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April 26, 2010



We can't eve abate lead paint in a couple of million homes without f*&(ing everything up. PLEASE already.

Thomas Collins

Interplanetary negotiations. This could be an opportunity for National Security Advisor Jones to tell the one about the Martian and the Klingon merchants bartering on Uranus.


The SETI Project has been pinging the universe for 20+ years now, Jodie Foster is looking pretty snaggly these days after all that time out in the desert, and ET has not phoned us. After 40 years of looking, we're still getting a "no service" tone.

My dad used to laugh about Carl Sagan being the only scientist he knew who studied something that didn't exist.

Having said that, Hawkings math is pretty good and a good bookie would probably take the bet. It might take a few eons to collect.

I am intrigued by the existence of huge methane lakes on Titan though. Methane is an organic compound and thus my question is how did they get there? Which begs the question "are there interstellar feed lots, and should we be regulating them"?

My theory is that we open up an interstellar gas station out there with a big neon sign and put in an alien mini mart and see who shows up.

Of course, there would be the need for oxygen to fuel a reaction, but hey, Dear Leader has it all figured out now that we no longer have a manned space program.

Charlie (Colorado)

The SETI Project has been pinging the universe for 20+ years now, Jodie Foster is looking pretty snaggly these days after all that time out in the desert, and ET has not phoned us. After 40 years of looking, we're still getting a "no service" tone.

Actually, SETI just listens anyway. There've been a couple of projects that tried sending a signal, but only a couple, and those were mostly ceremonial.


Look what happened to the people of Heaven's Gate.

Cecil Turner

The SETI Project has been pinging the universe for 20+ years now . . .

That's the bottom line. I think Hawking is right, but it's too late now to go pushing that toothpaste back into the tube. We probably ought to stop, but with the continuous electromagnetic noise coming off our planet, it's probably a waste of time.

If an advanced ETI does visit, the technological advantage would be such that we'd be best off sucking up and hoping for the best.


the technological advantage would be such that we'd be best off sucking up and hoping for the best.

Good news! We're developing foreign relations expertise in exactly those two fields.




"I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality I could be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.
-- Kent Brockman"


Chaco, pls check your mail.


I think there is a higher likelihood of something along the lines of interstellar jellyfish drifting by.

I know, Charlie....it was a dramatic fiction....much like our lord and master's manned space policy.


I wouldn't jump to conclusions about relative technical levels. An isolated nomadic group of interstellar wanderers might have some cool tech but still have stagnated. Or the jellyfish scenario mentioned above could be applied.

Then there are the machine intelligences...

Jim Miller

Matt - Methane is very common in the outer solar system, and there is no reason to think that this simple compound (CH4) was created by extra-terrestial bacteria, or any other living thing.

That said, some scientists do think that the methane on Titan might provide a medium for life.

(As far as I can tell, the scientists are still quarreling over whether some portion of the methane on the earth came with the planet, so to speak, or whether almost all of it was made by bacteria.)


Klingons are really Vulcans who never chose Satan and logic aspiring to perfection.

The aliens are there because lucifer created them to pervert God's only creation, us, who lucifer is in the process of perverting (we see and dream) so that when we meet the aliens Satan will have not taken care of us like we wanted and we will be considered luciferians like the aliens and ruled by lucifer.


--Klingons are really Vulcans--

That explains why Leonard Nimoy just hung up his ears, but how did the tribbles tell the difference?

nathan hale

No Romulans and Remans for that matter, are offshoots from the Vulcans, IDIC


okay then, so where did the methane come from? On this planet, anyway, it seems to be a byproduct of the degradation of organic matter.

Yes a hydrocarbon could form through some inorganic chemical reaction, but Occam's Razor would seem to indicate the simplest reason might be most logical.

NASA is now positing the existence of water on Mars and possibly, the moon. This I understand. The extreme cold of space would condense oxygen and hydrogen and the compound is logical. There is an affinity.

CH4 is the simplest alkane, but even then how did it it form in such huge quantities in one place?

These are the cool questions the JPL guys and gals still don't have a handle on.


Science and math. Explanations for what is explained. It's easier to use.

Tribbles didn't care about vulcans and humans because they were purer than Klingons. Klingons didn't choose Satan and decided to stay what they were, even it that ended in lucifer, because Vulcans aspired to Satan, something they couldn't be; human's created by God perfected by Satan: computer logic, human.

Tribbles were rats that bread like rabbits and ate a lot. Logic would dictate extermination, but not being perfect in God, perversions, lucifer, humans and vulcans would spare them and Klingons would not, being perfect in logic and Satan.

The other episodes had a (half human) half machine exterminating all other life forms not perfect like them, a computer (human computers like Daleks). A computer perverted by humans becoming them(Battlestar old cylons and new) , like lucifer perverting humans like aliens... Klingons killing dribbles.

But they're so cute....

Humans, God's creation in perfection once perverted meet Satan's creations, computers(sorry Bill), who obviously need to do God's work or be perverted by them. Kill the tribbles.

Rob Crawford

CH4 is the simplest alkane, but even then how did it it form in such huge quantities in one place?

