Proportionality and Relativity

Is that you, with no opinion on the current situation? I have bad news.

No trash jokes or weirdness in decay today, dear readers. The world hasn't been very funny lately.

In case you've been living down in the depths of the wood of a disused railroad bridge, the world has taken a shit on us all once again. It's a revelation that surprises me not at all, but turns out - the police are criminals with the courtesy to wear a uniform so we know who they are.

Trust that reporting, fungus. The scumbag devil-dogs who call themselves journalists and reporters on the doomtubes and scat-sheets have taken up the most racist of narratives to frame this travesty of justice. Maybe it's because that's all they understand, or mayhaps they're just pandering to their audience, the aged and terrified who hide from the world behind walls, guns, and poorly trained soldiers.

This is additionally painful to me, you journalist scum. Do you know what I have to do to learn about what the fuck is going on here in America? I have to read twitter. (We're on twitter. You should follow us!) I have to read comments on websites. I have to trust the BBC.

Shameful behavior all around, America. Pretending we're not racist, when I walk through the neighborhoods with sewage in their yards and garbage on the streets. Rich white neighborhoods, I tell you not.

The cops - and this is just in the United States - killed about 4,800 people from 2003 till 2009. Ebola only got about 400 worldwide. They're more dangerous than terrorists if you're American.

Cops are still better than the flu, which kills a couple of small towns worth (24 thousand or so) of people every year here in the U S of A. So they've got that going for them. People don't take their flu shots, but people do worry about Ebola and terrorists.

It's an iron-clad law of human communication. The more important the fact, the less likely we are to share it. The more likely it is to kill us, the less likely we are to worry about it. The more deadly the threat, the less worrisome it is. I guess it's good we're all worried, then, isn't it?

Shine on, crazy blue box.

Satan's Guide to Watching Cosmos

Pictured: The abandoned shack in which I found this document by Satan the Deceiver, Adversary of Mankind, the Light-Bringer, Drinker of Pepsi.

Satan's Episode Guide for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

A rare curated find for the staff (me) of the PRF. This document was found in an abandoned hut from which fossils were clearly being buried. The ancient runic text was decipherable thanks to a Dungeon Masters Guide.



I want to apologize to my many fans for not getting around to writing this episode guide earlier. Normally I'd host this on all the websites of the liberal media for instant worldwide traction, but since Mammon sold off most of my operation to Goldman Sachs in the Lehman Brothers collapse back in '08, I've had to downside, and this FP JEROME fellow seems mostly trustworthy. He tells me I should consider demanding some small tax on my followers, in the 10% "Finders Fee" range, but I'm a free market man through and through. "Without taxation, or regulation," that's my motto!

Anyway, I was really disappointed with the ratings of Cosmos. Turns out, most nights, it got beat handily by some shitty shows called "Resurrection" and "Believe," which is probably just Yaw-Who fucking with me. Anyone who thinks I run the airwaves should take note.

- Satan

Episode 1: Standing Up in the Milky Way

People ask me why I like this episode, and usually they think it's because of the whole Giordano Bruno animated bit. I mean, I do like animation. but really what gets me about this episode is that some profoundly ignorant people freaked out – and I do love a good moral panic more than anyone else out there, I really do – over the fact that my good friend Carl Sagan said “The Cosmos is all that ever is, or ever was, or ever will be.”

“It doesn't allow for the supernatural!” They shout. But they're not listening to me, or Carl, or Neil. I'm a big fan of Neil, by the way. Just bring some evidence for the supernatural, and that there means that it was, and there you go. Part of the Cosmos. I mean, sure, I wish I had imps and cults that would abduct the evidence or destroy it or belittle the people who discovered it, but I just don't have the time to do that sort of anything anymore. Gotta play World of Warcraft, you know? And those NFL public relations gigs. Those guys! They are monsters, I tell you.

Did you know I was behind the fact that my buddy Barack Obama did the intro to this episode? It's true!

Episode 2: The Things that Molecules Do

Part of the reason I got kicked out of Heaven was because I was always asking the Big Guy to just tell the humans what was up. Boy, was I misguided. I thought “we'll get some supernatural stuff going on in a lab, like in Ghostbusters!” I love Ghostbusters, by the way. It gives kids the wrong idea about the afterlife, and that's fine by me. See, there is no afterlife.

