As excuses go, we've been in heaven the last couple of days.
"Have you got that spreadsheet with the February figures?" "Sorry boss. PC got hammered by those charged particles from the sun yesterday. Seems to have gone AWOL." Teacher: "Sammy, where's your history project?" "Sorry, miss. One of them solar thingies came in the window and burnt it all up."
Those charged particles danced up and down on the national grid without even having the courtesy to ask us whether we wanted to change our energy supplier or not. The effects seem to have been felt everywhere. That toast you burnt on Thursday? Solar storm. Those lights that were out of sequence in town yesterday? Solar storm. Those cones on your route home? Solar – no, they're always there.
But now that we turn our minds to it, there seems to be more and more activity up there in general at the moment. Earlier this week the police received numerous calls about a bright object in the sky that many believed to be a meteorite or News International's Mobile Phone Hacking Satellite. Which begs the question, why call the police? They're only going to sell your call to the papers. And what were they going to do about the mystery object anyway?
"Request offender's position, over."
"It's above the city centre – no, it's over Livingston -Er, no, it's - actually it's over Norway. My God it's moving fast!"
"Cool!" says the rookie PC as he grabs the speed gun. "Can I get him with this, sarge? Fastest one I've got so far is only 84mph. That's rubbish. The lads are laughing at me. Nasa says this thing's going at 140,000mph -" And out he dashed into the night, ready to make those charged particles charged particles, if you get my drift.
But back to the sun for a moment. The BBC noted the solar flares have resulted in a "coronal mass ejection". Nasty, although a strict vitamin diet and regular exercise normally sorts this out.
A colonic mass irrigation, sorry, I mean a colonic mass ejection is "a big ball of gas travelling at 2000 kilometres per second", according to one Doug Biesiecker from the US National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration. There's a food-related joke there somewhere, but shall we just leave it?
Perhaps this celestial power surge will reduce our energy bills? Oh look – there's a meteorite shaped like a pig.
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