Saturday, April 03, 2010

Witnessing the birth a solar system and how realistic is ‘Contact’?

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 - For the past 12,000 years, the Earth's climate has been relatively stable and hospitable. That time - the Halocene epoch - may be coming to an end as a new period in geologic history begins. Welcome to the Anthropocene - the "human epoch". See article.
g Intelligence - How did some primates evolve into human beings? See article.
g Message - Just how realistic was the penultimate astrobiology movie, “Contact”? See reviews and discussion.
g Cosmicus - Telescopes and probes send us images of stars flickering in and out of existence on a somewhat frequent basis. But Hubble has delivered something rare to the human eye: the birth of an actual solar system. See article.
g Imagining - Science fiction authors produce a lot of very strange critters. In the desperate dash to be different, many go way overboard to invent fantastic, outlandish species unlike anything anyone has ever seen. It’s an admirable expression of their artistic abilities, but there’s an inherent problem: they almost always lose the reader along the way. Sure, it sounds ultra-cool to have a whole herd of 80-foot quasi-limbed orb-stasis beings, but unless you draw me a picture of these things, the reader often has no idea what you’re talking about. However, if you write that your alien has four wings, 10 eyes and looks a little like a kangaroo, the reader is right there with you. Most readers need at least something familiar to draw on for their imagination, or they get lost. See article.

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