} Welcome to the Oracular Interplanetary Travel Agency!
} Here, we take our time to bring YOU, the harried, overworked supplicant
} to the planet that best suits your needs! Take a look at our brochure!
} We've conveniently listed the pros and cons of each planet most likely
} to be relevant to your position...
} - Each local day is almost sixty terrestrial days long! You can lose
} ten pounds, initiate a short-term relationship, or learn a foreign
} language before lunch!
} - The local year is only about one and a half local days long...
} Meaning tax day will come far too often for your liking. As will
} having to send Christmas cards and the Miss Mercury pageant.
} - There is no atmosphere, meaning actually speaking the foreign
} language will be difficult.
} - The average temperature during the day is over 700 degrees
} Fahrenheit, meaning you'll probably lose those ten pounds really
} quickly, especially if you're a sunbather.
} - The average temperature at night is under minus 300 degrees
} Fahrenheit, meaning you'll want those ten pounds back for insulation,
} if you survive that long.
} - The planet is completely uninhabitable, so there's no one to start a
} long-term relationship with, assuming you survive long enough to worry
} about that sort of thing before either being reduced to a charred
} fragment of dead tissue (if you arrive during the day) or a frozen
} fragment of dead tissue (if you arrive at night).
} - A whole two hundred forty-three terrestrial days per local day!
} That's right, from now on a school year will only take one day!
} - The local year is actually shorter than the local day, meaning
} you'll have to spend a lot of money buying new calendars.
} - The atmosphere is deadly toxic sulfur fumes, which makes sitting in
} class just that much more annoying. (And you thought sitting next to
} "Sweaty" Sullivan was bad...)
} - The planet is completely obscured by clouds of deadly sulfuric acid,
} so you'll have a hard time getting home for the holidays.
} - The above fact means the planet is constantly plunged in darkness,
} making life difficult for people who enjoy stargazing, sunbathing,
} reading, walking around, etc.
} - The temperature is over 840 degrees Fahrenheit, so summer vacation
} will become that much less appealing. Not that there are seasons, or
} - You think your classroom's stuffy? The greenhouse effect makes this
} planet the hottest planet in the whole friggin' Solar System, over 840
} degrees Fahrenheit.
} - The planet is completely uninhabitable, so higher education won't do
} you much good here. No matter what your degree, there are few
} high-paying jobs for fried, poisoned, acid-burned carcasses.
} THE MOON
} - The day is about the same as a terrestrial month, which is why the
} Moon always has the same face turned toward Earth. Not only does this
} mean you can keep in touch with everyone much more easily, but you can
} head over to the other side when you wanna be alone for a while. Plus,
} now every day is payday!
} - During the day, it's boiling hot, literally, over 200 degrees at
} night, it's less than minus 200 degrees Fahrenheit, not too fun no
} matter which shift you work.
} - The gravity is less than a sixth of Earth's, which is all very fun
} in the beginning (remember all those Apollo guys' antics?) but it gets
} kind of frustrating bouncing halfway across the landscape every time
} you take a step. And you may be losing weight, but you won't actually
} look any different. (Well, except that you're turning all blue from
} oxygen loss and your skin's puckering from the radiation burns, but
} that's a different con.)
} - There's absolutely no atmosphere at all, which, while a big con for
} a restaurant, is an even bigger one for a planet (or satellite, which
} is what the Moon technically is, all right, you picky people?)
} Likewise, no water, unless you can find that crater those news people
} got so excited about. Air and water are not only vital working
} conditions that any self-respecting union will demand for its members,
} they are also vital to ensuring that you remain, well, vital. This is
} why there are no unions, as yet, for Moon labor.
} - Frankly, the place is completely uninhabitable. (Noticing a trend?)
} The only reason people came here at all was for a big publicity stunt
} that probably won't benefit you much unless you're a Congressman with
} big interests in the space program. If you are, then go right ahead!
} Sure beats having more of you guys on Earth...
