Five cool things about TRAPPIST-1 and its seven worlds

It’s SO COOL that we’ve found seven rocky and (broadly) Earth-sized planets orbiting a red dwarf star just 39 light years away. How cool? I’m talking leap in the air and shout ‘this is totally fucking uber-cool‘ scale cool. It’s exciting like nothing else astronomical for a long while. It’s – well, figure this: it’s … More Five cool things about TRAPPIST-1 and its seven worlds

Why do we always see an apocalypse around the next corner?

A retired Professor from the University of Arizona, Guy McPherson, told an audience in New Zealand last year that the human race will be extinct from climate change in a decade. Except here. Apparently we’re well placed at the bottom of the South Pacific to survive. And there’s a precedent. Until the 1280s, for the … More Why do we always see an apocalypse around the next corner?

What’s your favourite super-power?

If you had a choice of super-powers, which one would you pick? Personally I’d go for Dr Manhattan’s, off Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore’s Watchmen. OK, it makes him look like a radioactive Smurf.  But that super-power also makes him indestructible, immortal, and gives him total control over determinist (space-time) and quantum worlds, which means … More What’s your favourite super-power?

Earth’s comet apocalypse at the hands of Gliese 710

Every so often we’re told that a rogue star or planet known as Niblick or Niburu, or some similar gibberish, is about to cause the apocalypse. Earth’s going to be whacked in 1984, 1987, 1999, 2012, 2018, apparently, with all the effect of a nine-iron on a golf ball, and NASA are hiding the truth … More Earth’s comet apocalypse at the hands of Gliese 710

I like my dinosaur cooked with eleven secret herbs and spices. Do you?

Back when I was a kid, paleontology was simple. Life had evolved from one-celled creatures to fish to lizards to dinosaurs to mammals and finally to Tory-voting, club-going Englishmen – all in a giant and wonderful ‘advance’, a relentless march of ‘progress’ during which each new form automatically doomed the last to extinction. Today we’ve … More I like my dinosaur cooked with eleven secret herbs and spices. Do you?

OMG – the baddest sci-fi mega-mech…e-v-a-h! -redux

Here’s a blast from 2013 about the baddest sci-fi mech ever imagined… ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I posted last week about why huge bipedal fighting ‘mechs’ from sci-fi like Pacific Rim are unlikely, unless the laws of physics change. But that doesn’t mean sci-fi mechs have to be boring. Not at all. More in a moment. First off … More OMG – the baddest sci-fi mega-mech…e-v-a-h! -redux

Why the name of the seventh planet is funny – redux

For your amusement, here’s a post I wrote in 2012 (enter TARDIS sound…) +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I don’t know why the seventh planet out from the Sun is the butt of so many jokes. Well, I do. and it’s lame, lame, lame. So today I’m going to get to the bottom of it, as it were. More … More Why the name of the seventh planet is funny – redux