler of the kingdom of the South. There the arid land and lazy subjects had not been able to take much advantage of the trade offered from the great kingdom to the north and as unrest began to sweep the land of the South, the ruler declared that the kingdom of Midas had attacked the frontier. The story was completely false, but the Southern King was desperately in his need of enemies and felt the resentment in his own population of the wealth of his northern neighbor. Soon a patriotic Southern army was assembled and headed for the front lines.

Prince Midas's military advisors suggested that the kingdom to the south be granted a small symbolic victory and concessions of land near the border to attempt to bring the aggression to an early end. The Prince agreed and the strategy seemed to work.

The military advisors also demanded that creative production be turned towards weapons production, to insure that Midas's army was always the strongest. The Prince understood the logic of this and commanded it to be so.

But the King of the South, having been celebrated for his only successful action in his long carrier (the invasion of the north border) felt he must go further. He brought in his most treacherous spy and together the conceived a most evil plan. The spy infiltrated the kingdom of Midas and kidnapped Princess Marcella and brought her to the kingdom of the south.

Prince Midas was furious with his military staff, which had become so lax that even the royalty was not safe. The general for internal security was imprisoned. Midas's military advisors suggested that he quickly reclaim the land which had been ceded to the south, to show their superior force, but stop at the old borders with visible superior military strength. Midas agreed and within a day they had recaptured the territory without a single casualty. None the less the press was critical of the invasion, saying that it risked bringing the kingdom to war before discussions with the kingdom of the South had even started. A small demonstration in the capital was the first against the Prince in his reign, riot police gently removed the protesters, there was little attention paid to it.

Then came the shock. The kingdom of the South offered a trade, they wanted the Prince to give back their land and give them the magical ring of Midas and in exchange they would return the Princess. This was the first time the magic ring had ever been mentioned in public and immediately the wisdom of Prince Midas was doubted. Nearly everyone was convinced that with such a ring they too could rule the vast empire as well or better than Midas. The stock market crashed the same day and gold became nearly worthless.

Midas's military advisors said the exchange was impossible. The South King knew that if he gave up Marcella, that Midas's superior military force would be able to recapture the ring before the South King could build his economy. All the experts and advisors to Midas told him such a trade was a mistake, the South King could not be trusted and he might well loose the ring and his lovely bride. The Prince went into a depression.

With the collapse of the stock and gold markets, numerous food deliveries from the eastern part of Midas's kingdom did not make it to the kingdom of the North. There was rioting as the food shops ran out for the first time and Midas was blamed. Prince Midas snapped out of his depression and sent diplomats and emergency food shipments to the North Kingdom, with his apologies. But soon it became impossible to support all aspects of the economy which were in trouble, especially because resources were being diverted to build the tools of war. Many people no longer had faith in Midas.

As the press became more critical and the local councils attempted to restrict the power of the central government, Midas's political advisors suggested he role back these political freedoms for they were endangering the center. Reluctantly, Midas agreed and there was censorship and restrictions of local autonomy.

The Kingdom of the South invaded the territory once ceded to them. The Midas's armies effort to push the Southern aggressors back, the troops of Midas entered the Kingdom of the South. There were many casualties on both sides - the press was extremely critical of this, saying that Midas had not yet attempted to negotiate in good faith and was driving this peace loving country towards a terrible war.

Unrest also started in the former kingdom of the East, where Marcella was once heir to the throne. A large demonstration in the former capital turned into a riot when federal police from Midas classed with both protesters and local police from the Eastern kingdom. Midas quickly found his relationship with this part of his own kingdom strained. He withdrew the federal police.

The South King demanded that within 100 hours the exchange must take place or he would kill Marcella. Midas's military advisors showed the Prince a decoded message from within the secret police of the Southern Kingdom, which seemed to prove that the South King had no intention of returning the Queen. They knew full well that Midas's superior military could simply then roll in and take the ring and the territory back, especially with gold prices nearly zero. Prince Midas had to agree that it seemed unlikely the South King would play his only card. Midas's spies also said they had located the place where the Princess was and would attempt a daring rescue, but could not complete it within the ultimatum deadline.

Midas appeared before his people and asked them to understand that no one love Marcella more than he and that he would do everything he could to bring her home safely, but the kingdom could not give into the demands of terrorist nations, or else no one would be safe. But just as Midas was giving this speech, investigative journalists broke the story that secret negotiations had been going on between Midas's minister of trade and the council of the King of the South. There were more riots in the east. Prince Midas closed the press and dissolved the regional local councils.

Tragically, the intelligence of Prince Midas was incorrect and on the fourth day the king of the South did kill Princess Marcella. Midas's mixed army with the eastern lands was shattered and there were massive desertions, eastern militias attacked the center as did armies from both he South and North.

Soon, the great kingdom of Midas was in ruins, thousands of acres were burned and all the accomplishments of his rein were lay to waste. The kingdom fell into anarchy. And as Prince Midas looked from his castle tower, he could see the enemy troops coming over the gates, knowing it would be but moments before they were on him. He took off the enchanted family ring and threw it from the balcony into the castle moat and said "i am no wiser than my father".

