March 5, 2002On alt.fan.cecil-adams one guy was talking about how he though it would be cool to some day in a sci-fi future to go out and grab the space probe Pioneer 10, currently headed out of the Solar System, and put it in a museum, maybe next to Neil Armstrong's first footprint on the moon. I thought it would be cooler to build a "flying" museum around the probe, never quite touching it or deflecting its course. (Might be tough, since the gravitational influence of such a museum might be significant way out there in space.)
I got to thinking about the Arecibo Message, the pictograph that we beamed into space as loud as we could. (Actually I was getting it confused with the plaque we stuck on Pioneer 10) I'm not sure I could make heads or tails of it if I were an alien, even if I could figure out how to put those bits into the form you see at right. Still, it's pretty neat thinking about how we can try to communicate with an intelligence so different from us that we can make few assumptions about what they would understand. (On the other hand, assuming Grfnxz the Alien is fluent in "Atari 2600" might not be the best course of action, but hey.)
One of the more amazing discoveries I made was that it seems like the aliens may have answered us using their favorite technique, crop circles! That link is a pretty detailed analysis, clearly a lot of thought went into the alien's reply.
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Pisces: (Feb. 19-March 20)
It's not true that all the good band names are taken. But if believing that keeps you from starting a band, great.
--from The Onion