Goodness, what a plethora of news items to comment on today.

First the good news.

philae-820x420A satellite launched in 2004 by the European Space Agency (Esa) carried a robot probe called Philae on a mission to learn about the origins of our Solar System. Esa’s Rosetta satellite took 10-years to travel 6.4 billion-km (4bn-mile) to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. That in itself is mind-boggling. All of those scientists biting their nails, waiting for news. They deserved their tears of joy.

Can you remember what you were doing ten years ago? Philae – I keep wanting to call it Phyllis – has already sent back images of the craggy surface. The concern is that the landing was awkward – including a 1 km. bounce back into space when the anchoring harpoons failed to deploy.

My mind slewed to the movies Armageddon and Independence Day, which were like formula westerns but with spaceships and laser weapons. Both were filled with daring characters, pyrotechnics and nail-biting space danger. Here we come, to save the world flicks. Those were fake: this probe is real.  What a tremendous accomplishment. The landing was successful but now the scientists are worried that since the unit is in the shadow of a cliff face, there may not be enough sunlight reaching the solar panels to recharge the batteries.

Overshadowing that glorious win was the ugly news. The madness surrounding what one of my friends described as the ‘planet-sized buttocks’ of a wannabe famous female personage. Slicked up like a porker in a country fair race, this young woman chose to totally expose herself in an effort to, as she so eloquently put it, “break the Internet” by crashing servers around the globe as panting viewers tried to download her images. My, my how things have changed – there is no longer any sense of propriety about anything.I hesitate to imagine what might be next on the ‘look at me’ shock scale. Well, thank goodness she failed. Maybe now she’ll go away. The thing is, how is she going to explain this to her daughter when the girl finds the photos online? Apparently, the next big thing is ‘booty building’ classes. Apparently, flat butts are out and horse-sized flanks are in. Women are getting implants or injections of fat to round out their silhouettes. Undergarments with bum-falsies are making a comeback. It would make you laugh if it didn’t make you cry first.

And yet, the bad part is that some things haven’t changed. There will be fragile young women who stand naked in front of their mirrors cataloguing their figure flaws and wondering why they can’t have the photoshopped, emaciated, plastic-boobed, Barbie-wasted bodies they see in magazines and on fashion runways. Shock and awe for sure. But it’s more like awe-ful that the impact will be so negative, especially on impressionable women with low self-esteem. Tina Fey commented on this a few years ago.

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Those freaks of nature aren’t real, but you can be sure there will be females who are insecure or lonely or unloved for what and who they are, who give up hope. That’s the shameful part in all of this hoopla about a nobody who doesn’t have the brains to keep her clothes on and be alluring instead of skanky.  As usual with social media, parody web sites have sprung up, including this one from Buzzfeed, where men and women don garbage bags and try to replicate the shot of her shooting champagne over her head and into a glass perched on her massive bum.There is even a Homer Simpson face remade with her significant part forming the lower half of his face. Priceless.

That’s the only positive thing coming out of this debacle – mock the self-indulgent fool and take the attention away. An unintended but well-deserved consequence. Perhaps like a spoiled child, she’ll decide there’s no point in acting out any more and go back to her zillion-dollar room to sulk.