For SpaceShipOne’s second X Prize launch on Monday, someone gave me a VIP pass that allowed me to go pretty mucn anywhere I wanted around the event site (except to the restroom in the building where the press conference was held afterward, but that’s another story). Since I was getting the VIP treatment, I also got a bag that was about half chock full of what’s commonly referred to as swag. My swag included an X Prize hat and a bag of commemorative X Prize M&M’s (the Mars Co. came in as a sponsor after the SpaceShipOne astronaut, Mike Melvill, let go a handful of M&M’s in the cabin during the weightless portion of his flight in June). These aren’t like the M&Ms you can buy in the store. These are special-edition M&M’s: an assortment of odd colors (a sort of aqua blue, white, and gray, with green-ish printing; I’m not getting the color scheme) and they’re imprinted with a little image of a spaceship on one side and the official slogan of the event (“Go.”) on the other. They’re nifty. And if I was half as industrious as I should be, I’d have posted them for sale on eBay already (nope — nobody’s gotten to that yet, although bidding is up to $182 or something on an autographed X Prize press kit). But they are also, well, ugly. It’s the color. Red and brown and yellow and green and the rest of the traditional M&M palette I can buy. Gray, looks like you’re eating something out of an ashtray.