Thursday, December 03, 2009

Super Earths better for life and Educate to Innovate initiative

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Abodes - Super Earths are named for their size, but these planets – which range from about 2 to 10 Earth masses – could be superior to the Earth when it comes to sustaining life. They could also provide an answer to the ‘Fermi Paradox’: Why haven’t we been visited by aliens? See article.
g Message - Book alert: As many earthlings already know - including more than 2 million computer users with firsthand experience - our best hope for finding extraterrestrial intelligence might just lie with an ingenious little screensaver. So it's not surprising that “Beyond Contact: A Guide to SETI and Communicating with Alien Civilizations (by Brian S. McConnell), an introduction to searching for and communicating with intelligent life, begins with some of the details behind UC Berkeley's groundbreaking, massively distributed SETI@home project, which processes intergalactic noise for pennies on the teraflop. But that's just the start of the story. Inventor and software developer Brian McConnell continues with an overview of whether and why we might find something out there, who's doing what to look for it (including the folks at Berkeley), and - once some ET picks up on the other end--what we might say and how we might say it.
g Learning - In his latest bid to spotlight science education, President Obama last week kicked off an “Educate to Innovate” campaign to help boost US students from middle-of-the- pack mediocrity internationally in science and math achievement to the head of the class over the next decade. See article.
g Aftermath - An intriguing conference is being held at NASA Ames: “Contact: Culture of the Imagination”. Contact is a unique interdisciplinary conference that brings together some of the foremost international social and space scientists, science fiction writers and artists to exchange ideas, stimulate new perspectives and encourage serious, creative speculation about humanity's future ... onworld and offworld.

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