Monthly Archives: October, 2008

Monument Beacons of SETI

Centauri Dreams:

The Benfords — Jim at Microwave Sciences, Gregory at the University of California’s Irvine campus, and Dominic (Jim’s son) at NASA GSFC — believe that advanced societies, if they are to be found, ought most likely to exist toward the galactic center, and probably at distances of over a thousand light years. We’re thus talking, in all likelihood, about interstellar beacons rather than targeted transmissions when it comes to SETI. And if beacons are indeed at play, what can we say about their costs, and do our own standards of terrestrial cost have any application in an ETI context?

The message here is that any SETI search has to make assumptions about the beacon builders, and if we can determine something about the economics of the situation, we may learn how to target our searches more effectively. Here’s the essence of the argument about ETI:

We assume that if they are social beings interested in a SETI conversation or passing on their heritage, they will know about tradeoffs between social goods, and thus, in whatever guise it takes, cost. But what if we suppose, for example, that aliens have very low cost labor, i. e., slaves? With a finite number of slaves, you can use them to do a finite number of tasks. And so you pick and choose by assigning value to the tasks, balancing the equivalent value of the labor used to prosecute those tasks. So choices are still made on the basis of available labor. The only case where labor has no value is where labor has no limit. That might be if aliens may live forever or have limitless armies of self-replicating automata, but such labor costs something, because resources, materials and energy, are not free.

Our point is that all SETI search strategies must assume something about the beacon builder, and that cost may drive some alien attempts at interstellar communication.

SETI always seems to come with a built-in willingness to think the best of extraterrestrial cultures. If an alien civilization is sending out a message, it must be doing so out of altruism. The Benfords, though, are interested in exploring motivations from a different angle. They’d like to relate them to the only case of a technological civilization we know of, ourselves, and speculate based on human history. From that perspective, there are two reasons for sending out messages across vast time scales.

Think about what people do. You can go to the Tower of London and explore the chambers where famous prisoners like Thomas More were kept. Invariably, on the walls, you’ll find graffiti, names written into the stone. People have an apparently robust need to engage in one-way communication, putting a note in a bottle and throwing it. Indeed, the Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft are examples of the impulse. Is it likely that any of these tiny vessels will ever be intercepted? Yet putting our names, our stories, our music and our pictures on board outgoing vehicles is a method that resonates. We have a need to encapsulate who we are.

A second reason is the drive to communicate the optimum things about our culture, what Matthew Arnold called “…the best that has been thought and said in the world.” Here the Benfords cite time capsules and monuments as examples of our need to propagate our culture. The contemplation of a legacy is involved here, especially in a scenario where human lifetimes are rising. Here again the communication can be one-way. The statue of King Alfred my wife and I admired in Winchester some years back was not built to impress people within a tight time frame, but to stand as a monument that would reach future generations.

So imagine scenarios like this: A civilization with an ability to plan over millennial time scales foresees problems that are beyond its capabilities. A SETI beacon might encapsulate a call for information and help — send us everything you have on stellar warming…

Here’s another: A civilization in its death throes decides to send out an announcement of its existence. We were here and are no longer, but as long as this message endures, so in a sense do we. And let’s not discount sheer pride of the sort that could keep a beacon in operation long after the beings that built it were gone. Robotically maintained, it might boast of achievements set against the backdrop of the ruin that may eventually attend all technological cultures. Or perhaps we’ll run into interstellar proselytes, out to convert the galaxy to a particular set of beliefs by placing their highest values into their outgoing signal.

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I’m glad that finally somebody in mainstream SETI studies have proposed something different to think about when it comes to listening to, or broadcasting signals.

While I feel SETI should do more than just do the radio thing and look for possible Bracewell Probe signals, the Benford Clan at least looked outside the box.

Somewhat.

The Monument Beacon theory sounds good, but something else should be added onto that.

If a suspected source is found, perhaps we should train all of our available listening, optical, and any other measuring devices we can muster to locate a Transcension Fossil in its general direction.

Yeah I know, semi-religious technorapture crap and such an object would be hard to find, even if the broadcast signal was strong enough.

