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Latarski: Could scientists discover life in S.C. primary?
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In case you missed this, a scientist, Leonid Ksanfomaliti, at the Space Research Institute of Russia's Academy of Science, announced he analyzed photographs from a 1982 probe of Venus and thinks they may reveal life on the planet.

This tells us two things: you can never stop studying what's in front of you and Russian Vodka must still be pretty good.

The pressure on the surface of Venus is about 92 times that of Earth and it has a thick, choking atmosphere dominated by carbon dioxide that creates a greenhouse effect resulting in temperatures around 900 degrees.

This is no fit place for life, especially intelligent life, but you can say the same thing about South Carolina.

Not many other scientists have jumped in to support Ksanfomaliti and he acknowledged his observations could be off the mark completely, but this type of analysis does pave the way for a new career should he want one: political analyst.

It may be looking for strange forms of life on alien planets is the perfect background for examining political races, certainly as good as most of the observations made by talking heads currently cluttering the airways.

Ksanfomaliti would certainly be qualified to note the people of South Carolina should consider themselves lucky the temperature in the Palmetto State did not rise dramatically following all the gasbag speeches made by candidates before the primary.

He could also intelligently pose the question of where the most pressure is: on the Mitt Romney campaign because of New Gingrich or the ground under Gingrich's feet because the rubber chicken circuit has been good to him, even if he didn't make $374,000 last year making speeches.

Ksanfomaliti could warn the people of Florida to beware because the campaign is coming to the Sunshine State and they could be victims of sunshine being aimed at places where the sun generally does not shine. By the time the candidates leave, the surface of Florida could look like Venus. It appears the study of space would be idea for insight into the candidates.

Noting Romney was governor of Massachusetts and lives in Utah, two places generally considered alien worlds for most people, makes Ksanfomaliti perfect for examining the front-runner, or is that now the first chaser?

Ron Paul, meandering around like a lost comet, is someone a space scientist would be comfortable scrutinizing.

Gingrich, a man in his own orbit who could spin out of control at any moment, would offer a true scientific challenge.

Rick Santorum? Ksanfomaliti probably knows when Pluto was deemed too small it was kicked out of planet status.

I doubt any scientist, except perhaps those who do not have a grant, would be willing to give up research on space and be content to evaluate candidates involved in the political process.

It should be mentioned Ksanfomaliti noted the objects he examined on Venus seemed to "emerge, fluctuate and disappear" in a series of photographs. The rumor he named one of the objects after Rick Perry has not been confirmed.

A Russian space scientist who thinks he may have seen life on Venus may be right, wrong, drunk, delusional or just plain insane.

Come to find out, what Ksanfomaliti thought were possible life forms were examined more closely by other scientists and determined to be a camera lens cap on the ground and blurred images playing tricks on his eyes and making him see, as one of his colleagues put it, things that were not really there.

Wow, what better person to examine American politics.

Ric Latarski is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics and can be reached at