} - The local day is just about the same as a terrestrial day, except
} there's an extra half-hour every day! Perfect for watching an extra
} episode of Seinfeld, or playing one more game of Horse before having to
} head home.
} - The year is nearly twice as long as a terrestrial year, meaning it
} can really drag by sometimes. Mars has seasons, so you'll have to
} spend that much longer waiting for the spring.
} - The temperature is freezing even in the day, and gets down below 200
} degrees at night, making it a less than ideal spot to play basketball.
} - The planet is regularly racked by huge, sweeping dust storms, making
} it less than ideal for ANY outdoor sport, or for watching TV.
} - While there are sources of water near the poles, they are mixed with
} dry ice, which tends to burn rather badly when you stick it in your
} mouth. Not the kind of thing you want to worry about after a sweaty
} - The atmosphere is a nearly nonexistent layer of carbon dioxide,
} making it kind of hard to catch your breath after a long game, or a
} particularly hilarious Kramer moment.
} - The gravity here is less than half that of Earth, which might
} improve your jump shot, but, on the other hand, is more likely to make
} it nearly impossible for you to walk normally and will eventually
} weaken your bones and muscles to the point when going back into Earth
} gravity would kill you. Not a great way to stay in shape.
} - Though not completely uninhabitable, surviving out here would be
} danged difficult, and most of us wouldn't want to try without a
} several-billion-dollar NASA budget behind us. Since you already have
} so much to do, obtaining one of those might be... difficult. You'd
} have a hard time getting a partner for Horse, and I don't think Mission
} Control would go for spending millions of dollars to transmit Seinfeld
} to you. Not even the last episode.
} - Well, the day is only about ten hours long, which may seem like a
} bad thing for someone with your schedule, but actually it means that
} you'll have many more days in a year to get things done in! Because a
} local year is about twelve terrestrial years, meaning that your kids
} will be halfway to college when they're only a year old! And with
} nearly 44,000 days in every year, think how long you can stretch your
} vacation time! And think how long it will be between tax days...
} - The gravity is over twice that of Earth's, so it'll be a real drag
} running around having to do everything all year. Keep in mind, though,
} that while you've gained weight, you won't actually look any different
} (except for being ripped and blasted into a fine mist of atoms, but
} that's a different con.)
} - The planet doesn't really have a surface, in fact, it's a big, mushy
} mass of gooey liquids and gases. Sounds like it'd be fun living in a
} big swimming pool or mud hole? Maybe, except it ain't water, but
} compressed hydrogen, methane, and other stuff. Kind of like the stuff
} you find in a swamp or a giant fart, only under such high pressure it's
} liquid. Not too appealing a place to raise your kids.
} - About that pressure. Towards the center of Jupiter, hydrogen is
} actually turned into a metal, that's right, a metal by the forces
} there. Imagine what it'd do to a human body. That's right, you'd slim
} down a whole lot, in fact, be squashed into a teeny-weeny ball of
} barely recognizable organic compounds, if not for the tidal forces (ask
} a physics guru) that would rip you into a fine mist of organic
} compounds first that will quickly dissolve in the roiling maelstrom of
} whirling gases. So you really wouldn't have that much time to put your
} kids through college; in fact, you'd have to work pretty fast to have
} kids at all.
} - Did your mother warn you not to sit too close to the TV screen?
} Well, the menacing power output of a CRT is nothing compared to the
} intense Van Allen belts Jupiter's got. We're talking more radiation
} than a nuke test, here. If you ever did have kids, I wouldn't even
} wanna see their birth defects. Assuming they survived at all, or you
} survived long enough to have kids, and were able to find someone else
} stupid enough to come along with you to have kids here, in which case I
} doubt I want the two of you in my gene pool in the first place.
} - The Perfect Storm, in fact, has nothing to do with Tom Hanks,
} Massachusetts fishermen, or big Hollywood blockbusters. You want a
} storm? The Great Red Spot ain't no 7-Up gimmick, it's in fact a
} hurricane big enough to swallow the planet Earth, and quite easily rip
} any puny human into a whiff of component atoms. Assuming one of the
} other, smaller storms that make up the whole of Jupiter's surface
} didn't get you first. Okay, so maybe it wouldn't be as painful as an
} IRS audit, but it would be more permanent.
