What is going on in this world? Because everywhere I look it seems like it’s on its head – all year, even.

I mean, there has been a little bit of crazy happening all over. Just look around, bombs are going off while drones fly overhead, and local murder cases are spawning national protests. But that’s not all, do you remember back when there was no Pope? That’s pretty rare. Do you know who the last people to say “I remember when there was no Pope” were? People who lived 700 years ago, that’s who!

A brief history

I have on many occasions pointed out the upside-downedness of the things our planet is going through this year. In January America went off the dreaded fiscal cliff and into the depths of the sequestrial ocean. Then in February, no sooner than Carnival could rescue the more than 4,200 passengers and staff aboard its drifting cruiseliner from certain destruction in the Gulf of Mexico, Kim Jong-Un pointed his nukes across the Pacific and threatened to improve his technology enough to actually fire them sometime around March.

Mysteriously, when the tragic act of terrorism happened in Boston a few weeks later, North Korea completely vanished from the world news scene, and before anyone had time to get a new grip on the world, West, Texas exploded!

I could go on to review the many uprisings in Africa and the Middle East, talk of tornadoes and meteor explosions over Russia, or walk you to the world of Weiners and scandals, but I think by now you get the idea that 2013 is turning out to be a crazy year.

They come in threes…

Before I break down into a well thought-out conspiracy theory, there’s one more bizarre series of events to convince you of just how much this whole year has gone off its tracks.

I’m talking about the train wrecks.

There have been three people hit by a train on the same railway system England in one week. No word on whether it was the same train each time, but I’d be sure to look both ways before crossing the tracks in North Staffordshire. On top of that, there was the high-speed derailment in Spain last week, and a head-on crash in Switzerland this week.

In addition, and this one is the kicker – as in kicked off the edge into the sci-fi abyss – coming in as the third train incident in a matter of weeks, less than one month ago, several people were reportedly vaporized in a train accident. What in the name of Heisenberg Compensators is going on here?!! I really, really feel bad for the victims of this horrific accident. But think I’m more overwhelmed by the thought of news reports including such a thing as “death by vaporization.” This is the future, people. We are in the future, right now.

What will we hear next? That the UN lunar colony’s power facility was damaged by a plasma conduit leak? That Vulcan has been destroyed by a freak drilling accident and Kahn woke from cryo-sleep 8 years early?

The only explanation

saturn at different phases of ring tiltFor a while I thought perhaps I could blame the planets, that maybe this was one of those times when five or six of them line up in a row, and crop circles turn up all over the place. All I was able to come up with was Saturn. Yes, the one with all the pretty rings.

Saturn reached opposition on April 28th, meaning at that time it was directly opposite the Sun, and visible all night long from planet Earth. It also means the gravity of the planet was pulling in precisely the opposite direction as the Sun at that time, and I’m telling you, that’s the closest thing to an explanation I can come up with for why the world has been so upside down.

Is this a real theory? No, but it did help me come up with a name for a new(er) section on ye olde Standard Excellence.

So welcome to Rings of Saturn, that dark corner of the room where we take a look at the insane goings-on in humanity’s lonely place in the galaxy. There have been a few posts already, and there will be many more to come. This is a column where when new technology promises to solve all your problems, you’ll find out how it will also turn you into a mindless automaton and control your life. When the next Gangnam Style comes to whoop ’em, you’ll be ready to raise your shields and escape the insane memes to follow.

Enjoy your stay as long as you’d like, there’s no shortage of lunacy in this solar system.