Boffins: Bebo interstellar spam aliens don't exist after all
Gliese 581d 'too crusty' for civilisation to arise
Astroplanet boffins in America say that humanity may not, as had been expected, soon be the target of an interstellar assault from alien civilisations unwisely enraged by Web-2.0 teenybopper portal Bebo. It appears that the planet Gliese 581d - which might have mounted an invasion of the Solar System as soon as 2049 - cannot after all support life.
Regular Reg readers will doubtless recall that the red dwarf star Gliese 581, located 20.3 lightyears off in the constellation Libra, is considered one of the closest known locations which might be home to an alien race of the same general type as humanity. This is because boffins have at different times assessed that either the third or fourth planet of the system lies at such a distance from its dim, red sun as to permit the existence of liquid water on its surface.
Liquid water is relatively rare stuff in the universe, most places being icy cold or steamy hot, but it is regarded among boffins as an essential prerequisite for the appearance of life along Earthly lines - the general class of possible life which would be of most interest to us humans. Hence the general boffinry preoccupation with liquid water off Earth, and the resulting interest in the Gliese 581 system.
So great has this interest been that last October, in a cunning publicity stunt, the powers behind Bebo decided to compile a large multimedia package composed by the site's userbase and beam it at Gliese 581 from a rented Ukrainian radiotelescope controlled by controversial "active SETI" proponent Alexander Zaitsev.
The interstellar Bebo spamgasm may prove embarrassing for the human race should it ever be picked up. As one might expect, it consists primarily of material related to the amusing antics of cats, boy crooners and other matters of interest only to mental cripples. There is also a large selection of text messages ("Hi im nicole, i would love to appear on the west end stage in a hit show.i also wouldnt mind doing a few television programs. anyway laters.Nicole x").
Indeed, as of April it appeared that the human race might suffer worse than just embarrassment as a result of the ill-judged interstellar missive. At that time, boffinry opinion held that Gliese 581d was actually an oceanic planet, possibly host to a ravening, self-mothered pseudohydrozoan immortal Dr Who jellyfish clone vampire blobomination horror-swarm of the type already found (in diminutive form, fortunately) in the oceans of Earth. Even if the jellies were actually peaceful, it seemed unlikely that they would remain so after the Bebo spam-blast struck their system in the year 2029.