Greetings, fellow Coppertops! Our journey down the rabbit hole this week will take us from the farthest reaches of our galaxy to the depths of our lakes & oceans, and from the birth of our species in this planet to the promise of what lies ahead and beyond.
So buckle your seat-belt Dorothy –’cause Kansas is going bye-bye.
(10) If we compress the age of our universe to a single year, then we humans have just appeared in the last hour of Dec 31st. Yet in such a small amount of time we’ve been very busy out-competing any other species, as revealed by a recent study presented at a workshop on climate change and human evolution at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; no soon as we started roaming the plains of Africa 2.5 million years ago, we drove all the major carnivores to extinction just one million years later. Maybe that was the real reason we got kicked out of the garden of Eden? I bet our friend Scotty Roberts didn’t think of that.
(9) What’s that you say? You have no patience for silly stories about an invisible man in the sky? Well, then you must be really good at Math! That’s at least the theory behind a study to be published in the next issue of Science, where a couple of Canadian scientists proposed that analytic thinking –the kind that helps you get A’s in Geometry and Algebra– decreases religious belief, which is supposed to be fueled by right-brained intuition. Now, pardon me for saying this, but I really don’t have much faith –there, I said it!– in these kind of studies; not only one can easily find throughout history a plethora of brilliant scientists who also happened to be of a religious mindset –Sir Isaac Newton, for example– but there’s also plenty of evidence that some of the greatest scientific discoveries were made by not following a rationalistic methodology. Case in point: German chemist Friedrich August Kekulé, who once had a dream of a serpent biting its tail –a typical alchemical symbol– that helped him discover the structure of benzene.
So if you’re a hardcore atheist but still have to use your cell-phone calculator when you go to the grocery store, don’t be sad: Math forgives you.
(8) Speaking of faith and beliefs, our next stop deals with a very hot topic in scientific circles for which there’s still no direct detectable evidence (sound familiar?): Dark matter. Turns out our galaxy the Milky way has no observable concentration of the shadowy stuff that should be needed in order to account for the way the rest of the ‘normal’ matter is bound. Now, some people like my personal friend & esteemed colleague Micah Hanks will point this out as an example of how materialistic science is also guilty of holding principles that are treated as dogmas; no doubt many would scoff at such a notion and rebuke that it’s precisely the contesting of theories that which makes Science different from Religion. Regardless of these debates, what I personally think is that dark matter & dark energy are clear examples of how humanity has taken their prejudice & bigotry to cosmic proportions: 70% of the universe is made of stuff we can’t see, and we have the arrogance to call it dark? It is WE who are made of cosmic residues, folks!
And just think: what if the majority of intelligent life in the universe was made of dark matter? wouldn’t that be a reasonable explanation for the Fermi paradox –that they haven’t contacted us because they don’t believe we exist?
(7) But when it comes to dark entities, you could hardly find more popular than the infamous Men in Black. And they have recently cast their shadow over the Fortean blogosphere with a recently released video purportedly showing two of their nefarious agents as they were taken by a hotel security camera. Since most of the folklore surrounding the MIB is mostly made up of anecdotal evidence and hearsay –with the possible exception of a single photograph taken by Timothy Green Beckley decades ago– the video took the UFO community by storm; and while there have already been some who question its authenticity, I for one think the MIBs should really consider upgrading their Dragnet outfits for some hipster t-shirts and tight pants –that way their spindliness & cadaveric tone would look almost normal.
(6) If the phantom agents were trying to silence the release of a UFO case, they certainly did not seem overtly concerned with the attention gathered by DARPA’s hypersonic plane. The mad-scientist branch of the US military has recently revealed that the crash of their prototype glider last summer was the result of its skin peeling off when it reached Mach 20. What should this type of news tell us about the alleged capabilities of the Air Force to reproduce many of the astounding maneuvers & speeds reported by credible UFO witnesses? Is there really a case for ‘man-made’ flying saucers that could give ET a ride home, as the late Ben Rich famously declared?
