Stricken galaxy of stars exposed

"They" - the collective of scientists, archaeologists, sociologists and psychologists who seem to exist to fill the Sunday Times news section back page with freaky facts - discovered a new kind of particle last week.

Scientists were perturbed by two almost simultaneous explosions in the Arctic and Indian oceans in 1998. Four years later, they've deduced that these were caused by a super-particle - "10,000 times denser than lead" - slamming into the Arctic, slicing through the Earth's core like a hot bullet in butter, and exiting through the Indian Ocean half a second later. Apparently, this is fairly common and we may have been hit thousands of times over the millennia.

If we've only just deduced these facts, then what have we previously been hit by that we haven't detected? We could be being constantly hosed down by undetected intergalactic pheromones that are driving us all crazy. I would go as far as to say that this is not merely likely, but in many cases the only possible explanation for certain world events. What else could be behind a whole generation of teenagers suddenly deciding to wear unflattering dungarees in 1988? The rash of movies based around dogs in the early 1990s? All the Bee Gees singing like that. And what about It's a Royal Knockout?

If these aren't down to invisible bombardment, then we are living on a more troubling planet than we had first suspected. I don't know if I can believe that Prince Edward, wholly untouched by any kind of high-pitched interstellar frequencies, independently came up with idea of Princess Anne, Cliff Richard and Meatloaf, dressed in medieval costumes for charity. I don't want to think of some fashion impresario saying "What the newly lumpy pubescent girl needs is some kind of bib-and-braces affair, and a severely pegged trouser-leg". And as for such modern phenomena as Dairylea Lunchables, RI:SE and S Club Junior - no, it must all come from outer space.

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