(no) life? (2) anchors (1) astro (7) cars (1) comp (3) English oddities (1) hockey (1) ireland (3) misc (3) music (1) new jersey (3) time (1) to the editor (2) travel (4) whacks (1)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

No Extraterrestrial Life...? Try Getting a Life!

According to him, since it has been determined that 500 exoplanets are too inhospitable to support life as we know it there must be no extraterrestrial life in the universe. WHAT?

Let's do come quick quick back-of-the-envelope calculations:
There are approximately 100 × 1022 stars in the observable universe. Let's be sceptical and say, i don't know,  that one in 500 (Professor Smith's magic number) stars have one planet. That leaves 20 × 1020 planets. That is 2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets.  We just searched 500 of them, and came to an amazing conclustion that there is no other life in the universe. If we are stupid enough to subtract 500 from that number that leaves 1,999,999,999,999,999,999,500 planets. Let's say that we discover a new exoplanet per second. (Yeah right). It will take 63,419,583,967,529 years to search them all. That is 4,530 times longer than the universe has been in existence just to check them all. I think that perhaps Professor Smith was just a bit too early off the mark with this one.

Just to make you feel more sane, here's a new solar system to play with. And if that got boring, here's five more planets.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

To the Editor #1 - Jeremy Clarkson

On my old machine I found a bunch of screenshots of letters to the editor I have written. I will post them in time...

This particular piece was written after an activist threw a pie in Jeremy Clarkson's face while receiving an honorary degree in protest for his involvement in promoting the motor industry.*

* This post is not a necessarily a declaration of the authors views, but a statement of fact.

More details are at this link.

For posterity, the letter is also at:

The Sunday Times is the biggest selling English Sunday paper, with sales equaling the combined sales of The Sunday Telegraph, The Observer and The Independent on Sunday combined.
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