In 1995, Dr P Makuba, of the University of New Mexico, broadcast an email out across the universe, hoping for a reply from an intelligent, computer-aware lifeform.

After eight years of anticipation, the waiting is over and it appears we are not alone in the universe.

Scientists wasted no time deciphering the pan-galactic message:

Your message has been blocked. (Offensive or suspicious content.)

A copy of your message has been forwarded to the supreme being of your leased space region. Your co-ordinates, have been logged on our system.

Further infringments may result in civil action, or termination of your space-time continuum region. A copy of your message is attached.

Subect: Hello!!
Hi outer-galaxians.
This is just a test message.
Ping me back if you get this!
Dr P

Dr P believes that use of the word 'Ping' may have been a little too ripe for the outer galaxian mail server, and intends to tone down his salutations in future attempts at conversation.

Although he doesn't take their threat of termination seriously, he is at a loss to explain why his home village was yesterday wiped off the face of the earth by a gigantic thunder bolt.

"Maybe I could forward the outer galaxians a few jokes," said Dr P. "There's one about comparing Microsoft to Ford - it's bound to tickle their funny bone."


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