But if we were lucky enough to intercept a Beacon in the first place, why not trace it back to the source to see if such things as Technological Singularities take place?

It could explain the Fermi Paradox.

And give us a clue to our ultimate fate possibly.

SETI: Figuring Out The Beacon Builders

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Plasma Rockets? Maybe, if NASA and DARPA allow it

The Register:

NASA spinoff firm the Ad Astra Rocket Company has announced a key milestone in ground testing of its prototype plasma drive technology, Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR).

The VASIMR first stage jet fires up, 22 Oct 2008The electric rocket turns on.

The VASIMR “helicon first stage” – which generates the plasma for acceleration by the rest of the drive – has achieved its full rated power of 30 kilowatts using Argon propellant, according to the company. This paves the way for further trials in which in which the ion-cyclotron second stage will get to strut its stuff, boosting the helicon plasma stream to the target power of 200 kW.

The successful first-stage fire-up was a collaborative effort between Ad Astra and Nautel of Canada.

“We are elated with this achievement and exceptionally proud of the Ad Astra-Nautel team whose diligence and dedication made it possible, in spite of the disruption caused by the [recent] hurricane,” said Franklin Chang Díaz, Ad Astra’s chairman and CEO.

The idea of the plasma drives is to use electric power to blast reaction mass (in this case Argon) from its rocket nozzles at a much higher speed than regular chemical rockets can achieve. This means that the carrying spacecraft gets a lot more poke from a given amount of fuel, and so can make interplanetary journeys in much shorter times. Another potential application seen for VASIMR is maintaining the orbit of the international space station (ISS) without the need to burn large amounts of chemical rocket fuel.

A 10MW nuclear VASIMR ship conceptA concept VASIMR ship able to carry astronauts
to Callisto, ice moon of Jupiter

VASIMR is the brainchild of Mr Chang-Díaz, MIT plasma physicist and former NASA astronaut with seven Shuttle flights and 1600 hours in space. Chang-Díaz nowadays develops VASIMR at the Ad Astra Rocket Company. He believes that VASIMR – or some kind of more fuel-efficient propulsion, anyway – must be developed, or travel beyond Earth orbit will never become a serious activity.

For now, Ad Astra is in negotiations to put a VASIMR test unit aboard the ISS, to help in maintaining station orbit and simultaneously prove the plasma drive tech in space. NASA seems unwilling to find room for VASIMR on any of the remaining planned Shuttle flights to the ISS, but there have been hints that it might travel on a commercial-off-the-shelf lift (for instance aboard a Falcon rocket from Elon Musk’s SpaceX venture) – if any of these actually come into service soon.

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“NASA seems unwilling to find room for VASIMR on any of the remaining planned Shuttle flights to the ISS..”

No surprise there, NASA has been nothing but a front for the Pentagon for fifty years.

But on the plus side, NASA and the military ( GE, Boeing, Lockhead-Martin, etc.) doesn’t seem interested in blocking anything Branson, Musk, Beson and the others are attempting to do.

I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

Plasma rocket space drive in key test milestone: Nuke tech could carry astronauts beyond Mars

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Virtual Worlds and the Corporate Media, Gotta Luv It!

Not hearing much about virtual worlds these days? They’re not dead, says Tim Ferguson – just preparing for the next round.

Virtual worlds such as Second Life have a bright future, according to experts, especially as businesses start to realise how they can be used for collaboration within their organisation and with customers.

A couple years ago, big names in tech and business were rushing to capitalise on Second Life’s popularity by building ‘islands’ and headquarters in the virtual world – or using it to sell products in a novel way.

But since that initial rush, things have quietened down. Media coverage of virtual worlds has subsided and some early adopters have abandoned their virtual activities after failing to reap benefits from the medium.

So are virtual worlds dead?

Hardly. Now experts predict the virtual world phenomenon is entering a second phase in which businesses will become shrewder about their involvement in such environments and look more carefully at the tangible benefits they can realise.

Science is going to follow art in this case. Author Charlie Stross has already written about the business applications of Second Life in his book ‘Halting State.’

