Monday, April 26, 2010

Stephen Hawking: We should avoid contact with Aliens

Famed British scientist Stephen Hawking is warning us that alien contact might not be the best thing. Hawking acknowledges that aliens could very well exist, but contact with Earth could bring devastating consequences. On the probability of alien life existing, he says: "To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational."

"Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach," warned Stephen Hawking. "If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans."

Threats would not just be from attack. The aliens could carry diseases that Earthlife would be succeptable to.

Mankind has already made a number of attempts to contact extraterrestrial civilisations. The history of humanity's efforts to contact aliens stretches back some years. The US probes Pioneer 10 and 11 were launched in 1972 and 1973 bearing plaques of a naked man and woman and symbols seeking to convey the positions of the Earth and the Sun. Voyager 1 and 2, launched in 1977, each carry a gold-plated copper phonogram disk with recordings of sounds and images on Earth.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

How Efficient was Cash for Clunkers?

Just how efficient was the Cash for Clunkers program last year? I do agree that there is an environmental impact that cannot be quantified, but here is some number crunching to get at the monetary impact of the program. I thought it was quite interesting.

A 15 mpg clunker that travels 12,000 miles a year uses 800 gallons of gas a year.

A 25 mpg vehicle that travels 12,000 miles a year uses 480 gallons a year.

The average Cash for Clunkers transaction will reduce US gasoline consumption by 320 gallons per year.

Reports were that about 700,000 clunkers were traded in using the program. So that is 224 million gallons saved per year.

That equates to a bit over 5 million barrels of oil.

5 million barrels is about 5 hours worth of US consumption.

More importantly, 5 million barrels of oil at $70 per barrel costs about $350 million dollars

So, the government paid $3 billion of our tax dollars to save $350 million.

We spent $8.57 for every dollar we saved.

The program did have some merits, but in the end it was extremely inefficient and not a good use of tax dollars........BUT......I'm pretty sure they will do a great job with our health care, though.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Democrats running scared as more announce retirements

Seems the Democrats forced healthcare upon us and then are running for the hills rather than face election campaigns that will more than likely see them have to answer to their contituents and most likely be voted out of office. The most controversial Democrat Representative of them all announced his plans to run away and hide i.e. retire today. Michigan Representative Bart Stupak, who sold out on the final day of the healthcare debate, announced he would not be seeking re-election.

Stupak was adamant that he was not running from the consequences of his controversial sellout.

"The tea party did not run me out," he said in a telephone interview. "If you know me and my personality, I would welcome the challenge."

Maybe the tea parties and angry constituents did not run him out, but it seems pretty obvious he is hiding from facing the music.

Bart Stupak's decision to bow out comes amid a string of recent retirements by Democrats, including Reps. William Delahunt of Massachusetts and Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island, and Senators Evan Bayh of Indiana, Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Byron Dorgan.