Belfast Telegraph

Rab's Week: Boffins say aliens are behind life on earth

Welcome to the sideways world of our star columnist

By Robert McNeil

Well, there you have it: proof that life on Earth, the controversial planet, was started by aliens who, even now, are watching us.

A friend of mine has long believed this, and while I pooh-pooh the idea politely and try changing the subject to matters of greater importance ("So, do you think Lady Gaga should eat more mackerel?"), I'm now beginning to wonder.

The alleged proof comes from top astrobiologists who have discovered "a ball about the width of a human hair, which has filamentous life on the outside and a gooey biological material oozing from its centre".

Filamentous? Gooey? Oozing? What can it all mean? Well, the microscopic particle came back on a balloon that the scientists, from the universities of Buckingham and Sheffield, had bunged 27km into the stratosphere, because that's the sort of thing that scientists do. Great job.

Prof Milton Wainwright, leader of the balloon gang, said: "One theory is it was sent to Earth by some unknown civilisation in order to continue seeding the planet with life."

In addition, experts point to HG Wells' book War of the Worlds, in which Martians invaded the Earth. Unfortunately, despite many Americans heading for home-made shelters, this turned out to be fiction.

Prof Wainwright adds: "Unless of course we can find details of the civilisation that is supposed to have sent it, in this respect it is probably an unprovable theory."

Still, this baloney about life on Earth being created by aliens has been gaining traction of late.

It begs the question: why don't they do something?

It's as plain as the proboscis on their face that everything has gone pear-shaped here and that we need a helping tentacle.

The thought of these emotionless cosmic loonies just watching as we go to hell in a handbasket is infuriating. I say we should all go on strike and stop acting daft for, say, a year.

That'll set their gooey ooze at a peep and maybe make them admit that life here was all a big joke.

Tuesday: Lady Gaga engagagaged? let's hope this isn't just another bad romance

Lady Gaga has got engagagaged. The top controversial person flaunted her diamond heart-shaped sparkler, it says here (I think it means her ring rather than anything anatomical - for a change) on Instagram, which is something to do with the internet.

Must say I never had Gaga pegged as the marrying type. But you never know with these stars. Underneath all the lewd gyrating, they're often pretty conservative and just want to be happy like everybody else.

Before long, Gaga will be enjoying long huffs with her beau, Mr Taylor Kinney, and arguing about how to load the dishwasher. Just like normal people.

Wednesday: These losers have such winning way

Say what you like about Christianity - and at least you can - but there is a nice side to it. Too nice at times. Thus Amory Green Rovers, a team at the bottom of division seven of the Devon & Exeter Football League. That's pretty bottom.

They've already lost 22-0 and 17-0 this season, and their problem is they're too nice to win. They'd rather let the other fellow score and they don't abuse the ref.

On the plus side, their behaviour is impeccable and they haven't received one red or yellow card.

Player-manager Marc Hodsdon says there's more to life than winning: "Last week, we lost 15-1, yet we walked off the pitch the happier team. The other side were arguing among themselves. That's not what football is about."

I see. Well, that's food for thought certainly. In the meantime, we're happy to shout: Yay! Go, Rovers!

Friday: Gone fishin' for a good idea...

Folk aren't eating enough oil fish, even after the spillage of mackerel in Belfast's Ravenhill Road.

The Food Standards Agency also says only 4% of Northern Irish children eat five fruit and veg a day.

Solution: all school days to begin with force-fed mackerel and grated turnip. That'll learn 'em.

Saturday: new mate means single anteater pancho doesn't have to dine alone anymore

For much of my life, I have given little thought to anteaters.

Our paths rarely cross, I don't eat them and they can't be trained to fetch sticks.

However, I was sad to read about the loneliness of Pancho, a giant anteater at Belfast Zoo.

His partner Casa passed away last year, and he's been pining for the feel of her probing proboscis.

Now he's to be joined by a new female partner from Olomouc Zoo in the Czech Republic.

I wish them both great happiness as they beast into the ants, a species that gets on your wick at times.

Sunday: Members are taking the 'p'

In shock news, heavy drinking has reportedly been rife at the bars in yonder House of Commons.

Former barman John O'Sullivan says some Tory MPs got so plastered they couldn't speak. A blessing indeed.

The heaviest imbibers, unsurprisingly, were Scottish Labour MPs. If you've ever met a Scottish Labour MP, you'll know that evolution still has far to go.

I speak as a former party member (long ago, thankfully).

One of the most notable incidents, however, involved a senior MP whom the barman found peeing down the steps near the vote office.

Upbraided, the MP merely stared and, next day, was seen waddling about "in a stained suit".

Mind you, an MP has a high-pressure job. The booze, subsidised by thee and me, is cheap and a chap needs a place to relax.

The trouble is, some of these skivers are clearly getting as relaxed as newts.

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