Virtual worlds are the business environments of the future. Why commute when you can don a pair of glasses or skull cap and be where you have to be for a board meeting or just plain performing your slave-wage job.

Just ask the Google-Plex.

Virtual worlds set for second coming ( Note the religious symbolism here )

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Military bases appear to be a popular haunt for wandering spirits, with several attracting the attention of ghost hunters seeking evidence of paranormal activity.The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) in January checked out reports of unexplained phenomena—mysterious footsteps, voices and apparitions—in three buildings at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio for the Sci Fi Channel show Ghost Hunters. Some base personnel have reported seeing the ghost of a blond-haired boy in building 219; others claim to have spotted the apparition of an elderly woman in building 70.

During the episode, TAPS co-founders Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes spend time in building 70, where they claim to hear footsteps one night in the empty office space after urging any spirits there to present themselves. Derek Kaufman, a public affairs specialist with the 88th Air Base Wing, says that the base was happy to have TAPS check out the reports. He notes that he works in building 70, but so far has not had any ghostly encounters of his own.

I’m actually surprised to find this in the Scientific American and the TAPS connection leaves me suspiscious to say the least.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching the Ghost Hunters show, not for the prospect of ghosts being real, but for the entertainment value.

For that reason alone, SA should print a disclaimer.

Then again, it’s not a peer review journal, the target audience are regular sheeple/slaves like us.

Ghostbusters: Are military bases haunted?

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Star Trek fans, take heart — Mr. Spock’s fabled home star, the nearby Epsilon Eridani, could harbor an Earth-like planet.

NASA astronomers today report that the triple-ringed star has an asteroid belt and a Jupiter-like giant planet in roughly the same orbits as in our own solar system. Only 850 million years old, a fifth the age of Earth’s sun, Epsilon Eridani resembles a younger twin to our solar system. About 62 trillion miles away, it is the closest known solar system.

It was borrowed by the creators of the TV series Star Trek as the location of Vulcan, the planet that gave us the super-logical science officer Mr. Spock.

“We certainly haven’t seen it yet, but if its solar system is anything like ours, then there should be planets like ours,” say astronomer Massimo Marengo of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass.

This would be all well and good if the star was a billion years old or older ( it’s only 850 million years old ).

The Vulcan culture in the Trek lexicon is supposedly thousands of years older than Terran culture.

If solar and planetary evolution has any validity to it, how can an older culture evolve on a planet younger than Earth?

Mainstream media types don’t know squat about astronomy/astrophysics apparently.

These guys at USA Today can’t even get their canon right either, according to this, the planet Vulcan is located at 40 Eridani, not Epsilon Eridani, since some genius at Paramount finally figured out that 40 Eridani was more age appropriate!

*Because the 40 Eridani system is a triple star system with a white dwarf component, 40 Eridani C. White dwarfs are typically stellar remnants of K and G class stars, usually tens of billions years old.

But hey, a young stellar system is cool too. It would be a good observation ground on how planets form around their stars.

Earth-like planet in Epsilon Eridani? It is logical, Captain

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DARPA NWO Goodies, Pre-European American Mines and Fishbowl Space Gazing

Archaeology enthusiasts from around the world are gathering in Marquette this weekend to discuss the ancient civilizations of America.

The fourth annual Ancient American Preservation Society Conference on Ancient America began Friday and ends Sunday. Judy Johnson, the 2008 conference chairwoman, said the event will raise funds for the purchase of one of the largest known pieces of float copper discovered in the Keweenaw Peninsula.

“It’s over 99 percent pure copper,” Johnson said of the large metal slab left in the area by a glacier. It “is in danger of being acquired by industry for melting down, for smelting, for industrial purposes.”

The society would like to preserve the float copper as a geological specimen and has already invested $10,000 toward securing it, she said.

However, Johnson said the group has only two years in which to raise the additional $340,000 needed to purchase the more than 50-ton slab.

Johnson and others involved with the AAPS believe the copper found in the Upper Peninsula drew Europeans and Asians to the continent before Columbus visited the Americas.