(5) Flying from Tokyo to L.A. in just over 20 minutes would be an incredible feat, but it almost seems like child’s play compared with the goal set by Planetary Resources, the company backed by James Cameron, Peter Diamandis & Google’s Larry Page who finally confirmed that Yes –space mining is the name of the game. It seems as if the entire Internet has been abuzz with both rants and raves concerning the feasibility of such a task, and you can certainly count me among the fans of the project. Yes, these people intend to make a shit-ton of money if all goes according to plan; but like Robert Anton Wilson said, to say we’re running out of natural resources is the same as saying we’re running out of brain matter; if we manage to make space a profitable venture then other big problems like curing cancer or fixing climate change would not look as insurmountable as they seem right now.
(4) Besides, think of all the side benefits: If you can have an automatic space probe smart enough to find platinum inside a hard rock on outer space, then you can certainly have a platinum-haired robot smart enough to keep you rock-hard in the space between your pants. Yeah, baby! I’m talking fem-bots, the future of the sex industry according to a recent paper which envisions A.I. as a means to combat human trafficking & the spread of STDs. I think it’s high time we were honest with each other and admitted that in the history of humanity it’s been porn, and not war, the most dominant driving factor in the development of new technology –cinema, television, video-cassettes, DVDs & Blu-rays. Wot? you think back in the day of 28.8 modems we wished for fiber-optic landlines so we could finally had the chance to watch Citizen Kane online? yeah, right…
I only wish those fem-bot are designed in better taste than this wacky Ukranian girl, who has paid for countless surgeries to fulfill her dream of becoming a living Barbie doll. I’m telling you friends, that sterile vacant stare is probably the reason why Ken looks so… emasculated @_@
(3) From alien-like beings living in Europe we move on to explore alien beings that might live in Europa. And Dr. Evil would feel very happy because once again robots with freaking lasers are just the thing we need to discover the secrets hidden inside the ice core of Arthur C. Clarke’s favorite Jovian world. The robot, a 10-inch-wide, six-foot-long cylinder called VALKYRIE –yeah, that sounds more the name of a fem-bot than a cryo-bot, but what are you gonna do– would use its 5,000-watt lasers to melt the 250-meter crust of ice and reach the extra-terrestrial ocean. Science + Robots + Pew Pew = Awesomeness.
(2) But maybe instead of worrying about other oceans we might want to take a better look to the ones we have right here, because once again hundreds of dead dolphins have washed ashore in the coasts of Peru, in what might very well become the worst environmental disaster of the year. Initially the deaths of the cetaceans were attributed to noises generated by the oiling industry, yet now Peruvian authorities are considering a possible outbreak of Morbillivirus or Brucella bacteria as the fatal cause. First the bees, and now the dolphins; just how many canaries we need before we get the hell out of the coal mine, I wonder?
(1) Perhaps something affected the sonar of the dead dolphins, and now it seems that sonar has brought an all-time favorite cryptid back from the dead. Nessie, the most popular lake monster is back on the news thanks to boat skipper Marcus Atkinson, who managed to capture a rather enigmatic reading from his fish-finder sonar and captured the moment for all posterity using his cell-phone camera. Throughout the search of enigmatic creatures inhabiting the Scottish loch the use of sonar has yielded the most compelling evidence, yet I can’t help pointing out my pet peeve with Nessie hunters, in that whenever they are trying to capture these plesiosaurs, giant eels, mega-seals or whatever you think Nessie might be, all of them make one fatal flaw: they all use motor vessels. Now, I’m no biology expert but it seems to me that if there’s a large animal living in that lake, it might not be such an outrageous idea to consider that it uses some form of echo-location to move and find sustenance amid its murky waters; how do you suppose you’ll ever get a glimpse of the timid beastie while cruising aboard a noisy craft??
Memo to all would-be monster hunters: get your fat ass in a simple boat with no motor, and row, row ROW! Or use the Montgomery Burns’ method, if you’re too lazy.
Until next time, this is RPJ jacking out & wishing everyone a nice weekend without any agents crossing your path.