Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Quick Takes - Hello? Is it me you're looking for?

Earth can't come to the phone right now, but please leave a message after the beep.

This is probably a really stupid question, but couldn't we search for life on other planets simply by looking for planets/moons that are abnormally bright? There must be an estimable calculation that can determine how much light should be emitted from planets, based on distance from the sun, reflectance properties of the atmosphere, etc., so couldn't we (I say "we" like I would have a clue what to do) run all the best candidate planets and moons through a comparison calculation to see which ones are "brighter than they should be?" Advanced species, like humans, don't really like the dark so much. The dark is bad, the dark means death. There are tribes all over the world that still have myths and tales about the dark, and anthropologists have come to the obvious conclusion that those myths are so pervasive because people die more frequently in the dark than in the daylight. Pretty straight-forward, eh? For an advanced species that may be able to communicate with us and respond to any contact signals we send their way, maybe we should look for the light.

Then again, what if they're giant killer mutant cyborgs who see our blinking flashlight in space and round up the Super-Mega Death Squadron (SMDS), who travel through a wormhole in space and park just outside our atmosphere, bombarding the planet with alien bombs that rip massive anti-atomic tubes through the very fabric of the planet and leave nothing but a sprinkling of dust and gas where roughly 8.7 million species lived just seconds earlier. Then they'd send out the cleaners and collect all the precious compounds that once made up our planet and bring them back home to make their alien gas prices a few cents cheaper. Those bastards. We should send them bombs FIRST, just in case, and if they were friendly and were going to share technology with us or whatever, well, we can just try another planet. Although, really, any alien planet could send out the SMDS, so we should keep to ourselves like isolationist Japan and forget about all this "contact" business. We're fine without aliens, thank you. Please leave us alone.

  • The Denver Broncos have gone all-in on Tim Tebow, waiving former starting quarterback Kyle Orton in hopes that someone will pick him and the $2.5m remaining on his contract up. That's really bad sentence structure, but I think we can all get over it. The Chicago Bears just lost Jay Cutler, the former Broncos quarterback who was traded to the Bears for Kyle Orton and a bunch of other stuff, and now the Bears are reportedly interested in picking Orton back up to replace the injured former Bronco they traded Orton for! It's like "Human Centipede" up in here.
  • I made a prediction during the last Major League Baseball season, that the Seattle Mariners wouldn't have a single player to hit 20 home runs this year. Sure enough, Miguel Olivo hit his 19th on the second-to-last day of the season and then was benched for the final game. Any statisticians out there, has there ever been an MLB team that didn't have a single player to hit 20 home runs?
  • Turkish basketball giants Besiktas are pursuing Lamar Odom to play in Turkey when the NBA lockout officially kills the entire season. Odom is apparently mulling the offer, but he's getting some push back from his wife after she found the "No Kardashian" clause in the contract.
  • ESPN debuted a documentary earlier this month called "Unguarded," about Massachusetts basketball star Chris Herren and his battle with drug and alcohol abuse. And who did ESPN choose to sponsor the documentary? Jameson whiskey! Classy work, ESPN! And from a Disney-owned company too? Even better!

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