Not for humans, anyway. I know, humans think Earth is all for them, but Neil and I wanted to get across a simple fact: It's not for you. It's just not. This place, Earth and the nearbouts, is for the Tardigrades. That's what we're trying to do in this Episode: Get across the idea that Planet Earth is for Tardigrades, not humanity. And I do mean we, do you really think Seth MacFarlane is a real person?

But let's face facts, humanity - facing facts is what I'm best at - most of Earth is entirely uninhabitable to you all - radiation, heat, cold, salt, acid, alkalinity - it's a nightmare. For you, that is. Not so for the tardigrades! This Earth is their oyster, whereas living in an oyster would be fatal to human beings!

Neil, as usual, made it a little more accessible and said that the revelations would "blow people's minds," so I gave him a pass.

Episode 3: When Knowledge Conquered Fear

I love books - that should come as no surprise. Some of my favorites include Neal Stephenson's The Baroque Cycle, and of course Newton's Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica. I couldn't convince the Cosmos guys to talk about The Baroque Cycle, so this is the episode you all got instead - intrigue and animation of Newton, Hooke (he was actually quite handsome) Halley and company. The reason I like Principia is that, before this, people actually believed that god had to get in there and nudge stuff constantly, to keep it in order. Newton showed them that it wasn't so, and I liked that, so it went into the episode. Fortunately for us, almost 400 years later, nobody thinks Newton's wrong anymore!

Episode 4: A Sky Full of Ghosts

You know what else I love? Other than books, experiments, Neal and Neil, telling humans the truth, and hanging out with my good friend Charles Darwin? Patrick Stewart, that's who! So I was thrilled when he voiced the most righteous astronomer William Herschel in this episode. There's other stuff, of course, like the Big Bang. I'm more of a Gnab Gib man, myself, one of the few times in which I must confess that I don't let the available evidence overly influence me. But hey, I know stuff you don't - stuff that hides in Black Holes. Neil goes and visits me there, so we threw up some of the video on the episode.

Episode 5: Hiding in the Light

Muslims. I'm not big on them, being Satan and all. But back when I was younger, I gave them a pretty sweet idea. Experiments. See, I'm BIG on experiments. Experiments done properly, too, none of this "let's throw some people in a garden naked and see what happens," you'd never get that shit past an IRB. I'm talking about real science, here. That whole bit with Job was just me trying to get YooHoo to correct for socioeconomic factors in his "Job's a good guy" hypothesis. Didn't think he'd take it so damn literally.

Episode 6: Deeper, Deeper, Deeper Still

I won't make a "that's what she said" joke here. I'm Satan, not a frat boy. I have standards and you'll never catch me running a college because I have some morals. I was really pushing Neil to get across the "Planet of the Tardigrades" meme here, but he chose to show off some of my favorite people. Thales, who got my memo on "Math," and Democritus, who I like because Plato hated him, and Plato-Socrates have been my arch-nemeses for far too long. Plus, the quote "Which then, of these impressions are true and which are false is not obvious" is kind of my philosophy.

Episode 7: The Clean Room

Lead out of the oil and into the air and water is a perfectly natural phenomenon in which I am trying to get all of that cleaned out of Hell before Y'all's-Way sends us all there. You'd have to be a complete toe-brained fool to not worry about lead in the air, or too much carbon dioxide. Anyway, Neil also gets across the actual age of the Earth in a way that only totally oblivious doofuses could ignore.  Did you know that this episode lagged in ratings behind In My Dreams? Seriously! A movie about a goddamn magic fountain forcing people to get married no matter how they feel about one another, and that's what people decided to watch that night?

Episode 8: Sisters of the Sun

I know it sounds like a cult. But I don't do the cult thing anymore. Never did go in for the abuse thing, either. I'm a fallen angel, which makes me a good bit more moral and upstanding than most people, you understand? Including people who'd make up tripe like that for a living. Anyway - where was I? Oh, right, I wanted Neil to call this one "Astronomy Harem Revealed" but he doesn't quite have the flair for public relations that I do. Long story short, the Universe is OLD, and the people who think otherwise have the intellectual arguments of a cold scrotum.

Episode 9: The Lost Worlds of Planet Earth

Plate tectonics. When big Yay-Dub included it in his original Earth-plan, I freaked out a little bit. It's not a good thing for a stable planet. But hey, this sphere's for the tardigrades, so a little bit of climate change, oceanic disruption, and asteroid impact only bothers his non-chosen species - everything else.

