Category Archives: Science

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Now, on to the links!

Monday, of course, was Veteran’s Day.  Have a listen to a great piece commemorating that day from one of my follow Glibertarians.

Want to know how to spot a psychopath?  Well, you could look at Congress.

The President of the University of Virginia is an idiot.

This Popeyes worker is an idiot.

At least half of the university students in the UK are idiots.

The next big tech thing may be smart glasses.  I figure I’ll just keep my old dumb glasses.

Things in Hong Kong are quickly going from bad to worse.

Heh heh heh.

Autophagia on the Left.

Yesterday, we talked about the Imperial judiciary, but it seems at least Justice Gorsuch is framing well at the task.  So far.

A homeless man bum in Los Angeles dumped a bucket of “hot diarrhea” over a woman’s head.  That’s as opposed to the hot diarrhea coming out of Congress.

Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, is concerned about something she doesn’t understand.  Again.

Double-Secret Impeachment.

Alexandria Occasional Cortex once again opens her mouth, removes all doubt.

This asshole deserved at least twice the sentence he got.

In the nation’s capital, the school system is an abject, total failure.

And on that note, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Animal’s Hump Day News

It’s on to the links!

Salon writer Cody Cain is an idiot.

More than a third of millennials are idiots.

Max Boot is an idiot.  I know, that last one is low-hanging fruit, but still…

Strike a pose to look more attractive to the opposite sex.  Or, you know, whatever sex strikes your fancy, I guess.

Have a problem with rats?  Get some monkeys.

The Celts thought everyone should have wine.  I prefer beer, myself, but I can go along with the sentiment.

Duck!

Duck!

Goose!

California proposes to crack down on freelancers.  A stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid idea.  Add it to a long list of stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid ideas coming up in California these days.

The President has an idea for reducing criminal misuse of guns.  It makes some sense, so of course it won’t go anywhere in Congress.

In California, you can have unburned property, or you can have electricity.  Pick one.

In Colorado, we have mail-in ballots, which are starting to be returned.  So far Republicans and older voters are returning ballots at higher levels than Democrats and younger voters – all of which doesn’t mean much in our increasingly-blue state.  Still, it is an off year…

Turns out that Congress has several options for financing Medicare for all.  Here they are:

  • A 32 percent payroll tax
  • A 25 percent income surtax
  • A 42 percent value-added tax (VAT)
  • A mandatory public premium averaging $7,500 per capita – the equivalent of $12,000 per individual not otherwise on public insurance
  • More than doubling all individual and corporate income tax rates
  • An 80 percent reduction in non-health federal spending
  • A 108 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increase in the national debt
  • Impossibly high taxes on high earners, corporations, and the financial sector
  • A combination of approaches

To all of those I can only say three things:

  • Hell no
  • Fuck off, slavers
  • Taxation is theft!

On that note, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Rule Five Fusion Friday

Housekeeping note:  In a few moments, I will leave civilization behind for a few days as loyal sidekick Rat and I will be off to the wilds of Grand County, Colorado, there to do battle with antlered ungulates.  Some placeholder totty is scheduled to hold your attention until I return.

Now, with that out of the way:  It seems the U.S. Navy has applied for a patent on a fusion reactor small enough to power small ships and even aircraft.  If this is a real thing, it’s a real big thing, or as daffy old Groper Joe Biden would say, a big fucking deal.  Excerpt:

The War Zone has been reporting on Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works work to create a game-changing compact fusion reactor. The elite aerospace design unit has been constructing a new, more powerful experimental reactor as recently as July 2019. 

Aside from Lockheed Martin, several private firms have been developing their own compact fusion reactors in recent years, and the government-run Chinese Academy of Sciences has claimed to have made significant progress in developing fusion reactors that could one day be capable of producing revolutionary levels of energy.

While Lockheed Martin’s CFR designs have garnered quite a bit of media attention and internet buzz in recent years, it appears one of the Skunk Works’ major clients is also hard at work in this field. The U.S. Navy has filed a potentially revolutionary patent application for a radical new compact fusion reactor that claims to improve upon the shortcomings of the Skunk Works CFR, and judging from the identity of the reactor’s inventor, it’s sure to raise eyebrows in the scientific community.

This latest design is the brainchild of the elusive Salvatore Cezar Pais, the inventor of the Navy’s bizarre and controversial room temperature superconductors, high energy electromagnetic field generators, and sci-fi-sounding propulsion technologies that The War Zone has previously reported on. The patent for Pais’ “Plasma Compression Fusion Device” was applied for on March 22, 2018, and was just published on September 26, 2019. The claim states, in part:

At present there are few envisioned fusion reactors/devices that come in a small, compact package (ranging from 0.3 to 2 meters in diameter) and typically they use different versions of plasma magnetic confinement. Three such devices are the Lockheed Martin (LM) Skunk Works Compact Fusion Reactor (LM-CFR) , the EMC2 Polywell fusion concept, and the Princeton Field-Reversed Configuration (PFRC) machine. […] These devices feature short plasma confinement times, possible plasma instabilities with the scaling of size, and it is questionable whether they have the ability of achieving the break – even fusion condition, let alone a self-sustained plasma burn leading to ignition.”

Wow.  WOW.  Forget for a moment whether or not we’re going to buy into this being real, and just imagine for a moment the implications of it being real, and imagine beyond just the shutting up of the climate scolds, which would be a pleasant enough outcome.

Now I’m not sure about the feasibility of powering vehicles or aircraft with one of these, size notwithstanding; like fission reactors, fusion reactors provide useful power through heat, by boiling water to turn a steam turbine to generate electricity.  (That’s almost certainly a gross oversimplification, but what the hell.)  That works in a power plant or a ship; in an airplane, not so much.

But you know, that still works.  We could continue to run airplanes and autos on fossil fuels.  The climate scolds would continue to go RHEEEEEEE, of course, but we can ignore that.  The simple fact is this:  A practical fusion reactor design would literally change everything.  Energy would be cheap and unlimited; cheaper than it is now, unlimited as it is not now.

Modern technological societies depend on energy.  Cheap, abundant energy yields a strong economy.  The cheaper and more abundant energy is, the better conditions are for a robust economy.

And this design – if it’s real – could deliver power to places where it’s difficult to do so now.   It could relieve remote communities of the need for generators or long stretches of power lines.  Small towns could run on a small tokamak that would fit in a garden shed.  And better still, a factory could buy its own reactor and obviate the need to be tied to an inefficient government-granted monopoly for power delivery.  The possibilities are endless.

I’m not sure if this is a real thing.  But it would be really cool if it was.

But enough of that for now.  The bloodwind calls.  It’s time to hunt.  See you all a week from Monday!

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Mrs. A and I have to head for the airport in a little while, to head home to Denver; on Friday morning, loyal sidekick Rat and I answer the call of the bloodwind once more, as we set forth in pursuit of deer and elk.  But in the meantime:  Time for the links!

Number One for today’s links:  Feds have hurriedly dropped a case against a black-market gun builder because of a tentative judicial ruling that may have overturned much of the 1968 Gun Control Act.  No shit.  Go read, and try to ignore CNN’s pearl-clutching.

This scientist thinks we may already have found strong evidence of life on Mars.  I’m not so sure, but my biology credentials are a few years out of date; I have tried to, as they say, keep current, but that’s a long ways from working in the field day to day.

Joe Biden may actually be senile.

Liz Peek thinks the 2020 election is still President Trump’s to lose.  The history of incumbents seeking re-election bolsters her argument.

Guess what?  Our schools suck.  Welcome to 1977.  The answer?  Get government out of education.

Californians may be going collectively insane.

This might be interesting.

Well, that escalated quickly.

These three countries tried socialism and rejected it.  It sure would be nice if some American pols would learn from their example, but as my dear departed Grandpa was fond of saying, “you can teach ’em, but you can’t learn ’em.”

The Washington Examiner’s Adam Brandon points out that the Constitution is what is keeping us from Hong Kong’s fate.  I’d feel better about that assertion if it weren’t for the fact that the Imperial government has been wiping their asses with the Constitution since about 1860.

U of WA professor Holly M. Barker is an idiot.

Adam Schiff is an idiot.

Princess Spreading Bull Warren is an idiot.

Have a read about the eccentric wonder that was Thomas Edison.  One of my favorite quotes is from Edison:  “People frequently don’t recognize opportunity when it arrives, because it usually shows up in overalls and looks like work.”

A Deep State bureaucrat cashes in.

Bill Maher finds another acorn.

On that nutty note, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Rule Five Persistence Hunting Friday

It’s something of a shibboleth among some casual students of early humanity that early people were persistence hunters; that is, they ran their prey to ground.  As evidence these folks point out some traits humans have that most mammals don’t, like developed gluteal muscles, long legs with thick Achilles tendons and, not least of all, using sweating instead of panting to cool off during exertion or in hot weather.

But now it turns out that might be utterly wrong.  Excerpt:

The theory that persistence hunting played a crucial part in the evolution of man was first suggested in 1984 by David Carrier, who at the time was a doctoral student at the University of Michigan. Carrier’s idea was based on the observation that man is one of the only mammals that cools itself by sweating. Most four-legged mammals pant to cast off heat, which doesn’t work nearly as well when running. Carrier concluded that if our early human ancestors could chase an animal long enough, the animal would overheat and collapse with heat exhaustion, and the humans could step up and dispatch it easily.

Carrier’s idea was picked up and advanced by the Harvard paleoanthropologist Daniel Lieberman. “As for anatomical, genetic, and paleontological evidence, there are so many derived features of humans that make us good at running and which have no other function, they clearly indicate humans were selected for long distance running,” Lieberman wrote in an email. He has noted that those features — arched feet, short toes, wide shoulders, long Achilles tendons — seem to have originated around 2 million years ago, around the time when the genus Homo evolved and our ancestors began making meat a regular part of their diet. Persistence hunting, he’s argued, might have been the evolutionary driver.

However:

Henry Bunn, a paleoanthropologist from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has said more than once that a person would have to be “incredibly naïve” to believe the persistence hunting theory. Bunn recalls that he first heard discussion of the theory at a conference in South Africa, and he realized almost immediately that if you are going to chase an animal that is much faster than you, at some point it will run out of sight and you will have to track it. Tracking would require earth soft enough to capture footprints and terrain open enough to give prey little place to hide and disappear.

When he heard of the idea, Bunn had just been in the Great Rift Valley of East Africa, one of the areas where it is thought that Australopithecus, our first upright walking ancestor, evolved into the first of the human genus. He knew the terrain was probably not soft during the time period discussed by the persistence hunting theory. And it was mixed savanna woodland, not open plain. It’s highly unlikely that primitive humans would have been sophisticated enough to track under those conditions, Bunn and his co-author, Travis Pickering, also of the University of Wisconsin, argued in their first paper questioning the persistence hunting theory.

Plus, Bunn had spent time with the Hadza, a modern-day group of people in the Great Rift Valley who are thought to live much like their ancient ancestors did. The only time Bunn ever knew the Hadza to run was when they were fleeing pelting rain, angry bees, or marauding elephants — and maybe occasionally to scavenge.

Speaking as a modern hunter, I can confirm that most modern humans hunt from ambush, or at least, by stealth.  When I was a young man hunting whitetails in the forested hills of northeast Iowa, I generally hunted by ambush; I had a few tree stands scattered across the Old Man’s place, or sometimes I would still-hunt by moving very slowly and quietly through the timber.

Nowadays, in the more open, much wider country I hunt in the Rockies, I generally hunt by spot-and-stalk, although sometimes loyal sidekick Rat and I will take a position along a water source or a low saddle between two big drainages and watch for a while.

The main point is this:  Most predators don’t use any more calories than necessary when hunting, and in that, humans haven’t changed much since the Pleistocene.  Survival in nature is a simple matter of ensuring that, at minimum, calories in equals (or, preferably, exceeds) calories expended.  One of the better ways to do this is to make sure you expend the least amount of calories possible, which means ambush or stealth hunting.

There are a few exceptions (wolves come to mind) but not that many.  And if we can derive any conclusions about human behavior then from human behavior now, I’d suspect Henry Bunn is correct.  Read the entire article and see what you think.

Animal’s Daily Space Travel News

Space is big.  Really, really big.  It’s so big, it’s hard to imagine just how really big it is without unhinging your brain enough to really, really understand something so stupendously big that even the wildest of sci-fi nuts just don’t get how unfathomably big it is.  But one scientist who is also a Star Trek fan has made a video to give us at least some idea how long it would really take to get about in space at Star Trekkian speeds.  Excerpt:

O’Donoghue chose to depict the Enterprise flying away from the sun and across the solar system toward a finish line at Pluto. The spaceship starts out at warp 1 and eventually accelerates to warp 9.9, or about 2,083 times light speed.

  • Warp 1, or light speed, makes the Enterprise look like it’s at a standstill over the sun. At this light-speed rate, the ship would take 5 hours and 28 minutes just to reach Pluto, which is about 3.67 billion miles (5.9 billion kilometers) away from the sun. Meanwhile, Proxima Centauri — the nearest star to our own — is a dismal four years and three months away.
  • Warp 5 is about 213 times faster, making a sun-Pluto journey just 1 minute and 30 seconds long. Proxima Centauri is still a weeklong voyage.
  • Warp 9.9 makes Pluto less that a 10-second trip away, and Proxima Centauri an 18-hour cruise.

This last rate of travel is thousands of times faster than the physics of our universe may ever permit.

However, traveling at a warp factor of 9.9 from one end of the Milky Way galaxy — a body of hundreds of billions of stars that may stretch 150,000 to 200,000 light-years wide, according to a recent study — to the other could take 96 years. That’s almost a decade longer than an average human life span today.

Even considering the fastest “transwarp” (or “beyond warp”) speed achieved by the Enterprise, which is about 8,323 times light speed, according to “Star Trek: The Next Generation — Technical Manual,” a transgalactic voyage would take 24 years. A transwarp voyage to Andromeda, which is the nearest galaxy to ours at about 2.5 million light-years away, would last about 300 years.

Yup.  Space is big.  Really, really big.

The closest any sci-fi writer has come to getting this right, at least in my reading history, was James Blish in the Cities in Flight series, originally published between 1950 and 1962.  In those still-engaging stories the major cities of Earth and other worlds left their planetary homes and wandered the galaxy, using a gravitic drive Blish called a “spindizzy.”  Even though, as Blish postulated, the cities under gravitic drive were separated from the general framework of the universe and moved in their own continuum, and were therefore not hampered by relativistic effects or the universal 1C speed limits, even within the galaxy travel times were so long that the inhabitants of the cities required “anti-agathic” drugs that made them, essentially, immortal, else they’d not have been able to travel such distances.

Science!

It’s a neat series, by the way, even if it is a little dated today.

Warp drives and such are neat to think about and write about; in my own dabblings in science fiction I’ve resorted to that same plot device to make my characters go gamboling and capering about the Milky Way.  That kind of stuff is, after all, fun to read about and fun to write about.

But in reality, unless some kind of wormhole drive can shortcut interstellar distances instantaneously, then interstellar travel is never going to be really practical, even at transphotic speeds.

Because space is really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, REALLY, REALLY big.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

On to the links!

Corey Booker is an idiot.

Chuck Todd is an idiot.

Alexandria Occasional Cortex is an idiot.  (Yes, I know, low-hanging fruit.)

Can you count past infinity?  Common sense says no.  Mathematicians say “it depends.”

The United States is now officially free of measles.  How long it will remain that way is anyone’s guess, between unchecked Third World immigration and the stupidity of anti-vaxxers.

Want to keep flies off  your cows?  Paint them up like zebras.  No shit!  Excerpt, because I found this pretty interesting:

…the researchers painted six Japanese Black cows with black-and-white stripes, which took just five minutes per cow. They then observed the cows for three days, taking high-resolution images of them at regular intervals to count the insects on the animals and also recording any fly-repelling behaviors like leg stamping, tail flicking, and skin twitching. The same cows were also observed for three days with painted-on black stripes (to see if it was the paint chemicals, not the coloring, that repelled flies) and and with no stripes at all.

The apparent effects of the stripes were remarkable. The number of biting flies observed on zebra-striped cows was less than half the number seen on unpainted cows and far less than cows painted with black stripes. Moreover, zebra-striping reduced fly-repelling behaviors by about 20%, indicating that the cows were less bothered by the insects.

Remind me to buy some zebra-stripe shirts before the next time I go fishing in Canada.  Hope it works on mosquitoes.

Have aliens bugged space rocks?  I doubt it, but if we found one – then what?

Impeachment seems to be helping President Trump, not Democrats.  Newt Gingrich was unavailable for comment.

Who doesn’t love a cold one?

Colorado breweries were big winners at the 2019 Great American Beer Fest.  One of the things I like about Colorado, although I confess that the things I dislike about Colorado are catching up with the things I like.

Joe Biden tries to sell us a bill of goods.

Princess Spreading Bull lied about having been fired for being pregnant.  Add that lie to the list, folks.

On that lie-detecting note, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Rule Five Climate Hypocrite Friday

Why is it that, so often, the more celebrities hector us about “climate change” and reducing our carbon footprints, the bigger hypocrites they are about it?  Forget Leonardo DiCaprio, forget Al Gore.  The UK’s Prince Harry may well be one of the worst.  Excerpts from the story, with my comments:

The Duke of Sussex is in Botswana helping to create a new forest habitat after decades of deforestation because of locals gathering firewood and through elephant activity.

He flew there, of course, on a commercial jet, in economy class – right?  Right?  Don’t be ridiculous.  He used one of the Royal Family’s private jets.

Wonder what the carbon footprint of that trip amounted to?

Speaking on the banks of the Chobe River, he referred to the speech by the UN secretary general, António Guterres, at the UN general assembly in which he warned that the world had seen unprecedented temperatures.

Meanwhile his wife was on a royal tour of Africa, accompanied by infant son Archie, a team of 13 assistants, and her personal hairdresser.

Did you get that?  Her personal furshlugginer hairdresser.  Hubris, thy name is Meghan Markle.

Wonder what the carbon footprint of that trip amounted to?

“This week, led by Greta, the world’s children are striking. There’s an emergency. It’s a race against time and one which we are losing. Everyone know it. There’s no excuse for not knowing that,” he said.

First:  These children don’t have any ideas, other than getting out of school for a day.

Second:  Harry apparently doesn’t really believe it’s an emergency, given his jet-setting around the globe; the Daily Mail documents four private jet flights in less than two weeks.

Wonder what the carbon footprint of those trips amounted to?

“And the most troubling part of that is I don’t believe there is anybody in this world who can deny science, undeniable science and facts.

Nor can we deny your hypocrisy, Harry; not given your wife’s jetting off to New York to take in a tennis tournament.  If there is really a climate crisis, maybe she should have just stayed in one of the Royal Family’s energy-guzzling palaces and watched it on the telly?

Wonder what the carbon footprint of that trip amounted to?

“Science and facts that have been around for the last 30, maybe 40 years, and it’s only getting stronger and stronger.

Let’s talk again about those royal palaces, Harry.  How big is the Royal carbon footprint again?  Maybe, if you really want to practice what you preach, you could move into a small flat somewhere in Sussex?  You know, that place you’re supposedly Duke of?

I suppose it’s too hard to maintain that royal lifestyle from a second-floor walk-up in Chichester.

“I don’t understand how anyone in this world, whoever we are – you, us, children, leaders, whoever it is – no one can deny science, otherwise we live in a very, very troubling world.”

Then look in a damn mirror, you pampered, entitled fuckstick.  You claim “royal” status, based on nothing more than whose vagina you slipped out of; you lecture the common people of the UK and the US on their carbon emissions while ignoring the greater culprits, one of which, India, used to be part of the British Empire; you wag your finger at regular folks going about their lives while your wife hauls her retinue of servants around the world on the Royal private jets.

This, True Believers, is the problem with “royalty.”  They presume to lecture the rest of us from royal palaces, from private jets, from stretch limos, while showing no compunctions about advertising their own consumption.  They just presume that the policies they advocate for won’t apply to them, and Harry may well be the worst of the lot.

What a hypocritical royal asshole.  I”m so glad some of my ancestors took up muskets and fought a revolution so my country doesn’t have to deal with these “royal” horse’s asses.  And that’s good – we certainly have hypocritical assholes enough of our own.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

On to the links!

Denver’s proposed minimum-wage law will hurt the people it’s supposed to help.  No shit, Sherlock; just like every minimum-wage law ever instituted, anytime, anywhere.

Colorado’s own Mike Rosen on the Swedish doomcryer Pippi Longshpieling.

In 2001, I had the distinct honor of spending two hours in the studio of Denver’s 850 KOA on the Mike Rosen show, discussing my recently-released work Misplaced Compassion.  Mike is a brilliant guy.

National treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson weighs in again on the possible impeachment proceedings.  If you read one thing today, read this.  Here’s the money line:

Why Impeachment Now?

The Democrats have exhausted every other mechanism for destroying Trump—and they are running out of time before November 2020 election.

What would happen if the Earth’s magnetic field suddenly disappeared?  Nothing good.

Los Angeles-area political leaders are seeking an emergency declaration over homelessness.  Maybe the recent leprosy outbreak has something to do with that?

Global Warming.

More Global Warming.

Things in Hong Kong may soon go from bad to worse.

To the Moon, Alice!  To the Moon!

Debbie Harry, back in the day.

Remember Debbie Harry?  Boy, I do.  She has a new memoir out about her days in rock & roll.  Apparently (I haven’t read it and probably won’t) it’s about what you’d expect:  Sex, drugs and rock & roll.

Whenever I think of Debbie Harry, though, I remember the summer of 1980, when I was working in the Woolco store in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and the Blondie tune Rapture was playing on the store’s PA system several times a day.

Turns out Canadian Antifa are just as much a bunch of shitheads as American Antifa.

These college students are idiots.

John Brennan is an idiot.

These Yale students are idiots.

On that note, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Animal’s Daily Better Earth News

Yes, yes, I know, the House of Representatives has officially joined the Trump re-election campaign.  Remember how well that worked out when the GOP impeached Bill Clinton?  Yeah, I expect more of the same – but I’ll comment on that more when things actually start to develop.

Meanwhile, from the world of astronomy/cosmology – there may be other planets more friendly to life than Earth.  Interesting.  Excerpt:

If there’s one thing the field of astronomy has taught us, it’s that we’re not special. We’re not the center of the Solar System. This isn’t a special place or time in the Universe. And that probably means Earth isn’t the best place for life. It’s the best place for humans, but not for life.

According to a paper in 2013, Penn State astrobiologist Ravi Kumar Kopparapu and others calculated where the edges of a star’s habitable zone should truly be, based on modern climate data. They calculated that a habitable zone around a sunlike star should be between 0.99 and 1.7 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun.

Which means that the Earth is actually right on the inner edge of the Sun’s habitable zone. Like, just barely. If it was any closer to the Sun, we’d experience a runaway greenhouse effect, like Venus.

You probably want to be closer to the middle of the habitable zone, where orbital variations won’t push your planet into extremes.

The Earth is relatively young. Considering the fact that the planet has only been around for 4.5 billion years now, and only figured out multicellular life in the last few hundred million years.

The Sun is heating up, and since we’re so close, we’ve actually only got a few hundred million years, a billion years at the most before temperatures rise and the oceans evaporate. But what if life could have gotten billions of more years of evolution to work out new, more diverse forms of life?

You think a platypus is unusual, just imagine what you’d get with 2 billion more years of evolution. Or 20 billion.

Where no man has gone before!

Turns out that there are main-sequence stars that last longer and are more stable than friendly old Sol.  The Sun is a G-series star, about 4.6 billion years old and with maybe 4 billion years left to run, but it will grow hotter and scorch Earth to a cinder within the next billion.  But K-series stars may last ten times as long as Sol, without the flares and short orbital intervals of red dwarf stars.  Where Earth has had complex life for about two hundred million years, a planet around a K-series sun may have billions of years of development.  Imagine the life that could exist on a fertile planet with that long to marinate!

I know that humans may never reach any of these stars or planets, and I find that kind of saddening; it’s the sci-fi guy in me, and that’s for certain.  But we don’t have to go there!  What if we find the spectral lines of chlorophyll in the atmosphere of an exoplanet – or air pollutants that indicate a developing technological civilization!

That would be one hell of a day, when that news came out.