Courtesy of Posthuman Blues:
Seemingly, people in the space community have a tendency to push the boundaries of thought about all the possibilities that await us in the universe. Case in point: Geoffrey Landis. Landis is a scientist at NASA’s Glenn Research Center who writes science fiction in his spare time. Last week Landis shared with us his ideas for using a solar powered airplane to study Venus.Venus. Yes, Venus, our hot, greenhouse-effect-gone-mad neighboring planet with a crushing surface pressure that has doomed the few spacecraft that have attempted to reach the planet’s mysterious landscape. Landis knows Venus’ surface itself is pretty much out of the question for human habitation. But up about 50 kilometers above the surface, Landis says the atmosphere of Venus is the most Earth-like environment, other than Earth itself, in the solar system. What Landis proposes is creating floating cities on Venus where people could live and work, as well as study the planet below.
Ahh, cities in the sky, long a dream of many a science-fiction author. This is the first time I’ve seen it applied to Venus though.
Blogging biologist Peggy of Biology in Science Fiction goes on a small rant about stories that help, and hinder understanding of real biology:
In any case, the issue of public perception of science and scientists is an important one, if only because that public perception influences politics and funding. Part of the problem, as I see it, is that the anti-science stories actually ring true to many people who have a deep distrust (and dislike) of corporations, the government, and anyone who is an “expert”. It can be satisfying to see arrogant establishment types who believe themselves to be very clever shown up as bumbling and foolish, even if it does mean death and disaster as a result. Hell, I often enjoy those kind of stories, and I like science.
So what’s the solution? More positive SF? That certainly couldn’t hurt. But there’s no guarantee that any particular novel or movie will become popular enough to really make a difference in public perception. I suspect that education is really the key. Part of what feeds people’s fear of scientific progress is that they don’t understand it. I’m not sure how we can go about that, though, beyond ensuring kids get a thorough science education in school. Public lectures are a possibility, as are entertaining exhibitions at science museums, and maybe blogs too. I’d like to think that anyway.
I’m guilty of being ignorant of biology in science, and science-fiction. My last exposure to it was college long ago (my grade was pretty good actually) and my own biases of being a tech and historian.
Peggy makes valid points. I should read up on it more.
(The post referenced doesn’t have its own link. Click on the link at the beginning of this one, then scroll down at her site.)
Ever heard of the eBay $150,000 Bigfoot hunter? Neither have I, but apparently this guy is for real:
TPeterson6969 is Tim Peterson, the owner of Hawk Creek Taxidermy in Maynard, Minnesota. The business address of Hawk Creek Taxidermy & Archery is technically 12640 890 St. Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55401 , a mere 25.4 miles from Young America…
When asked for a comment for an interview, Tim Peterson briefly told me that he is a “big game hunting guide” for A Double J Outfitters in Buffalo, Wyoming. He claims to “have been hunting big game for 34 years” and is “experienced in the back country.”
If Tim Peterson helps you bag a Bigfoot, it is obvious he can mount it for you. He can also help you with the skull too. According to the links on his taxidermy website, it appears a relative of his, Rorri Peterson, runs Beetle My Bones Skullworks, a business preparing heads for trophy animal skulls displays.
Well, you hafta admit that a hunter/taxidermist would be the ideal person to track and bag a Bigfoot, that would settle it once and for all about the damn things.
I wonder what Peggy the Biologist thinks about Bigfoot?
Many things have caught my eye and curiosity lately. One of which is that Ufology is starting to divert from the classical ‘nuts and bolts’ advanced technology that UFO aliens are supposed to have to a more ‘metaphysical’ approach advocated by researchers and writers such as Jacques Vallee, Nick Redfern, Greg Bishop, Nick Pope, and Jeremy Vaeni. The reason being that the UFO/alien experience is interpreted differently by different people. Examples such as the UFOs suddenly disappearing, excessive-radical flight maneuvers and shape changing characteristics are noted, odd since these things are supposedly ‘solid’ objects. Same thing with the ‘grays’, some are experienced as aliens, other people interpret them as religious figures such as Christ, Mohammed, Gabriel, Mother Mary, Lucifer and assorted demons and angels.
Author Mac Tonnies has an interesting theory that an advanced race of super-intelligent beings he dubs ‘crypto-terrestrials’ who are either native to Earth, or had colonized millions of years are controlling our perceptions of reality for whatever purpose they deem appropriate.
We forage the forest..we scan the skies to no avail. Ensnared by a quest for proof, we assume a naturalist stance in a new variation of spontaneous generation. Skunk Apes come from swamps, anomalous craft come from outside our atmosphere, because it must be so. So onward we slog, ridiculed, prone to infighting and self referential prophecies that lead back to a deep rooted desire to fill in the blanks. Which story do you prefer?
Trick or Treat. We are in the midst of a supra terrestrial race who don the guise most appropriate to the observer. Our ancestors were taught by the fish men. Dragons breathed fire that illuminated the clouds in the night sky as they flew toward some presumed lair. We several centuries later are taunted by the Norwegians, The Greys, the Dwarf Gnomes, Homid Apes…name your choice in a circumstantial game of antidotes. We share this terrestrial location with a superior race of chimeras.
They fractionate consensus with a flick of the wrist. They can deconstruct our sciences by mere appearance. They have us gabbing in self referential circles.
He goes on to say that ‘they’ must have great patience with us humans because even as we destroy their habitats, they haven’t done the same to us. Yet.
The other side of this debate in my view is that there’s been waaayyy too much physical circumstantial evidence indicating that Bigfoot and his various incarnations are actual material animals. The African Mountain Gorilla was a myth for centuries until a body was brought back. But my point is that Bigfoot doesn’t have to be a metaphysical creature who hides in a folded dimension right under our noses. Forest animals have an uncanny knack for camaflage and hiding ability. As an experienced wild game hunter (until my health stopped me), I can tell you even the largest creature can roll themselves into a ball so small and lay like the dead under a non-descript bush for hours until the scent of human leaves the area. A supposed sasquatch could be right behind a six inch diameter tree within a couple of feet of a hunter and the human would never know it!
But in this wonderful Universe of ours where the weird science of quantum physics rule the micro-world, anything is possible.
Even hairy crypto-terrestrials who fly strange vehicles!