Gravitational Waves Detected from 1.3 Billion Light Years Away

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZfbEV-QtZo

 

February 12, 2016. Tags: , , , , . Science. 1 comment.

Washington Post: The strange star that has serious scientists talking about an alien megastructure

Scientists say the possibility is very remote, but they may have found evidence of an artificial structure surrounding a star 1,481 light-years away from Earth. The Washington Post reports:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/10/15/the-strange-star-that-has-serious-scientists-talking-about-an-alien-megastructure/

The strange star that has serious scientists talking about an alien megastructure

October 15, 2015

“It was kind of unbelievable that it was real data,” said Yale University astronomer Tabetha Boyajian. “We were scratching our heads. For any idea that came up there was always something that would argue against it.”

She was talking to the New Scientist about KIC 8462852, a distant star with a very unusual flickering habit. Something was making the star dim drastically every few years, and she wasn’t sure what….

… “When [Boyajian] showed me the data, I was fascinated by how crazy it looked,” Wright said. “Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider, but this looked like something you would expect an alien civilization to build.”

To be sure, both Boyajian and Wright believe the possibility of alien megastructures around KIC 8462852 is very, very remote. It’s worthy of hypothesis, Wright told Slate, “but we should also approach it skeptically.”

Yet compared to the vast majority of supposed sightings of signs of extraterrestrial life, this one has some credibility….

… Volunteers marked it out as unusual in 2011, right after the program started: a star whose light curves seemed to dip tremendously at irregular intervals. At one point, about 800 days into the survey, the star’s brightness dropped by 15 percent. Later, around day 1,500, it dropped by a shocking 22 percent. Whatever was causing the dips, it could not have been a planet — even a Jupiter-sized planet, the biggest in our solar system, would only dim this star by 1 percent as it transited across…

… Scientists — at least, the ones who like to theorize about these things — have long said that an advanced alien civilization would be marked by its ability to harness the energy from its sun (rather than scrabbling over its planet’s resources like us puny earthlings). They envision something like a Dyson Sphere, a hypothetical megastructure first proposed by physicist Freeman Dyson that would orbit or even encompass a star, capturing its power and putting it to use.

Obviously, a Dyson sphere has never been spotted in real life, though they’re all over science fiction. But if one were to exist, it wouldn’t look like a metal ball around the sun — it would probably comprise a chain of smaller satellites or space habitats, something that would block its star’s light as weirdly and irregularly as the light of KIC 8462852 has been blocked. That’s why researchers who are interested in finding alien life are so excited about the finding.

Boyajian, Wright and Andrew Siemion, the director of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, are now working on getting access to the massive radio dishes they can point at the star in search of the kinds of radio waves usually emitted by technology.

If they find them — well, that would be very big and very, very unlikely news.

Of course, the star in question is about 1,481 light-years away from Earth…

 

October 15, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , , . Astronomy, Science, Technology. 1 comment.

The “sexist” shirt worn by rocket scientist Matt Taylor was actually made by a female friend who gave it to him for his birthday

So this rocket scientist named Matt Taylor lands a spacecraft on a comet – the first time that this has ever been done – and a bunch of people claiming to be “feminists” accuse him of “sexism” because he was wearing a shirt which depicts scantily clad women holding guns.

My first reaction to reading about this was that if these women are holding guns, they are not victims – they are empowered.

Then, when I looked at the shirt, I immediately saw that this was a richly detailed, beautiful, colorful piece of art. I know the difference between art and porn, and this is definitely not porn. It is art.

The shirt was handmade by a woman named Elly Prizeman, who is friends with Taylor, and who gave it to him for his birthday.

The people who falsely claimed the shirt was “sexist” bullied Taylor to the point that he cried on international television.

Prizeman said of this:

Dr. Matt Taylor is an amazing, kind, loving and sensitive person.

I never expected him to wear my gift to him for such a big event and was surprised and deeply moved that he did.

I made that shirt for his birthday last month as I make clothes just as a hobby and he asked if I would make him one.

He is a close and very loved friend so made sure I did this for his birthday present.

I appreciate that everyone is entitled to their opinion and having worked with people and events for a long time I have certainly learnt that you are never going to please everyone….

I am so proud of Matt and his achievements and the fact he is an interesting and very brave person to do what he did with the very sweet gesture he made towards my gift and to wear his individuality with pride.

It has certainly made history more exciting and bold.

The clothing industry has expressed interest in mass producing Prizeman’s shirt.

Here’s Taylor wearing the shirt. Click on the image to see a larger version. Image used under fair use and copied from http://www.theverge.com/2014/11/13/7213819/your-bowling-shirt-is-holding-back-progress

Matt Taylor

November 15, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Art and sculpture, Clothing, Political correctness, Science, Sexism, Technology. 5 comments.

Here’s the brilliantly intelligent 2009 science fiction movie “Moon”

I’m not going to give away any plot spoilers in this post, although I will approve spoiler comments for the comment section.

What I will say in this post is that this move is very cerebral and highly thought provoking. It’s slow paced, calm, and quiet. There is plenty of breathing room for contemplation. The character development is exceptionally well done, and some of the scenes are genuinely heartbreaking and moving. And then when I watched it  a second time, I loved it even more.

You can watch the movie in its entirely at this link. I use the Firefox browser, and did not have any problems when I watched it as this link. I did get a few pop ups before the movie started, which I was easily able to close without any problems. Do not click on anything that has the words “play” or “download” because those buttons are not what they claim to be – they are actually links to ads. However, the arrow that’s on the middle of the film image, and the arrow that’s directly at the bottom left of the film image, do work, and will make the movie play.

http://viooz.co/movies/1368-moon-2009.html

August 18, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Movies, Science fiction. 1 comment.