Carbon. Hydrogen. Mix, in extremely low temperatures, for millenia. Seriously, getting methane from life forms is NOT the simplest path.


Since this health news wasn't in the NYT, TM will probably not do a post on it:

A Case for Those Extra 10 Pounds


David Brooks has a fun column, The Goldman Drama, that I'm surprised TM hasn't turned into a post yet. His comments on the establishment mentality go, IMO, to the question of the "sophisticated investor."


And on a personal note, this is a red letter day for me.

For Christmas my wife gave me a bird feeder, one that stands on a pole and is touted as squirrel proof. About a month ago I placed it outside a window in the room where we normally eat, but action has been slow to develop.

It IS squirrel proof, with none of the usual ugly baffles, etc. I saw a squirrel get totally frustrated and leave, and none have returned. But there haven't been many birds coming to it.

Until yesterday evening, when for the first time there were multiple sparrows feeding. And then, this morning...

the first cardinal, a bright male one! That is truly my idea of a red letter day.


matt, I think the universe recycles everything.

Rob Crawford

You're simply incapable of staying on topic, aren't you?


From Politico via FR:

President Obama's strategy gets personal (is it too soon for him to panic?)
Politico ^ | 4/27/2010 | JONATHAN ALLEN & CAROL E. LEE

Mitch McConnell is in bed with Wall Street “movers and shakers” — and is fronting “cynical and deceptive” arguments on their behalf.

John Boehner is a health care Chicken Little to be mocked for predicting Armageddon if the Democrats’ reform bill passed.

Sarah Palin can be ignored on arms control because she’s “not exactly an expert on nuclear issues.”

And Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are just a “troublesome” twosome spreading “vitriol.”

Democratic oppo research? Comments from Daily Kos?

No, this is your president speaking.

Once chastised for not being tough enough, President Barack Obama has lately been getting personal with his political adversaries — singling them out for scorn in speeches, interviews, asides and even in his weekly radio address.


Republicans also depict Obama’s approach as a sign of weakness born of a loss of traction on the issues.

“Name-calling isn’t typically done from a position of strength,” McConnell spokesman Josh Holmes said.

Rather than just going after big groups of bad guys — insurance companies, lobbyists, the media — Obama has adopted a strategy that gives a face to the enemy.

Thomas Collins

Adherents of progism and gaiaism are likely to be a far greater threat to humanity for the foreseeable future than any being from outer space (whether carbon based, silicon based, machine like or whatever form of alien being suits one's fancy).

Lord Whorfin says Obama still sucks

Try putting up a couple of hummingbird feeders. They give more enjoyment per ounce than any other bird.

JM Hanes

"the first cardinal, a bright male one! That is truly my idea of a red letter day."

Speaking of extra-terrestrials, you should, indeed, be careful what you wish for. Should cardinals colonize your shrubberies, you'll discover that those "bright" males have a habit of launching high velocity attacks on their own reflections in your windows. It will give "red letter day" whole new meaning. You may want to stock up on Windex.

nathan hale

Jon and Carol just fellow off the turnip truck, that is his m.o., it's not his brilliant oratory that wins him anything.
It's the peanut gallery's talking point of
the day.

But of course, TC, it does strike me how this is the mirror image of even most fiction on the subject, from They Live to V (the original) to that hack work, The Arrival, capitalism is seen as the aliens catspaw

Ann says Obama Sucks!


Here is the latest outrage on:

Voter Intimidation, New Black Panther Style
Snip its:

In fact, there was good reason for the security. A number of Panthers, including two of the defendants in the lawsuit the DOJ dropped (Jerry Jackson and King Samir Shabazz), marched into the hearing room in their black, fascist-style paramilitary uniforms. The very fact that the NBPP showed up in force refutes the claim made by the DOJ’s leadership that the case was dismissed because there was no evidence of coordination between the national organization and the Philadelphia chapter. Furthermore, the Panthers were handing out a press release from Malik Zulu Shabazz, the national chairman of the NBPP.

Such intimidation continued at the hearing. In the middle of it, King Samir Shabazz, the Panther who swung the billy club on Election Day, got up, moved to the side of the hearing room slightly in front of the witnesses, and photographed the three men seated at the witness table testifying against him. These were the three men who had attempted to protect prospective voters in Philadelphia on Election Day. One later testified that he did notice his picture being taken by Shabazz. It’s hard to see any reason for taking their photographs in such a way other than to try to intimidate them. Or does an advocate of genocide just want to add pictures to his scrapbook?

This is the same DOJ that Obama has looking into civil rights violations in AZ.

God Help Us.

Army of Davids

The wise McGuire crowd is needed on the Dodd Bill.

It is important legislation.

The Dodd Bill.

Schumer is the Senator to watch. He has received 3 X as much money from Wall Street as any other Senator.

He also is comfortable using the homosexual slur “tea bagger” against taxpayers.


Thanks for that link, Ann.

Good grief. Malik Zulu Shabazz. King Samir Shabazz. ::eyeroll::

nathan hale

I know CC, Paddy Chayevfsky is dumbstruck that
that the great Ahmet Khan of the Ecumenical
Liberation Front was too restrained a metaphor

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