Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Life around red dwarfs, how perceptions of other creatures effects us and "Looking for Life in the Universe"

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 - As every comic-book fan knows, Superman was born on the planet Krypton, which orbited a red star. Scientists are now learning that the Superman legend may contain a kernel of truth: the best places to find life in our galaxy could be on planets that circle the small but common stars known as red dwarfs. See article.
g Abodes - Looking back toward the sun brings out the thin haze that hovers 500 kilometers above Saturn's moon Titan. See article. For related story, see "Graceful rings of ice".
g Life - Does our understanding of other life forms effect the way we think about the world and our place in it? Absolutely. Indeed, as early 19th-century Americans set out to conquer the Western wilderness, the then mythical creature of the mammoth helped them imagine themselves as new rulers of the natural world. See article.
g Intelligence - Meditation alters brain patterns in ways that are likely permanent, scientists have known. But a new study shows key parts of the brain actually get thicker through the practice. See article.
g Message - Is the reason we’ve not heard from alien civilizations because some travel faster than the speed of light? See essay.
g Cosmicus - NASA’s Spirit rover currently exploring Mars completed one full swing around the Sun Monday, giving researchers a yearlong look at the Martian seasons. See article. For related story, see "Mars rover comes alive with Hollywood special effects".
g Learning - Book alert for children: In "Looking for Life in the Universe," author Ellen Jackson and photographer Nic Bishop introduce readers to astrobiologist Jill Tarter and her thrilling, rigorous and awe-inspiring work in the field of SETI. See article.
g Imagining - Some science fiction fans will be reluctant to call extraterrestrials evil. It seems so judgmental, so human-centered, so unenlightened. But what do you call it when they seek to destroy us, eat us, use us, do experiments on our bodies - especially push things up our genitalia and rectums? No, we can only call them evil. Maybe not in the general scheme of things, but to us they are evil. See article.
g Aftermath - Even if the public seems less than awestruck by the prospect that alien life is a bunch of microscopic bugs, astrobiologists say unequivocal discovery of microbial life beyond Earth will change human society in profound ways, some unfathomable today. See article. Note: This article is from 2001.

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