Maybe We Haven’t Seen Any Aliens Because They’re All Dead
If astronomers fail to detect any other civilizations, whether extant or extinct, they may be forced to conclude that we are alone.Photograph by U.S. Department of Energy / Wikicommons The aliens may have found their grave. As we sweep the radio frequencies, we hear only noise; as we slew our telescopes, we see barren pixel […]
Virtual Reality Poses the Same Riddles as the Cosmic Multiverse
Alt-realities, whether cosmic or VR, would undermine the laws of physics.
Darwin’s Finches Are At It Again
Darwin’s finches are in trouble. Climate change and globalization have drastically affected their habitats on the Galapagos Islands. In the 1960s, we introduced, most likely through a banana import from Brazil, the fly parasite Philornis downsi. The fly’s larvae infest the finches’ nests, where they enter the nostril cavities of the chicks, first eating the […]
Plastic Is the Ocean’s New Junk Food
Plastic is so pervasive that I sometimes forget it’s all around me—in toothpaste, in makeup, in clothes. But plastic is also omnipresent in places untouched by people, and one sobering forecast shook me: By 2050, it’s likely that plastic in the oceans will outweigh all the oceans’ fish. Some reports predict 850-950 million tons of […]