} - And heat? If you lived on Jupiter, sunbathing would become
} irrelevant. Jupiter actually gives off more heat than it gets from the
} Sun; Sol would be just another star in the sky for you. Because
} Jupiter can get as hot as 54,000 degrees. Whoo! If there's any reason
} to move air conditioning from "luxury" to "necessary utility" on a
} report form, it's this.
} - So, needless to say, Jupiter is completely, totally uninhabitable.
} The very notion is silly. Of course, so is this whole brochure, but
} you've probably caught onto that by now. In fact, this whole spiel
} applies, to a lesser degree, to all the gas giants, so let's just skip
} them all, shall we? (Oh, and by the way, you can't live on Saturn's
} rings. Since they're really a thin whirling band of tiny ice and dust
} particles, you'd slip right through them and be buffeted to death by
} the little projectiles. If the vacuum didn't kill you first. We wish
} we could be a more friendly travel agency, but hey, this is space.)
} - Well, thankfully, it's not a gas giant, so there's actually
} something to stand on. A day here is almost a terrestrial week, which
} is nice. You get to take weekends off every day! Great for going
} golfing, and for catching all your favorite shows every day.
} - The local year is about two hundred fifty Earth years. Unless
} you're reeeaalllllyyy healthy (which is difficult, on Pluto), you'll
} never live to see another New Year's party in your life. Think about
} - Ahem. No atmosphere. Closest thing we've got is a few wisps of
} methane floating around... And having that kind of atmosphere is kinda
} like going on a date with your sister. I mean, it only counts in the
} smallest, most basic sense. No one even knew it was there till they
} built the Hubble. In fact, any sort of gas will probably just turn
} liquid right here. Since you kind of need gases in the air to breathe,
} this is not good. Think what golfing would be like... "Watch out for
} that oxygen trap!" Hell, the surface is basically made of frozen AIR,
} for crying out loud, solid nitrogen! Solid! And sure, golfing is not
} the most strenuous sport, but you need to take a breath sometime... Of
} course, you can wait for when Pluto crosses Neptune's orbit and warms
} up a tad and a few choice gases temporarily escape into the atmosphere,
} but don't you just hate having to schedule golf dates that way? Bad
} enough to wait for the weather to clear up, worse to wait for an
} atmosphere to breathe...
} - Golfing is best on nice, balmy, sunny summer days. It loses much of
} its charm on a planet so far away from the Sun that it's basically as
} close to being in interstellar space as you can get in our Solar System
} so that you're so close to absolute zero you can actually lean over and
} wave "Hi" to it, if your limbs hadn't turned to solidified icicles
} already and there were actually air to breathe and say "Hi" with, where
} you can't even tell where the friggin' Sun is without an astronomical
} - Gravity? Ha! Since no one's ever bothered to actually land on the
} thing, no one can tell us how much there is, but just by looking at it
} we can tell the thing's smaller than the Moon. Be a real pain chasing
} golf balls like that...
} - Basically, you guessed it, the planet is completely uninhabitable.
} More than that, no one's even taken good pictures of it yet; pretty
} hard for the probes to catch. Not only does that make it hard to
} schedule a golf date there, it wouldn't be the best place to kick back
} for some TV viewing. You think the time zone confusion from living in
} Central is bad? Try getting all the shows five and a half hours late,
} cause that's how long it'd take for signals to reach you. And they'd
} be all fuzzy and staticy too, which I hate.
} THE SUN
} - Technically, the Sun takes 25 terrestrial days to make one rotation,
} so that's a "day". But since the Sun IS the source of light in the
} Solar System, it's always day here! That's right, you never have to go
} back inside at sunset again; it doesn't exist! Haven't you ever wished
} the Sun could keep shining forever when you were at the beach?
} Sun-worshippers, this is your paradise!
