Beyond the Sphere

Top Ten Tips for a wannabe superhero: 1: Media

10. Always ensure that your hair looks good.
You never know when you may appear on television, in the background – or worse – in an interview on News At Ten.
9. Eat well.
But not too well. Remember television always adds a few pounds, and although a little extra here or there isn’t that bad in the greater scheme of things, if you are being interviewed in tight shiny spandex, remember bulges can and do appear.
8. Sleep well.
Bags under the eyes are no good for close ups when being interviewed for News At Ten. Especially for viewers with High Definition 3D television sets. This reason is also very apt for point 9 above.
7. Create a catchphrase.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Has already been used so if you choose to use this one too, it may be a little confusing. Especially if you are being interviewed on News At Ten and somebody else shouts it out in the background for the other superhero.
6. Make sure that you have good hair.
This is a must for all superheroes. Even on bad hair days, a superhero’s hair must look good. Think how you will look as you burst through a brick wall to find a News At Ten news team and camera crew waiting outside, and your hair is terrible. You could be being broadcast live. And in Hi Def 3D.
5. Work on your secret identity.
You may have bad hair in your secret identity. Point out to everyone how bad your hair actually is. So much so that the first thing people will think of when they hear your name is how bad your hair is, and not what your face looks like. Then, in your cool superhero outfit and great hair your secret identity is safe.
4. Remember you are always being watched.
Not only by the News At Ten team. Everybody watches a superhero. They want you to succeed… they also want you to fail spectacularly too. Fail if you want to, but don’t give up. The key to success is to keep going. 
3. Wear colours that look good on you.
Especially for Hi Def TV, but also remember the weather. If you wear grey, and it is a rainy day, you may not show up so well in a black and white photo in a daily newspaper. Or on older television sets. You may end up looking like an old 1940s newsreel picture.
2. Always smile.
Very important. As people will always want you to succeed and fail, smiling will give the impression that everything is going your way. It also feels good, and makes them feel good too. Everyone feeling good is half of the battle anyway.
1. Remember the hair.
If you have better hair than the person interviewing you for News At Ten, the interview will be short, meaning those other people who take the time to study your face will not realise that it is also you in your secret identity (with the terrible hair).

Never forget that every action you do, every save you make, is being watched by someone else. Someone who wants to be like you. Someone who wants to look like you. And someone who wants to be you.

++This has been a free public service announcement for the greater good of everyone!++

First Tuesday

I woke early this morning. I’d like to say it was natural, and I suppose, in the grand scheme of things, it probably was, because the invention of the alarm clock had to have evolved from somewhere way back when; and anything man-made is really humankind’s attempts at making things easier for others. Although sometimes easier is not necessarily more comfortable.

So, I awoke with a ‘comfortable start’ this morning. Not that I particularly enjoy the sound of my alarm. Ooh, not a pleasant way to wake up, but without it, I’d probably be late for work… in fact, I’d probably still be asleep now, some fifteen hours or so later.

I forced my eyes open, and once I had become accustomed to the darkness and realised that my eyes were in fact open, I checked the time to make sure that I hadn’t dreamt that the alarm had gone off. I mean, I once dreamt that I couldn’t sleep, so anything is possible in my head. Alas, my alarm had sounded. My Tuesday had begun.

I ached out of bed, and looked out of my bedroom window. Above me was the glorious row of stars that make up Orion’s Belt, or so I thought. And just over to the right was Jupiter. According to my on-line research, I couldn’t have been seeing these this morning, but in my mind’s eye, I was. I was too tired to argue with myself, so left it at that. I also found out that today’s New Moon is also another Supermoon, the second this year. With it being new though, we wouldn’t see it… and I didn’t see it this morning either!

The freshness of the morning air caused me to think how things would have been on day one of this wonderful planet of ours. How would the air have smelled on that very first morning? There wouldn’t have been any buildings, as there weren’t any people back then, which caused me to wonder how the plants would have looked, or would the area be simply covered in ice or rock? My thoughts then moved onto the first non-plant life forms, and the various species that evolved from then.

My thoughts then turned to the weather. It has turned very warm again here in the UK, on this day we call Tuesday in this year we call 2011. I wondered if the very first morning of Earth was actually a Tuesday morning all those millions of years ago. I wondered if it was raining that morning. I wondered if there was thunder and lightning.

I then found myself looking to that row of stars that I called Orion’s belt, and that very bright object that I called Jupiter, and wondered if they looked brighter, or nearer to us, on that very first Tuesday morning of Earth’s existence. I then found myself wondering if there would have been more stars to be seen back then, ones which now have reached the end of one part of their journey through existence, but back then would have been very much alive. Maybe going supernova to add a little more light to that thundery Tuesday morning of Day One.