This is something very interesting, America being exploited for resources, especially copper which was the carbon fiber composite of its day.

That in of itself isn’t odd, it’s the 2000 B.C. date that gets to people!

Archeologists Discuss Ancient America

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The Pentagon wants to be able to peer inside your apartment building — picking out where all the major rooms, stairways, and dens of evil-doers are.

The U.S. military is getting better and better at spotting its enemies, when they’re roaming around the streets. But once those foes duck into houses, they become a whole lot harder to spot. That’s why Darpa, the Defense Department’s way-out research arm, is looking to develop a suite of tools for “external sensing deep inside buildings.” The ultimate goal of this Harnessing Infrastructure for Building Reconnaissance (HIBR) project: “reverse the adversaries’ advantage of urban familiarity and sanctuary and provide U.S. Forces with complete above- and below-ground awareness.”

By the end of the project, Darpa wants a set of technologies that can see into a 10-story building with a two-level basement in a “high-density urban block” — and produce a kind of digital blueprint of the place. Using sensors mounted on backpacks, vehicles, or aircraft, the HIBR gear would, hopefully, be able to pick out every room, wall, stairway, and basement in the building — as well as all of the “electrical, plumbing, and installation systems.”

Darpa doesn’t come out and say it openly.  But it appears that the agency wants these HIBR gadgets to be able to track the people inside these buildings, as well. Why else would these sensors be required to “provide real-time updates” once U.S. troops enter the building? Perhaps there’s more about the people-spotting tech, in the “classified appendix” to HIBR’s request for proposals.

I discovered this site over the weekend and does this guy do his research!

If you want to get all kinds of skinny on dirty NWO crap, this is a must see site.

DARPA Wants To See Thru Your Walls And Into Your House

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The state of New Mexico hopes to collaborate with two firms to create suborbital vehicles for space tourists. This illustration is one concept for the ship, which will afford passengers a 360° view of space. Armadillo Aerospace plans to build an initial prototype of the vehicle in 2009 and is aiming for crewed suborbital flights in 2010. The reusable vehicles will take off vertically from Spaceport America near Las Cruces, New Mexico. The ships can take two passengers at a time, and tickets will cost an estimated $100,000.

Pretty wild, though I would be spooked by the knowledge that there’s only a few millimeters of film separating me from space.

I wonder what the insurance cost would be for Armadillo Aerospace?

Did I hear someone mention “release forms?”

Fishbowl Spaceships and Giant Stars: Week in Space

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“Meanwhile…”

“What’s the matter with him sir?”

Ismir had entered Lamont’s quarters after not hearing anything from him for about four hours.

And discovered him frozen in his “lotus” position.

Literally.

Without the actual cold.

Colonel Gryzbowsky was just as puzzled as Ismir was, even though he knew about Lamont’s little “idiosyncrasies.”

Four hours is the longest Lamont has gone “under” so to speak.

Ismir was visibly rattled. “Look at his nose sir!”

Out of the corner of Lamont’s left nostril, dark blood trickled slowly down toward the crook of his mouth.

Ismir, being from Turkey wasn’t too comfortable being around nanotech engineered super-soldiers ( or Marines ) such as Lamont.

One would think that seeing blood would make Lamont more human in Ismir’s eyes, but that wasn’t the case.

There were still stories and myths about super-human “djinn” in Islamic cultures in the 21st Century.

And such beings were considered demigods or angels.

Most of the time though, they were labelled demons.

“At ease Captain, Lamont is performing his duty and I suggest we should do the same!”

Gryzbowsky’s gruff admonishment snapped Ismir out of his fugue, clearing his head enough to get a grip on his emotions.

And superstitions.

“Aye aye sir!”, Ismir snapped out Marine-like. At least he still sounded it.

But he couldn’t help looking at Lamont, blood still trickling down his face, now toward his tee-shirt collar.

“So…what…do we do sir?”, asked Ismir, still gawking at Lamont.

For Colonel Gryzbowsky there was only one answer.

And he had no choice but to trust Lamont’s abilities and the technology of the Northern Hemisphere Union.

