HOLY TOASTED CHEESE SANDWICHES!

I spend most of my life in real life, so if I take a while to respond, I apologize.   You could send me stuff. I don't know why you would, but you could.   This is a blog that has the same name of my personal website circa 1997, but is really nothing like that website in that I provide almost no original content to this blog. Sometimes I am clever, but not right now, and I certainly don't expect you to hang around while I think of something clever to put on this blog.

(I also run another blog: Billy Joel, Applied)

sagansense:

child-of-thecosmos:

Radio and television broadcasting may be only a brief passing phase in our technological development. When we imagine alien civilizations broadcasting signals with radio telescopes, are we any different from earlier generations who imagined riding cannon shells to the moon? Civilizations even slightly more advanced than ours may have already moved on to some other mode of communication, one that we have yet to discover or even imagine. Their messages could be swirling all around us at this very moment, but we lack the means to perceive them just as all of our ancestors, up to a little more than a century ago, would have been oblivious to the most urgent radio signal from another world. 

But there’s another more troubling possibility: Civilizations, like other living things, may only live so long before perishing due to natural causes, or violence, or self-inflicted wounds. Whether or not we ever make contact with intelligent alien life may depend on a critical question: What is the life expectancy of a civilization?

- Episode 11: The Immortals, Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey

Recommended reading:

Everything you need to know about this book can be found in this wonderfully thorough review by Astrobiology Magazine from 2003.

I plan on doing a full writeup/review about this book; however, I can tell you it’s one of the best Carl’s ever written and is still heavily referenced by scientists across multiple fields regarding the search for extraterrestrial life, be it intelligent or otherwise. A review on the book and the study of astrobiology itself can be via a PDF by Charley Lineweaver of the Planetary Science Institute at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics and the Research School of Earth Sciences.

The most fascinating aspect of this book is that it was originally written by I.S. Shklovskii in Russian, re-translated into English, whereby Carl adds his scientific “two-cents”, expanding on subjects and explaining further in a way only Carl, himself, can. For instance, the last paragraph in Chapter 31: Interstellar contact by automatic probe vehicles:

At this point in the Russian edition of the present work, Shklovskii expresses his belief that civilizations are not inevitably doomed to self-destruction, despite his description of contemporary Western literature as filled with details of atomic holocaust. He expresses his belief that as long as capitalism exists on Earth, a violent end to intelligent life on the planet is probable. There is reason to assume, he asserts, that future peaceful societies will be constructed on the basis of Communism. I am able to imagine alternative scenarios for the future. No one today lives in a society which closely resembles Adam Smith capitalism or Karl Marx communism. The political dichotomies of the twentieth century may seem to our remote descendants no more exhaustive of the range of possibilities for the entire future of mankind than do, for us, the alternatives of the European religious wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. As Shklovskii says, the forces of peace in the world are great. Mankind is not likely to destroy itself. There is too much left to do.

Also recommended:

SETI Scientist Jill Tarter provided a beautiful TED Talk about this subject, and in this interview with NOVA, she speaks on being the inspiration for Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan’s book/film ‘Contact’ whereby Jodie Foster portrays Dr. Tarter.

Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer for SETI, presented an enriching TED Talk about why he’s convinced we’re closer than ever in detecting, contacting, or receiving signals from ETI; and recently, had a Q&A conversation with Science 2.0 appropriately titled “Why I Believe We’ll Find Aliens.”

…stay curious.

(via jtotheizzoe)

— 1 day ago with 3549 notes
cthulhu-hand-luke:

Conan, Queen of the Black Coast

cthulhu-hand-luke:

Conan, Queen of the Black Coast

— 1 day ago with 16 notes
cracked:

sorenbowie:

codyjohnston:

shinji-kun69:

Don’t ever fucking try to tell me that white people aren’t targeted and discriminated against for the color of their skin. Don’t ever try to fucking say that ANYONE has never been discriminated against. If you want fucking justice, then ACT on that justice.