I then wondered what I was doing, hanging out of my window at six of the clock on a Tuesday morning when I should have been getting myself ready for work. I looked into my mirror as I returned to my room, and smiled.

I may not have been here on that very first morning to enjoy that experience, but I am here today, and that is a close enough coincidence for me given the scale of the universe.

I also smiled at my reflection in the mirror, as I noticed my hair. I wondered how long it would take me to get it looking anywhere near decent. In that one split second, my thoughts of time and space disappeared, and were replaced by my more modern thoughts of seemingly great importance.

Yes. I woke up early this morning. It was a new day. Some things were different. Some things were still the same. My thoughts were, well, my thoughts… different as usual.


The Brand-New Drive-Thru Review

Today’s review is about the newly opened intergalactic drive through just beyond Mars. Actually, the drive-thru itself is on Phobos, one of Mars’ two moons, and the decision to have the drive-thru there has caused a little resentment, especially with the supporters of Mars’ other moon, Deimos, and the Cytherean Movement (those Venusian traditionalists!), who wanted the chance for a more exotic way to promote the tropical shores of Venus itself. How a ‘fast food joint’ can be anywhere near exotic is a question asked by many, but the company that owns the rights to the chain are always looking for different ways to ensure that the restaurants blend into their surroundings.

Named ▲○±Ð⌂ ƒØ § ∟µ ®, the new Martian drive-thru is the third in the chain to be opened in our Solar System. It still uses the striking luminous green and red triangles as its eye-catching logo, which tend to look yellow when viewed in a certain way, and this time the triangles have been arranged to represent the letter M. For Mars.

As well as selling the usual curly fries and burgers, they also sell lettuce and onions, and all food is freshly cooked (apart from the lettuce).

The company pride themselves on the quality of their food, and they are keen to shun the image of being a ‘fast food joint’ by guaranteeing that all orders will be completely cooked in two hours. They have invested millions in introducing state of the art salons so customers can get their hair cut / done whilst waiting for their food. Customers needing to use this facility should be aware that they will have to park in order to do so, thus losing their ‘drive thru’ status, and discount. Other customers should be aware that, due to those who do not wish to take full advantage of the hair service, queues are likely to be long at the drive thru, and recommend phoning their order in at special telephone points along the approach to the drive thru.

The good thing about the queues, the brochure advises, are the spectacular views of Mars, as Phobos hurtles around the planet at great speed. Being at just under 6000 miles from the surface of Mars, the sunsets and sunrises that can be viewed are simply breath-taking. Customers do not even notice that the moon is orbiting Mars quicker than Mars is actually spinning on it’s axis, however some may experience some speed related nausea. Luckily, the food is well worth waiting for, and all will be forgotten after the first bite.

The company points out that as the orbit of Phobos is actually decreasing, there will come a time when the moon will either smash into the surface of the planet, or, due to gravity issues, the moon will disintegrate completely and become a ring around the planet (similar to the rings around Saturn). They are working closely with Health and Safety teams to ensure that all orders are safely completed before this catastrophic, yet completely natural event occurs, but stress that this is a long way off in the future.

For those who have never been to Phobos before, this graphic indicates how to find the moon in relation to Mars.
DeimosIf you arrive at a moon that is this shape, you have travelled too far and arrived at Deimos.

PhobosYou must turn back immediately, and look for the moon that is this shape

The company has recently introduced a new slogan based entirely on their waiting times. “Hope to see you soon” has been classed as a ‘chalk’ and ‘cheese’ slogan, with some hoping that something better will come along soon.

  • Trivia:
    Phobos and Deimos are considered by some to be asteroids that have got themselves caught up in the gravitational pull of Mars.
    Phobos and Deimos are characters from Greek Mythology, and both are sons of Ares, who was the God of War.
    Phobos’ name means fear, and Deimos’ means dread. Ares, to the Romans, was known as Mars.

Aquatom Today

I woke up this morning, and looked out of my window. I never realised that Aquatom Mansion was hundreds of stories high. Neither have I realised that I live on the coast, but apparently I do. Or I did this morning.

Everything was different. The sky was a shade of blue so vibrant, it wasn’t Sky Blue at all… it was more of a Postcard Blue – you know, where anything that is blue on a postcard is exactly the same shade of blue regardless of what it is.

My bedroom was so much larger than it was when I went to bed last night. I got myself out of bed, and was about to step onto the floor when a white, round, metal disc hovered and attached itself to my foot. Another one then appeared and did the same to my right foot. Before I knew it, I was being taken, by my feet – well, by these disc things – to the bathroom. I think they were to save me from walking, but not having the luxury of being upright, I was dragged to the bathroom, with my head banging on the floor every second or so. That pounding feeling is still with me. Ooh me head…

After doing the bathroom things – apart from switching the light on, running a bath, brushing my teeth and taming my seriously out of control hair, which were all automated – I went to get dressed. Luckily by now, I’d managed to regain my super standing upright ability, as the discs attached themselves again, and took me through a couple of sliding doors (that I had never seen in my life) and into my glide-in wardrobe.