“We wait.”

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George Green on Project Camelot

George Green ( http://nomorehoaxes.com/ ) is a government insider who claims to have the skinny on the ongoing financial meltdown and what the NWO hopes to gain from it.

The following is a phone interview given by Green to Kerry Cassidy of Project Camelot on October 21st, 2008.

Project Camelot is a max tinfoil site, but it’s full of good info when it comes to government NWO hijinks.

Enjoy. If you can.

George Green Interview. Click here

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Choices

Today I have decided to do reposts from other sites that seem to have a good handle on the type of reality the NWO wishes to impose upon Humanity and the choices ( as long we still have them ) to be made if we wish not to have such self-proclaimed masters rule us.

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A Call to Awareness – A Time to Choose

But we have a choice.  And this choice is real.  Live happily ever after or destroy the planet.  This is why I have been pursuing the issues of 9/11.  These issues are central to it all.  9/11 was a demonstration of free energy technology.  It can be used for good, but we need to make that choice and help others to as well.— Dr. Judy Wood

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As a side note, Geezerpower talks about Dr. Wood’s research at his site: http://mosnas2.blogspot.com/ 

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Over the last 25 years, I have come to realise that the world is not as I thought it was. For me, the pace of realisation rapidly increased with advent of the Internet and was catalysed by the ability to do accelerated research and correspondence with people around the world.

I write this piece as a call to all readers, researchers and activists – particularly in the “alternative knowledge” community – to realise connections – and research a wider set of evidence than they might have done up to now. I say this because I strongly feel there is a great need to raise awareness of the choices we now have available to us. I have given the title “alternative knowledge” to all the types of topics that are rarely taught in schools, college or universities but nevertheless there is strong evidence to demonstrate the validity of this knowledge.

If we are to change our future, the first stage must be to realise – as fully as possible – the predicament we are now in. Whilst it is true that existing power structures and institutions will not acknowledge the truths discussed here (in any meaningful way), it is also true that the “alternative knowledge” community itself does not seem able, on the whole, to “deal with” some of the evidence which these truths can be deduced from.

I now feel that there is sufficient evidence “on the table” to state, with confidence, that parts of the alternative knowledge community are being “managed”, in subtle ways, so that the rate at which information flows – and connections are made – is slowed down, or that same flow is abruptly arrested or even reversed, in certain quarters. Seemingly, confusion and fear is injected at regular intervals and “in fighting” among various “factions” is deliberately started. This can prevent curious people from discovering the truth, as they are distracted from (or do not have time for) peering “through the clouds of confusion” that have been wafted around. I have concluded elsewhere that one of the best ways to determine who is telling the truth is to focus on evidence – verifiable pictures, measurements, practical “real world” knowledge, volumes of publicly available witness testimony, data and video gathered even by oneself. Indeed, in science and in legal matters, this is (or should be) the way truth is established.

But what is the truth? What is my motivation for saying all this? In 2003, I became much more aware of black projects involving advanced technology, such as anti-gravity – discussed by people like Bob Lazar, David Adair, John Hutchison, Nick Cook and many others. Not long after, I became aware that the official story of 9/11 was completely bogus and, later, that no hijackers or planes were involved in the events which caused the destruction at the WTC, The Pentagon and Shanksville. It still took me over 2 years more to realise there was a connection between black technology and 9/11. This connection was made for me by the research of Dr. Judy Wood. She has shown a large (and still growing) body of evidence that the World Trade Centre complex in New York was destroyed using some type of directed energy weapon (DEW). To those who consider this conclusion “outlandish” or “unsubstantiated”, I reference Dr. Wood’s legal challenges to NIST – in the form of a “Request for Correction” (RFC) and a “Qui Tam” case against NIST contractors. In both of these, she includes the evidence that leads to the conclusion that an undisclosed type of energy weapon was indeed used to destroy the WTC complex.

Dr. Wood’s later research now strongly implicates a class of technology which operates on principles similar to those discovered by John Hutchison, whose experiments were investigated by a team from Los Alamos National Laboratories – headed by Col. John Alexander – in 1983.

