Tuesday, 27 April 2010

School's canceled on account of the aliens.

Hands up here who's read "A Brief History of Time" cover to cover?

Now for those of you who are sitting in a library or something with their hands up, you might want to put them down. Other people have started looking at you strangely. For those who didn't put their hands up, join the club. I - like probably 80% of the world's population - own a copy of this esteemed organ, and yet I'll be buggered if I can make it all the way through. Don't get me wrong it's not like my experience with, say, the first Harry Potter or The Da Vinci Code (Gee Note: Both of which ended up being thrown against the wall with a fair amount of velocity, followed by a cry of "To Hell with this. Let's watch Monster Truck Carnage 3000 instead"). No I enjoyed reading the bits that I understood. It's just there was a lot of it that, well, I didn't. And then I felt a wee bit thick that I didn't understand it and so I gave up. I don't know. Maybe if they'd have tried throwing some Monster Trucks in there instead I would have got through it. You know, something like "That black hole’s so dangerous it makes Bigfoot 12 look like Bigfoot 2!". That kind of thing. No. Maybe not.

Still it looks good on the shelf.

Anyway the reason I bring this up is that the book’s author, celebrity scientist and all around boffin Stephen Hawking (Gee Note: Which I initially wrote out as Sir Stephen Hawking, until Wikipedia corrected me. Apparently he doesn’t have a knighthood. I mean Michael Caine has one for Chrissakes, but Hawking? No. Not so much. Although to be fair while Hawking may have worked out the whole “black hole radiation” thing he never battled 3000 Zulus to a standstill, nor did he ever plan and execute the most audacious bank robbery ever to use a Mini Cooper. So thinking about it Hawking sucks in comparison. Yeah that’s right. Stick it point dexter) was in the news recently. As part of his new documentary entitled In bed with “Into The Universe with Stephen Hawking” he tackles various subjects. Kicking of with a Big Bang, so to speak, in the first episode we have Hawking talking about… Jersey Shore.

Nah I’m just messin’, he be talking about them aliens.

See according to Stevie, intelligent extra terrestrial life almost certainly exists (Gee Note: With which Sir Patrick Moore agrees. Wait. Patrick Moore has a knighthood. And he’s a space expert. But then he was also the Gamesmater. Which for our overseas readers was basically a game show in which Sir Patrick would, for reasons known only to himself, challenge teenage boys to play videogames while he was dressed up as some kind of futuristic cyborg thing. It was of course awesome. My point is Hawking, if you want that knighthood you’ve got to work for it. Being clever and changing the way we look at the known universe is one thing, but you’ve got to back that up man. Get yourself a television show or star in a movie or something. Dammit if all else fails post a video on Youtube of you fighting Nazis with a flame thrower. If that doesn’t do it, nothing will). And he even speculates that they’d be able to travel to earth with out much of a hullabaloo.

Well I say not much. It basically revolves around them opening up a wormhole using solar energy. Obviously the amount of power needed to do that would be ginormous, but again Hawking has the answer. Apparently these little green men would

"Collect the energy from an entire star. To do that they could deploy millions of mirrors in space, encircling the whole sun and feeding the power to one single collection point".

Now I have no idea how the f*** you actually get millions of mirrors in to space in the first place. And normally if somebody said something like that I would make a joke about it. But, as we’ve already established, Stephen Hawking is a far more intelligent man than I. So I’m just going to shut my mouth. Mirrors huh Steve? All sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

However, we shouldn’t be looking forward to a visit from off-worlders any time soon. Simply because those aliens are a bunch of bastards. According to Hawking

"Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they could reach. If so, it makes sense for them to exploit each new planet for material to build more spaceships so they could move on. Who knows what the limits would be?"

He goes on to say

"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. We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet."

