According to a new study, it seems to depend on how big they are:
Michael Varnum, a psychologist at Arizona State University and a member of its new Interplanetary Initiative, is trying to anticipate this response.
The scientists asked 500 people to describe their reactions to a hypothetical discovery of alien microorganisms. Respondents also had to predict how humanity at large would react. Like the journalists, people in the study used positive words. There were no characteristics that set responses apart, not a person's income, ethnicity, political orientation or traits such as neuroticism or agreeableness. But people felt that the rest of the country would be generally less agreeable.
That may be because “most Americans tend to think, on any desirable trait or ability, that they're better than the average person,” Varnum said.
So tiny aliens are OK, but larger ones are scary? Has no one read The Andromeda Strain?
Jimmy Carter captained nuclear missile submarines. Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar. Barack Obama was a Constitutional Law professor at one of the top-5 law schools in the country.
Donald Trump thinks...well, I'll let Japan Times explain:
Trump said ‘samurai’ Japan should have shot down overflying North Korean missiles
U.S. President Donald Trump has said Japan should have shot down the North Korean missiles that flew over the country before landing in the Pacific Ocean earlier this year, diplomatic sources have said, despite the difficulties and potential ramifications of doing so.
The revelation came ahead of Trump’s arrival in Japan on Sunday at the start of his five-nation trip to Asia. Threats from North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile development programs were set to be high on the agenda in his talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday.
Trump questioned Japan’s decision not to shoot down the missiles when he met or spoke by phone with leaders from Southeast Asian countries over recent months to discuss how to respond to the threats from North Korea, the sources said.
[T]he Self-Defense Forces did not try to intercept the missiles, with the government saying the SDF had monitored the rockets from launch and judged they would not land on Japanese territory.
But the altitude and speed of the missiles would have made it very difficult to destroy them in flight, while failure would have been embarrassing for Japan and encouraging to North Korea.
Defense Ministry officials confirmed this view and said there were also legal issues to clear.
Reagan thought we could call back nuclear missiles. Trump thinks we can shoot them down. And the Republican rank-and-file think we who want competent leadership are elitists.
We might be doomed.
I'm back home, and I've shoved all the Scotland photos out of the way so I could post this:
I didn't notice until I processed the photos from my 7D, but there are two solar storms visible: one at about 3 o'clock and the other, fainter one at about 1 o'clock.
We're already looking into a vacation in Chile in the summer of 2019...
I'm in Wildwood, Mo., where I saw my first total eclipse of the sun. It was well worth the trip. I'll have at least one photo when I'm back home tomorrow.
(We stayed an extra day because of traffic.)
Via Eclipse2017.org, Xavier Jubier has created an interactive map showing all the data for the eclipse that takes place three weeks from today.
I'll be staying here the night before, and I'm planning to watch from here the day of.
...is now available. Don't worry, you haven't missed anything.
Paul Allen has funded development of an airplane designed to launch satellites into space. It's...huge:
Called Stratolaunch, the plane has some impressive stats: a wingspan of 117 m, or longer than a football field, and a height of 15.24 m. Unfueled, it weighs 226,800 kg. But it can carry 113,400 kg of fuel, and its total weight can reach 590 tonnes.
But, really ... how big is it? It’s so big that it has 28 wheels and six 747 jet engines. It’s so big that it has 96 km of wire coursing through it. It’s so big that the county had to issue special construction permits just for the construction scaffolding.
But why is Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft and owner of the Seattle Seahawks, building such a massive plane?
It’s not to carry passengers, but rather rockets. The bigger the plane, the larger the rockets, or the greater the number.
The Post has video. That is a very large airplane indeed:
By Giant_planes_comparison.svg: Clem Tillier (clem AT tillier.net) White_Knight_Two_planform.png: Mwarren us derivative work: Mwarren us (talk) - White_Knight_Two_planform.pngGiant_planes_comparison.svg, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
The Atlantic has a collection of portraits of the Earth-Luna system you simply have to see.
A little busy today, so I'm putting these down for later consumption:
Now, I must prepare...for Whisky Fest!
Author Tim Harford, who wrote The Logic of Life and a few other books I've liked, yesterday published an explanation of what telling time is all about:
Water clocks appear in civilisations from ancient Egypt to medieval Persia. Others kept time from marks on candles. But even the most accurate devices might wander by 15 minutes a day. This didn't matter to a monk wanting to know when to pray.
But there was one increasingly important area of life where the inability to keep accurate time was of huge economic significance: sailing.
By observing the angle of the Sun, sailors could calculate their latitude - where they were from north to south. But their longitude - where they were from east to west - had to be guessed.
Mistakes could - and frequently did - lead to ships hitting land hundreds of miles away from where navigators thought they were, sometimes disastrously.
How could accurate timekeeping help? If you knew when it was midday at Greenwich Observatory - or any other reference point - you could observe the Sun, calculate the time difference, and work out the distance.
But does anybody really know what time it is?