Written by Gail Farrelly
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Topics: NASA, Mars, Mars Rover

Monday, 4 June 2012

image for Mars Rover Photographs Own Shadow, Annoys Groundhogs
The Shadow knows!

On a recent Sunday some groundhogs were having a nice day -- they had just watched the movie Groundhog Day for the umpteenth time -- until they happened to spot a headline on Google News: "NASA Mars rover takes photo of own shadow." They clicked on the link (it was a story by the Associated Press on the website Tulsa World) and were appalled.

What they saw was something that looked like science fiction but wasn't. It was science reality. An eye-popping photo of the Mars rover Opportunity (it was right at the tip of a crater) and its huge shadow. A photo that had been snapped by the rover itself! It was what they had heard many folks raving about. No applause from the groundhogs though. Just a loud chorus of boos.

On eyeing the photo, one of the groundhogs pointed an accusing paw at Opportunity and said, "That rover is stealing our thunder." Another groundhog agreed, complaining, "We make our living by seeing or not seeing our shadows and sharing that info with the world. Now this mechanical thingy steps up to the plate, grabs our idea, and takes all the attention away from us. It's just not fair. A pox on its house!"

All in the group nodded their little heads in agreement. One of the groundhogs shouted, "That rover Opportunity is a big fat showoff. And a copycat too." She growled at the computer screen and then continued, "That's the problem with the modern age. Machines get all the jobs. They're taking over the earth. And outer space too. This is progress?"

Hmm. Perhaps the groundhogs would agree with Albert Einstein, who once said, "Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal."

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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