Of similar significance, Dr. Wood discovered the unusual proximity of a Hurricane to New York City on 9/11/01. Not only that, but the path the Hurricane took was very unusual – travelling in quite a straight line from Bermuda, North West, towards New York.

The importance of the evidence that Dr. Wood has uncovered, when put in context, cannot be overstated – it forms a nexus point – joining several areas of research and crystallizing an overall picture to a level of clarity never before realised. It exposes the operation of a global group – one that employs black technology to achieve its objectives.

Read the rest of the post here.

And now, as the Highwayman would say, is a word from the President.

The one last real President that is:

“For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.  Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.”

President John F. Kennedy Waldorf-Astoria Hotel New York City, April 27, 1961

As HW said one time, “Don’t take my word for it, others smarter than I have warned of the elitists’ plans!”

John Kennedy was a “tinfoiler” too, eh?

You decide.

http://www.checktheevidence.co.uk/cms/index.php

http://www.checktheevidence.co.uk/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=206&Itemid=76

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A World Moving Notion

Being a rookie science-fiction writer, and a long time reader of sciences in various disciplines, I have come across some goofy things from mainstream science types.

The concept of moving planets isn’t new to me. In fact I’m using that as a plot device in some of my short stories I post here occasionally.

And some of my favorite stories are about planets being moved. ‘Moving Mars’ by Greg Bear and ‘World Out Of Time’ by Larry Niven are a couple.

So it was without some trepidation I came across a recent article in New Scientist about moving the Earth into a wider orbit.

In about 1.1 billion years:

…in 1.1 billion years, the Sun will grow 11% brighter, raising average terrestrial temperatures to around 50 °C (120 °F). That will warm the oceans so much that they evaporate without boiling, like a pan of water left on a sunny kitchen counter.

Plants and animals will have a very tough time adapting to that hothouse, although some single-celled organisms called Archaea might survive. But only for a while. Once the water vapour is in the atmosphere, ultraviolet light from the Sun will split the water molecules, and the hydrogen needed to build living cells will slowly leak into space. If our descendants – or other intelligent life-forms that follow us – want to survive, they’ll have to migrate elsewhere. But where and how?

One approach would be to fire up rockets and move to another planet. Back in 1930, British science-fiction author Olaf Stapledon wrote about a future where our descendants fled to Venus, and later Neptune, when the Earth became uninhabitable. Eminent scientists such as Stephen Hawking have endorsed the idea of establishing colonies on the Moon or other planets so humanity would survive any disaster that wiped out life on Earth.

Yet evacuating all 6.7 billion Earthlings would take the equivalent of a billion space shuttle launches. Even if we could launch 1000 shuttles a day, it would still take 2700 years to move the whole planet’s population.

Then there’s the matter of taking care of people once they reached their new home. Moving to any other planet would require “terraforming” it to provide food, water and oxygen to support colonists. Why not bring our own planet along with the resources we would need?

Like I mentioned, moving planets isn’t hard for me to comprehend.

It’s the “In 1.1 billion years…” part that gives me pause.

For one thing, does Mr. Hecht believe that mankind will still be here, let alone be here virtually unchanged that many years into the future?

I believe as a thought exercise, the concept in the mainstream is worth contemplating. God knows these people need a boot in the arse of their imaginations more often than they do.

But moving Earth as they suggest, i.e., bringing in orbitting asteroids within 10,000 miles of the planet isn’t exactly too smart in my estimation. Although the solar sail concept sounds promising. But I would be leery of it floating off station into the much needed light and warmth!

Unplanned Ice Age anyone?

In closing however, I think whatever beings we become, or are at that time in the future, we should be able to save the mother world and move it to a safe location if we choose.

If there are no sentient beings here at that time, I guess it wouldn’t matter.

Nature will take its course.

The sad thing would be if other sapient beings evolve in that far future time only to discover their world will end in fire and flame before the Universe ever gets to hear their song.

Is there justice for them?

Moving the Earth: a planetary survival guide

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The Mystery of Gobekli Tepe and its Message to Us

Gobekli Tepe ( Turkish for “hill with a belly” ) is an archeological Neolithic site that was discovered by American Peter Benedict in 1964, but was ignored by American academia until German archeologist Klaus Schmidt from the German Archeological Institute led a team thirty years later to excavate the site.

What was discovered sent mainstreamers into epileptic seizures and outright denial since.

For you see, Gobekli Tepe is one of the first constructed temple sites discovered to this date.

But that’s not the reason mainstream archeologists are ignoring the site, oh no.

The reason, as I see it, and others, is the extreme antiquity of the site.

According to Professor Schmidt, organic material scraped from the “T” shaped monuments radio-carbon dated the site to 10,000 to 8,000 B.C.!

That’s right, 5,000 to 7,000 years before the Egyptian Pyramids, or even Stonehenge !

So you can see how a monkey-wrench was thrown into the contemporary theory that sedentary societies ( farming/early towns ) under a single elite ruler could muster the manpower needed for such demanding construction projects.

The monkey-wrench being that Gobekli Tepe was most certainly constructed by hunter-gatherers !

It’s either that, or entertain the notion that agriculture/farms/towns/cities started earlier than hypothesized!

Already, the proposed date of wheat domestication has been pushed back somewhat by the discovery of the site:

Thus, the complexes originated before the so-called Neolithic Revolution, the beginning of agriculture and animal husbandry, which is assumed to begin after 9,000 BC. But the construction of the Göbekli Tepe complex implies organisation of a degree of complexity not hitherto associated with pre-Neolithic societies. The archaeologists estimate that up to 500 persons were required to extract the 10-20 ton pillars (in fact, some weigh up to 50 tons) from local quarries and move them 100 to 500m to the site.  For sustenance, “wild cereals may have been used more intensely than so far; perhaps they were even deliberately cultivated.” Residential buildings have not been discovered as yet, but there are some “special buildings” which may have served for ritual gatherings.

There is also a theory that the story of the Sumerian creation myths/Biblical Genesis come from this site. There isn’t much empirical proof of such, oral histories passed from generation to generation before they were written down are considered heresay evidence:

Archaeologist Klaus Schmidt downplays extravagant spiritual interpretations of Göbekli Tepe, such as the idea, made popular in the press, that the site is the inspiration for the Biblical Garden of Eden. But he does agree that it was a sanctuary of profound significance in the Neolithic world. He sees it as a key site in understanding the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture, and from tribal to regional religion.

That being said, the oral and written links between the Garden of Eden tales and the transition between the hunter/gatherer and agricultural societies persist and aren’t easily dismissed:

 […]“To build such a place as this, the hunters must have joined together, in great numbers. After they finished building, they probably congregated for worship, and for funerals. But then they found that they couldn’t feed so many people with the game. So I think they began cultivating the grasses on the hills. Einkorn wheat, a forerunner of domestic wheat, grows wild here. So they domesticated it.” Schmidt looks at the solitary mulberry tree on the hill. “In other words, they began farming to support their religious community. But it was the farming that maybe caused their downfall.”

According to Schmidt, it seems that agriculture began here, in the province immediately surrounding Gobekli, sometime around 8,000BC.

This indeed was one of the very first places in the world where people farmed. We know roughly when and where farming began, because of the archæological evidence: domestication is a shock to the physiology of man and beast. The skeletons of people change, they temporarily grow smaller and less healthy, as the human body adapts to a protein-poorer diet and a more arduous lifestyle. Likewise, newly domesticated animals get scrawnier at first.

But 8,000BC, it seems, was also the time when the local landscape began to alter. As the trees were chopped down, and the soil leached away, the area became arid and bare. What was once a glorious pastoral region of forests and meadows, rich with game and wild grasses, became a toilsome place that had to be worked ever harder.

Schmidt and I descend a ladder to the floor of the dig, where the ancient dust is banked against the T-stones. He continues: “The really strange thing is that in 8,000BC, during the shift to agriculture, Gobekli Tepe was buried. I mean deliberately – not in a mudslide. For some reason the hunters, or the ex-hunters, decided to entomb the entire site in soil. The earth we are removing from the stones was put here by man himself: all these hills are artificial.”

