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Home country: USA
Current location: Virginia
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 22,797

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If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... WHERE IS EVERYBODY?

If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... WHERE IS EVERYBODY?: Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life

by Stephen Webb

In a 1950 conversation at Los Alamos, four world-class scientists generally agreed, given the size of the Universe, that advanced extraterrestrial civilizations must be present. But one of the four, Enrico Fermi, asked, "If these civilizations do exist, where is everybody?" Given the fact that there are perhaps 400 million stars in our Galaxy alone, and perhaps 400 million galaxies in the Universe, it stands to reason that somewhere out there, in the 14 billion-year-old cosmos, there is or once was a civilization at least as advanced as our own. Webb discusses in detail the 50 most cogent and intriguing solutions to Fermi's famous paradox.

A few real reviews for the book on Amazon:

Science and science fiction collide to pose answers to a fundamental question about our universe

If the universe is so old and so big, shouldn't there have been ample opportunities for other solar systems, planets, life forms, intelligence, and technology to form? Some these civilizations must be millions of years older than us on Earth, so surely should have developed the capability to communicate and travel through from star to star and galaxy to galaxy. But we haven't heard from or seen anybody else. Where is everybody?
This a big and provocative question that has scientific, philosophical, and religious implications. Webb breaks the question down by posing 50 possible solutions to this paradox. He brings in concepts from physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, history, geology, science fiction, sociology, cognition, and engineering. To think about this question involves the combination of so many disciplines, and that's why it's so very intriguing. Not only that, our best answers are at the frontiers of most of these fields of knowledge. So, in this book you get a whirlwind tour of the biggest thinking, cutting edge, and open questions in so many different areas. I recommend this book to science lovers and science fiction lovers.

Billions Of Channels And Nothing's On?!?

Four guys walk into the caf at Los Alamos for lunch and start discussing extraterrestrial intelligence. They decide that life, intelligence, and conquering the galaxy shouldn't be that hard. Then one of them asks, "where is everybody?" Far from being the beginning of a bad nerd joke, this lunchtime discussion actually took place in the summer of 1950 and Enrico Fermi really did ask the now famous Fermi Question. The discussion and question led to the Fermi Paradox: if the universe is as old as it is, and if the Earth isn't the oldest planet with intelligent life, and conquering the galaxy is as easy as it seems, then where the heck are they?

Physicist Stephen Webb does an admirable job of discussing some possible answers to the Fermi Paradox in If The Universe Is Teeming With Aliens...Where Is Everybody?: Fifty Solutions To The Fermi Paradox And The Problem Of Extraterrestrial Life. It's a tough job, even for a fan of the Fermi Paradox like Webb, since it means being well versed in a wide range of subjects AND it means thinking like an alien intelligence. Webb describes and critiques 49 of his favorite solutions, starting with They Are Here And They Call Themselves Hungarians, and then throws in a fiftieth solution of his own design.

The solutions are subdivided into three sections:
1) They Are Here,
2) They Exist But Have Not Yet Communicated, and
3)They Do Not Exist.

The book is set up so that after reading Chapters 1 and 2, a person can read the solutions as they wish. Some basic math and science skills are required, but the book should be accessible to a wide reading audience.

Well Made - Works Great

This is my second Ruff Riders harness, the other one is a large. This one hold the dog securely and is made very well. Getting it on the dog takes some practice, but I like the fact that there are no plastc connectors to break if there would be a car accident.

"SHUT UP!" Bill O'Reilly's Heated Feud with Al Franken featuring Molly Ivins -2003

Like Colbert at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, this public humiliation of Bill "Loofah" O'Reilly by Al Franken in 2003 never gets old. It's so satisfying to see how both of their careers are going today.

Molly Ivins speaking is a bonus.

Some Background:

Fox News Network, LLC, v. Penguin Group (USA), Inc., and Alan S. Franken was a civil lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on August 7, 2003. Fox News Channel, the plaintiff, sought to enjoin Al Franken from using Fox's trademark phrase "fair & balanced" in the title of his then-forthcoming book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. Judge Denny Chin denied Fox's motion for injunction on August 22, and the network dropped the suit three days later.

