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(Jon sez:)

Your Writer: Jon Kilgannon I'm sure it feels like I've been stretching this out longer than the writers of "Moonlighting" or "X-Files," but here we are at last.

I have to say that Mark did a bang-up job on this page. Benjamin's whacked-on-the-back-of-the-head-with-an-axe-handle expression in the first panel, and the wonderfully sunny image of the sherbet vendor and Caprice in the last panel, are exactly how I had envisioned them.

In other news, I'd like to thank readers Weirdweb, synaid, and Darth Squeaker for spreading the "Brazil has decided you're cute" meme. If you also spread the meme but I didn't mention you, feel free to email me and correct me.

(Mark sez:)

Your Artist: Mark Sachs I wouldn't say it was too much like "The X-Files." For one thing, in the end our plotline actually went somewhere! Oh, zing! Thank you! I'll be here all week!

Okay, so here's your Mars update. About five pages ago, NASA's Mars rover teams reported that the Opportunity rover had found good evidence that freely flowing water once existed on Mars's Meridani Planum. Now, NASA has updated their findings to suggest not just that there was water of some sort or another, but that Opportunity's landing site was in fact once the shore of a saltwater sea. I'll repeat that: a vast, saltwater sea, on Mars. (It could also, of course, have just been an isolated salt flat. But the principle of mediocrity suggests it would be rather unlikely that NASA scored a thirty million mile hole-in-one by dropping its space probe right on the single location on Mars where water once flowed. Rather, where there was once some water, there's likely to have been a whole lot more.) Opportunity is now leaving the crater it landed in and heading across Meridani Planum for parts unknown.

Opportunity also had the chance to photograph a solar eclipse on Mars -- Mars's larger moon Phobos passing in front of the Sun. Phobos's irregular shape is clearly visible in the picture. A few days earlier, the smaller and farther-away moon Deimos also transited the Sun and was caught on film by Opportunity.

So, yeah. Despite everything it's not such a bad time to be alive, really.