More and Better Predictions

Still searching for some credible psychic forecasts, but the field is pretty thin. Someone named Nikki from the Toronto Sun says that the year will be ‘up and down’, there might be earthquakes and celebrities will get married. And Michelle Obama will have twins. Maybe.

I give Nikki credit for being specific, but Michelle Obama is 46 years old. Hypothetically any famous woman that age might have twins, but I wouldn’t bet on it. And if I were Michelle Obama, I wouldn’t try. I’d let well enough alone.

Why psychics use their extraordinary gifts to tell us things like ‘Warren Beatty and Annette Benning will break up’ is beyond me. It seems like such a waste.

The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence has a fifty-year prediction that is way more fun than vague guesses that there ‘could’ be a political sex scandal. I’m going to take a leap and say there will. And dogs will continue to bark.

Ray Villard speculates on possible findings from SETI by the year 2060. Here’s a scenario after we find out that we are not alone…

Finding and processing SETI transmissions becomes a bona fide science data collection program rather than exercise in hypothesis. Astronomers scramble to apply for research grants, and dream about receiving the Noble Prize.

Some signals are dug out of radio archival data. This kind of “hello we are here” message turn out to be surprisingly common along the galactic plane. Technological civilizations at a particular state of evolution apparently converge on similar beacon strategies that are energy-frugal and efficient.

In the absence of an exclusively directed transmission toward Earth, SETI astronomers diminish expectations of finding altruistic aliens wanting to share their advanced knowledge. Maybe the extraterrestrials are satisfied with simply broadcasting interstellar “tweets.”

The whole article reads like one of the smart sci-fi paperbacks.

Astronomers (not to be confused with astrologers) predict that the sun, after a longer than average quiet period, will begin to surge with energy flares, reaching solar max in 2013. This might effect satellites and other electronics, if 2012 hasn’t sent us back to the stone age.

I predict that by 2060 there will be a revival of the Luddites. Adherants will reject all electronic toys in favor of books and pencils. They will walk everywhere, which will make them generally fit and attractive. This will give them great appeal to youth, who will not tune in, but will drop out– causing much social disruption. You heard it here first.

Kind of Fun

I used to have the SETI at Home screensaver on my desktop until it crashed. It was pretty. It would be very cool if SETI actually caught a message from the depths of space, but most likely we’ll just have to solve our own problems down here. Unless the Rapture comes.

I’d bet that the odds of extra-terrestrial radio contact are a little better than the Rapture, and SETI thinks so too. They are planning a 50th anniversary re-check of some of the closest stars.

In a vast cosmic experiment equivalent to hitting “redial,” astronomers in a dozen countries are aiming telescopes to listen in once again on some of the stars that were part of the world’s first search for alien life 50 years ago.

The coordinated signal-searching campaign began this month to mark the 50th anniversary of Project Ozma, a 1960 experiment that was christened the world’s first real attempt in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence – or SETI.

Like Project Ozma, which got its name from a character in L. Frank Baum’s series of books about the Land of Oz, the new search is called Project Dorothy.

A lot has been learned in fifty years, including where some extrasolar planets are. The SETI astronomers might not find alien intelligence, but they’re sure to come up with something good.

Space Alien News Update

Some fascinating ideas about where SETI should look for signals. These long-distance calls being expensive, advanced civilizations are likely to keep it short and to the point…

One possibility of an extraterrestrial beacon is a puzzling transient radio source some 26,000 light-years from Earth that was discovered in 2002 in the direction of the galactic center. It sends out radio waves in bursts lasting up to 10 minutes in a 77-minute cycle.

Fun ideas. Read the whole story at


SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, has a new director.

For 25 years, scientists in Mountain View, California have been manning listening stations, hoping not to miss the moment aliens make contact with us humans. The place is known as the SETI Institute. It was inspired by the famed astronomer Carl Sagan. And the idea was to use radio telescopes to listen to the cosmos just in case.

Sagan’s first doctoral student was David Morrison, and this week he took over as the new head of the institute’s Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe.

I still miss Carl Sagan. I guess if he were alive now he’d have to invent a force field to repel all the political mud that rains on anyone who is too reality-based. Good luck to David Morrison, it would really rock if he actually got the extraterrestrial station of NPR. To read the interview live from planet Earth, go here.