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(Jon sez:)

Your Writer: Jon Kilgannon For all of you who asked when Benjamin was going to start coming out of his shell, or when he was going to stop being an intellectually incurious jerk (those two questions being, in the main, the same), here it is. It only takes being shepherded through stunning vistas of technological wonder to make Benjamin stop being a noodlehead.

Yes, there's a reason he's been acting like a noodlehead. You'll see.

Back on the real Mars, NASA has released a color photo of the Martian surface taken by the Spirit rover. NASA also announced that it will be naming the bowl of Gusev Crater, where Spirit landed, Columbia Memorial Station in honor of the Shuttle astronauts who died in February of 2003.

Almost lost among all the Mars coolness is news of the Stardust mission to Comet Wild 2. Look forward to seeing much more about Stardust in January of 2006, when its newly acquired payload of comet dust will be landing in Utah. No, I'm not making that up.

(Mark sez:)

Your Artist: Mark Sachs Perhaps I will go back and properly color the random background people in the first panel later. But not right now. Good night! zzzzzz.