The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Science and Fiction Blend Yet Again with Opportunity and Lone Signal

Using equipment long after its warranty and expected life-span ends has its advantages. NASA's Opportunity robot, that solar powered wonder of endurance in the tenth year of its 90 day mission, has found, at the rock dubbed Esperance, clay minerals made by water long ago, water that is deemed by science today to have been right for life way back when. Previous evidence for water has found that such water would have been polluted (by our preferences) with sulfuric acid (OW) ... but the new find suggests water that was acid neutral and a happy place for life to start and to grow. Could it be that the strange and wonderful "water bears" of Earth are native Martians of long ago who invaded Earth via meteor???

Dr. Jacob Haqq-Misra is heading a team called "Lone Signal" involving scientists and well endowed entrepreneurs in a METI mission. METI stands for Messaging to Extraterrestrial Intelligence. No more little one off spurts of signals like the big hello we sent out in 1974 from the Arecibo dish. No, this time it's a continuous signal being sent toward one of our early solar system discoveries with potentially habitable planets found by the Kepler mission, Gliese 526.  This will be a continuous message sent out on our hailing frequencies. And all of us can take part. The Jamesburg Earth Station in Carmel, California, will get the honor of sending out this long sustained shout. This shout will include a message in a message. The top message will give basic Earth info, while the second message, the message in the message will send messages from the people of Earth (oh no, these will indeed be Tweets!). How many of you want to bet that the first reply from extraterrestrial intelligence will translate to "SHUT UP!" with a few alien expletives thrown in for good measure?

For more on Lone Signal, I commend to you: beacon-to-find-and-say-hello-to-an-extraterrestrial-civilization/

If you want real, old time science fiction instead of reality looking like sci-fi, I recommend Old Time Radio's X-Minus One. This sci-fi of the 1950s gives a wonderful window into what was scaring us in the middle of the last century, including renegade Nazi doctors, nuclear rockets gone wrong, massive robots gone wrong, angry Martians gone wrong, and much much more. See:

For more weird news, see:, or

Enjoy a strange day!!!

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