Articles by vulcan


Yet that is. As Ian O’Neill desribes on Discovery News:

SETI astronomers have eavesdropped on an alien star system thought to contain two “habitable” worlds in the hope of hearing a radio transmission from an extraterrestrial intelligence.

Sadly, there appears to be no chatty aliens living around the red dwarf star Gliese 581.

In results announced last week by Australian SETI astronomers, of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research at Curtin University in Perth, Gliese 581 was precisely targeted by Australian Long Baseline Array using three radio telescope facilities across Australia. This is the first time the technique of very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) has been used to target a specific star in the hunt for extraterrestrials, so although it didn’t turn up any aliens, it is a proof of concept that may prove invaluable for future SETI projects…




Web PoliticsWesley Donehue writes on CNN:

I make a living encouraging politicians and candidates to use social media.

And now I’m going to tell them why it’s a bad idea.

Not always, mind you — social media will, and should, continue to play an important role in our political discourse. But the trend has grown so quickly; I don’t know that anyone has really stopped to consider the implications of moment-by-moment, real-time transparency.

I would argue that what we’ve gotten is a trade-off, and the jury is still out on whether what we’ve lost is worth more than what we’ve gained in the process.

So before I go about the process of destroying my company’s business model, let’s talk about what we’ve gained with social media.


Cory BookerHow is this guy a politician? Via the New Jersey Star Ledger:

Newark Mayor Cory Booker was taken to a hospital Thursday night for treatment of smoke inhalation he suffered trying to rescue his next-door neighbors from their burning house.

“I just grabbed her and whipped her out of the bed,” Booker said in recounting the fire. Booker told the Star-Ledger he also suffered second-degree burns on his hand.

The fire started in a two-story building on Hawthorne Avenue in the Upper Clinton Hill neighborhood, shortly before the mayor arrived home after a television interview with News 12 New Jersey.

Five people were taken to the hospital for treatment: the mayor, a woman from the house and three members of his security detail. The woman was listed in stable condition at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston with burns to her back and neck.


VCR HorrorsVia Freddy In Space:

It’s the 1980s. Young horror fans are in their glory, while their parents are outraged over the tapes that are easily accessible to them at the local video store. ABC News runs a news piece on their show 20/20, aimed to demonize horror films and the kids who enjoy them with all kinds of wild and salacious accusations. Three decades later, the news piece serves as a 15 minute journey back in time, reminding us horror fans of our early years spent ingesting horror VHS tapes, so voraciously that it’s almost as if we knew they were going out of style.


Ghost ShipVia Voice of America:

The U.S. Coast Guard has sunk an abandoned Japanese fishing boat off the coast of Alaska, more than a year after a tsunami sent it drifting aimlessly across the Pacific Ocean.

The 50-meter long Ryou-Un Mara went down Thursday in the Gulf of Alaska, hours after a Coast Guard vessel started shooting at it, setting fire to the so-called “ghost ship,” which had no lights, crew or communications system.

The Coast Guard decided to sink the Ryou-Un Mara because it posed a significant danger to ships sailing in the area. Officials say sinking the ship poses no risk to the environment and that any fuel on board would be evaporated by now. The sinking operation was delayed when a Canadian fishing boat expressed interest in salvaging the Japanese boat. The Canadian ship eventually determined it could not tow the crippled vessel…



Anyone going this year? If not, ever been? If not … Andrew Averill writes on SF Gate: Many Burning Man festival participants climb a huge butterfly art structure to watch the sunrise…




Monkey HorrorHumanity, look out. There is no way by causing this action, it will turn out well for all of humanity. Via the Huffington Post:

In the small village of Talwas, Rajasthan, Raju, a well-known cigarette smoking monkey, and his bride Chinki were married, according to Stuff.

Raju had become a local celebrity after Ramesh Saini, a rickshaw driver, adopted him three years ago when he found the monkey unconscious.

He’s been a surrogate son to the childless Ramesh ever since.

“I want to enjoy the feelings of a son’s marriage through Raju’s wedding.” Ramesh told the publication. “We will welcome the bride in our house … after the wedding with all rituals.”




Via UPI: Personality can affect longevity — those with the most optimism and cheerfulness die younger than their less positive counterparts, U.S. researchers found. Study leader Howard S. Friedman, distinguished professor of…



Nuff said. More power to alternative energy efforts. Kirsty Scott reports in the Guardian:

It is the spirit that powers the Scottish economy, and now whisky is to be used to create electricity for homes in a new bioenergy venture involving some of Scotland’s best-known distilleries.

Contracts have recently been awarded for the construction of a biomass combined heat and power plant at Rothes in Speyside that by 2013 will use the by-products of the whisky-making process for energy production.




Adrian Chen on Gawker got in touch with the video’s creator:

I made this video because I felt like it represented a feeling many Americans shared regarding the brave and daring actions of our service members who tenaciously and doggedly pursued Osama Bin Laden. I feel like it represents something in the collective consciousness of America at that particular moment in time. A cathartic release.