NASA: A Space Too Far

Space. Or is it?...

I want you to stop what you’re doing right now, run outside, and look up.

What do you see? Hmm?

Why, it’s the sky, of course! The night sky and all her pretty little stars. It’s all laid out there right above your head, plain and simple, just the same as it’s always been. Right?…


The night sky is and umbrella of deceit, and NASA is the chilly wet hand that grips it.

Last week, CNN followed the action surrounding the Space Shuttle Discovery, which has been flying missions into Earth’s orbit for nearly 30 years. The Shuttle is charging into the dark abyss one last time, to boldly go where no man 246 men have gone before. What will be its glorious sendoff, according to NASA?

To “deliver a storage module, a science rig and spare parts to the international space station.”

Now hold on just one damn minute. NASA, are you trying to tell me that you’re flying not one, not two, but six men into outer space just to deliver some nuts and bolts and a Rubbermaid storage bin to a bunch of Commies in jumpsuits? Surely, you don’t really expect me, The Skeptic, to believe this?!

Something smelled foul, and it certainly wasn’t the space ice cream. I sniffed around a little bit, and was beginning to form some pretty startling conclusions, when NASA abruptly unveiled its dirty little secret:

Holy f*&#ing hell.


Ladies and gentlemen, meet Robonaut 2: a “dexterous humanoid robot built and designed at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.” Robonaut 2 is accompanying the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery on its mission into orbit. Reading up on the technical specs of this machine gave me a case of the willies! I hurtled through a maze of emotions, partly because the technology is straight outta Asimov, and partly because of an overwhelming desire to mate with the beast. My initial apprehension was soon eased, however, and my piercing gaze quickly turned elsewhere.

But then I got to thinking… Might that be exactly what NASA wants?

Is Robonaut 2 really the big secret they were trying to hide from us with the “spare parts and storage delivery” claim? Or is this friendly-looking robot simply a red herring that NASA hopes will divert our truth-seeking eyes from something far more sinister they’re cooking up beneath the deserts of Nevada…

So say we all!


Stay skeptical, my friends…

~The Skeptic

Pointless Stories with Joe VB – #1

(“Pointless Stories with Joe VB” is a recurring feature on, and was inspired by the website

“A Primetime Mainline”

by Joe Von Bokern

So there’s this guy, right? He can’t stop watching the television show “Intervention.” You could say he’s addicted to it. When he wakes up in the morning, he rolls over and snatches his laptop from his desk, pulls it into bed with him, and watches full episodes online for free. When he goes to work, he brings a hand-held television set with him into his cubicle and sneaks glimpses when nobody’s around. He will plug that same little television into his car radio on the ride home and listen to the show as though it were a book on tape. This man’s name is Randall.

Randall’s wife, Helen, used to be a very beautiful woman. When she and Randall first met at community college, their intense romance was the envy of all their friends. Over time, as Randall started watching more and more “Intervention,” her energy began to falter. She grew impatient with Randall’s inability to hold a conversation at social gatherings, and would often find him sneaking off to the bathroom at dinner to watch recaps from the previous week’s episode. It took a tremendous toll on their sex life as well. Randall’s body began to swell and grow fat from a lack of exercise. His heated passion for Helen had completely disappeared, and on the rare nights that they actually attempted to make love, Randall would often blurt out the names of some of “Intervention’s” most highly publicized cases.

“Oh Darlene!”

“Yes, Lourdes, yes!”

“My God, Kevin, you’re amazing!”

Now, after four years of marriage, every night finishes the same way. Randall ends up lying on his back with his head propped against the headboard, bathed in the pale glow of his laptop screen, while Helen silently weeps a few feet away, hopelessly curled into a fetal position and aging much more quickly than a woman of 29 should. After two or three episodes, Randall reaches over to the desk and lays his computer down for the night, leaving it up and running until the morning. Helen spends these few quiet hours dreaming about the life she was promised when she married Randall. Her subconscious delivers her into a warm, welcoming home where their three darling children can grow up. She smells the comforting aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg wafting from the kitchen. Through the window, she sees their dogs, Jasper and Pork-Pie, rolling in the freshly mowed grass. Everything is perfect, and there is no television.

Helen awakes from this recurring dream every morning to find her fat husband rolling over to bring his computer into bed to start the day. There are no children. No dogs. The cinnamon and nutmeg have vanished. There is barely any grass left in the yard, and it certainly hasn’t been mowed in months.

There is no Randall. There is only “Intervention.”

The ritual never changes. Day in and day out.

The worst part about an addiction is that the abuser’s mind has been so warped by his or her drug, that they will often fail to recognize the incredibly harmful damage that it has caused. Addicts will cut ties with their friends and family. They will choose their drug over their loved ones. The things that used to be of interest to them are suddenly no longer important. All that matters is where that next hit comes from. It’s true for heroin addicts. It’s true for alcoholics.

It’s true for Randall Ebersol of Schaumburg, Illinois.

Tonight, at the Schaumburg Community Center, in Room B, a small group of Randall’s friends, family, and co-workers will gather together in hopes of giving him the help he needs to overcome his crippling addiction. They’ll assure Randall that they still love him very much, and that they miss him. His mother will tell him stories from his childhood. His masculine father will cry for the first time in years. A representative from a rehabilitation center will be there to provide him with the resources he needs to get better. A professional camera crew will be present to document the evening, in hopes that sharing Randall’s story with the rest of the world will help others overcome their own vices. This powerful footage will be broadcast on cable television in high definition, and it will be included in the programming of most major On-Demand television providers. Men and women of all ages will be forever changed by watching these forty-three and a half grueling minutes of Randall Ebersol’s struggle.

It will make the world a better place.