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Feature Star Systems
Cracking the case of the mainstreaming of outer space.
June 28, 2005
Admittedly, I sat on this article for a long while.  I hoped to get a response from at least one of these services, but no dice.  Here goes anyway ...

Perhaps you've heard about the International Star Registry?  I'd be shocked if you hadn't, they run radio advertisements around the clock.  It's a service which allows you to name a star at the low low price of fifty dollars!  Folks can buy for themselves or purchase as a gift for their loved ones.  I'm sure it's a sound business model, but I think Earth is going to face intergalactic war as a result of this service.

One day, when we land on the planet of Inogo, the Inogians will inform us (because all alien life forms speak English) that their sun is named Mowrok and the brightest star seen farthest to the east is named Kloton III.  Then we'll whip out our star registry chart and say, "Nope, sorry, your sun is named Jane Stevens and that star farthest to the east is named crocoPuffs B."  At this point all hell will break loose as the Inogians start blasting us with their disintegration rays.

And if the Inogians are as litigious as I think they are, after the bloodshed the legal battles will rage!

I figure the International Star Registry people already thought of all this.  They have really smart people over there, right?  I mean, they managed to secure the legal rights to name all the stars in the galaxy.  That's one hell of an accomplishment!  In an attempt to obtain an outline of their plan to handle disagreements with aliens, I sent them the following email:

Dear International Star Registry,

I'm considering naming a star, but I'm concerned about potential future problems.  Imagine if you will, that we land on a distant planet in a distant star system and discover intelligent life some time in the future.  What will happen when this new species informs us that their sun is named "Mowrok", but we claim it is named "crocoPuffs"?  Will the aliens be able to pursue legal action against me?  Does the International Star Registry offer legal counsel in the event of such a situation?

And have you considered the possibility that we may end up at war with aliens over the naming rights of these stars?

Thanks,
- crocoPuffs

International Star Registry's response:

[crickets chirping]

Okay, so maybe they don't have a plan after all.  However, I feel confident their lawyers jump-started into action after receiving my email, formulating a strategy to avoid future intergalactic war.

The other handy-dandy sci-fi service can be found at TalkToAliens.com.  These kind folks will send your words into space!  That's right, you can send a message into space!  To the aliens!  Wow!  To get a better picture of how this service works, I sent this email:

Dear TalkToAliens.com,

I'm considering sending a message to your aliens, but first I have some questions.

Will you translate my message into some sort of intergalactic dialect, or do your aliens speak English?

What is the average response time from the aliens? How long should I expect to wait for a reply? And do you translate replies into English?

Can I request my message be sent to a specific alien? I'd prefer a cute female if possible.

Thanks,
- crocoPuffs

TalkToAliens.com's response:

[crickets chirping]

So much for that.

Here's my plan.  I think International Star Registry should use TalkToAliens.com to contact the aliens and let them know that we are naming all the stars.  We should also advise them that unless they can offer proof today, of any stars' names, we own and reserve all rights to the naming of stars, so they better not bitch about it later.

While I'm on the subject, I'm an Aries,  Which, as any astrologer worth her salt will tell you, means I am ruled by the planet Mars.  So, when we meet the Martians, am I required to obey their every whim?  I mean, they are from my ruling planet, right?  I don't think I'm a citizen of Mars currently, will I be treated like an outcast?  What if they want me to have sex with all the hot Martian women, am I obliged to do so?  Is a Martians's idea of "hot women" the same as mine?  These are questions that keep me up at night.

- crocoPuffs

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