Move over Game of Thrones! There's a new king of piracy in town, and its name is Total Solar Eclipse!
As Eclipsemania envelops the country today, millions of Americans are deciding where to watch the rare and exciting cosmic event. NASA will be streaming the eclipse live on its website and also on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook Live, Twitter, and MySpace, but early reports from around the country indicate that many people may skip the official broadcast and pirate the event by watching it occur live outside in the sky.
One of the factors that makes pirating the solar eclipse easier than pirating a movie or TV show is the low technological barrier of entry, according to renowned astrophysicist and real person Professor Thaddeus T. Puffinbottoms.
"To steal a TV show like Game of Thrones, a potential pirate needs a connection to the internet, a device to access that connection like a computer or a smartphone, a file-sharing program such as a bit torrent client, knowledge of where to look for illegal files, and a device on which to view the downloaded file," Professor Puffinbottoms explained. "But to steal the eclipse, pirates only need to construct a crude cardboard viewing mechanism from some simple household items. It's a piece of cake, or, if we're being technically accurate, a piece of moon pie!"
Puffinbottoms explained how viewers could pirate the eclipse if they choose, though Bleeding Cool does not recommend engaging in this potentially illicit activity and encourages viewers to consume the eclipse through officially sanctioned channels.
"First, you need a cardboard box, like a shoebox or an empty box of Rice Krispies," Puffinbottoms said, revealing a preference for noisy puffed rice at breakfast time. "You cut a small hole in one side, cover it in aluminum foil, and poke a tiny hole in it with a pin. This will serve as the projector for your bootleg eclipse home theater. On the opposite side of the box, attach a piece of white paper, which will serve as the screen. Then cut a small viewing hole somewhere in the middle of the box that will allow you to view the screen at an angle."
"The important thing is not to look directly at the sun, similar to the advice I give all my students about watching Batman v. Superman," Puffinbottoms continued. "It could cause permanent eye damage and blindness. Instead, you should position the box so that you're facing away from the sun, looking through the viewing hole at the screen, while the sun shines through the pinhole and projects an image of the eclipse on the paper."
Of course, Professor Puffinbottoms warned that the information provided was purely for the purpose of education and research, and that he or his employers at Trump University would never condone illegal eclipse viewing. Unfortunately, the kind of ethics cherished by academics like Puffinbottoms and his employers may be relics of a bygone era, and pirates are already reportedly flocking to public parks, rooftops, and backyards to engage in mass theft on the biggest scale in history.