As we peer into the trusty, musty, Misty Mirror, the Joe Zone Bureau of Science (JZ-BS) is once again coming into focus. Since our last encounter of the BS kind, our science snoops have been skulking around the countryside, slinking into scientific corridors and lounges to bring you the most startling scientific news since E=MC3. That bump in the night you heard last week was probably one of our clumsier operatives, questing like Quixote for the secrets of the universe. Remember, at the JZ-BS, accuracy is king, and we live and die by our motto: A half-truth is twice as good as a quarter-truth.
Joe Zone Bureau of Science fans will remember that we tackled Dark Energy back in November. Others will remember eating turkey back in November. Whatever. Anyway, we hinted, in “Dark Energy: What Else?” (11/12/12), at delving into Dark Matter at some point in the Misty future. The JZ-BS is proud to announce that that time is now! (Was it confusing having a double “that” in the previous sentence? Hang on, that’s the least of your worries.)
The possibility of an unseen form of matter was first proposed many years ago, way back in the 20th century, in fact in the 1930’s, and hardly a man is now alive who remembers that famous day and year. Or so says Longfellow. Then a really bad thing happened. Scientists, who as boys used to fry ants with magnifying glasses, got their hands on the Hubble Space Telescope. And what did they do? They fried a rhinoceros. No, they actually pointed it at galaxies, and found, among other things, that they weren’t rotating as they should, given their calculated masses. I mean the galaxies weren’t rotating right, not the scientists. So, after giving the galaxies a speeding ticket, the scientists explained the discrepancy using the time-honored scientific method: they made up something. In this case, Dark Matter. And then they rested.
So Dark Matter is merely a name that has been given to something that we think exists, but have no idea what it is or how it works. There are many other examples of this technique, including mental telepathy and Congress. So, as you read this, hordes of cutting-edge scientists are spending huge sums of government funds (“Dark Money”) searching for tiny building-block particles of Dark Matter. Personally, I think they should be looking no farther than our bellies, as the extra weight of Dark Matter perfectly explains the obesity epidemic. I just knew it was the scientists’ fault!
According to the latest scientific thought, Dark Matter and Dark Energy constitute 95% of the universe. The other 5% is the ordinary stuff that we used to think was the whole universe, before we realized we were overlooking 95% of it. Say what? Personally, I think previous generations of scientists were looking through the wrong end of the telescope. I would say the Greatest Generation has a lot of explaining to do.
So, the JZ-BS is encouraging all faithful Zoners to keep out a sharp eye for Dark Matter. Look in your closets, attics, garages, and especially basement corners infested with spider webs. Hey, no one ever said the scientific life was an easy one. But at stake is not only the solving of a great scientific riddle that has no apparent real-life applications (except possibly using Dark Matter to make pomegranate-flavored Slim Fast™), but having one of the most basic and abundant particles in the universe named after you.
Who would bother with a proton or Higgs Boson, after they’ve seen the Joe Lego™?
Well, the Misty Mirror is fading again, so it’s time for the JZ-BS to retreat into the darkest recesses of the Joe Zone, to once again haunt the fog-shrouded moors of scientific research, speculation, and prevarication. But we’ll return with more startling science, as soon as we think you can stand it.