Saturday, October 08, 2005

Tethys up close, universal fear and space tourism

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Stars - Almost 90 years after Albert Einstein first postulated his general theory of relativity, scientists have finished collecting data to put it to a new, different kind of experimental test. See article.
g Abodes - NASA's Cassini spacecraft recently encountered Saturn's moon Tethys, coming closer than ever before. The probe's stunning images reveal an icy land of steep cliffs and craters on Tethys' scarred, ancient surface. Cassini photographed the moon's south pole, a region not seen by the Voyager spacecraft. See article. For related stories, see “Amazing Cassini pictures of spongy moon Hyperion” and “Titan's enigmatic bright spot is surface make-up”.
g Life - Humans have cultivated potatoes for millennia, but there has been great controversy about the ubiquitous vegetable's origins. This week, writing in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, a team led by a USDA potato taxonomist stationed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has for the first time demonstrated a single origin in southern Peru for the cultivated potato. See article.
g Intelligence - We understand the actions of another person, apparently, on the basis of our own "action inventory." In other words, our own mind and body give us the foundation to understand what other people are doing, thinking, or feeling. See article.
g Message - Will universal fear doom SETI to a continuation of the Great Silence? In a response to David Brin’s Zoo Hypothesis argument, here’s a SETI League editorial.
g Cosmicus - “Space tourism” is the term that's come to be used to mean ordinary members of the public buying tickets to travel to space and back. Many people find this idea futuristic. But over the past few years a growing volume of professional work has been done on the subject, and it's now clear that setting up commercial space tourism services is a realistic target for business today. See article.
g Learning - A biology teacher has testified at a landmark U.S. trial, saying she and her colleagues refused to read a statement on "intelligent design'' in class because they questioned the concept's scientific validity. See article.
g Imagining - The sci-fi industry is massive with nearly every conceivable genre being developed at a frightening pace. A few decades ago wobbly plastic aliens terrorized mainstream viewers while Captain Kirk shagged his way through the ones with mystical powers of soft focus. Thankfully those days are largely dead — or are they? See article.
g Aftermath - Here’s an intriguing short story for you to look up: Frederick Pohl’s “The Day after the Day the Martians Came.” It examines racial prejudice and raises an interesting point about how we might react to one another following alien contact. Pohl’s story is anthologized in the classic “Dangerous Visions,” edited by Harlan Ellison.

Get your SF book manuscript edited

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

No comments: