All entries for Monday 20 February 2006

February 20, 2006

Narrowing the starfield in the search for extra–terrestrial life

Writing about web page http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_technology/article346547.ece

From the article:

Dr Turnbull selected her top five from an initial catalogue of 17,129 stars that could be "habitable stellar systems" where the physical conditions would not be too extreme to limit the evolution and development of intelligent life and its technology.

I really hope this is not the first time this has been done.

I thought about doing something similar literally years ago when I first heard of SETI. I mean if we are assuming life is a result of complex physical processes at least narrow the search field a little by considering stars that are similar to where we know the process can yield results – i.e our star.

Sheeesh.

If this is really the first time this has been attempted then does anyone have any insights as to why it took so long? Has there only recently been a sufficiently detailed star catalogue on which to base such a study?


Library overdue notifications

Well i'm not exactly bowled over with the library email notifications:

FIRST OVERDUE REMINDER - University Library (024 7652 4103) The item(s) below are overdue and fines are increasing daily. Please return or renew without delay. Please disregard this notice if you returned/renewed the overdue item(s) since the notice date. If you have any queries please contact us.

Lovely. I must question why the first email is when they are already FOUR days overdue, surely a sensible system would be to remind you in the first instance the day BEFORE the items are due?

Seems to me that the system is setup this way to 'punish' people that dont keep track of the due dates – surely thats the big plus of it all being computerised. Suffice it to say I shall be having a word with them before coughing up the cash.


Sharia Law? Disgusting?

Writing about web page http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=259552006

Sharia law? A whistle stop guide could be written as follows: Dispicable set of religious based rulings from yester-millenia that contradict every tenet of modern society.
Perhaps better descirbed here in the telegraph.

This should NEVER be implemented in Britain. To be honest the very idea of judges being able to hand out amputations or stoning as punishments within our society is disgusting.

No. Simple as that.

I don't care how much the government is currently wishing to appease minority groups, this cannot be allowed. Personally I think anyone who wants this instituted should be shown to their nearest airport as I think they settled in the wrong country…

I find it hard to provide any further 'constructive' criticism on the subject if i'm completely honest. Anybody think that this could be a positive addition to our laws?

Further commentary: Marcel Berlins

Other reports: Aljazeera Telegraph


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