} - There ain't a real year, here, cause you're at the center of the
} Solar System. But the Sun does make a revolution around the center of
} the Milky Way, which is sort of a year. Unfortunately, that year is
} 225,000,000 terrestrial years long. A long time between New Year's
} parties even for an immortal deity. (Then again, you won't have to
} remember people's birthdays...)
} - Ahem. I'm assuming that even little kids know this, so I won't
} spell it out... Oh, heck, why not. YOU'LL GET COMPLETELY
} INCINERATED!!!! Geez, you thought gas giants were bad, this is an
} actual star, here! Hell, even four-year-olds know that even SUPERMAN
} can't survive flying into the Sun, so how the hell do you, Mr./Ms.
} Pitiful Human Supplicant Who Can't Even Handle A Miniscule Daily
} Schedule, expect not to get dragged into the Sun by its incredible
} gravity and basically annihilated by the ten-thousand degree
} temperatures?!? Are you insane!?! We wouldn't even be able to strain
} out which atoms were yours, they'll get whooshed into the whole
} streaming mess of nuclear fusion before you can blink your
} fusion-torched eyes! We're talking actual molecular disintegration
} here, like in science fiction! You'd have to be one HELL of a devoted
} sun-worshipper to actually come here! (Man, I wish I had worshippers
} that devoted... I can't even get Zadoc to go to a Santana concert with
} me.) Er, sorry. But I just felt I had to make that point strongly.
} COMET HALLEY
} - Hey, everyone knows about this place. You'll be famous every time
} you show up on Earth! The year is 76 terrestrial years long, giving
} you plenty of time to live a full life, retire with a pension, and die
} of arteriosclerosis before ever seeing another tax day.
} - You'll spend most of those 76 years far away from the Sun, freezing
} to death in the utter cold of interplanetary space. Heart attacks may
} not be pleasant, but they're probably preferable to that.
} - Uh, there isn't much to actually live on. It's basically a dirty
} snowball with the surface area of a state park. If you manage to avoid
} falling off, since the gravity ain't gonna hold you on long, you'll
} probably get bored with the scenery real fast.
} - That beautiful comet tail is really gases unfreezing and lighting up
} like a neon sign from solar radiation. In case you didn't guess, these
} are not healthy gases. And neither is the solar radiation.
} - It's completely uninhabitable. Besides, do you really want to bear
} the guilt of living someplace that has unwittingly caused panic, fear,
} and riots from its mere appearance on Earth in the past? Okay, even if
} you do, it's not worth moving there. You can start a comet cult right
} here, and you don't even actually have to know anything about comets!
} MOUNT OLYMPUS
} - Now this is more like it. Existing on a parallel plane of
} mythological existence will free you from all those nasty laws of
} physics and crap that make life so difficult in the mortal realms. Day
} and Night will be at your beck and call; you will no longer be
} controlled by schedules, and will have all of Eternity to complete
} whatever tasks you might wish in utmost bliss and relaxation.
} - To get admitted here, you technically have to be a god. And, though
} your opinion might differ, you probably aren't. To gain divine status,
} you have to either be of divine ancestry (watch your parents for signs
} of shapeshifting when they get agitated), or perform such actions as
} slaying a horrible demon monster beast, or winning a major world war,
} or bearing a god's child. Since your schedule is already so packed, I
} doubt you'd be able to fit any of these in.
} - It doesn't actually exist, so you'll only be able to get there if
} you're a fictional character, like me. Tough breaks.
} So, all in all, it looks like you'd have the best luck staying on...
} - You've been here long enough and are probably bored with it.
} - The same old 24-hour, 365-day month and all its attendant problems.
} - You probably know all of the rest already.
} - Not far to travel.
} - It's actually possible to live here. At least for the near future,
} anyway, until those waste drums start to leak... But never mind.
} So, with all this useful information in hand, we hope you'll be making
} the right choice for your next travel destination, and we hope you'll
} continue to use Oracular Travel Services in the future!
} You owe the Oracle a vacation in the Pleiades.