Episode 10: The Electric Boy

I just wish this episode had more viewers than the miniseries of Rosemary's Baby. The kid ain't mine! Electricity was one of the better things you hairless apes have done! How could people watch some scandalous retelling of scurrious lies about people I promise I've never even met?! All of MY children are proudly claimed, thank you, and each of them only brings about the end of the world in that way in which they slightly contribute to entropy! The nerve!

Episode 11: The Immortals

Okay, so I had some misgivings about this episode. I had wanted a full-blown rundown of all the varied and sordid gods and mini-gods of history. Neil said "that's what we have the history channel for," which shut me up because it was witty. Anyway, by acting as a skin-walker for the demonic entity known as "Seth MacFarlane" I was able to convince Neil to trash-talk the story of Noah. That's one of my better selling points, that story. I mean, small children understand it's nonsense.

Episode 12: The World Set Free

It's a title I can get behind, just as climate change is something I fight against. I mean, everyone should, right? A lot of people call me "Master of Reality," which I guess is kind of misleading, as I'm not a tardigrade, but I happen to like the Earth, all the stuff I faked the evolution of, and the whole 4.5 billion year history of this rock, the overwhelming majority of which is incredibly BORING if the whole shebang doesn't start happening until 6 thousand years ago.

Who's the bad guy here? Me? I don't think so!

Episode 13: Unafraid of the Dark

I had high hopes for this episode. I talked at length to the crew about my darkest moment: The destruction of the Library of Alexandria. I used all of my dark connections to attain the best available technology to give some sense of the cosmic scale of Carl's "Pale Blue Dot" photograph.

That's everything you've ever known, in the rightmost orange-ish beam of light, 'bout midway up.

They wrote poetry heroic across the cosmos, closing this grand series with the most proper of sentiments, something that Carl said, not just to me, Satan, but to everyone:

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.
— Carl Sagan

The episode was far less popular than "Two and a Half Men," and "The Bachelorette."

World Humanist Domination

The dank lair of reeking humanists, hidden from righteous eyes by dark magic and some tasteful ivy.

Rain had come, dampening my prospects of exploration both figuratively and literally. Dampness does not dissuade me, personally, but the camera doesn't like it, and people demand pictures.

The thought had occurred to me that I might just take pictures from earlier and use them in a current entry. However, it seemed dishonest, and I only partake in the utmost of honest, direct journalism as I get to the beating heart of truth. Usually, I discover that it's just some kids with a burning steel drum beating on it with their scavenged crutches, but sometimes it is the tattle-tale heart. Of truth.

It was in this overcast mood and weather that I ventured to the local branch of a nefarious global conspiracy - the Mississippi Humanist Association. Humanism. The mere word itself conjures up terrifying phantoms in the overwrought imagination. Secular folk, gathering in dark lairs, hiding their foul plots behind disarmingly unsophisticated websites, shady concepts such as "public service" and a general lack of diabolism.

Finding the secret lair was difficult, given the high-tech nature of the security that these secularists deployed. There was a lock, and a door, and a secret knock. Well, it was a knock.

"Greetings!" They greeted me at the door in their entirely nonreligious apparel. My keen senses immediately scented a weird odor, some exotic narcotic, perhaps?

"There's hummus." The ringleader said. "And pita chips. They're baked."

Baked! I scowled at this hideous affront to my tastes.

"What's the primary pernicious plan?" I asked.

"Well, we're working on a blood drive." The ringleader said.

"Blood! Blood!" I howled, eyes wide with this brief taste of the global power these Humanists undoubtedly wielded. "Rivers of blood! Geysers! Sanguine waterfalls submerging the faithful!"

The woman next to me gave pause, clearly astonished by my innate grasp of their fiendish and ungodly plot.

"We got a few pints last time, and we learned to coordinate it so that people who give blood regularly aren't locked out because they gave too recently. Are you alright?" 

"Yes, I, just, uh..." I offered everyone beers from inside the sleeve of my robe. This went over well. 

"So, uh, what other malevolent masterpieces are in the pipeline?" I asked, sipping my beer. I was drinking directly from the can. 

"Oh, the Adopt-A-Highway thing. That's almost done." Another woman spoke up, referencing papers I can only assume were written in blood, though it would have had to have been blood inserted into the cartridge of an inkjet printer. I imagined that task to be incredibly difficult. "The only thing left is..."

