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Newly Discovered Twin Earth Already Has Starbucks

WARNING: Way Off the Grid is a satire feature of Off the Grid News. While the articles in this section may deal with current events, they are meant to portray these topics in a satirical and humorous light.

SANTA CRUZ – Using data from the European Southern Observatory in Chile, an international team of scientists has detected a temperate planet orbiting an M-class dwarf star only twenty-two years from Earth. The team conceded that years of painstaking research has lost much of its glory with confirmation that interplanetary beverage retailer, Starbucks, has already established three coffeehouses there. In a feisty press conference, Paul Vogt of UC Santa Cruz lashed out at journalists and Starbucks. “You ask if I hate Starbucks? With my whole heart. They have a far more vigorous marketing program than any of us ever envisioned.”

Guillem Rivera of the Carnegie Institution for Science explained that the Starbucks’ expansion was possible because “the planet in question, GJ 667Cc, sits within a habitable zone, neither too hot nor too cold, where water and coffee plants can thrive.” The scientists report that two other planets orbit the dwarf star, but they are outside the habitable zone, and, predictably, these “showed no signs of Starbucks intervention or even early signs of building foundations in the typical Starbucks’ compact pattern of placing coffeehouses on opposite diagonals of an intersection.”

The Starbucks Corporation refused to confirm or deny the reports since it does not disclose information about its expansion plans. Starbucks’ spokesperson, Ginny Lincoff explained, nonetheless, “if Starbucks were to have coffeehouses on GJ 667Cc, you can be sure that we would be working to reduce our environmental footprint through recycling and green construction, energy and water conservation, even if the water were as heavy as it is on GJ 667Cc.”

Paul Vogt said, “GJ 667Cc would be strange for Earthlings. Its sun would loom very large in the sky, though it is smaller than our sun, but it would be much, much dimmer, just barely able to sustain life, like the sun in, say, in Minnesota.” Vogt added that the host star is part of a triple star system along with two orange K dwarf stars. Starbucks’ Ginny Lincoff recommended referring to the two orange stars as “little people” stars.

The two other suns fill part of the sky, though they orbit at a distance. “These other stars would be helpful for all-night parties and retailers that remain open 24 hours a day, like some coffeeshops,” said Guillem Rivera. “Such a night life would naturally prompt a high caffeine demand, unlike other universes. Why must we keep denying the obvious?”

Rivera warned that many Earthlings would find the gravity on GJ 667Cc rather crippling. Everything and everyone would seem heavier to us. Rivera argued strongly against opening any food outlet under such circumstances, “except perhaps for a Chic-fil-A, where increased gravity would bring out even more of the natural flavors in the chicken.” Starbucks’ spokesperson Jeff Spelling observed that “if, and I’m saying if, Starbucks were to have to adjust to crippling gravity, then you would see us shift to heavier whipping creams and focus on selling more breve drinks that would work within that environment. We believe in adapting to the communities we’re part of, bringing humanoids together, inspiring change.”

The one thing Earthlings would find familiar on GJ 667Cc is the temperature. GJ 667Cc does not overheat the way planets like Mercury and Venus do, and it does not freeze like Jupiter or Pluto. Space researchers like to say it is in the “Goldilocks zone” around its sun, “not too hot like the coffee I get sometimes, or used to,” added Vogt.

GJ 667Cc is about five times more massive than earth, but it orbits its host star in only twenty-eight days, instead of our 365. “Given the speed of their years, it’s obviously much easier to establish residency there,” noted Rivera. “I suspect factors like that allowed Starbucks to bypass the usual international red tape. Yearly financial statements also look much better on GJ 667Cc.”

Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz said people shouldn’t rush to judgment “about a planet more than 100 trillion miles away.” He noted that “scientists cannot see it. All they know is that gravity pulls on its host star, causing the star to ‘wobble’ slightly in the 28-day cycle.” Rivera and others insist, though, that because they know the star’s mass and brightness, they can do the math and figure out much about the planet, “including which franchises have already setup shop there.” Schultz added with a note of triumph that Starbucks does not franchise and has no plans to do so in the foreseeable future. “These scientists should get their corporate facts straight, especially before they start rashly accusing people of interstellar marketing.”

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