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Life on Mars, "gangster" Peppa Pig and the Loewe dinosaur trainers

So it turns out Button Moon was a lie.

This reporter is of course referring to the 1980's children's TV show, which followed Mr Spoon and his family of fellow kitchen utensils, as they day-tripped off to Button Moon in a junk model space rocket.

There the family would enjoy all manner of adventures before returning back to earth in time for tea. Mr Spoon made space travel look a sinch. It transpires space travel is not a sinch.

NASA, alongside the European Space Agency, is planning to bring Martian rocks back to earth to see whether the planet is inhabited by aliens. However, this daring mission is not a simple matter of astronauts rocketing up to Mars, picking up a few rocks in their space buckets, and returning back to earth that same afternoon.

As it turns out, the whole venture is going to be something of a palaver on the basis we are not, as yet, able to land a rocket on another planet and then take back off again. This means bringing the rocks home will take at least three separate missions to Mars.

First a NASA 'rover' will head to the planet and collect up to 31 different samples, a second mission will go and collect those samples and place them in a special vehicle that will rocket them up into Mars orbit.

Last of all, a spacecraft will fly to Mars and catch those samples, bringing them back and then dropping them down in the US.

This reporter muses that if there is life on Mars, all this too-ing and fro-ing is going to draw quite an alien crowd, negating the need to test the rocks after all. But then this reporter has never had much of a grasp of astrobiology. She puts full blame on Mr Spoon.

This reporter intends to placate herself by purchasing these dinosaur-shaped trainers by Loewe. Once she would have imagined them coming to life at night. Now..not so much.

Meanwhile, it's all gone trotters up in Peppa Pig land. The cartoon pig, of puddle jumping fame, has been banned in communist China for "promoting gangster attitudes".

Incredibly, Peppa's likeness has become popular with a subculture of internet users known as "shehuiren" or "society people" - a group who claim to hold anti-establishment views and gangster attitudes.

They have been using Peppa in subversive memes, spoof videos and in lewd jokes and as a result it has become illegal to search for terms such as "pigpig" or "PeppaPeppa" on China's microblogging platform Weibo or its online video app Douyin.

The "gangsters" have even been getting Peppa Pig tattoos!

Night falls. Two dinosaur-shaped trainers creep out from under the bed. One presses play on the CD player and they begin an abstract dance...
"Sailors fighting in the dance hall. Oh man, look at those cavemen go. It's the freakiest show...Is there life on Mars?"

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