Monday, 30 October 2017

“The Zoo Hypothesis”, an Alien Invasion Story, for Halloween, free on Amazon

“The Zoo Hypothesis”, an Alien Invasion Story, for Halloween, free on Amazon

This Halloween week, we present a new story giving a possible scenario for the so-called Zoo Hypothesis, known in Star Trek lore as the Prime Directive.  It’s an explanation sometimes given to account for a mystery in the Search for Intelligent Life, known as The Great Silence, or Fermi’s Paradox.

Basically, Enrico Fermi argued (quite convincingly, to many observers), that there had been ample time for an alien intelligence to colonize the galaxy since its formation, so where are they?  The Zoo Hypotheses says that they are out there, but have cordoned off the Earth from contact, until we are sufficiently evolved or culturally advanced to handle the impact of alien contact.

This story takes a humorous tongue in cheek approach to that explanation.  It also features dogs and sly references to Star Trek.  Talk about man’s Best Friend.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Some Halloween Images, in the Nebulae or in Near Earth Orbit

Some Halloween Images, in the Nebulae or in Near Earth Orbit

Various space images are available on the internet – one good source is the European Southern Observatory.  They often have “zoomable” images, which are very large and detailed.
For idle curiosity, I find it interesting to scan through these images, looking for images that have a familiar appearance, rather like finding images in clouds.  So, here are some images from space that are appropriate for Halloween.  When possible, I will add an appropriate Horror/SF movie poster, that parallels the space image.

Oh, and I will also add a Halloween comet, from 2015, since that was pretty eerie.

1 - The Halloween Asteroid

This asteroid actually passed near the Earth on Halloween, 2015.  This is from a radar image taken by the Arecibo Radio Telescope.  It passed within 1.27 lunar distances from Earth, and was about 600 meters in diameter.  It apparently was a “dead comet” – its skull-like appearance is also eerily appropriate.  A comet of that size would cause a lot of damage if it collided with the Earth, though not as much as the one that hit 65 million years ago, helping to wipe out the dinosaurs.  That one was about 10 times the diameter (around 6 kilometers).  It won’t come back until 2088.  Maybe we will get something scarier before that, though.

2 - The Day of the Triffids – Triffid Nebula, Naturally

This was a great Science Fiction movie of the early 1960’s, about killer plant-like creatures which invade the Earth and generally wreak havoc.  I know a fellow who had nightmares for years, when he was a child, after seeing this one on TV.  I thought it was an interesting coincidence, when I discovered that the Triffid Nebula had within it such an evocative picture, so eerily similar to the classic movie poster.

3 - The Skull of Orion

Here’s another image, this time from the Orion nebula, which has a peculiar resemblance to another scary old movie, from the 1960s.  I recall that this film gave me a good fright, when I was a kid.  The skull could fly, if I recall correctly.  Yikes!  The resemblance between the poster and the nebula is pretty good.

4 - Frog of the Eagle Nebula

Ok, so this one’s a bit of a stretch.  After all, who is afraid of frogs?  Well, some people are, apparently, since a 1970s horror movie featured frogs (and other reptiles and amphibians).  The picture actually comes off as pretty creepy, now that I think about it.  I mean, a nebula scale frog?  Who wouldn’t be scared?

5 - The Empire of the Ants – Omega Nebula

Here’s another classic movie poster – giant ants are always a good draw.  It is based on a story by H.G. Wells, so I suppose that gives it some scientific legitimacy.  Plus, a youngish Joan Collins, as in this 1970s movie, isn’t hard on the eyes.  Leave her alone, giant ant.

6 – Clownhouse – Medusa Nebula
Well, you would expect something called the Medusa Nebula to contain a horrible image or two, given that the Medusa could turn people to stone, just by looking at her frightening visage.  For many people, the only thing more frightening that the Medusa, is a psycho clown.  This movie was from 1989.

I know that I mis-spelled Medusa in the nebula image, but that just makes it scarier.

7 – Medusa Herself

Let’s not forget Medusa herself.  She was a scary bird in Greek mythology, which the movies have picked up on multiple times.  This image of the Medusa Nebula shows the likeness to the fiend, rather well, if you look at it for a little while.  Naturally, the movie versions tended to make Medusa more of a babe than a hag, though.  The movie that this poster is based on is very recent, 2017 I think.

8 – Attack of the Killer Crabs – Flame Nebula

There have been surprising number of movies featuring horrible gigantic human-eating crabs.  Well, we eat them, so maybe that’s just payback.  Anyway, there’s a nice likeness of a giant crab buried in a nebula, I think it was the Flame Nebula.  The movie is from the 50’s or 60’s.

9 –Revenge of the Royal Crabs – Flame Nebula

Sometimes you just can’t decide what kind of crab is most frightening – male or female crab, especially when it is crab royalty.  Remember, in chess, technically the king is more important, but it is the queen that has all the real moves.  Maybe it is the same with giant, people-eating crabs?  You would have to watch these movies, one from the 50’s or so, and one from 2015, to compare and contrast. 


10 – Bear Attack – Lagoon Nebula

It would have been great to have discovered a likeness of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, in the Lagoon Nebula.  But, no such luck.  The best that I could come up with is a very different creature, but still potentially terrifying – a charging bear.  I have seen a few bears while hiking, but none while in the process of charging me, fortunately.  Not all fears have to be other-worldly.  The movie is from 2015.


Since I did all this hard work, you should consider buying one of our books.  Here’s a short story, with a tongue in cheek alien invasion theme.  But, it also deals with a serious scientific issue, known as The Great Silence.  It presents one possible scenario for a general class of solution to the Great Silence, known as The Zoo Hypothesis.

Plus, it has dogs and sly Star Trek references, and is only 99 cents.