Thursday, November 04, 2010

Martians may just be Earthlings and was the space station worth it?

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Stars - The results of a high-profile Fermilab physics experiment appear to confirm strange 20-year-old findings that poke holes in the standard model, suggesting the existence of a new elementary particle: a fourth flavor of neutrino. See article.
g Abodes - New research indicates that global warming could be having devastating effects, even with small shifts in tempertaure. Even some of Earth's most reilient species may find the changes too difficult to survive. Studying the effects of climate change can help us understand life's future on Earth. See article.
g Life - If life on Mars is ever found, it may turn out to be less alien than you might expect. See article.
g Message - Book alert: In response to Enrico Fermi's famous 1950 question concerning the existence of advanced civilizations elsewhere, physicist Stephen Webb in “If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens... Where Is Everybody? Fifty Solutions to Fermi's Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life” critically examines 50 resolutions to explain the total absence of empirical evidence for probes, starships, and communications from extraterrestrials. He focuses on our Milky Way Galaxy, which to date has yielded no objects or signals that indicate the existence of alien beings with intelligence and technology. His comprehensive analysis covers topics ranging from the Drake equation and Dyson spheres to the panspermia hypothesis and anthropic arguments. Of special interest are the discussions on the DNA molecule, the origin of life on Earth, and the threats to organic evolution on this planet (including mass extinctions). Webb himself concludes that the "great silence" in nature probably results from humankind's being the only civilization now in this galaxy, if not in the entire universe. This richly informative and very engaging book is recommended for most academic and public library science collections. See reviews.
g Cosmicus - Asking the International Space Station to justify its existence is a tall order. NASA estimates the station has cost U.S. taxpayers $50 billion since 1994 — and overall, its price tag has been pegged at $100 billion by all member nations. See article.

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