Wednesday, March 22, 2006

We Are the Vermin of the Universe

Originally uploaded by chinese_fashion.
My man NASA Jim tipped me off to this incredible video of a spacecraft that is launching tomorrow. Essentially what is going to happen is that a rocket powered missile will deploy from a large airplane and then zoom upwards into the magnetosphere.

Thanks to several exquisitely timed and priceless explosives, various bits of the missile will peel off and thrust the missile's guts ever skyward. Once in orbit, the missile's guts will turn out to be a sort of mother spaceship, fat with satellites suckling at her belly. She will roll over onto her back and release these satellites, which will hurtle through space like frisbees until they are position over the polar ice caps. They will then unleash powerful laser beams that will melt the poles even faster than we are doing it ourselves.

That may not be precisely what happens, but watch this clip and see if my description doesn't seem a little more plausible. The animation is taken straight from NASA's website, I added the Radiohead soundtrack myself.

Click here for an official, hi-def, soundless version.

Here's a computer-rendered image of the craft, and some info about the mission.


This brings me to the burning question nerds and non-nerds alike are dying to shout: what if there really is life in outer space?

My question lately is: what if there's life on other worlds, but it's kind of dumb? Like relatively intelligent, but not a patch on us? What if the life on other planets is like a race of brilliant sponges or incredibly trainable squirrels? My God, what if the aliens' Gandhi, their Thomas Aquinas or Malcolm X is like our Lassie?

Those things are fucked, that's what if. Scientists are already trying to create remote-controlled sharks and cockroaches. If we get our nasty little mitts on a race that doesn't even have the emotional home-court advantage, who know what kinds of little green slaves we'll make.

I really think that most of the science fiction about superintelligent, technologically superior and violent beings is actually just projection. Those things in Independence Day, the Visitors in 'V', they're us. Except the creatures from 'Aliens'. Those are rednecks -- they breed in nasty, dark conditions, they're impossible to get rid of and tough as hell.

We're rapacious creatures that have no regard for our own people or environment, It's only a matter of time before we render earth's continents a series of Mad-Max-like islands and have to start terraforming.

I don't want a bar of it, myself.

I don't care how fucked it gets down here, I'm staying. If you see an old guy with glasses and a giant moth tattoo on his back, wearing a loincloth made out of an old Misfits t-shirt, be sure and say hi.


At 2:52 PM, Anonymous v for ventricle said...

cool video. u know what blew my mind last week? for some reason i was reading about black holes and the article talked about how they suck up all matter including light. so i deduced (scientifically, of course) that light IS matter. whoa.

At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

jeff, you're spot on about the sci-fi flicks. surprised you didn't mention starship troopers, though... that one actually hit the nail on the head: WE ARE THE BAD GUYS.

At 4:47 PM, Blogger Listmaker said...

I bet we have better blogs than the aliens though.


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