Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Liquid water on Mars, psychology of risk-taking and Fermi Paradox examined

Welcome! “Alien Life” tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. You may notice that this and future entries are shorter than usual; Career, family and book deal commitments have forced me to cut back some of my projects. Now, here’s today’s news:
g Abodes - A provocative new study of photographs taken from orbit suggests that liquid water flowed on the surface of Mars as recently as several years ago, raising the possibility that the Red Planet could harbor an environment favorable to life. See For related story, see “Reminiscing about Mars.”
g Intelligence - Would you choose a guaranteed $100 or a 20 percent chance of $1000? What if the odds went up to 40 percent? Whatever your answer, your mother would likely agree. New research shows parents and children have similar attitudes toward risk-taking in matters of finance, careers, health and even driving. See
g Message - If you’re not familiar with’s “Great Debates series, you’ll want to head right away to their Web site. The discussions draw upon experts in the astrobiology field. The Fermi paradox (“If there’s intelligent life out there, then why haven’t we heard from them?” is examined in six parts.

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