Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Music’s effect on communication, 'Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known’ and trusting the government during first contact

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 - An odd, six-sided, honeycomb-shaped feature circling the entire north pole of Saturn has captured the interest of scientists with the Cassini mission. "This is a very strange feature, lying in a precise geometric fashion with six nearly equally straight sides," says one team member. "We've never seen anything like this on any other planet. See article.
g Life - An underground den of dinosaurs now reveals the first evidence that at least one species of “terrible lizards” could burrow. See
g Intelligence - Scientists have uncovered the first concrete evidence that playing music can significantly enhance the brain and sharpen hearing for all kinds of sounds, including speech. See http://www.
g Message - Dan Werthimer, director of the SERENDIP SETI program and chief scientist of SETI@home at the University of California Berkeley, predicts we’ll make first contact with an alien civilization in 50-100 years. See Note: This article is from 2004.
g Learning - “’Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.’ – Carl Sagan.” These are the words on the back of more than 200 T-shirts the SETI Institute donated to Cosmos Education – a grass-roots non-profit dedicated to science and technology education and the role of science and technology in health, the environment and sustainable development. The model is simple – seeking to engage, empower and inspire youth in developing countries through hands-on learning activities and experiments. Students learn about the molecular structure of water by pretending to be oxygen and hydrogen atoms; they learn about how soap works by doing experiments with soap, water and oil; they learn about the HIV virus by constructing a human chain model of DNA. These and our many other activities capture the curiosity of students and get them asking questions about the world in which they live. See
g Imagining - Another early “Star Trek” alien is the Exo III android makers. We really don’t know what the android creators (aka “the Old Ones”) looked like, but we can presume by the way human duplicates were created with the android-making machine that they appear like Ruk (go to and click on “Ruk is shot by phaser”). Their height indicates that the planet’s gravity is slightly lighter than Earth’s, and there isn’t a discernable difference in the way humans step on this world. Possibly the savanna grass was taller than in our Africa (their hominid shape indicates a primate-oriented evolution). The whitish pallor probably is due to the lack of sunlight (though not the cold, as that also would make their bodies more compact); the aliens did go underground when a global ice age gripped their world. One interesting question is if they possessed the ability to build androids, why didn’t they just leave their planet when its habitability was lowered? Perhaps some religious or cultural belief prevented them from considering or pursuing space travel; possibly they developed the android-making machine when residing underground. While the show’s creators did a good job of making the Old Ones evolutionarily sound given the world’s climate of the past several eons, the aliens fall short on the Earth vertebrate factor: It’s highly unlikely that the exact facial arrangements as those of Earth’s vertebrates when first leaving the water for land would be so exactly duplicated.g Aftermath - Would dutiful American citizens trust the government to handle first contact with extraterrestrials and rush to get information to the public? See Note: This article is from 1999.

No comments: