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(Jon sez:)

Your Writer: Jon Kilgannon We live in an era in which smacking a space probe into a comet to gain data on the comet's composition doesn't draw immense media attention. This is both reassuring, since our technological advancement is so rapid that crashing into a comet is apparently seen as so quotidian and even boring that it passes without much comment, and yet frustrating, since I want to see wall-to-wall press coverage of NASA smacking half a ton of scientific instruments into a freakin' comet.

Closer to Earth, and in relation to today's page of the comic, I should point out that the wave turbine referred to by Henri is a real thing which is designed to generate power from the action of ocean waves.

(Mark sez:)

Your Artist: Mark Sachs Ha! Henri lives to bore people with details (although possibly not for much longer if he keeps doing it to Greta.)

I have to say I don't consider the art in today's comic up to my usual standards, such as they are; I apologize for that. In my defense I do wish to say that I also drew this today and it is awesome.

One side note on this whole Deep Impact thing. Besides being cool, it is also, intentionally or not, proof that we can now protect the Earth from incoming comets. (Given a decade or three's notice, of course.) Picture this: instead of scientific instruments, we load the probe up with a hydrogen bomb. And instead of parking it in front of the comet, we arrange for it to run into its side, in just the right spot. Then we detonate the bomb. The comet won't be destroyed or even seriously damaged, of course -- it's just too big. But as long as we do it far enough in advance, even the tiny change in the comet's velocity caused by the bomb will be enough to make it miss the Earth a few orbits later.

Good to know.