"The aliens are in touch. Whenever I use my computer, they underline certain strange words on the screen ... It's a message."
That's an email received by Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, a scientific organization seeking evidence of life beyond Earth. I'm thrilled that Seth will be speaking at Boing Boing: Ingenuity, our live theatrical experience taking place in San Francisco on August 18! (You'll have another chance to win tickets tomorrow, Thursday 8/8!) The SETI Institute are the ones listening for a phone call from ET. Seth is a delightful happy mutant, keeping an open mind and sense of humor about what it means to search for extraterrestrial intelligence, in the hope of better understanding the origin of life in the universe and our place in it. The email above is just one example of the inquiries he responds to daily. Seth's humility, patience, and warmth, even when presented with the deeply strange, is inspiring to me.
"I try to answer every one of these mails and phone calls because, after all, it's not a violation of physics to travel from one star system to another," he writes in a new essay. "Difficult as it is, I resist the temptation to become so hardened in my skepticism that I erect a shield against considering possible new evidence… Indeed, an inflexible mind-set is one of the two principal arguments made by the UFO community to explain why mainstream scientists are doubtful of their claims: They lament that pointy-headed scientists just won't look at the evidence. So I take that as a caution."
Don't miss Seth's essay, including an FAQ "for those who would call or write with extraordinary claims."
"Contact With Aliens? Think Before You Call." (HuffPo)
Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.
Texas State University’s Body Farm (AKA Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State University or FACTS) is a 45-year-old facility where the corpses of medical body donors are left to decompose so that researchers can observe the rate at which human remains are consumed by the elements, scavengers and microbes, allowing them to accurately date the […]
A better understanding how a sperm swims its way toward an egg could help inform new treatments for male infertility. Researchers from the University of York have now come up with a mathematical formula to model how large numbers of moving sperm interact with fluid they’re swimming through. From the University: By analysing the head […]
Dr Gale Ridge is a public entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, where an average of 23 people a day call, write or visit; an increasing proportion of them aren’t inquiring about actual insects, they’re suffering from delusional parasitosis, and they’re desperate and even suicidal.
When you can’t wait for the world’s longest meeting to end, the mindless leg bouncing makes your boredom obvious and just annoys everybody else. Everyone knows the TPS reports need the damn cover sheet, but some sadistic colleague keeps forgetting, probably on purpose just to eat into your lunch hour. Enough is enough!While serving a […]
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]