Hot Air

Peace, Love & Soul

Well, whaddya know?

The Gov. of MO has sent in the Highway Patrol to Ferguson and next thing you know, everybody’s all lovey-dovey.

Highway Patrol

10-4!

Can this be a turning point in the militarization of our police departments?

Will cop bosses now realize that the people of this holy land don’t particular care to see armored vehicles on the streets of their cities?

Or is all the kumbaya just dumb luck?

Kitchen Confidential

Such brutality!

From Herald Times

Every woman should know to use a light skillet on her partner’s head. Banging a guy on the coconut with a cooking pot is just criminal.

Dough Woe

Speaking of ludicrous situations, Gov. Mike Pence will continue to cut state funding of public universities as a hedge against another economic recession/depression.

The Guv’s sitting on a spare $2 billion and he’s prancing around telling anyone who’ll listen what a great budgeteer he is. And, believe it or not, tons o’folks are listening. After the various bubbles burst and investment bankers had squeezed every cent out of their fancy financial instruments leading up to the collapse of the global economy in 2007-08, Indiana started trimming the fat out of its budget so’s the state would have money in the bank for the next economic disaster. Fat, you must understand, includes trivial things like education, social services, health care — all those things, in other words, that don’t have to do with the pouring of concrete and the further enrichment of the already rich.

Money

None For You

Social services, natch, are for the takers. Education is for commies. $2 billion socked away in the bank is for those who worship good, sound economic principals above all things. You know, the decent people of our great republic.

Pence’s plan is to slash allocations for Hoosier universities if state tax revenues fail to reach a certain threshold in any given year. He’s doing this because, god forbid, he never, ever, ever wants to tap that $2B in the bank.

Following the governor’s lead, I’m proud to announce The Loved One and I have a surplus $200 in our checking account. And we’re not going to touch it even if a wind storm blows the roof off our modest chez. It’s better to be exposed to the elements as we sleep than to spend money that’s just sitting there.

Wow!

Today’s the anniversary of the reception of the “Wow! Signal,” a narrowband radio burst detected by Ohio State University’s “Big Ear” radio telescope in 1977. Acc’d’g to those astro-geeks who know such things, the Wow! Signal can be interpreted as a message sent out to the Universe by an intelligent species on some planet located (from our POV) in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius.

I won’t bore you with all the tech details, mainly because I hardly understand them myself, but the signal’s radio signature purportedly mirrors that of the “hydrogen line.” That’s the electromagnetic spectral line frequency emanated by hydrogen atoms when they undergo energy changes. Don’t ask.

Wow! Signal

Anyway, SETI searchers long have supposed that if a gang of green beings from another planet wanted to announce their presence, they’d do so by broadcasting that particular alphanumeric code. Hydrogen is the simplest and most plentiful element in existence and the hypothesis holds that every intelligent civilization would get the reference.

Well, we got it 37 years ago and scientists ever since have been trying in vain to get it again. Their failure to do so has convinced doubters that the signal was some kind of weird fluke. Nuh-uh, say those in the Wow camp: The code is so precise that it’s virtually impossible to occur by chance.

The argument could become moot much sooner than most of us realize. At least one prominent SETI researcher has predicted humans will detect and verify an extraterrestrial signal within 20 years. Seth Shostack says more powerful computers will be able to wade through the noise and pinpoint faint radio frequency signals sent by ETs before two decades passes.

Title Card

All I can say is, Cool!

Nanu

2 thoughts on “Hot Air

  1. David Paglis "..be not of that number who remain ignorant in spite of experience." says:

    Count me among those in favor of a rainy day fund. I’m sure the universities could stand a little budget cutting, perhaps in those departments whose graduates are only qualified to occupy wall street.

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