Greetings, fellow Coppertops! If you have ever visited The Daily Grail, then I probably need no introduction -- and for those who haven't (Buuuu!) you might have stumbled upon some of my comments thoroughly disseminated throughout the Fortean bloggosphere.
I'm utterly thrilled to become the new addition of the MU gang, and I hope my future contributions will effectively amuse you, inform you, and maybe even help you free your minds.
So, with all the formalities out of the way, swallow up and let's get busy.
(10) Our first stop on our journey down the rabbit hole this week examines all the collective head-scratching caused by scientist Ronald Breslow, with a paper he submitted to explain the consistency of the biochemical orientation found in our planet's lifeforms; so far it all appeared consistently sciency (and boring) but from chemical chirality Breslow went to speculate about the possible existence of super-intelligent dinosaurs in some other planet --what the...!
Far be it from me to deny the possibility of space-faring saurians exploring the Cosmos in ginormous dino-motherships, but personally I suspect Breslow's musing was the result of spending too many a Saturday morning ingesting large quantities of sugary cereal while watching cheesy 80's cartoons --ah... those were the days.
(9) Speaking of terrible lizards challenged by evolution, our favorite soup-letter agency the CIA made the delight of all conspiracy theorists by insisting to refuse the release of its final official volume concerning the infamous Bay of Pig's failed invasion, arguing that the document "will confuse the public." That's why Hollywood Western heroes always had to wear a white hat: to keep things simple for the audience. Sadly, until the powers at be keep treating their citizens as dim-witted children, many more decades will pass until that pigsty gets cleaned up.
(8) From white hats we switch to black hats, and there's no blackest than the furious Führer and his Nazi minions. Sure, Iron Sky created great expectations yet it wasn't as Heilarious as we hoped for, but to all obsessed with discoidal Wunderwaffen there's good news: A second 3rd Reich invasion will strike the world, not from the Moon but from the mythical Hollow Earth --2 German UFO movies in one year? I did Nazi that coming!
(7) Schauberger & the Horten bros. may be obscure figures, but Buckminster Fuller is a more popular type of genius --considering his work is the symbol of one the most popular places in the world-- and now it seems he may indirectly help us attain or dreams of immortality, now that a group of scientists discovered that feeding mice with large amount of carbon 60 molecules --dubbed buckminsterfullerene in honor Mr. Fuller & his big balls-- increases their life span dramatically. This news would not surprise anyone living in Latin America, since everyone here already believes the secret of life has the shape of a soccer ball.
(6) But that is life as we know it. What about life as we don't know it? Every living thing you see around you --including that funky mold adorning the bread in you kitchen-- is composed of DNA; but now a team of biologists at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge have come up with a completely synthetic form of nucleic acids, XNA, which has the potential not only of expanding our search for extraterrestrial life, but also opens the door to the creation of new artificial life forms in our own planet. It won't be long before David celebrates his 1st. birthday.
(5) Until that day comes, eggheads can spend their time playing around with good ole DNA in accord with the mix & mash trends of our days. Like with those 150 human-animal hybrids secretly created in British labs over the past 3 years --a castle in Transylvania would have been way cooler-- to explore possible cures for a wide range of diseases. I for one welcome our future Furry overlords.
(4) Mammals are cute... but bugs are even cuter, at least for UFO skeptics who were eager to use them as an explanation for the Chilean UFO video promoted by Leslie Kean in her Huffington Post column. Kean has tried to stop all the negative buzz by making it clear there were multiple video-cameras which captured the unknown object from different positions that day, and that because of this the CEFAA --the official Chilean UFO investigation agency-- ruled out the possibility of an insect flying close to the camera. "Stay tuned" writes Leslie, who has been the subject of a veiled smear campaign after all the success gathered by her best-selling book. We sure will.
(3) Bugs will keep flying around, but the space shuttle Discovery has soared the skies for the last time, marking the end of an era in space exploration. While some pooh-pooers yell "good riddance!" by pointing out the 'space taxi' was little more than a glorified delivery van by the end of its career, there are many who still praise the shuttle as one of the most complex machines ever devised by Man --possibly one of the reasons why the white gal was such a UFO magnet.
(2) With the retirement of the shuttle fleet, the way is clear for dot-com billionaires and other private ventures to pick up the baton and boldly cash-in where no one has cashed-in before. And with an schedule announcement by James Cameron & co. for April 24th to explain "a new space venture with a mission to help ensure humanity's prosperity", everyone is thinking 'space mining!'. While those would certainly be exciting news indeed, one fears it might well open a veritable (ehem) Pandora's box of legal issues concerning the ownership & exploitation of celestial bodies.
(1) Such are probably the growing pains of becoming an interplanetary species, and in those plans Mars will always carry a pivotal role. Our red companion in the solar system has always lured us with the veiled promise of finding we're not alone. A promise that was considered forfeit when our robotic probes found no evidence of life --no loosely clad Martian babes, no green multi-limbed warriors, not even a god-damned microbe. "Tough luck" said Mr. Sagan in his corduroy jacket; "hold on!" say a neurobiologist from California & an Italian mathematician, who re-analyzed the Viking's data and claim the probe did find signs of life in 1976.
Now, allow me to dust off my tinfoil hat and speculate that maybe in 1976 finding life in another planet would have been too much of a cultural shock. It's hard not to think of a baby-steps conditioning program designed to slowly acclimatize us into the idea that Mars was a planet just like Earth: full of water, life... and maybe even intelligent Martians with a fetish for pyramids --and monoliths?
But if Mars is a living planet then... who does it belong to: Us, or the Martians?
Until next week, this is RPJ jacking out & wishing everyone of you happy spoon bendings.