"The mind controlling sign technology?" I asked. They stared at me with growing concern. "Hacking into traffic signals to cause red-asphalt style carnage?"

"The sixty-seven dollars for a highway sign..." The ringleader said, trailing off as though, at any moment, I might start making sense.

"Why are you wearing a robe?" One of the women asked.

"I thought we wore robes?" I tested this explanation out, and found that even with my own bias, it was unacceptable. No one else, for instance, was wearing a robe, even though we were in a fairly sporty apartment, the sort of apartment one might well wear a bathrobe in.

"Are you some sort of spy?" No one asked. I may have asked it to myself, but despite the fact that no one asked it, I felt the urge to respond.

"My religion is my own business! I've fallen into too many rivers and that means I'm baptized!" I shouted, recalling the smattering of insane justifications the jabbering old Seventh Day Adventist had blathered at me while trying to drown me back in 2007.

"The River knows all! Listen to it!" I yelled, heading for the door. "You'll never take me alive, thought-police!" I grappled wildly with the uncooperative doorknob (undoubtedly designed as some sort of Humanist Plot) before throwing the door open.

"Wait!" The woman behind me cried. "Did you bring a science book? We're trying to help a local science classroom build a library!"

I threw down my weatherbeaten copy of Charles Ellet Jr's "Report of the Overflows of the Delta of the Mississippi River" like so much chaff and fled into the night.

Before long, I reached the river, my concealed kayak and supplies in position. Jackson was forfeit. I headed down my beloved River towards the Gulf of Mexico, with not a doubt in my mind that the humanist hounds were nipping at my wake.

Seen here: Wake. Not seen here: Demon Dogs.

Yes Virginia, There Are Cryovolcanoes

Dear Mr. FP Jerome,

I am eight years old. Some of my little friends say that there are no cryovolcanoes.

Papa says “if FP Jerome says it, you know it to be so.”

Please tell me the truth. Are there cryovolcanoes on the ice moons of the outer gas giants?

Virginia O’Hambone

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong! They have been effected by youthful cynicism in this wondrous age. They do not believe in things that they could see, given a suitable telescope, or perhaps a powerful space probe. You see, Virginia, all eyes, be they child’s eyes or man’s eyes, are small. In this great universe of ours it would be foolish to compare men to insects, since insects are pretty sweet and all, and have been around longer than us, outnumber us, and… 

    Yes, Virginia, there are cryovolcanoes! They exist as certainly as great red storms on Jupiter or that downright freaky hexagon on the north pole of Saturn, and you know that the wonders of the solar system abound to give you the highest joy and beauty. Alas! How dreary the worlds would be if there were no cryovolcanoes! It would be as dreary as if there were no platypus, no comb jelly, there would be no true things to find childlike joy in, only poetry and romance would exist to make tolerant this existence. We can have enjoyment, knowing that simple hydrocarbons erupt in atmosphere-piercing plumes from pressurized subsurface chambers, a mere 1.2 billion kilometers from the birthplace of the species.

Not to believe in cryovolcanoes! You might as well not believe in Kuiper Belt objects! You might listen to some whackaloon on the internet claim that the space program is fake, but what does that prove? Nobody sees cryovolcanoes with their eyes, and everyone hears nitwits on the internet, but that does not mean that methane and ammonia cannot behave like molten rock in subzero temperatures! Some of the most real things in the world are those that neither men nor children can see. When Rutherford used a glass gun to shoot radiation at a thin sheet of gold foil, do you think he saw the atom? No, he only saw the evidence of it’s existence, and conceived the unseen wonders of the subatomic world. 

If you tear apart the baby’s rattle and find out what makes the noise, that’s good science, Virginia, but your ethics board is going to deny your funding if you’re at an accredited institution. There is a veil of ignorance that covers the visible and invisible universe. Only with knowledge, diligence, honesty, imagination, and the courage to go wherever the evidence takes you, will you push aside that veil of ignorance and superstition for the rest of mankind. Are cryovolcanoes real? Ah, Virginia, in all the worlds there are things people believe far more strongly with far less evidence.

No cryovolcanoes! Humbug! They erupt now and they will erupt in the future! A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now (a blink in the cosmological eye) they will continue to erupt and make glad the childlike hearts of astronomers everywhere!

Also, you should show that hexagon on Saturn to your friends. It’ll blow their minds.



Unless you're friends with astronomers.