Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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"Hat over the fence" to Space

Now we HAVE to go
  (+51, -7)(+51, -7)(+51, -7)
(+51, -7)
  [vote for,

An eccentric genius should, on his dying day, arrange for the theft of several very important (and durable) cultural icons, these to be placed atop a large booster rocket and sent to Mars.

Want them back, Earth? Go get them.

(From the idea that, when faced with a tall fence in one's way, one should toss one's hat over as added incentive or excuse for climbing the fence.)

centauri, Feb 20 2001

(?) Salvage 1 http://www.geocitie.../9782/salvage1.html
[wombat, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       How about the launch sequences for ICBMs?
reensure, Feb 20 2001

       How about Julia Roberts?
bristolz, Feb 20 2001

       Actually, what would really happen is that previously "priceless" items would have prices attached to them and these amounts would be seized from the remaining estate of the wealthy eccentric .
centauri, Feb 20 2001

       So he blows all his money on it and there's nothing left to seize.
StarChaser, Feb 23 2001

       I didn't mind them blasting John Glenn into space, but did they have to bring him BACK?!?
boris, Feb 23 2001

       Wow. Now I have incentive to earn money! (Though unfortuanately I won't be able to earn enough, or die early enough, to do this to <insert annoyance here>) At least it would get rid of them for a while.
badoingdoing, Feb 23 2001

       The idea of throwing your hat over the fence is itself a development from the Roman army's practise of throwing their Eagle Standards over the wall of an enemy's fort. To lose an Eagle was to bring disgrace to Rome and so the soldiers (allegedly) fought that much harder to get it back. I'm sorry, but I've just got to go and find a Pedants Anonymous meeting...
DrBob, Feb 23 2001

       Hmmm. A canny Roman enemy would smash the standard into smithereens and toss them back over the wall...
Lemon, Feb 23 2001

       why on his dying day? how will he know anyway?
technobadger, Feb 27 2001

       technobadger: he (interchangeable with the female in the following paragraph) will wait until he has passed away or will shortly so that he can avoid prosecution. The objects he would steal would be such that he would have trouble finding refuge in any country.   

       I'm starting to realize that the countries of the world would most likely give the objects up for lost and simply start a war over the issue.
centauri, Feb 27 2001

       fire all the (disarmed) nukes into space so that the war that centuri predicts could not happen until the objective of the idea had been fulfilled.   

       alternatively send up Tony Blair, George Bush and all manufactured pop bands to save money on life-support and space-suits
chud, Mar 08 2001

       Wouldn't work. In space, no one can hear you ring.
DrBob, Mar 29 2001

       Rods Tiger: -S-ETI, not CETI.
StarChaser, Mar 31 2001

       what if these aliens were dangerous? we'd have no chance to survive make our time
technobadger, Mar 31 2001

       [bristolz] I don't think anyone would bother to get Julia Roberts back. If you want to see some real action, send up my television remote control.
phoenix, Jul 02 2001

       As much fun as this thread has been, I believe it's based on an erroneous proposition. Since when did we stop "getting into space"? As far as I can tell, we're headed pretty steadily "outward". I think we may have been programed to expect more by this time...what with this being the year 2001 and all.   

       No, between the military and the corporations we will most certainly be more and more heavily invested in outer space. My god, kids...we just had a freakin' tourist! I'm hoping the price comes down a bit before my 120th birthday.
StreetLight, Jul 03 2001

       I have to disagree with Streetlight. Putting more people and things in Earth orbit does not constitute "heading steadily outward". It constitutes "staying pretty much where we've been for decades now", or possibly even "a big step backward from the Apollo missions".   

       The Mars probes were cool, though.
baf, Jul 19 2001

       Ummm... how about the _opposite_ proposition. Get a dozen cloned embryo's of <insert your favorite villain> and send them up to the red planet with appropriate UV and other shielding. At some point someone will realize that future generations (of visiting aliens) don't deserve to be stuck with this guy, so then we'd _have_ to go up there and get him back, just to be sure that no one suffers with him any more.
pathetic, Aug 24 2001

       i think this whole idea of space travel is preposterous. absolutely ridiculous. the thought of a human being in space. maybe a monkey or a dog, but a human? i remember the good ol' days when all we talked about was who got the last chitlin. boy, those were the days. {sigh}
spongeyguy, Aug 30 2002

       Once when i was in elementary school, i threw a girl's toque over the fence (probably because i liked her and was a kid). Eventually she made me go get it. (she was cute so i conceded) I tore my pants while getting it back. I think there's a lesson here.
cameron, Feb 06 2003

       I thought the standard practise was to throw cattle over castle walls.
rapid transit, May 10 2003

