• James McGee

Is it a bird? Is it a plane...?

NASA = National Aeronautics and Space Administration - or as it'll possibly be known after December 2nd: Not As Suicidal As:

Now, I'm not sure if this year's Darwin Awards have been distributed - or at least shredded and scattered over the graves of the latest recipients, but if they haven't I think we may just have found ourselves a new contender.

Oh, if you haven't heard of the Darwin Awards, let me enlighten you. They've been going since 1985 and are awarded each year in recognition of those stalwart individuals who have contributed to human evolution by selecting themselves out of the gene pool either via death or sterilization by their own actions.

Or, as the official website, states:

"The Darwin Awards salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidentally remove themselves from it..."

Let me introduce Mike Hughes.

Yes, I know he looks a little like Bernie Ecclestone's slightly taller brother but that's beside the point - unless you bring the attainment of great speed into the equation.

Because Mike plans to launch his steam-powered rocket - yes, that's right, steam-powered - 1,800 feet into the air to prove...wait for it...that the earth is flat. He reckons he'll achieve a velocity somewhere in the region of 500mph. He plans to launch today, Saturday, from a ramp he's built on the back of his motor home. He will hurtle over the ghost town of Amboy, in the Mojave Desert (current population: 4 ), following the course of the historic Route 66.

I swear I'm not making this up.

Now, from where I'm sitting, I reckon two indisputable facts will be proven. One: that the earth ain't flat; it's kinda spherical, and two: it'll prove to be bloody painful when he hurtles back into it.

It'd be funny - or maybe not - if he landed on one of Amboy's four inhabitants on his way down, though I suspect if they have any sense they'll have chosen to spend the weekend in Vegas, miles away from any potential crash site.

Only saying...

But good luck, Mike. We salute you

From a safe distance...