27 April 2010, JellyBean @ 6:30 am

My first contact with the legendary Isaac Asimov, perhaps the most prolific author in human history, came in 1978, when I commissioned him to write an article for the inaugural issue of Second Look, a magazine about the search for other intelligent life that I co-edited with Robert K.G. Temple.

By the time he died in 1992, Asimov’s published books numbered 500, with the best known being The Foundation Trilogy and the I, Robot series of novels. He was a Ph.D. professor of biochemistry at Boston University before he retired to write fulltime. His last nonfiction book, in 1991, titled Our Angry Earth, was a prophetic warning about global warming. Yet, this genius at portraying the future of technology was afraid of flying (he only flew in an airplane twice early in his life) and he never learned to swim, ride a bicycle, or drive a car (until late in life).

The assignment that I gave Asimov was to answer this question: “Is it wise to contact advanced civilizations?” This topic held far less relevance to science reality in 1978 than today because over the past 30 years, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has evolved many-fold in its capacity to detect radio signals from civilizations elsewhere in the Universe, if indeed they are doing any broadcasting.

With our increased technological capacity to detect interstellar signals has come a renewed debate about whether we should even be attempting to make contact. They might be so superior to us technologically that we would be easily conquered and exploited, goes one argument. Their technology might be so advanced that it would appear to us as magic, goes another line of thought, resulting in the human species losing all meaning and collective self-esteem. We might worship these visitors and become their slaves. Are we wasting billions of dollars in a fruitless search for aliens who either don’t exist, or have no interest in knowing us? The list of fears and doubts voiced seem endless.

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27 April 2010, JellyBean @ 6:28 am

To the ancient Egyptians, the land of Punt, with its reed, beehive shaped houses raised on stilts above water, was the most exotic and mysterious of places to visit, and from which to receive visitors, for more than once the Royalty of Punt came to the court of the Pharaoh in Egypt. It seems to have been considered by them a most unique haven; an emporium of goods for both king and gods, and gradually acquired an air of fantasy, like that of an Eldorado or Atlantis. For this reason, it was sometimes featured in narrative tales such as the Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor.

The people of Punt, at first are depicted with dark-reddish complexions and fin features wearing long hair, but by the 18th Dynasty, they had apparently adopted a more close cropped hair style.

We know of trading missions sent to Punt by the Egyptians dating from at least Egypt’s 5th Dynasty, while our latest definite record of a Punt expedition comes from the 20th Dynasty reign of Ramesses III…

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27 April 2010, JellyBean @ 6:26 am

Ufologists throughout the country have a lot of work on their hands, and the reason for this is Tarapacá, where there has been an exponential increase in the number of sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs).

The phenomenon has startled residents of Iquique. On many occasions, citizens have been stunned to see lights or objects that shouldn’t be there every time they look up to the skies.

The phenomenon’s very existence is a mystery, considering that the reason for its presence has never been explained, and much less forecasted. But there are historic periods of time in which the appearance of numerous UFO cases have drawn the attentions of ufologists.

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27 April 2010, JellyBean @ 6:25 am

Spooky sightings of ghouls, ghosts and evil spirits are higher than they have been in the past 25 years, according to a new report on haunted Britain.

There have been nearly 1,000 reports of demonic activity in the past quarter of a century, with Yorkshire the nation’s most ghostly county.

Encounters with devils, demons and evil spirits are as widespread today as they were in medieval times, researchers claim.

The research was led by the UKs leading authority on the unexplained Lionel Fanthorpe who studied various archives and websites as well as his own reports to identify all sightings and recordings of supernatural beings with satanic qualities.

The study found that despite being in time of accelerating technology, 21st century Britons have not turned their back on ghouls, boggarts, hell-hounds, witches, wizards, banshees and black magic curses, with a whopping 968 reports of demonic activity in the past 25 years.

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