Which I totally agree with. I mean obviously Stephen knows what he’s talking about and…

OK I give up. I don’t agree with this. I don’t agree with this at all. That’s not to say that Hawking is wrong. When all’s said and done he may be sitting a top a throne made of pure smug after a bunch of yahoo extraterrestrials have raped the Earth for everything they can (Gee Note: If of course they haven’t enslaved him first that is). But the truth is there’s no way knowing what would happen when aliens visit Earth. And the reason for this is a simple one. Aliens aren’t going to be human.

You see we humans are, quite frankly, insane when you think about. We fight over land, we fight over religion, we even fight over whether some dude is looking at our girl in a bar. But all that is due to the Earth’s elements and our evolutionary need to battle for our survival. Now you change any part of our history, whether it be a 0.0001% decrease in one of the gasses floating around in our atmosphere or an evolutionary path where we grew little toes before big toes, and not only does it change us physically but also - maybe - psychologically as well. I mean there’s no way you could say for sure that it wouldn’t. So aliens may very well be murderous, blood thirsty, scavengers hell bent on wiping us out and living off of our fat. But they could just as easily be benevolent souls wanting to give every man, woman, and child a Playstation and a balloon with a smiling pony on it. My point is, you never know. And seeing as there’s a lot of folks out there who subscribe to the “ancient astronaut” theory, if men from Mars have already visited this planet them I’m sure we’d all be a hell of a lot worse off if they just wanted to violate our natural resources.

Speaking of things that are ancient, Hugh Hefner saved the Hollywood sign everybody. I can’t wait for the movie about brave Hugh standing up to big business and sticking to his principals (Gee Note: I bet they get Keanu Reeves to play Heff. I mean after “The Day The Earth Stood Still” I’m guessing Keanu isn’t going to be picky over work).

Speaking of other things that are ancient, the crypotzoological world has gone in to overdrive over reports that The Loch Ness Monster may be real after all. Or at least was at one time thought to be real. A series of records released by the NAS (Gee Note: The National Archives of Scotland that is. Not the rapper Nas. Because, really, the rapper Nas proving the existence of the Loch Ness Monster would be way too trippy for words and I’m not sure I could deal with that shit on a Tuesday), show that in 1933 the Scottish Office was asked a question along the lines of “Yo! That monster shizzle in Loch Ness. Wassupwitdat?!?!”. This then made it’s way to the House of Commons where ministers apparently put genuine thought in to such subjects as “Should we, like, put some people around the Loch with torches and binoculars?”, “How in God’s name do you catch a monster without hurting it? I mean what? Do we try and make a harpoon out of sponge or something?”, and “Who would win in a fight? The Loch Ness Monster or… yo Mamma!?!? Oooooooh. Burn.”.

Furthermore a letter written in 1938 by the chief constable of Inverness-shire William Fraser to the Under (Gee Note: PANTS! Ahahahahaha. Ahahaha. Ahaha. Ahem.) Secretary of State at the Scottish Office, goes on to claim that

"That there is some strange creature in Loch Ness seems now beyond doubt, but that the police have any power to protect it is very doubtful."

Sounds ominous huh? Turns out that Fraser was in a flap about a chap named Kraven the Hunter Peter Kent turning up and causing all sorts of chaos on the bank of the Loch.

"Mr Peter Kent visited Fort Augustus on Friday, August 12, and was seen there by my officer stationed at Fort Augustus, to whom he stated that he was having a special harpoon gun made (Gee Note: Out of sponge?) and that he was to return with some 20 experienced men on August 22 for the purpose of hunting the monster down. I have, however, caused Mr Peter Kent to be warned of the desirability of having the creature left alone, but whether my warning will have the desired effect or not remains to be seen."

Now all this really doesn’t amount to a whole lot other than 60 years ago people’s perceptions of the “wee beastie” were a lot less cynical than they are today. To the point where, even with reservation, the subject of something lurking in the murky waters was still treated with respect.

Thing is if our attitudes can change so dramatically over a short space of time, then maybe by the time the aliens arrive theirs will have too.

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