Metal arms shot out at me from all angles, thrusting shirts and trousers, jeans and shoes, t-shirts, cardigans, ruffs (ruffs!), rings, necklaces, socks and boxers, and a variety of other garments out to me, before snatching them back to present me with another choice. Who’d have thought the decisions behind choosing what to wear would be fraught with so many choices – and dangers of possibly losing an eye or two.

I survived getting dressed, and the discs took me across the landing, passed the old faithful clock that is always in another time zone, and into the breakfast room.

“Good Morning, Tom” boomed an automated voice from out of nowhere. Only it wasn’t from nowhere. It was from the box of cornflakes. An automated, speaking, box of cornflakes! It was also in mid flow, pouring a large mound into a large bowl. Once finished, a clanking sound accompanied a tube that extended from the fridge, and milk poured over the cornflakes. As it finished, a siren wailed, and another voice, a computer sounding voice this time, said “Fresh milk order completed.” I must have used the last of the milk.

I was about to reach for the bowl of cornflakes when another disc appeared, a red one this time, and slipped itself beneath the bowl. It then lifted the bowl and hovered passed me, out of the breakfast room and across the landing, and down to the living room. I didn’t have time to catch it as it went by, but a second later my discs carried me to the same room. It’s a very eerie feeling walking without doing the walking.

The discs lowered me onto my favourite chair – at least something is still the same! – and the red disc brought me my cornflakes. The TV automatically came on, although the TV was now on the wall opposite me. In fact, the whole wall was the TV, which took me back a bit. The Digital On-screen Graphic told me I was watching BBC88. They were repeating Cash in the Attic.

I finished my cornflakes, and the split second after my spoon was in the bowl the red disc came and snatched it away from me. I last saw it flying out of the door in the direction of the kitchen.

Breakfast done, and I had to watch the end of the programme. I’d missed the beginning, but these daytime shows sometimes have a knack of keeping you hooked. After the show had finished – the woman had raised £305.00 from some old niknaks she bought back in 2874 and had never used them, by the way – one of those dreadful shows started where people air their dirty laundry in public and argue about it. I watched that show too, and then decided I had to work out where exactly I was.

I was in Aquatom Mansion, I know that much. Aquatom Mansion sometime after 2874 to boot. That explains the disc things, the automated toilet flushing facilities, and the speaking cornflakes. I’m surprised my favourite chair had survived, and Cash in the Attic for that matter, perhaps even more surprised than I should have been for those, considering I had woken up some eight-hundred and some years in the future.

As my head was still throbbing from being carted across the bedroom floor at a rate of fifty thuds a second (or so it seemed), I decided to have another quick nap before I went out for the day. Although where I was going to go, and how I would actually get there was beyond me, considering the mansion was now surrounded by water as the tide had come in. I hovered back to the bedroom, and lay back down onto my bed, and dozed off.

I woke up again in 2011. I had to walk to the bathroom.

And I hadn’t even checked to see if Betelgeuse was still there after 2874. Some mornings… you just don’t think, do you?

When Grease meets Hair. My Hair.

Hair Bear Bunch
I got hair
It’s multiplying
And I’m losing control
‘Cause the power it’s revealing
It’s horrifying

It better shape up
‘Cause I need a cut
And my eyes just can’t see through
It better shape up
It better understand
For my sight I must be true
Nothing left
Nothing left for me to do
Captain Caveman

I’m gonna get it cut off
Oo-oo-oo, honey
Get it cut off
Oo-oo-oo, honey
Get it cut off
Oo-oo-oo, it’s what I need
Oh, yes indeed

It can blow
In all directions
It’s too strong to stay still
Better use my reflection
Cut away

It better shape up
‘Cause I need a cut
You need a cut?
That will keep me calm inside
It better shape up
If I’m gonna prove
You better prove
That my need is justified
Are you sure?
Yes I’m sure down deep inside
Wooly Mammoth

I’m gonna get it cut off
Oo-oo-oo, honey
Get it cut off
Oo-oo-oo, honey
Get it cut off
Oo-oo-oo, it’s what I need
Oh, yes indeed

Nothing left
Nothing left for me to do

I’m gonna get it cut off
Oo-oo-oo, honey
Get it cut off
Oo-oo-oo, honey
Get it cut off
Oo-oo-oo, it’s what I need
Oh, yes indeed

I’m gonna get it cut off
Oo-oo-oo, honey
Get it cut off
Oo-oo-oo, honey
Get it cut off
Oo-oo-oo, it’s what I need
Oh, yes indeed


With sincere apologies to any Grease fans.