Archive for the 'Ancient Wonders' Category

The Fermi Paradox, Explained

Tim Urban of Wait But Why explains it ALL –

 

(”Where is everybody?”)

 

The Fermi Paradox

By Tim Urban

 

“Everyone feels something when they’re in a really good starry place on a really good starry night and they look up and see this:

 

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Some people stick with the traditional, feeling struck by the epic beauty or blown away by the insane scale of the universe. Personally, I go for the old “existential meltdown followed by acting weird for the next half hour.” But everyone feels something.

 

Physicist Enrico Fermi felt something too—”Where is everybody?”

 

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A really starry sky seems vast—but all we’re looking at is our very local neighborhood. On the very best nights, we can see up to about 2,500 stars (roughly one hundred-millionth of the stars in our galaxy), and almost all of them are less than 1,000 light years away from us (or 1% of the diameter of the Milky Way). So what we’re really looking at is this:

 

When confronted with the topic of stars and galaxies, a question that tantalizes most humans is, “Is there other intelligent life out there?” Let’s put some numbers to it (if you don’t like numbers, just read the bold)—

 

As many stars as there are in our galaxy (100 – 400 billion), there are roughly an equal number of galaxies in the observable universe—so for every star in the colossal Milky Way, there’s a whole galaxy out there. All together, that comes out to the typically quoted range of between 1022 and 1024 total stars, which means that for every grain of sand on Earth, there are 10,000 stars out there.

 

The science world isn’t in total agreement about what percentage of those stars are “sun-like” (similar in size, temperature, and luminosity)—opinions typically range from 5% to 20%. Going with the most conservative side of that (5%), and the lower end for the number of total stars (1022), gives us 500 quintillion, or 500 billion billion sun-like stars.

 

There’s also a debate over what percentage of those sun-like stars might be orbited by an Earth-like planet (one with similar temperature conditions that could have liquid water and potentially support life similar to that on Earth). Some say it’s as high as 50%, but let’s go with the more conservative 22% that came out of a recent PNAS study. That suggests that there’s a potentially-habitable Earth-like planet orbiting at least 1% of the total stars in the universe—a total of 100 billion billion Earth-like planets.

 

So there are 100 Earth-like planets for every grain of sand in the world. Think about that next time you’re on the beach…”

 

For the rest, click here.

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The Resurrection of an Egyptian Princess…

May you be merry this Halloween and dance alongside the spirits…

 

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Also, we hope you watch and enjoy this film! –  The Monster by Georges Méliès. (It’s about an attempt to bring an Egyptian princess back to life…)

 

 

“A 1903 film directed by French filmmaker Georges Méliès and, as is common with his films, starring the man himself. The story centres on the chaotic, and ultimately futile, attempt to bring a dead Egyptian Princess back to life. According to the Lubin Catolog:

 

An Egyptian prince has lost his beloved wife and he has sought a dervish who dwells at the base of the sphinx. The prince promises him a vast fortune if the dervish will only give him the opportunity of gazing once more upon the features of his wife. The dervish accepts the offer. He brings in from a neighboring tomb the receptacle containing the remains of the princess. He opens it and removes the skeleton, which he places upon the ground close beside him. Then, turning to the moon and raising his arms outstretched toward it, he invokes the moon to give back life to her who is no more.

The skeleton begins to move about, becomes animated, and arises. The dervish puts it upon a bench and covers it with a white linen; a masque conceals its ghostly face. At a second invocation the skeleton begins again to move, arises, and performs a weird dance…”

 

- Read more about it here, at the fabulous Public Domain Review.

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Knock knock, can the spirits come out to play?

HAPPY ALMOST HALLOWEEN!

 

To get you in the mood…

 

First, behold the spiritualist era spirit photographs of William Hope, here.

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Next, catch up on the history and use of the Ouija board here.

 

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And, did you know that an entire novel “by a deceased Mark Twain” was written entirely via Ouija? –

 

Yep, and here it is in its entirety.

 

Also…

 

Ghostwriter and Ghost: The Strange Case of Pearl Curran & Patience Worth

 

“In early 20th-century St. Louis, Pearl Curran claimed to have conjured a long-dead New England puritan named Patience Worth through a Ouija board. Although mostly unknown today, the resulting books, poems, and plays that Worth “dictated” to Curran earned great praise at the time. Ed Simon investigates the curious and nearly forgotten literary fruits of a “ghost” and her ghostwriter…”

 


Pearl Curran in 1919 – Source [copyright unknown].

 

See the rest at the Public Domain Review, here.

 

 

 

 

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