On August 7, 2003, Fox News filed for relief in New York State court. On August 14, Franken's publisher removed the action to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on federal question grounds. In what author and editor Richard Blow described as "an eight-inch thick legal filing," the network contended that it had been irreparably harmed by the publicity surrounding Franken's use of the phrase "fair and balanced" on the preliminary cover of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, which Fox claimed it had first become aware of following the BookExpo panel discussion in May. The filing stated that Franken had "been described as a 'C-level political commentator' who is 'increasingly unfunny'", and claimed that the comedian was "shrill and unstable" and had "appeared either intoxicated or deranged" at a press correspondents' dinner in April 2003. The filing cited only two sources for those quotes, one of which was a website to which Bill O'Reilly was a contributor, and the other was a website where anyone could contribute. Fox also requested a temporary restraining order (denied August 20, 2003) to restrain the distribution of the book until their request for a preliminary injunction was heard by the court.

In response, Franken joked that he had trademarked the word "funny", and that Fox had infringed his intellectual property rights by characterizing him as "unfunny." Franken's then-unreleased book subsequently rose to the #1 sales position on Amazon.com's best-seller list from number 489 (his second #1 bestseller after Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, which attained the top of the New York Times' list in 1996).

On August 22, U.S. District Court judge Denny Chin heard arguments from attorneys representing the plaintiff and the defendant regarding Fox News's request for an injunction to prevent Franken from releasing the book with its current title. In a hearing punctuated at times by laughter from the assembled spectators, Chin questioned Fox News attorney Dori Ann Hanswirth harshly about her contention that the phrase "fair and balanced" on the cover of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them was likely to confuse consumers into believing that the book was produced or endorsed by Fox News Channel. At one point he asked Hanswirth, "Do you think that the reasonable consumer would believe, seeing the word lie above Mr. O'Reilly's face, that Mr. O'Reilly or Fox were endorsing this book?" Chin denied the injunction and said that the case was "wholly without merit, both factually and legally". He went on to suggest that Fox News' trademark on the phrase "fair and balanced" could be invalid. Three days later, Fox News Channel filed to drop the lawsuit.

Though O'Reilly denies it, Franken believes that the commentator goaded Fox News into suing him. In the paperback edition of his book, Franken recalls an incident at the BookExpo where, as O'Reilly and Fox News colleague Shepard Smith were waiting for a hotel shuttle, O'Reilly said, "I'm gonna sue him! I'm gonna sue him!" A week later, Franken's publisher received a letter from Fox saying they were planning to sue.


Caracas Mayor Who Opposed Government Apparently Arrested

Source: Associated Press, via ABC

Men in camouflage uniforms smashed into the office of Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma on Thursday and carried the opposition figure away. An aide said some of the officers wore the uniform of the national intelligence service police.

Reports of the arrest set off protests around the city, where people spontaneously banged pots from their windows or tapped rhythms on their car horns amid rush hour traffic. Hundreds gathered in front of the headquarters of the intelligence service police to vent their anger.

The government did not respond to calls seeking confirmation of the arrest and it was unclear what the mayor would be charged with. Last week, President Nicolas Maduro named Ledezma among a laundry list of government critics and Western powers he accused of plotting a coup to bring down the South American country's socialist government.

Tensions have been running high in Venezuela this week, with the one-year anniversary of anti-government street protests that rocked the country and resulted in more than 40 deaths. The government arrested several other mayors and former mayors during last year's unrest, including Leopoldo Lopez, who is considered by human rights groups as Latin America's most high-profile political prisoner.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/venezuelan-opposition-leaders-caracas-mayor-arrested-29088190

Real Time with Bill Maher: Je Suis Charlie - January 9, 2015

Bill Maher and panelists Salman Rushdie, Carly Fiorina and Paul Begala discuss the recent terror attacks in France.

Bill Maher: "I wanna look on the bright side, and actually, I feel like there was a bright side this week. I saw a reaction from non-Muslims and Muslims alike that I've never seen before when shit like this went down. Do you think we've reached the tipping point where people have just had enough of this shit?"

Edit: Maher's stand-up intro to the show is here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017237110

Access Orbit

If you don't believe in evolution, you are disqualified, determined to be an idiot,

Bardarbunga, dude!

Seismic activity increasing.

3d map and seismic activity ticker:

More source:
'Red alert' in Iceland as Bardarbunga volcano starts erupting

What A Way To Go: Life at the end of Empire (full movie)

A middle class white guy comes to grips with Peak Oil, Climate Change, Mass Extinction, Population Overshoot and the demise of the American Lifestyle

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