No Aliens Today

Well, darn. I was floating around all day today, a gray and overcast day which I somehow found appropriate, thinking “This is the last normal day of human history, the last day before we know of the existence of advanced, technological alien civilizations.” Coming back from Kralupy, riding on the train, a view of the Vltava on the left and the neat, little garden plots across the river, and wondering how people would react. (I came to the conclusion that it would be exciting news for those of us who are interested in that sort of thing, but a lot of people would have just shrugged and said “Well, they’re light years away so it doesn’t really matter)
But, then, all we get is a few more exoplanets. Sure, a Solar System with 7 earth like planets (maybe – I’m not sure if they’re sure they’re all rocky planets), and 3 of them in the Goldilocks zone, is pretty amazing news.
I guess we’re just spoiled. After all, they are discovering more exoplanets all the time, there are thousands of them known. We know that water exists in abundance throughout the universe. We’ve found everything but actual life.
So, I’m still wondering what’s happening with the 234 Borra-Trottier planets, and I don’t see any indication that NASA is focusing the search there. Maybe they know something I don’t, maybe there was some flaw in Borra and Trottier’s work that would be obvious to a serious astronomer but not to the average UFO groupie like me, but if so I haven’t seen the denials or the rebuttals. So, I’m still waiting for word on that. But these new exoplanets are pretty cool, too, and I should be a lot more excited than I am. I was just expecting more.

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Will Tomorrow’s Press Conference be an Announcement of First Contact?

I sometimes read Tarot Cards and one thing I’ve noticed (and any expert in the phony psychic field will confirm this) is that people remember the hits and forget the misses, so if you make a whole bunch of predictions, over time, people will start to think you’re pretty good at predicting the future.
When I started writing this blog, I hoped I would come to be viewed as some sort of pundit. Unfortunately, when it comes to political predictions, my record less than stellar. Paul the Octopus had a better track record than me.
Anyway, tonight I want to go on record as to what I think (read: hope) will happen at tomorrow’s big NASA press conference, because if my prediction is right, it would be absolutely awesome and I will be shoving this blog in everybody’s face. I’m probably wrong, just because it would be too big a thing, too awesome a thing, but damn, if I’m right….
I think this might be an announcement of first contact, or at least a certainty that there is intelligent life on other planets even if no actual contact has been made.
Here’s my reasoning: They’ve said it’s got something to do with exoplanets. So far, most of the big news about exoplanets, most of the landmark moments, have already been. First, the discovery that there ARE exoplanets, followed by the routine discovery of them all over the place, and their getting successively smaller and smaller (of course exoplanets haven’t been getting smaller, but our means of detection have been getting better and better), followed by the discovery of some in their planets’ Goldilocks zone, and so on. Barring actual discovery of life, there’s not too much that would really surprise people, really knock people out.
I think (hope) it’s a follow-up on the Borra-Trottier report, which came out in October, about the 234 planets which were putting off an unexplained signal. I’m hoping NASA really looked into that and didn’t just brush it off, and I’m hoping that looking into it has revealed that these really are intelligent civilizations, sending their radio waves out into space.
So, that’s the prediction I’m making: the press conference will announce that Borra and Trottier were right.
If I’m right, you heard it here first. If I’m wrong, never mind.

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One Thing After Another

The ‘incident last night in Sweden,’ as tragic as it wasn’t, has pretty much driven the ‘massacre in Atlanta,’ and even the ‘Bowling Green Massacre’ out of the public consciousness.
One thing after another thing, keep the people talking about something new and they never talk about one thing long enough to get to the bottom of it, even something like the ‘incident in Sweden’ where the bottom is about a half inch below the surface.
Did he hire Russian prostitutes to pee on the bed where the Obamas had slept? We’ll probably never know, nobody’s even talking about that any more.
How long can he keep this up? Since there is apparently no limit to the ridiculousness of his statements, and it doesn’t matter a damn if they are true, false, or just completely imaginary, the answer is four years, and it will be a piece of cake for him.
Of course, we can always hope for impeachment, but it seems we’re really just trying to convince ourselves. The Republicans aren’t eager for that. And the Democrats, as always, are being big political cowards and losers. After all, Nancy Pelosi is the leader of the Democrats and she refused to impeach George W. Bush, even after the lies about WMDs, and all the torture. She’s already indicated that she doesn’t plan on impeaching Trump, either.
It is just another indicator, if more were needed, that both parties are the same party, that neither party is working for the American people, much less for a better future for the world.

