Join 3,552 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

17 posts tagged with aliens and science. (View popular tags)
Displaying 1 through 17 of 17. Subscribe:

If we're not in pain, we're not alive

You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?
Dr. Peter Watts is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials, heartbreaking eulogies, and agonizing run-ins with fascists (and fasciitis) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed 2006 novel Blindsight [full text] -- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room, the Philosophical Zombie, Chernoff faces, and the myriad quirks and blind spots that haunt the human mind. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of Dumbspeech State of Grace Echopraxia [website], the long-delayed "sidequel" depicting parallel events on Earth. Want more? Look inside for a guide to the rest of Watts' award-winning (and provocative) body of work. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 25, 2014 - 78 comments

Project Mogul

You may have heard how sounds travel farther during a temperature inversion, when air near the ground is cooler than the air above. But do you know how this phenomenon is related to the 1947 UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico? [more inside]
posted by mbrubeck on Jun 8, 2014 - 14 comments

Aliens didn't do it

The mystery of the Mima mounds may have been solved.
posted by Artw on Dec 10, 2013 - 42 comments

Looking for Some Waist Heat

A five-part series on the ultimate limit on technology, and how that limit could help us find other civilizations: 1 2 3 4 5 [via]
posted by cthuljew on Dec 12, 2012 - 16 comments

Looking for life in all the wrong places

Any Sufficiently Advanced Civilization is Indistinguishable from Nature.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 8, 2012 - 50 comments

xenology

Xenology may be defined as the scientific study of all aspects of extraterrestrial life, intelligence, and civilization. Dr Robert A Freitas (known mainly for his work in nanotechnology) has placed his comprehensive 1979 work on this subject entirely online. [more inside]
posted by leibniz on Nov 18, 2011 - 7 comments

It is 50/50: Either they do or they dont

Are We Alone In the Universe? New Analysis Says Maybe. In a new paper published on arXiv.org, astrophysicist David Spiegel at Princeton University and physicist Edwin Turner at the University of Tokyo argue...using a statistical method called Bayesian reasoning...that the life here on Earth could be common, or it could be extremely rare — there's no reason to prefer one conclusion over the other. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jul 28, 2011 - 111 comments

Let's try to avoid creating something with "molecular acid for blood," shall we?

Dmitar Sasselov is an astrophysicist, Director of the Origins of Life Initiative at Harvard and a co-investigator of the Kepler space telescope project to find Earth-like planets around the Cygnus constellation and discover extraterrestrial life. But no matter how successful the Kepler project may be, it still won't answer the most fundamental questions of astrobiology: How diverse is life in the universe? If alien life exists, will it have Earthly DNA and proteins? Or will it run on something else? So Dr. Sasselov has decided to collaborate with two synthetic biologists, asking them to create a life form based on mirror-image versions of what we know as the essential building blocks of living things on Earth. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 14, 2010 - 13 comments

Not Safe For Kids

The Junior Christian Science Bible Lesson Show is easily the most terrifying "children's show" ever broadcast. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Jan 25, 2009 - 42 comments

Nothing's gonna change my world?

Fears that malevolent aliens will tune into this week's broadcast of The Beatles' song "Across the Universe" have been voiced by scientists.
posted by monospace on Feb 7, 2008 - 68 comments

20 things you didn't know about...

Discover Magazine's 20 Things You Didn't Know About... Short, interesting and occasionally witty facts about Aliens, Lab Accidents, Nobel Prizes, Meteors, Death, Sleep and more.
posted by kisch mokusch on Mar 17, 2007 - 13 comments

A red rain's a-gonna fall...

The latest on the so-called "Red Rain of Kerala." The authors of this study suggest the mysterious red biological material provides evidence of Panspermia. The BBC offers this updated look at the topic. (Previously discussed here on MeFi.)
posted by saulgoodman on Nov 14, 2006 - 15 comments

OooohEeeeehOoooh

September 30th, 2002, scientists intercepted a 10 minute radio burst from the galactic center, 26,000 Light Years away. 77 minutes passed, and it repeated. And again. The signal repeated 5 times that evening.

Some think those signals are weird mysterious. Others think they are interesting mysterious.
posted by Lord_Pall on Oct 25, 2006 - 63 comments

How to be a Woowoo

How to be an Internet Woo-woo. From fake moon landings and mystery lights to Roswell Rods and Grey Aliens, the Woo-woo Credo gives you the lowdown on being an effective conspiracy theory monger.
posted by brownpau on Jan 15, 2004 - 11 comments

Its only a mollusk. Really.

A Cautionary Tale: DNA Analysis of Alleged Extraterrestrial Biological Material: Anatomy of a Molecular Forensic Investigation .pdf file
::From The National Institute for Discovery Science via The Daily Grail::
[more inside]
posted by anastasiav on Sep 24, 2003 - 7 comments

Science on the cheap!

Science on the cheap! Now this is cool. (more inside)
posted by Steven Den Beste on Aug 3, 2000 - 3 comments

We are not alone....

We are not alone.... a new planet outside of our solar system was found today. It's only a matter of time before the little green men come down to greet us.
posted by mathowie on Nov 13, 1999 - 0 comments

Page: 1