Saturday, June 30, 2007

Biosphere 2, SETI’s history and recognizing an alien intelligence

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 new initiative to provide researchers with access to the Biosphere 2 facility is set to help scientists tackle challenges facing science and society, including global climate change, the fate of water and how energy travels through Earth's ecosystems. See article.
g Message - Want to get a sense of SETI’s history and varying projects? Jodrell Bank Observatory offers an easy to follow yet informative primer.
g Cosmicus - In the future, bedtime for astronauts may be more than a few evening hours of regular shuteye. It may help them reach other planets, though admittedly they would have to sleep for quite a long time. See article.
g Learning - Quote of the Day: "Things just get curiouser and curiouser.” — Alice (“Alice in Wonderland”)
g Imagining - Here’s a neat Web page that asks “What are our chances of actually recognizing an alien intelligence for what it is?” What if ET does not say "Take me to your leader" from an obviously technologically superior spaceship? Will we know if it’s intelligent? It draws in part upon Stanley Weinbaum's famous short story, "A Martian Odyssey.” See
g Aftermath - Will we ever find a primer for decoding messages from extraterrestrials? Late last year, anthropologists who gathered for a major conference in Atlanta heard some news that will be sobering for SETI enthusiasts: It may be much more difficult to understand extraterrestrials than many scientists have thought before. See

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