 


A Poet's Tale

There once was a young poet who read all the poetry in her language and was especially inspired by an older poet who had lived a difficult and brave life.

With years the young poet wrote and gained some fame herself and of course she aged as well.

Then one day she got invited to the 80th birthday of the famous older poet and went with great joy having never met the famous poet and wishing to express the appreciation of the inspiration.

But when she finally met the famous older poet she was almost without words. But the kindly old poet could see that the no-longer young poet had something important to express and said, come with me to the garden.

They walked together silently for a while and the older poet said. "Do you see these flowers, they have been one of my main inspirations" and with this the younger poet began to cry and said. "this is what i wish to tell you, that all my life, you work, your struggle has been my greatest inspiration, if i have done any thing which is beautiful, it is because of your word."

The old poet blushed a bit and said, "i am sure that your works come from your spirit, i have read then often and where i can see my influence here and there, they are truly original, in no ways simply mirrors of my writing".

"you can not know how i have poured over your books and strove to understand you. But this does not matter, i wish to know but one thing - how can i pay you back?"

"you can not" said the older poet as she held one of her flowers and they stood in silence for a moment

"but you can pay me forward" she said finally, "you can help someone else"

 


Sage Wisdom

The Novice climbs the mountain in search of the wisdom of the sage who lives alone atop its peak.

The Novice arrives at Sunrise and the Sage is already outside in the cool mountain breeze meditating on the heavenly performance.

After patiently waiting for the sun and the sage to rise, the Novice approaches and says "I have climbed this mountain so that you might share your wisdom with me"

"And this i shall do" said the sage "What is it that you seek ?"

"I seek the most important thing" said the novice

"Ahh" repied the sage "That would be good judgement"

"And what is the source of good judgement" inquired the novice

"That would be experience" answered the sage

"And from where comes experience" asked the novice politely

"Bad judgement" replied the sage, with a smile.

 


[With a nod and a wink to Charles Dogson]

Alice asks "Where shall we go now?"

"We can sit beneath the shrinking moon or wander thru the growing trees, but it does not matter for it is all the same" sez the mad hatter

"Everything is not the same" scolds Alice

"Tell me how they are different in a way that matters" responds the hatter.

"Well, there is at least shrinking and growing ..."

"Which are the same only the other way around" interrupted the hatter

"Would you let me finish" complained Alice

"Then you would be neither shriking nor growing - you would just be finished, now that might be different" pondered the hatter

"That's not what i was talking about" cried Alice

"So you also agree they are not different" interjected the hatter

"You are impossible" sighed Alice

"No just unlikely" answered the hatter "so come walk with me thru the quiet woods under the unchanging moon"

"Sounds beautiful" cooed Alice as she took his small hand and wandered off down the only path available, which seemed to lead everywhere imaginable.

 


This is an actual essay written by a college applicant. The author, Hugh Gallagher, now attends NYU.

3A. ESSAY:
IN ORDER FOR THE ADMISSIONS STAFF OF OUR COLLEGE TO GET TO KNOW YOU,
THE APPLICANT, BETTER, WE ASK THAT YOU ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: ARE
THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT EXPERIENCES YOU HAVE HAD, OR ACCOMPLISHMENTS YOU HAVE
REALIZED, THAT HAVE HELPED TO DEFINE YOU AS A PERSON?

I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have
been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more
efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban
refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently.
Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row.

I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot
bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute
Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and
an outlaw in Peru.

Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended
a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants.
I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets, I am the subject of
numerous documentaries. When I'm bored, I build large suspension bridges in
my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair
electrical appliances free of charge.

I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics
worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don't
perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller
number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey
with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat .400. My deft floral
arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children
trust me.

I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy.
I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and
still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the
exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed
several covert operations for the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep,
I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated
with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of
physics do not apply to me.

I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On
weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago
I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made
extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I
breed prizewinning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving
competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played
Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.

But I have not yet gone to college.

 


Some actual newspaper headlines for your enjoyment:

