30 November 2009

Bulgarian Scientists Converse with Aliens

I could not resist musing on this story I found in the Telegraph news since I am always posing the question about how humans would react if aliens made first contact with us on Earth and now we have this story about Bulgarian scientists claiming that extraterrestrials have been answering questions posed to them, and the answers are in the form of crop formations. Well, my first reaction was to laugh because of the inclusion of the crop formations. I was expecting some form of electronic communication, or an actual confidential conversation with an alien revealed by an anonymous source, but the scientists claim to have asked 30 questions to the aliens and the answers were being given through 150 crop formations. Don't get me wrong, I love to think that aliens are living among us, I have a Star Trek concept about it in terms of we all do not look that much differently from each other and they wish not to interfere in our development, I could believe that governments would cover up alien contact such as in the Stargate series, and I do believe that alien life does exist in the universe, that is why Contact by Carl Sagan is one of my favorite stories.
So my reaction to this story, then is skeptical, but I like that the scientists are insisting that alien life exists, I would like to know more about the 30 questions that have been asked, how they were asked, and how they have been interpreting the answers given by the aliens and how the aliens call themselves. I hope one day we can make first contact and not try to blow the aliens away, conquer, enslave, or quarantine them, but we shall see, we have enough trouble treating each other with respect right here on planet Earth.
Here is a link to the ARTICLE.
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27 November 2009

Asimov and Socionomics

Euclid, Greek mathematician, 3rd century BC, a...Image via Wikipedia

I obviously love science fiction and I have a great interest in the economy, trends in general, and I occasionally receive e-mails that combine those topics.
Isaac Asimov wrote a trilogy of novels entitled the Foundation Series with his main character being Hari Seldon a mathematician who develops the concept of mathematical sociology: a way to predict future events using the law of mass action.
From the article:

In the 1940s, renowned science fiction writer Isaac Asimov began writing a trilogy of novels called the Foundation Series. Asimov’s protagonist discovers and develops “psychohistory,” a mathematical science that statistically predicts the general course of future events for large groups of people.

As it turns out, Asimov’s idea was actually science, minus the fiction. In the 1930s, a decade prior to Asimov's initial Foundation stories, Ralph Nelson Elliott made a discovery that became key to the development of socionomics, a new science of social prediction.

This leads us to the Elliot Wave which is used to predict social mood trends that affect changes in history and culture.

The foreword to The Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior (1999), Prechter's explication of socionomics, summarizes that:

Social mood trends represent changes in human attitudes. Changes in social mood trends precede compatible changes in history and culture, indicating that the former causes the latter. Thus, there is powerful evidence that the pattern of mood change produced by the social interaction of men is the underlying engine of the trends of social progress and regress... The relationship of the pattern to Fibonacci mathematics suggests that the Wave Principle is another manifestation of a type of growth pattern found throughout nature in processes of growth and decay, expansion and contraction.

Nowadays, Socionomics and the Elliot Wave are tools being used to predict peaks and valleys in the stock markets but on a broader scale, these models can be used to monitor and predict changes in human thought, habit, and ways of life that will then lead to major shifts historically and culturally.
Right now with massive unemployment, for example, we are facing a social mood trend change on a mass scale. When you are out of work, short on cash, and hungry, your outlook on life and what is really important begins to shift.
I love science fiction that deals with these kinds of ideas and even though fiction is mixed in, there is still that degree of truth that makes me sit up and think about life differently and observe current events more closely. People I talk to on a daily basis perceive our current economic situation in different ways:
1. They think recovery is around the corner.
2. They know this is the worst "recession" they have ever seen.
3. They recognize we are entering into a new way of life even more different than the first depression and permanent in nature.

I am in camp number three. Even though people hope and wait, it is obvious that people are making major lifestyle changes and some not by choice. These changes are being made by massive numbers of people but the outcome is happening in slow motion. So I expect that the changes historically will also take time and when we look back years from now we will be amazed at the changes. One thing for sure, going through these lifestyle changes is painful but I hope at the end we will have more peace in our lives.

This is the ARTICLE in full.
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23 November 2009

Blogging From The Space Station!

I cannot even imagine getting to the International Space Station (ISS), let alone living on it for six months at a time! Well Maksim Suraev is living on the ISS and has begun to blog about his unique experiences upon the station, what an interesting position to be in and what amazing things to blog about and not only the view from the station but the challenges of working in a zero gravity environment, exercising, repairing or modifying components, and conducting experiments.

Here is a sample from his blog:
A reader asked me: “How good is space for tranquility? For peace?”Tranquility here comes only when you sleep in your cabin, when there is no work to do. :)
Here is a link to his BLOG and it is well worth the read, Enjoy!

