Friday, September 03, 2004

Absolutely nothing worth mentioning has happened to me today. I have just sat in front of the computer tapping out the same old banal and repetitive lines into formal emails, then shipping them out with a single mouse click only to start the next one.

But some SETI scientists seacrhing for extra-terrestrials have been having an exciting day, according to CNN.

Apparently a radio signal coming from a star between the constellations of Aries and Pisces has been picked up three times by a radio telescope in Puerto Rico. They aren't certain yet whether this signal is coming from little green scaly doods broadcasting alien R 'n' B out into the universe. But hey, it sounds exciting.

How cool would that be? Meeting things from another planet. Obviously I am presuming that they would be friendly. And that we would be friendly. For God's sake don't put Bush in charge of the welcome party.

Being an Engineer in the aerospace industry, I have a vested interest in this sort of thing since it means space travel, which means spacecraft, which would be bloody brilliant to work on.

Since the jet engine 'aint gonna cut it in space, any real spacecraft would need a completely revolutionary form of propulsion. So, if I could have one wish in my life I think I might wish for the secret to gravity.

Basically, despite what Newton and Einstein said, nobody really knows how things stay on the ground. Imagine the possibilities if we cracked the gravity code...

If we could figure gravity out, we wouldn't have to potter about in long thin flying tubes. We could, in theory, just turn gravity off when and where we fancied it and float about on magic carpets if we liked.

Cars wouldn't have to stay on the ground either, so all the roads could be got rid of. We'd then be left with peaceful pedestrianised cities where people strolled about on grassy paths.

If house prices get too high we could just buy an anti-gravity bubble and live in the sky. We'd wake every morning to the perfect sunrise, and fly our bubble-house up through any grey clouds to escape gloomy weather. We could migrate with the seasons like birds.

An astronaut I met said that when he went into space and peered through the little windows of the Space Shuttle, he was blown away by the the beauty of the Earth and gained an immense appreciation of the value of life. He saw all the pollution over China and northern Italy and said he was dismayed. With anti-gravity, we could all freely pop into space and gain that perspective.

Now that would really start to change things around here.

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