The link is becoming irresistible: a lost paradise, a forsaken lifestyle, a terrible ‘mistake’, even a solitary tree. Could there really be a connection between Gobekli Tepe and the Garden of Eden story…?

This is not the first time this hypothesis was made. I remember watching a documentary about Stonehenge on the Science Channel last year and proposed theories why lunar calculations were a big deal at the site when solar calendars and relationships to the northern growing season mattered. The theory was that when these people were still hunter-gatherers, they hunted at night and needed to know when the phases of the Moon occurred.

Kind of like a “legacy” system.

And memories of a more “simpler” time perhaps.

It makes sense. Hunting at night during times of the half to full Moon provides just enough light to see by.

And to catch unsuspecting prey animals off-guard.

But when agriculture came along, with its adherence to a “day to night” time keeping schedule because of working the crops and domesticating/maintaining livestock, a different means of keeping and measuring cycles needed to happen.

Thus, our present means of solar-based timekeeping and seasonal measurement was born.

These events believe it or not was traumatic to our peaceful hunter-gatherer ancestors. A whole new way of life was evolving and certain groups of people and animals didn’t survive the transition.

Along with the Ice Ages ending around the 10,000 B.C. time-frame and possible local environmental changes nascent agriculture might have been causing, well it’s no wonder that stories and legends of more pristine, pure/innocent times were passed on.

Now, after our present means of civilization has grown up from these events, the agricultural town/city/nation-state model of coveting and stealing our neighbor’s property after we used up our own backyard has brought us to these precipitous times, the culmination of 6,000 years of collective “materialistic” knowledge so to speak, we must ask ourselves these very same questions our pre-Neolithic hunter-gatherer ancestors must have asked asked themselves:

“Is this truly what we want? Is this what life is? Are we any better off than when we hunted the Mammoth, Deer and Bear?”

A paradigm shift is coming our way again, Armageddon, 2012 and the Apocalypse not withstanding.

What legends and tales will we be passing on down the line 6,000 years hence?

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe

http://www.archaeology.org/0811/abstracts/turkey.html

http://www.forteantimes.com/features/articles/449/gobekli_tepe_paradise_regained.html

http://www.britannia.com/history/h7.html

P.S.: Tip of the chapeau to The Daily Grail !

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The coming Star Trek XI movie

Being a “Trekkie/Trekker” from waaaay “back in the day” before the term was even thought of, I was curious how J.J. Abrams ( of ‘Lost’ fame ) was going to pull off the so-called beginning of one of the greatest fictional friendships/partnerships of media history, the story of James T. Kirk and the half-Vulcan Spock.

The movie was supposed to come out this December around Christmas, but like all big budget flicks, editing, money, egos and other film releases pushed back the date to the summer of 2009.

But that’s not what I’m writing about. My interest is piqued by the official Paramount trailer and the appearance that the original Star Ship U.S.S. Enterprise is being constructed on the ground.

Yup. On the ground. In a shipyard much like the ones in Newport News, Virginia and Groton, Connecticut.

WTF! Is Abrams counting on the average movie goers ignorance of how spaceship construction would work in the future and risk the ire of engineers and technicians who grew up watching the original series ( which prompted them to take up their professions to begin with ) for dramatic affect and license in order to tell a story?

That’s what it appears like anyway.

Of course, I could be wrong and the trailer is just performing its function as an attention getter. The construction of the Enterprise itself in the film would be portrayed correctly.

The following is a combination of the official Paramount trailer and a fan-based “addition” of the Enterprise.

Judge what you see on its merits and form your own opinion if Trek canon is being violated or not.

It matters not to me. As Star Trek ‘Liberty’ fan-fic author Joseph Manno notes, “All Trek canon is canon…”.

Make it so Number One!

Star Trek XI Trailer w/fan extra

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Tomorrow ol’ dad2059 is taking the day off from posting, just ’cause.

Have a good week people!