HI UM NOPE
This headline is the deformed offspring of lies, bad reporting, and a Getty Image from 2012 taken after a man was beaten by police at the Occupy Wall Street protests.
The article cites no sources and reads like a Facebook Aunt telling a story they heard from their son’s buddy Taylor, most likely because it’s a poorly-paraphrased version of this also false article that calls itself ”White Man Cold-Cocked By Vicious Ferguson Mob In Blatant Racist Attack.” Money quote from the article:

“Most recently, a man was simply standing outside of a St. Louis McDonald’s where he was surrounded by a group of black man who punched the man in the face for no reason whatsoever. Seemingly unprovoked, the group intentionally targeted this man for nothing more than his skin color in a backwards attempt at justice for Mike Brown.”

Ah, yes, the classic “for no reason whatsoever” immediately followed by “for nothing more than his skin color in a backwards attempt at justice for Mike Brown” trick. That old reporting chestnut.
Anyway. The tale of an entire mob attacking this man was
followed up by showing these tweets, where the story originated:

This is all from the same article, mind you. There’s a paragraph describing a mob of black men attacking this white guy, and then they show the actual source describing a single black man punching the guy in the face once. Also? The Knockout Game doesn’t exist.
ALSO also?

So really, “Black Man Punches White Man In Face, Other Black Men Try To Apprehend Black Man Who Punched White Man In Face,” because Ferguson’s hero-to-asshole ratio is actually through the fucking roof.
And yet…

Anyway. It sucks that the guy got punched a couple weeks ago, but if you’re going to lie about it, try being just so much better at lying.

Cracked shouldn’t be the “journalists” catching this kind of thing. If you read something that sounds outrageous but tickles that part of your brain that wants it to be true, there’s a good chance it’s made up specifically to do that tickling. Take twenty minutes to research it before sharing or you sound like an idiot.

We can de-bullshit you on this kind of stuff but honestly it’s getting exhausting.

cracked:

sorenbowie:

codyjohnston:

shinji-kun69:

Don’t ever fucking try to tell me that white people aren’t targeted and discriminated against for the color of their skin. Don’t ever try to fucking say that ANYONE has never been discriminated against. If you want fucking justice, then ACT on that justice.

HI UM NOPE

This headline is the deformed offspring of lies, bad reporting, and a Getty Image from 2012 taken after a man was beaten by police at the Occupy Wall Street protests.

The article cites no sources and reads like a Facebook Aunt telling a story they heard from their son’s buddy Taylor, most likely because it’s a poorly-paraphrased version of this also false article that calls itself ”White Man Cold-Cocked By Vicious Ferguson Mob In Blatant Racist Attack.” Money quote from the article:

Most recently, a man was simply standing outside of a St. Louis McDonald’s where he was surrounded by a group of black man who punched the man in the face for no reason whatsoever. Seemingly unprovoked, the group intentionally targeted this man for nothing more than his skin color in a backwards attempt at justice for Mike Brown.”

Ah, yes, the classic “for no reason whatsoever” immediately followed by “for nothing more than his skin color in a backwards attempt at justice for Mike Brown” trick. That old reporting chestnut.

Anyway. The tale of an entire mob attacking this man was

followed up by showing these tweets, where the story originated:

image

This is all from the same article, mind you. There’s a paragraph describing a mob of black men attacking this white guy, and then they show the actual source describing a single black man punching the guy in the face once. Also? The Knockout Game doesn’t exist.

ALSO also?

image

So really, “Black Man Punches White Man In Face, Other Black Men Try To Apprehend Black Man Who Punched White Man In Face,” because Ferguson’s hero-to-asshole ratio is actually through the fucking roof.

And yet…

image

Anyway. It sucks that the guy got punched a couple weeks ago, but if you’re going to lie about it, try being just so much better at lying.

Cracked shouldn’t be the “journalists” catching this kind of thing. If you read something that sounds outrageous but tickles that part of your brain that wants it to be true, there’s a good chance it’s made up specifically to do that tickling. Take twenty minutes to research it before sharing or you sound like an idiot.

We can de-bullshit you on this kind of stuff but honestly it’s getting exhausting.

— 1 day ago with 12153 notes
fuckyeahdementia:

"if they don’t ever open the box to feed it, it’ll eventually just be two different kinds of dead."

fuckyeahdementia:

"if they don’t ever open the box to feed it, it’ll eventually just be two different kinds of dead."

— 4 days ago with 443 notes