       This is reminiscent of the "The Far Side" cartoon entitled (if I remember correectly) "Great moments in evolution": Two fish, one wearing a carcher's mitt, look expectantly out of the water at their ball on the land...
friendlyfire, May 15 2003

       The crown jewels would be a perfect canidate. But to save the ten million dollar per pound cost for sending the queens headgear to mars, it would be more practical to adapt NASA's technology for faking moon landings to faking a mars landing. In a video tape presented to the queen you could show a astronaut opening the door, throwing the jewels on to the surface, shutting the door and blasting off for home. You'd only need to launch a dummy rocket from earth such that the US's NORAD radar detects it leaving the atmosphere.
venomx, May 20 2003

       The said genius should go to his contacts within the New World Order conspiracy and have them cough up the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant. Shoot them to Mars, then claim Mars for Earth when someone finally lands there. Then, the relics can be made international, just in time for the cashless society in which there is but one number tattooed on everyone's arm. Of course, Elvis would rise from the Cydonia Plane, walk around and snatch them up.
bo-hemian, Jun 17 2003

       // there is but one number tattooed on everyone's arm//
What number would that be?
Worldgineer, Jun 17 2003

       The number for the phone on Mars.
LabRat, Jun 18 2003

       The number will most likely be in hexadecimal, for easier assimilation into the single computer database. I know I'm borrowing imagery from "The Matrix". A 9-digit number in hex will permit 68.7 billion unique individuals to be specified. This number, of course, may not be large enough for all the human ancestry, should a way be figured out to map that. So the Planetary ID would be 10 digits, hex. This is the address of a person within the complete space. Come to think of it, American phone numbers are that many digits, though in base 10. I wish I knew what my number will be; I want to be the first on the sub-unitary block to have my proper bar-code and machine-legible digits, right on my upper arm.   

       So we're talking about humanity's manifest destiny, now, to own the world and all that contains it. It reminds me of the International Star Registry. We could have the UN Peacekeeping planet Mars, and the Charmin planet Uranus. I could go on...
zedidiah, Jun 18 2003

       Could I request a number?   

jonathanhowell, Sep 01 2003

       Noone would go after them, because all the nations of the world would fight over who should go after it. They'd all threaten war over who got to command the men going after their things.
sheep, Nov 13 2003

       If the eccentric genius has the resourse to send the objects to Mars, why doesn't he just send people instead?
Nitehawk, Mar 27 2004

       because it's easier to just go to mars then to go and come back. none of the devices sent to mars up to now were able to move faster than a few meters a day, so a shuttle able to land and take off from mars would be quite a leap..
sweet, May 19 2004

       It wouldn't let me put in a positive vote for this, so could someone do it for me?   

       I think that this is a really great idea and god bless whoever suggested ICBM's. We should send one thing that is extremely valuable to each country in the entire world. They could be things that other countries know exist, but don't know everything about. That way, the countries would race to get there first and set up an installation there so that they could retrieve their stuff as well as the property of the other countries. Most likely many countries would also wind up setting up military encampments, which could eventually lead to civilizations on Mars. I dont know if anyone here saw that movie about the epople who went to Mars where the one guy was marooned on the planet and survived in the greenhouse, but it seems like a biosphere that could be shielded against Mars's harsh environment could support human life for an indefinite amount of time, if properly maintained.
eupoth, May 27 2005

       Having seen the DaVinci code, I feel the proofs to several long-standing conspiracy theories have already made their soft landings on Mars.
reensure, May 27 2006

       "America has tossed its cap over the wall of space."-- John F. Kennedy
ldischler, May 30 2006

       can we send Carrot Top too? you know.
epicproblem, May 30 2006

       Travelling to Mars nothing more than a pointless, childish display of nationalistic hubris. It will cost hundreds of billions and achieve very little in the way of new science. Mars is just a huge, boring, overrated lump of red dust. Why should this hare-brained endevour be encouraged? The moon landing has proved the point already. Today there are far more interesting territories to conquer. The human mind is the most complex entity in the known universe, and very little is know about it. Why not throw the billions on that quest?   

       PS. And the argument that space travel always produces useful spin-offs is rubbish. If you spend a trillion dollars on *anything* it will produce a few useful spin-offs.
kinemojo, May 30 2006

       Fantastic idea. Gets my vote.
monojohnny, May 30 2006

       What's to stop an unmanned sample return mission from being modified to recover the missing goods?
ye_river_xiv, Nov 03 2006

       //The human mind is the most complex entity in the known universe, and very little is know about it. Why not throw the billions on that quest//   

       Why not do both? [+]
moomintroll, Nov 03 2006


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