Cape Canaveral, Florida - Today top NASA generals staged a secret press conference to announce the most shocking discovery yet regarding the Martian meteorite which some scientists believe may have once contained living organisms. There is now evidence that these "microfossils" possessed rudimentary intelligence. They may have been not only civilized, but also computer-literate.
Scientists studying the meteorite, which was found in Antarctica and accidentally sliced open last year, noticed strange deposits which at first they mistook for simple crystals of a magnetic mineral called hematite.
The special rock. Scientists were baffled by this seemingly random arrangement of tiny black dots.
In fact, these crystals were synthesized by the microscopic Martian organisms, and were used to store data. Each crystal could record the value of "1" or "0", not unlike an earthly "bit" which can store "0" or "1". Despite the opposite polarity of the Martian data bits, scientists were able to extract the data.
The message contained in the crystals was hard to decipher, until someone realized that the primary purpose of all computers, on any planet, would be to create personal "vanity pages" on the Web. Looking at the crystals in that way, the researchers deduced that the data contained within was a primitive form of HTML, later determined to be HTML version 0.001. Although superficially similar to English, HTML 0.001 did not contain punctuation marks or lowercase letters, so it took almost a year to decode. But at last the results have been achieved and understood, and they are spectacular.
To view the pages, a specially-designed Web browser, named "Enhanced Mosaic", was designed by NASA's sister organization NCSA. The Web pages in the meteorite, although badly decayed and over a billion years old, were readable across the milennia.
A primitive Web page, possibly from Mars.
The microscopic life forms in the rock were later determined to still be alive, although this Web page has obviously been unchanged for one billion and a half years. In addition, all the links had died (perhaps starting with the ones to GeoCities pages, and then gradually spreading to all others.)
Some scientists doubt NASA's findings, while others are merely skeptical. We asked Stephen Hawking his opinion, and he said, "I am sorry, I cannot comment on this, because I cannot talk."
The meteorite is currently up for bidding at an auction to raise funds for NASA. Potential buyers include Michael Jackson and comedian Gallagher, who has run out of other things to smash.
In an unrelated story, Bill Gates gave birth to an elephant.
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