The mind, formerly boggled, reels uncontrollably
I finally figured it all out watching the mainstream news on TV the other day. We’re not living in The Matrix, we’re living in a dystopian 1980’s scifi movie. Robocop, Blade Runner, The Running Man, Terminator, Max Headroom, and others all nicely contributing to this farce. Not that reality itself is a farce, but our mainstream culture and body politic has been off the rails for at least a decade.
Moving right along, astronomers have discovered the most Earth-like planet yet orbiting a red dwarf star some 20 light years away. It’s larger than Earth and always keeps the same face towards its sun, but it’s at the right distance for water to exist as a liquid. Informally named Zarmina’s World, an artist’s impression and more information can be found here. At least one scientists isn’t messing around, he is claiming that the chances of life on Zarmina’s World are 100%, the only question is how to detect it. I wouldn’t argue, life has had billions of years to spread through the galaxy on rocks blasted free from planetary surfaces by large impact events, and it only takes one life bearing rock landing in a wet area to “infect” a planet so to speak. In other space exploration news, China has launched a second probe to the Moon, and their next probe will be a rover. Eventually they plan to send humans. One has to admit, few ever expected that the first people to return to the Moon after Apollo would be Chinese.
There’s been some odd stories about UFOs making the news. Well, there’s always UFO stories, but last week at a press conference a number of former military men claimed that UFO activity was common around some military bases, and that the military had always taken UFOs seriously. Beats me, I’m not going to become a UFO believer until I see some empirical evidence. Sure, some elements of the military might have taken or might even be taking UFOs seriously. Um, so what? That’s a classic false argument: Argument from Authority. If documents were found that some military thinkers in the Middle Ages thought that dragons and demons were real, would that be proof that dragons and demons were real? Nope. Research continues though, I still think that UFOs are a cultural and psychological phenomena, but would be happy to be proved wrong.
Speaking of dragons, it’s been discovered that a lot of dinosaurs were taller than we thought. Up to a foot taller, as they had thick layers of cartilage in their joints. A lot of museum skeletons are going to have to be remounted, and the Jurassic Park movies will have to be digitally altered, but otherwise this is a pretty academic issue. Shows scientists are always learning new things though, they’ve come a long ways since they thought mammoth skeletons were the bones of cyclopean humanoid giants.
In local news, police responding to a burglar alarm encountered an arthritic eleven year old golden lab in the yard of the house with the alarm … and shot it to death. When the owners got home the police had thoughtfully left a note on their door telling them they had killed their dog. Apparently this was “standard procedure.” Shoot first, make up excuses later seems to be the standard procedure in many cases these days it seems. Whatever happened to common sense? Oh well, it could be worse. And in some places it is. In news that should be on front pages but was ignored in our bizarre world, a UN report says that Israeli commandos simply executed six people on the Mavi Marmara. A pro Israeli person explained this to me though. They don’t have the death penalty in Israel, so the military is required to make up for this by carrying out executions in the field. Well, that makes it all OK then.
Have a great weekend everyone.
(The above image is used with permission of the photographer, that would be me. It may be reproduced if not for profit and it links to Doug’s Darkworld. Credit and Copyright © Doug Stych. It’s my nearly fifteen year old cat, Lord Fungus, bringing me a mouse he caught. We’ve had a plague of rodents lately, so mice were everywhere, they seem to be abating now. It is the first time in at least five years that the old fellow had caught a mouse, so he was exceptionally pleased and proud of himself. He’s about 75 in human years, so he had every right to be, and he was well rewarded for his efforts.)