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The Fermi Paradox

The Fermi Paradox
PDF: We made a fancy PDF of this post for printing and offline viewing. Buy it here. (Or see a preview.) Everyone feels something when they’re in a really good starry place on a really good starry night and they look up and see this: Some people stick with the traditional, feeling struck by the epic beauty or blown away by the insane scale of the universe. Personally, I go for the old “existential meltdown followed by acting weird for the next half hour.” Physicist Enrico Fermi felt something too—”Where is everybody?” A really starry sky seems vast—but all we’re looking at is our very local neighborhood. Galaxy image: Nick Risinger When confronted with the topic of stars and galaxies, a question that tantalizes most humans is, “Is there other intelligent life out there?” As many stars as there are in our galaxy (100 – 400 billion), there are roughly an equal number of galaxies in the observable universe—so for every star in the colossal Milky Way, there’s a whole galaxy out there. 1. 2.

http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/05/fermi-paradox.html

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The Earthquake That Will Devastate Seattle When the 2011 earthquake and tsunami struck Tohoku, Japan, Chris Goldfinger was two hundred miles away, in the city of Kashiwa, at an international meeting on seismology. As the shaking started, everyone in the room began to laugh. Earthquakes are common in Japan—that one was the third of the week—and the participants were, after all, at a seismology conference. 125 Great Science Videos: From Astronomy to Physics & Psychology Astronomy & Space Travel A Brief, Wondrous Tour of Earth (From Outer Space) – Video – Recorded from August to October, 2011 at the International Space Station, this HD footage offers a brilliant tour of our planet and stunning views of the aurora borealis.A Universe from Nothing – Video – In 53 minutes, theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss answers some big enchilada questions, including how the universe came from nothing.A Year of the Moon in 2.5 Minutes – Video – The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been orbiting the moon for over a year. The footage gets compressed into 2 slick minutes.A Day on Earth (as Seen From Space) – Video – Astronaut Don Pettit trained his camera on planet Earth, took a photo once every 15 seconds, and then created a brilliant time-lapse film.Atlantis’s Final Landing at Kennedy Space Center – Video – After more than 30 years, the space shuttle era comes to a close. Video runs 30 minutes. Physics

NYC's plans for biophilic urban acupuncture This story first appeared on the blog of Terrapin Bright Green, a sustainability consulting and strategic planning firm. Our access to wild places and nature is shrinking, and so is our will to get to those places. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 80 percent of Americans took at least a weeklong vacation in 1977. Compare that to less than 60 percent of Americans taking a weeklong vacation in 2014. Additionally, trips to our National Park system also has been in decline. The Journal of Leisure Research (PDF) published a report in 2014 that shows per capita visitation to our National Park system has declined 19 percent since 1997.

How Religion Got in the Way For all those readers frustrated with the late posts, Why I Can’t Post On Time. “Wash your face before bed so the angels will come down and kiss you while you sleep.” That’s what my grandmother told me when I was a child staying over at her house. I was about five years old, and not only did this information from a trusted authority not faze me, it was a very standard sort of thing for someone to tell me. The Most Beautiful and Famous Trees on Earth “A tree is a wonderful living organism which gives shelter, food, warmth and protection to all living things. It even gives shade to those who wield an axe to cut it down” – Buddha. There are probably hundreds of majestic and magnificent trees in the world – of these, some are particularly special:

Public-Friendly Open Science Previous “A “Modern Scientist” Manifesto” In the 21st century science is growing more technical and complex, as we gaze further and further while standing on the shoulders of many generations of giants. The public has often a hard time understanding research and its relevance to society. One of the reasons for this is that scientists do not spend enough time communicating their findings outside their own scientific community. Obviously there are some exceptions, but the rule is that scientists write content for scientists. Academia is often perceived as an ivory tower, and when new findings are shared with the outside world, this is not done by scientists, but by the media or even the political class.

Cosmos is a fantastic show about ideological conversion more than it’s about science Like Carl Sagan before him, Neil deGrasse Tyson is constructing a cult of personality. Also like Sagan, that personality is not his own. In both its versions, Cosmos has had to serve a number of masters — they’ve both had to educate, to entertain, and to bring in advertising. By far their most defining goal, however, the one that most differentiates them from both the Planet Earths and Bill Nyes of the world, is ideological. Cosmos was, and very thankfully still is, an unabashed attempt to exalt the scientist and to advance the scientific worldview in its entirety, with as few tactful omissions as possible. The series’ educational and awe-inspiring content ultimately serves to illustrate and support the real mission: straight up ideological conversion.

The Middle Way Back to list "The Middle Way should not be confused with passivity or a kind of middle-of-the-road compromise. To tread the Middle Way rather implies ongoing effort. In the broadest sense, the Middle Way refers to the correct view of life that the Buddha teaches, and to the actions or attitudes that will create happiness for oneself and others."

A Religion for the Nonreligious The mind…can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. ― John Milton The mind is certainly its own cosmos. — Alan Lightman You go to school, study hard, get a degree, and you’re pleased with yourself. But are you wiser? You get a job, achieve things at the job, gain responsibility, get paid more, move to a better company, gain even more responsibility, get paid even more, rent an apartment with a parking spot, stop doing your own laundry, and you buy one of those $9 juices where the stuff settles down to the bottom. But are you happier?

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