Monday, July 20, 2015

Hunt for extraterrestrial life

I love this.

From CBC news:

Billionaire Yuri Milner, Stephen Hawking back $100M hunt for extraterrestrial life. Breakthrough Listen will search for radio signals that could indicate intelligent life.

Russian tech entrepreneur Yuri Milner and renowned physicist Stephen Hawking are pushing the search for extraterrestrial life into higher gear. The pair said Monday the $100 million "Breakthrough Initiatives" program funded by Milner will harness computer power as never before in a search of the heavens.

I guess the time is right. If there is intelligent life out there, in any way shape or form, I would like to find out in my lifetime. Perhaps so would the billionaire and the physicist.

Okay, I have this dumb idea that there will be a spaceship call the Minnow. Aboard it there will be a captain, a billionaire [with or without his wife], a physicist, maybe a movie star or two, surely a reporter, say a paparazzi type, and a goofball we could call Gilligan. They could head out on a 300 billion mile cruise and crash land on a planet, and spend the next ten years trying to return to earth. This dumb idea of mine could become a movie, or even a TV series. Whether this will be comedy or drama is too soon to tell.

Okay, I digress.  Easily.

But don't think I'm taking this "listening for space sounds" lightly. I'm not. I sincerely hope there is someone out there, someone brave and good who may be sending out signals from their end to see if there is other life in the universe.

Of course since I heard this I can't get a certain sound out of my head:


On the other hand, what if humans, humanoids, aliens, robots, and freaks want universal dominion and take the "meet and greet" to the next level? I recall the Cold War. In the freezing void of space, we could call it the Ice War.


And, speaking of movies and theoretical alien planets, I can't fail to mention the brave voyagers on the Starship Enterprise. Yeah, the original series was my favorite. The mission statement: Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its 5-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

 People said I had my head in the clouds. Not true. My head is in the stars.

– Cat

Thursday, July 02, 2015

The Rise of the Machines

So, the future is now. All those books and movies about machines going on a rampage will be proven prophetic.

Apparently a robot at a German Volkswagen assembly plant killed a worker. The robot's job was to move car parts around. These big robots are usually confined by steel cages so that they don't have any contact with humans. How did this robot get out of his cage so he could strike the worker in the chest and crush him? 

Officials claim this "accident" was caused by human error, not by a vengeful robot.

Sure. Blame the victim. Dumb humans will get fired; clever robot lurches away unscathed.

This is the first such murder that we hear about. There may have been more in the past that those-who-think-they-are-in-charge kept under wraps to keep the robots from rioting.

But count on it. This is only the beginning.

Within the next few years this same plant will be using smaller robots that will not be in steel cages and will work alongside humans on the assembly lines. Whoa! Then it'll be open season. Bad enough they're stealing jobs.

And if anyone thinks worker robots are benign and helpful to man, and those books and movies were only shock fiction and could never come true, all I can say is – remember 1984?

– Cat