Sunday, 17 February 2008

Do Aliens dream of Alien sheep?

In the xkcd blag there has been an interesting post about detecting alien life. Here come my two cents:
Our bloody telescopes are not powerful enough! They are only capable to detect signals emitted directly to us!
According to the sci.astro.6.FAQ, our TV signals are only detectable within 0.3 light-years by the the equivalent of an Arecibo Telescope. Even if we manage to make a telescope 100 times more powerful than Arecibo, since non-directed radio signals are lost proportionally to the distance squared, we could only receive a TV signal emitted within 3 light-years. As every fifth grader knows (most probably not the other participants in the show), there is no star in that range.
And if you think about directed signals, isn't a bit optimistic to assume that you'll detect something, after you multiply all factors in Drake's equation and then multiply again by the probability of being listening at exactly the right time in the right direction?

And that's why we haven't seen Melmacian Idol or Wookie Inventor.

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Hi to Indonesia and the Netherlands

Looking around the web (let him who has not used Google on himself cast the first stone) I found Pelopor, an interesting blog that quoted my post about being a Mac Convert. Hi to Bonnie2405 and her/his/their fellow writers!

PS: even though using Google as a verb would have sounded better in the initial phrase, it would be a blatant trademark violation, and you certainly don't want to do that (especially against your employer)

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If you visit Orlando don't miss Busch Gardens

Last weeks I was in Orlando (that's why I didn't write, not because I am lazy). Besides missing the Dublin weather, I was enjoying Busch Garden's roller coasters (and others). I especially liked SheiKra; it is smooth and soft (yes, you can say that of a roller coaster with a vertical drop). Unfortunately, due to Earth's high gravity field, a vertical fall cannot last long, unless you parachute; even the 200 feet fall cannot last more than 3.5 seconds (even less if you take into account friction with the rails and air). It is quite scary before you go up; afterwards, wooden roller coasters like Gwazi are way scarier.

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Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Haven't you always wondered...

How expensive it would be to fill your apartment with plastic balls? No?
Ok, maybe you didn't, but someone else, besides me, did.

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