Include your Children when Baking Cookies
Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
Safety Experts Say School Bus Passengers Should Be Belted
Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case
Survivor of Siamese Twins Joins Parents
Farmer Bill Dies in House
Iraqi Head Seeks Arms
Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?
Stud Tires Out
Prostitutes Appeal to Pope
Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
Soviet Virgin Lands Short of Goal Again
British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands
Lung Cancer in Women Mushrooms
Eye Drops off Shelf
Teacher Strikes Idle Kids
Reagan Wins on Budget, But More Lies Ahead
Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim
Shot Off Woman's Leg Helps Nicklaus to 66
Enraged Cow Injures Farmer with Ax
Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told
Miners Refuse to Work after Death
Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
Stolen Painting Found by Tree
Two Soviet Ships Collide, One Dies
Two Sisters Reunited after 18 Years in Checkout Counter
Killer Sentenced to Die for Second Time in 10 Years
Never Withhold Herpes Infection from Loved One
Drunken Drivers Paid $1000 in `84
War Dims Hope for Peace
If Strike isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last a While
Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
Enfields Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge
Deer Kill 17,000
Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
Man Struck by Lightning Faces Battery Charge
New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
Chef Throws His Heart into Helping Feed Needy
Arson Suspect is Held in Massachusetts Fire
British Finds Dwarfs in Short Supply
Ban On Soliciting Dead in Trotwood
Lansing Residents Can Drop Off Trees
Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
New Vaccine May Contain Rabies
Man Minus Ear Waives Hearing
Deaf College Opens Doors to Hearing
Air Head Fired
Steals Clock, Faces Time
Prosecutor Releases Probe into Undersheriff
Old School Pillars are Replaced by Alumni
Bank Drive-in Window Blocked by Board
Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
Some Pieces of Rock Hudson Sold at Auction

 


House to Downsize Solar System
A Press Release - Bob Haberle reporting.

WASHINGTON D.C. The House Appropriations subcommittee on NASA oversight, in another effort to reduce the NASA budget, passed a resolution today to downsize the solar system. According to an unnamed congressional staffer, House Republicans felt there has been "too much redundancy in the solar system" and that streamlining the 4.5 billion year old planetary system is long overdue. Such action would give NASA fewer places to go and this would allow the agency to carry out its space exploration goals within the funding profile that the House proposed earlier this summer.

"Look, we have three terrestrial planets" said Congressman Rip U. Apart (R, Del.), "and only one of them really works! So why not get rid of the other two and clean up the neighborhood?" Most subcommittee members felt that while downsizing was definitely in the cards, eliminating both Mars and Venus was going too far. "We have too many international commitments to Mars." said Rush N. Hater (R, Calif.). "So I think we should keep Mars and dump Venus. Its too hot to live on, and liberal Democrats keep using it as an example of what global warming can do. So from a political and practical point of view, Venus has got to go."

Also at risk is the planet Mercury which lacks support because of its small size and poor visibility from Earth. "Who needs it?" asked Congressman Newt Onian (R, N.C.). "Have you ever seen it? I haven't. So what good is it? We just don't need useless planets. And speaking of useless planets, what about the asteroids? If you've seen one, you've seen them all. So I say we ought to get rid of the little boogers once and for all."

However, the downsizing recommendations do not stop with the terrestrial planets. The resolution also calls for a reduction in the number of gas giants which contain most of the planetary mass in the solar system. Most subcommittee members favor retaining Jupiter and Saturn, and eliminating Uranus and Neptune. "Jupiter employs the most molecules, and Saturn has those pretty little rings everyone likes." said Rep. Con Mann (R, Fla.). "On the other hand, Uranus is a bore and its rings are dirty. And Neptune, for God's sake, is just too far away. So begone with those ugly bruisers."

But the influential Wright I.M. Fornow from South Carolina has publicly announced he will fight to eliminate Saturn. Fornow is especially miffed by NASA's success thus far in keeping Cassini, the next mission to Saturn, alive which he feels is waste of taxpayers money. "If there ain't no Saturn, then there ain't no Cassini" he exclaimed. The congressman also expressed concern about sending back-to-back spacecraft bearing Italian surnames to the outer planets (The Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter this December).

The subcommittee was unanimous in its views towards Pluto which they deemed a moral misfit. "Now here's a planet we can definitely do without." continued Fornow. "A few years ago, it was farthest from the sun. Now its not. Its just too confusing. And now they tell me its really two planets instead of one. What the hell is going on here?"

The resolution must now be presented to the entire House, where it is expected to pass easily since only a minority of Representatives have constituents on the affected planets. NASA Administrator Golden has vowed to resist any further reductions to the solar system, saying that "NASA has expended considerable effort to make the planets cheaper, faster, and better. Much of this work would be wasted if the solar system were downsized" stated Golden.

Critics say, however, that reducing the number of planets will not produce the expected savings to taxpayers. Textbooks, they note, would have to be revised to reflect the new arrangement, and facilities would need to be constructed to remove the planets themselves. The resolution is also likely to draw strong opposition from religious fundamentalists who have long opposed the elimination of any of the biblical planets. Thus, the matter is far from resolved.

 


Why God did not get tenure:

1) He had only one major publication
2) It had no references
3) It was not published in a refereed journal
4) Some even doubt he wrote it himself
5) It may have been true that he created the world,
but what has he done since
6) His cooperative efforts have been quite limited
7) The scientific community has had a hard time duplicating his results
8) He never applied to the Ethics Board for using human subjects
9) When one experiment went awry he tried to cover up his
mistakes by drowning the subjects
10) When subjects did not behave as predicted, he delete
them from the sample
11) He rarely came to class, but told students to read the book
12) Some say he had his son teach the class
13) He expelled the first two students for learning
14) Although there were only ten requirements, most students failed his tests
15) His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountaintop.