I have always wondered, like everybody else, whether alien life forms exist. Are we alone in the universe or is there other intelligent life out there is a question that has been asked many times and, no doubt, will be continued to be asked for many centuries to come.
New research by an Edinburgh scientist has come up with a new estimate as to how many other intelligent life forms there may be in our galaxy. The scientist simulated alien worlds and then applied various scenarios and deduced that there must be anything between 361 and 38,000 intelligent civilisations in our galaxy ! It amuses me when scientists attempt to estimate the probability of alien worlds. It is a very difficult job because there is little or no evidence. Many people have claimed that they have seen UFO’s but I suspect that there are other explanations for these sightings. If UFO’s frequently visit our planet why is it that they have not made contact with us ?
I would love to think that there are other planets out there with life on them but until I see evidence my belief is that we are alone in the universe. I think that by some freak of nature human beings were formed and that this event was completly unique. Our destiny is to populate the rest of the galaxy and until we do no other intelligent living beings exist on other planets.
I think that we will never find out whether there is life on other planets. The distances between planets is huge. Even if you were able to travel at the speed of light it would take hundreds if not thousands of years to reach other planets where there possibly could be life.
Whist I find research on this subject fascinating and I love watching films and TV programmes about it, I think it is a question that will continue to haunt us for ever. In any event we need to worry about our own survival rather than anything else. Nature has a nasty habit of extinguishing life when it feels the planet is threatened so we may not be around long enough to find out whether we are alone in the universe or not. Sorry, I am not a doom and gloom person, but I can see where this is heading !
If you look west into the night sky in the early evening you may have noticed a very bright star, and you may have wondered what it actually is. I have noticed it for a few weeks now. It is the planet Venus and it is now the brightest it has been for 8 years. On March 27 Venus will be only 26 million miles away from planet Earth.
Check it out now. You can’t miss it – unless it’s cloudy of course !
Scientists have discovered that just 30 seconds of high intensity exercise, like sprinting or cycling fast, can improve health if done on a regular basis. The findings say that this increases the body’s metabolism, which helps to prevent weight gain, heart disease and diabetes. The study was conducted on 16 men who sprinted and cycled as fast as they could every other day for only 30 seconds.
The intense exercise was more effective than leisurely workouts because it depleted sugar from muscles forcing them to replace it with stores from the blood, so the insulin function within the body was improved.
I like the sound of this research because I have never liked running the streets, especially at night. Not that I have actually run the streets for quite a few years, but the thought was there. Now, I have an excuse to run up the stairs at home 3 or 4 times in quick succession as that will probably take about 30 seconds !
I like to keep abreast of what is happening in the world and I also like to keep in touch with new technology and lately I have been trying to keep up with the new world of social media. I have got a Facebook page that I never use and I recently read that anybody who is anybody should really have a Twitter account!. So, I set up a Twitter account and tried to work out what it is supposed to do. As far as I can see it is a way of telling your Twitter followers what you are doing. If you have a Twitter account you can “follow” anyone else who also has a Twitter account.
Twitter has had a lot of publicity recently. A Twitter user was one of the first to break the news of the recent Hudson River plane crash. I did a bit of searching on Twitter and it is amazing how many people that I came across who had hundreds or in some case thousands of “followers”. I can’t understand though why they seem to have so many followers. Having a Twitter account allows you to send very brief 2 line messages either from a PC or a mobile phone. There is not much you can say in two lines but the system still seems to attract the followers.
So far on my Twitter account I have zero followers! Nobody, it seems wants to know what I am doing. I am probably, though, being a little harsh on myself because nobody knows that I have a Twitter account. If I had some followers I would probably be more inclined to tell the world what I was doing, although I don’t think it would be very interesting!
I have though some breaking news! I have signed up to follow three people so far – Barack Obama, Jonathan Ross and Stephen Fry. Stephen Fry has been sending messages very frequently. I followed his movements from Australia. I knew when he was in a taxi from the airport and I even knew when he was waiting in the Green Room at the BBC studios waiting to film the Jonathan Ross Show, on which he is a guest. Fry is an avid user of Twitter and apparently discussed Twitter with Ross on the show. I received a Twitter when Stephen Fry had finished the show but he was reluctant to say too much in view of the media interest.
So, here I am sitting at my PC waiting for my first Twitter follower. I will have a celebration when it happens but I am not holding my breath! One of the reasons I like to keep in touch with the likes of Twitter is from the business point of view as I am always looking for new marketing methods. I can actually see a good use for Twitter from a business point of view. It could make a very good way of keeping in touch with my customers. For example I could tell them when there is a special offer or some breaking travel news. Maybe I do have quite a lot to say after all.
If you want to be my first Twitter follower sign up here !
Following hundreds of threats to Barack Obama his security advisers have apparently recommended that the new President uses body doubles. The body doubles would be used for public photo opportunities where the President is not required to speak, but where he may be exposed to a possible threat. However, President Obama is understood to be against the idea of a body double as the tactic was used by the likes of Saddam Hussein, Stalin and Adolf Hitler.
One of the best known Obama lookalikes, an Indonesian, who it is said is a spitting image of the President, has said that he does not want the job. He is reported to have said that “I don’t want to get shot”!
The new President Obama, who goes by the code name ‘Renegade’ to his secret service agents had an unprecedented amount of protection on the day of his inauguration. During the ceremony five tons of transparent armour was erected around the President to guard against a chemical attack and gunshots. Over 42,000 security personnel patrolled the streets, 15 intelligence teams mingled in the crowds, surface-to-air missiles pointed into the Sky where fighter jets were also on patrol. There were snipers on rooftops who are trained to hit an object the size of an orange from 1,000 yards and bridges and buildings were closed. The secret service have also recommended that Mr Obama wears a bullet proof vest when he is in public.
The last American President to have an attempt on his life was Ronald Reagan in 1981. He was shot and survived.
Any body double who gets the job, however, can’t expect to get the same level of protection. Due to the credit crunch he will have to ask some of his mates if they fancy a day out!
New evidence released today by an Australian researcher has revealed that the English tradition of waiting in a queue may not always be the best idea! The research attempted to explain why more English people than Americans died when the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank. It seems that the English waited in a polite queue whist waiting for instructions about the evacuation of the ship whilst other nationalities adopted an “every man for himself” attitude. Those people that made their own decisions and made their way to the lifeboats rather than queuing were more likely to survive.
I’m not sure what the moral of this story is though. I always make a polite queue in a shop or when I wait for a bus but I think I will remember this story for the time I might be in a sticky situation on a north Atlantic cruise, or maybe I should just stick to cruising the Caribbean !
A space elevator that runs up a 22,000 mile cable from Earth to an orbiting space station was mentioned by Arthur C Clarke in one of his science fiction books many years ago, but the idea goes back to 1895 when a Russian scientist, inspired by the Eiffel Tower, proposed the idea. Now, thanks to a British invention scientists have taken the first step in what could be a huge leap for mankind in their exploration of space.
I have been following the story of a space elevator when I first heard about it a few years ago and the idea struck me as brilliant. If you haven’t heard about this concept then this is what it is – It is a pod containing astronauts and equipment that will travel up a very long cable like a train on a track. The super strong cable will remain taut because of the centrifugal force created by the rotation of the earth. This pod will travel at 120MPH and a one way trip will take about 8 days. It literally is a very long elevator into space !
Now a team at Cambridge University have created the world’s strongest ribbon – a strand of carbon that combines lightweight flexibility with incredible strength and the potential to stretch for long distances. At the moment the team are only producing 1gram of this high-tech material a day, which is enough for about 18 miles of the stuff, and Nasa have asked this team for cable which is 144,000 miles long ! Money is being poured into the idea but the problem of finding something strong enough and long enough to remain taut is still about 10 years away from reality. If the problem can be solved then the cost of space travel will reduce considerably.
I found a great video on You Tube which shows the concept so I hope it inspires your imagination!