Phantom Lunch

Heinlein - The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
Waffles. At every turn.

Over the past few days, I’ve been reading Robert A. Heinlein’s The Cat Who Walks Through Walls. In my opinion, it’s a somewhat overrated book, but I’ll admit that it makes for adequate bus reading. The plot of the book I won’t give away, but I will mention that the main characters of the book are frequently eating waffles. Now, I maintain that the waffle is a fine food — Continue reading “Phantom Lunch”

Brain Freeze

I have been thinking a lot recently about the optimal time in life to have one’s brain frozen with the hopes of having it revived in the future. Of course, the field of cryonics is still quite young, so the probability of having one’s brain revived from a frozen state any time in the near future is about as low as the detection of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe within the same limits (see this prior post, and this one), but that shouldn’t stop us from thinking about the particulars of the process. Continue reading “Brain Freeze”

Thoughts on Fermi’s Paradox II

Due to governmental cutbacks, SETI has now been trimmed from the expenses at the NSF and Berkeley. Whereas I’m sad to see it on pause (in that a positive result from SETI would be about the most important single advancement of human culture since the development of fire), the program is, at least, still able to run provided sufficient private funds. (In other words, it hasn’t been canceled, it’s merely on hiatus.)

In the previous post on the topic, I had mentioned that I’ve for some time thought that the best thing that we could do to move toward the goal of communicative contact with other intelligent organisms would be to maintain a proactive stance and build a high-powered radio tower on the backside of the moon.

Dark-Side of the Moon Radio Continue reading “Thoughts on Fermi’s Paradox II”

The Science of Sleep?

I’m currently on a little jaunt to visit friends and family in the days surrounding the wedding of my college roommate.  Yesterday I drove from New York to Chicago — a 13 hour drive, once you account for the rain, the construction, and the Chicago rush hour traffic.  The drive was fairly gruelling, but what I find amusing, however, is that while dreaming yesterday night and into this morning (probably mostly the latter, since those are the dreams we’re most likely to remember), I dreamed about — guess what… — driving from New York to Chicago.  The reason I find this amusing is that Continue reading “The Science of Sleep?”

Thoughts on Fermi’s Paradox

I’ve been reading Richard C. Meredith’s The Sky is Filled With Ships. (1969)

Richard C. Meredith's The sky is filled with ships
Pulp at its pulpiest

It’s not a great piece of art, but it does satisfy my pulp habit and makes for agreeable bus reading. The basic plot of the novel… (now, before I go on, as an aside, I should like to mention that I hate to be one to spoil a plot; however, I’m guessing few people will actively seek out this book, and, more than that, perhaps unsurprisingly, the title itself pretty much gives away the premise.) The basic plot of the novel is that dissent in the Terran Federation has caused a political schism, leading to both sides of the divide gearing up for a massive interstellar civil war. A novel questionably novel in 1969, and today undeniably clichéd.

Though the plot is not terribly thought provoking, what has me pensive are Meredith’s descriptions of the information probes used to communicate between the space armadas convening from legion distant planets. Continue reading “Thoughts on Fermi’s Paradox”