For many alien enthusiasts, Jill Tarter is synonymous with the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. As the SETI Institute’s research director — and the inspiration for Jodie Foster’s character in Contact — she’s done more than anyone to raise the search for cosmic company from a fringe effort to serious science.
After receiving a TED prize in 2009, Tarter had grand plans for the Allen Telescope Array, a proposed field of 350 big-nosed radio dishes that would be the world’s only dedicated SETI telescope, as well as its most sensitive. But this week, budget cuts forced the ATA’s existing 42 dishes into hibernation mode. The rest are now just a dream.
Wired.com talked with Jill Tarter about the shutdown and what it means for the future of SETI. Read the rest of this entry
Hollywood’s recent penchant for interspecies teen romance is one of modern cinema’s most worrying trends. Twilight paired human with vampire, then human with werewolf (and if you haven’t read all the books, the next one is where it gets properly batshit). Now, I Am Number Four (which is blatantly pitched at the aforementioned films’ audience) unites human with alien. It’s an area of filmmaking that’s long been catered for – normally within seedy, unspoken of circles. Rarely – as is the case with Four – by Disney. Read the rest of this entry
Okay, so NASA hasn’t announced that it’s discovered evidence of extra-terrestrial life, as was rumored/hoped for as soon as today’s press conference was announced earlier this week. And while the discovery of an entirely new lifeform that redefines life as we know it is nothing to be sneezed at – Anything that actually deserves the sentence “Everything you knew about [Subject X] is wrong is more than alright with me – the idea of someone actually discovering alien life got me thinking… What fictional aliens do I wish we’d somehow manage to find first? Here are 10 suggestions for the extra-terrestrials that would make our first contact a pleasant experience.
From Cloverfield to District 9, Monsters to Skyline – we stand in the midst of the biggest wave of alien invasion movies to hit cinemas in almost sixty years. The trend shows no sign of abating – the likes of Battle Los Angeles and Cowboys and Aliens are due before the end of the year, Area 51, The Darkest Hour and Simon Pegg’s Paul follow in 2011.
But what does it all mean? And more importantly, how can you stay safe?