If only today's announcement from Google and Virgin were true. Supposedly Google and Virgin Inc. are teaming up to create Virgle, a scheme to settle Mars by about 2015, possibly because Mars is the last place Google can keep its server farms the right temperature. In this video, Google founders Sergey and Larry ask you to send in your Youtube videos explaining why you should be one of the first Mars settlers.

Part of what I like about the Virgle prank is that it's so well thought-out, including a detailed discussion of choosing the correct site for a Mars base, with protective lava tubes, sources of water and climate. And then it dips into total science fiction, predicting "a glistening blue bay" within a couple of generations of terraforming. And here's the funniest part:

Here's the Virgle Pioneer pitch: Things will get better. Eventually. Sure, the work will be hard, the broadband rates low, the commodes decidedly open source, and yes, your life might be extinguished in a fiery instant of catastrophic technological malfunction. But your enriched descendants will appreciate your sacrifice, which should render worthwhile your choice to spend the rest of your (perhaps radically foreshortened) life in deprivation and uncertainty.
[Project Virgle , thanks to Richard]