20 November 2009

IPhone Tricorder Star Trek Style

I read an interesting article about an IPhone that was converted into a tricorder by some NASA scientists that is capable of detecting certain chemicals and gasses in the air. While this sounds cool and very futuristic, I really don't see a very practical application at this date for this device. It could be a stepping stone to a more advanced gadget and because it is being applied to an IPhone, it seems that it may be for the general population. However, in Star Trek, only Starfleet personnel have tricorders to detect anomolies on the ship, in a strange environment, they are used for medical purposes, and to scan alien life forms. So while the gadget is fun and creative, I will look at it as a step to something bigger and better and independent from the IPhone. I would like to see a device that is focused more on medical advancement but that is because my area of work is in the medical arena and it would be nice to have less invassive equipment to detect things in the body like anemia, tumors, problems with joints or bones, etc.
Anyway, here is a clip from the article:

A NASA scientist may have come up with the world’s first ever Star Trek Tricoder. Combining an iPhone, a tiny sensor chip, and some nifty programming, the prototype can detect dangerous chemicals and gases in the air.
Jing Li and his team at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffet Field, California came up with the prototype using a silicon sensing chip in micro-board with 64 nanosensors. It can detect even trace amounts of ammonia, methane, and chlorine gas in the air. Being based on the Apple iPhone, it can communicate the results to other iPhones — or the computer mainframe of the owner’s battleship, who knows.
The iPhone still can’t “beam me up,” but with these kinds of developments, it’s probably just a matter of time.
Here is the article and enjoy your weekend.

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16 November 2009

Stargate Universe


I have been waiting patiently for Stargate Universe to begin 30 of November here in Mexico and at the same time trying not to read reviews, spoilers, or comments about the new series. When I see the commercials for the show, I have my doubts about how good it will be because the ads do not reveal very much to me, anyway. Since I have stayed away from discussion about the series, I really do not know what the premise is and the ads don't spell it out. The only thing I know is that Amanda Tapping appears in the season opener and will appear in an episode at the end or the season. I am glad because she has always been a favorite character of mine and I enjoyed her work in SG1 and Stargate Atlantis. I have no idea if she will play a larger part in Stargate Universe, but I only have a couple more weeks to wait. I know myself, however, no matter what, I am sure I will be glued to the television watching every episode!

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13 November 2009

2012: The End of the World?

People love to think the world is coming to an end and probably since the beginning of civilization they have felt that impending doom. Now the Mayan calendar is being used as a guide for predicting the end of the world as we know it, and the calendar ends the year 2012 so now many people believe the world will end that year. I guess so many people are genuinely concerned about 2012, NASA has set up a page debunking all the hype and misinformation about the occurrence of a natural disaster that could end life on earth.
Well, in true Hollywood style, a movie is out this weekend aptly named 2012. I love those movies that blow up everything, all the national monuments, famous cities, people running for cover and there is no where to hide. So if you like that kind of doomsday movie, you will like this one!

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09 November 2009

Fun for Geeks

Jadzia Dax

I had fun over at the website Geekblips where those of us geeks who love science fiction had an interesting question posed to us:

If you could have the ability/gadgetry of your favorite science fiction TV or Movie character and join them - in their world - on one of their adventures, who would it be and why?

My answer was the following:

If I could have the ability of one of my favorite sci-fi characters and join them in their world on one of their adventures, I would choose DAX from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine." I would love to be joined with a symbiont of several hundred years of life experiences like Jadzia Dax who has a symbiont with over 300 years worth of life experience in science, music, as a pilot, and even knowing the mind of a murderer, and yet have the body of a sexy 28 year old, what a deal! With that level of experience and wisdom in so many different aspects of life, I imagine the conversation I could have with Dax would be interesting, very deep, never dull, and then we could hit the Holosuite for some Klingon martial arts action! Now that would be my idea of a fun adventure.

You can read the rest of the responses HERE.


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06 November 2009

Are You Ready to Meet an Alien?

Cover of "E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial (W...

I have mused many times about how human beings here on Earth would receive aliens if they were to visit us and this was even the topic of the most recent movie District 9. Many movies over the decades have questioned our ability to peacefully accept and learn from an alien culture or single alien itself, such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and The Alien franchise(in which the "company" wanted to capture an alien for the bio-weapons division), just to name a few of the many movies. The reason I am discussing this at all is because over at the website Space.com they had a poll asking how ready Earth is to meet an Alien Civilization. Very much to my surprise 37% said yes, then 38% said maybe, and 25% say no. I do need to take into account that those people who read Space.com are probably of a higher intelligence and more well rounded than the average person, but still, I feel Earth is not ready due to all the wars between countries, discrimination, and injustice that exists in the world. In fact, I was just reading a post on the blog of Dr. Castro about that very subject of hate.
I think we as humans have a lot more evolving to do in terms of acceptance and regard for genetic differences between our own species before we can accept an alien culture.
Here is a link to the POLL.
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02 November 2009

Movie Commentaries

Counselor Deanna TroiImage via Wikipedia

I read in Trek Today that Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi) and Jonathan Frakes (Will Riker) teamed up to do the commentary on the new DVD release of the movie Star Trek: Insurrection. I found it interesting that Sirtis mentioned that her favorite of the TNG movies was First Contact and I have to agree, I loved the history of Star Trek in the movie, the action, and most of all the humor, but I digress. I have listened to directors and actors comment on episodes and movies in the past and I think I prefer to hear the comments from the actors. It feels like it is a critique of their work and gives me a unique perspective of how they prepared for a scene, if they rehearsed or not before shooting a scene, how the costumes felt, how it was to work with fellow actors, etc. It reminds me of when I was in University and had to critique my own writing or art work and then listen to others comment and give criticism or praise. It is a fun process and you learn what things need to change and how to improve yourself for future projects.
The only thing I don't like is when they re-release the movie with that special feature so I will buy it again. Since I already have the DVD I doubt very much I will buy a duplicate just to hear the commentary. Oh well. However, it is a bonus feature I do enjoy and hope the actors will continue to comment on their work more often in the future.
Here is a link to the article,
Enjoy your Day!
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