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On The Net

A couple of thoughts.
I’m watching a thing on discovery channel called “Alone” and I’ve seen it before but it truly is a excellent series. Like “Mars” it intersperses an action/drama scenario with a lot of scientists talking about the possibilities, but with “Alone,” which is a weird title because it deals with first contact, i.e. finding out that we are not, in fact, alone, there is even a higher talk to action ratio, and I think it would be better to move the other way.
But the main stumbling block for med is this Bridnet, or Quincy, the alien built internet. It’s interesting, the way they describe it, a singularity, a hive mind which is strengthened by each new user and can solve all of Earth’s problems (it shows us the cure for cancer, for instance). They are conflating two completely different things, our reaction to aliens for one and our fear of AI for another.
It’s unnecessary. The development of such a network is already in sight, it is something that almost inevitably happen even without alien intervention. So, it should have a series all its own.
Had a post on my Facebook from a friend I don’t know. He’s been my FBF for a while, he’s a Berner, but it seems to me he sometimes rants rather than argues, and does whatever the digital equivalent of frothing at the mouth is. Anyway, his comment was “I don’t know which of you snowflakes reported me, but…” so I looked at the post and thought “Well, damn, he can’t really be surprised. “It doesn’t contain nudity,” he wrote, but in fact it does. O.K., you can’t actually see any dangly bits, but you can’t see any clothes, either. It is a picture (Photoshopped, obviously) of three biker looking dudes, ‘Bears,’ I guess is the term, bald headed but otherwise extremely hirsute, somewhat overweight, and they are holding a naked (again, no dangly bits but clearly no clothes on) Donald Trump down on a table, and pressing something that looks like a sea cucumber into his belly button.
Well, I’m kind of a free speech absolutist, so I’m not going to report him, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t grossed out.
It reminds me of another censorship controversy, which was maybe 6 months or a year ago, about a French Painting called ‘L’Origine du Monde’ which, if you are describing it in art lover’s terms, is a reclining female nude, but if you’re describing it accurately it’s a huge, black bushed, in your face, twat shot.
I wouldn’t have posted it, not going to share it, going to keep scrolling right on by.
To each his own.

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Global Waters

Watching a documentary on global warming and it seems to me, regardless of cause (It’s man made, and it’s all about industry and oil. We could switch to solar and wind, we have the technology. But, that’s not what I want to argue about.), it seems the major, immediate problem is one of water; rising oceans eroding coastlines, the likely loss of Florida, and Venice, and the Seychelles, hurricanes and tsunamis on the one hand, and drought and loss of farmland and famine on the other.
I don’t get this, either. How is it we can have a lack of water in one place and a surplus in another? Do we not know how to move water?
The Romans had aqueducts, canals have existed for thousands of years, and beavers have been building dams probably as long as there have been people on this green earth, proving that the instinct to control water does not even require a human level of intelligence.
We could build a system of water desalination and distribution which would decrease the ocean level and deliver fresh, clean water to all drought stricken areas, strengthening the food supply and reducing hunger, support an industry of fish farming which would have the knock on effect of giving the oceans a chance to recover, and put swimming pools, water parks and fountains all over the place. Coastal cities could build great networks of canals, with a bit of give in the water lever so they would not just be lovely places to build a home, a place where you could have a boat tied up to a dock, but also would serve as a flood control system.
We have the technology.

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Russia, Russia, Russia

The thing that makes this whole Russia thing so complex is that there’s more than one Russia thing going on, and yet everybody’s just screaming “Russia, Russia, Russia” like a bad parody of The Brady Bunch.
First, there’s the election interference charge, which, if it’s just about Hillary’s e-mails being leaked to Wikileaks, is nonsense because Wikileaks said they didn’t get it from the Russians and, if track record is any indicator, Wikileaks’ word can be taken over the New York Times or anybody else. Also, that’s a leak, not a hack and, thirdly, the e-mails did, in fact, prove that Hillary and the DNC rigged the nomination process to cheat Bernie Sanders out of any chance at being the nominee.
Second, there’s the whole thing about Rex Tillerson, formerly of Exxon, being appointed Secretary of State. There is clearly a conflict of interest there, just like with Dick Cheney and Halliburton.
Then, there’s the Flynn resignation, because he almost definitely violated the Logan Act but, if Reagan was never prosecuted over that, it’s likely no one ever will be.
It’s all very confusing and I don’t pretend to have all the facts nor am I going to look them up now, so I am just throwing this out there to see what people think, but it seems to me the third has something to do with the second, and the first was just Hillary’s people whining because they lost.
I think what’s really happening here is a war between competing commercial interests: on the one hand, the oil companies who’ve been ripping off the people and despoiling the planet ever since Henry Ford decided every human being on Earth should own a car, and on the other hand, some other oil companies who’d like to be the ones ripping off the people and destroying the planet. Trump and Putin are reps of Gazprom and Exxon, who are trying to take over the world from Shell and BP.
Either way, the people of the Earth lose.

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The Ball

Just went to a Maturitny Ples (which translates as Graduation Ball and I guess the American equivalent would be Prom) for the Gymnasium where I teach, 4 classes once a week. It strikes me as a bit strange that it takes place in the middle of the year, but whatever.
I’m really glad I went, for a few reasons.
It was nice to go out, just me and Helena, and leave the kids at home. I’ll bet the kids were happy with it, too.
I’ve been teaching there for 3 years, so, despite the fact that I’m not actually a real, full time teacher, I’ve got a bit of history with these kids. It was an important moment in their lives and I was really happy to be there. Also, it will give us something to talk about in class next week.
I got to see them in their native environment. Well, not exactly their native environment. Everybody was well dressed up. Some actually got pretty stylish with that. But an environment outside of the classroom. Where they were dancing, and alcohol was served.
The highlight of the evening, for me, was when one of them stepped up to the stage to sing with the band for a couple of songs. She led off with Son of a Preacher Man, and she could really sing. I’d had no idea.
Her classmates, of course, were all well aware in advance that she can carry a tune at the professional level.
It’s their world. I feel privileged that I get to take part in it now and again.

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