Sunday, August 14, 2005

Where life originated, ‘Life Beyond Earth’ and ‘Way Station’

Welcome! First-time visitors may want to read the Jan. 1 entry to gain a better understanding of the blog's format.
g Stars - From chemical fingerprints preserved in primitive meteorites, scientists at UCSD have determined that the collapsing gas cloud that eventually became our sun was glowing brightly during the formation of the first material in the solar system more than 4.5 billion years ago. See article.
g Abodes - The San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth reached a significant goal earlier this month when scientists drilled into a seismically active section of the fault approximately two miles below the surface of the Earth. See article.
g Life - There are many different theories about where the origin of life occurred. These theories range from life beginning in deep-sea thermal vents to bacterial life arriving from other places in the universe, among others. Some of these theories are more credible than others, yet all provide an interesting explanation for life's beginnings. See article.
g Intelligence - Tell a man that he's not "man enough" and he may exhibit extremely macho behavior to compensate, new study findings suggest. See article.
g Message - Book alert: Scour your used bookstore shelves for “Life Beyond Earth,” by Timothy Ferris. Rock-solid science writer Ferris has covered this ground before. In the two-hour PBS documentary that he wrote and narrated - which shares the title, text, and many of the images of this generously illustrated book - Ferris tackles two age-old questions about the potentially universal nature of life: Are we alone, and, if not, is anybody listening? See reviews.
g Cosmicus - It remains a resolute axiom of the space business: “Failure is not an option.” However, there are a host of terrible tales of misfiring rockets, lost-to-space satellites and interplanetary probes gone awry. See article.
g Learning - A new section of the Journal of Geophysical Research will focus on biogeosciences of the Earth system in the past, present and future and its applicability to planetary studies. See article.
g Imagining - Like stories about alien biologies/environments? Be sure to scour your favorite used bookstores for Clifford Simak’s ”Way Station” (1963), which examines many different kinds of potential aliens.
g Aftermath - Should we really expect extraterrestrials to be sympathetic to our pleas to be altruistic because of the symbolic kinship we might share with them? See article. Note: This article is from 2003.

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