Playing a Little Catch Up

Mathematical mnemonics.

The other day I wrote about how the four Republican candidates were unelectable. Obviously upset that only a second tier blog like this had figured that out they ramped up their efforts over the weekend to make sure that every breathing sentient being on the planet knew it as well. Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich continued to espouse the philosophies of Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich, respectively, and that appears to be sufficient to render them harmless. Rick Santorum, not content to be known as the dangerously crazy candidate, upped the ante impressively by letting everyone know that he’s the dangerously bat-s**t crazy candidate.

He started off his weekend by announcing that President Obama was treacherously soft on terrorists. Since killing them is too easy the only thing left, as far as I can tell, is lobbing some nukes and letting God sort them out. His God, that is. Not mine or yours. Radioactive wastelands would fit well with his other theme for the day; humans aren’t the stewards of the planet and anyone who thinks so is a radical environmentalist. While paving the way to start strip mining in Chicago he left unanswered the question of who would be responsible for the planet. My guess would be our impending robot overlords or, maybe, those radiation loving aliens from Alpha-Centauri. Oh, and just as a bonus, he’d stop all that silly funding of public education.

Not to be outdone Mitt Romney spent the day decrying the hazardous political policies of Mitt Romney and promising that Mitt Romney would repeal all of those horrible Mitt Romney programs and replace them with well conceived programs by and from Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney was so violently opposed to Mitt Romney that I wondered if we were going to see a scene out of Fight Club where Mitt Romney beat the snot out of Mitt Romney in a parking lot.

On the other side of the coin, the one where there is hope for the human race, yesterday I wrote about the WOW Signal and what it implies. In return for my efforts I received a lovely email from world renowned astrophysicist and international bestselling author, David Brin. He has offered our Hippo-teers (is that the right term?) a chance to participate in the greatest experiment known to man. All you need to do is CLICK HERE to find out all about SETI@Home.

If you have a backyard or a computer you can participate.

If you CLICK HERE you can see exactly what the various arguments are, in a scientific discussion not a bar fight, when it comes to how we should, or should not, make ourselves known in the universe.

It’s not as clear cut as you might think.

As he noted in his email to the World News Center, the SETI-Allen Array isn’t really set up to find pings – quick signals searching for life – or similar broadcasts, which is what the WOW Signal most resembles. While I would, and did, argue that a planet technologically developed enough would be broadcasting all the time anyway (a fact I later discovered is meaningless), I can still see the logic in looking for those pings. Rather than a mish mash of I Love Lucy reruns that no one but us would understand they could send out a dedicated mathematical message. Prime numbers or something similar. Just enough to let everyone know they were in the neighborhood and looking to be friends.

Although, given the level of shockingly willful ignorance displayed above, I’m unsure if anyone would want to talk to us even if they did find us.

Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG AM 1280, every Friday morning around 9:10!

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