Monday, September 28, 2009

Astronomy in Paradise


Seth and Molly ascend the heights of Mauna Kea to visit the Keck Observatories Here are the people working in that rarified location. Listen to their stories on Aloha Astronomy on Are We Alone?

Ashley Yeager, Outreach Manager, Keck Telescope

Charles Blue, Science Writer, Thirty Meter Telescope

Julian Christou, Adaptive Optics Scientist, Gemini North Telescope

Richard Ellis, Astronomer, CalTech

Taft Armandroff, Director, Keck Telescope

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gary Undead

Gary gets an extreme makeover to go undercover at Zombiefest. Seth captures the deathless images. Check out the action on Skeptic Check: Waking the Dead.

The Big Chill

Seth and Molly don their parkas and mukluks to visit the American Cryonics Society headquarters in warm and sunny Cupertino, California. Hear the chilling truth on Skeptic Check: Waking the Dead

Click an image for a larger photo.

Friday, September 11, 2009

All About You!

We want to know about you...and your Are We Alone? listening habits. By filling out our survey, you help us out and qualify to win a SETI Institute mug! Less than a minute's worth of questions and easy to do.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Seth's review of 'District 9'

It had to happen: invading aliens are now the good guys.

Hollywood loves to turn the tables on its own hackneyed formulae. For decades, Native Americans were on an endless warpath in the movies, getting up in the morning with only one item on their "to do" list: namely, mount yet another attack on gnarly ranchers and the occasional wagon train. But these days, the Indians in the popcorn palaces are laid back; sage and sympathetic.

Overturning cliches always plays well, because doing so allows filmmakers to meld helpful familiarity (you know how these guys are supposed to behave) with surprise (they're not conforming to type).

In "District 9," a hubcap-shaped alien mother ship – looking like a kit bash of a few thousand Revell model tank parts – comes to Earth and stalls over Johannesburg. The confused occupants disembark, and quickly confront their South African hosts with yet another social problem (as if the country needs one). Where do we put these dudes?

Read the rest at

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The $100 Switch-A-Roo: Answer to Brainteaser

At the end of the program “What Were You Thinking,” Professor Debbie Bennett left listeners with a brain teaser, the answer supplied here.

Dr. Bennett writes: “The problem involved two identical envelopes--one with two $1 bills in it and the other with a $1 bill and a $100 bill. The envelopes are mixed and you choose one to keep. But before you get to keep it, I randomly remove a bill from your envelope and show it to you. It is a $1 bill. I return it to your envelope and offer to switch envelopes with you. Do you keep your envelope or switch with me? In other words, is your envelope more likely, less likely, or equally-likely to contain the $100 bill?
ANSWER: You should switch. My envelope is twice as likely to contain the $100 bill. If your envelope has the two $1 bills, there is a 100% chance that when I remove a bill, it is a $1 bill. If your envelope has the $1 bill and the $100 bill, I have only a 50% chance of removing a $1 bill.
Since I did remove a $1 bill, it is more likely to have come from the envelope with the two $1 bills. Considered another way: Since you saw me remove a $1 bill, there are three possible scenarios:

1) You have the $1 and $100 and I removed the $1.
2) You have the two $1 bills and I removed the first one (the second remained hidden).
3) You have the two $1 bills and I removed the second one (the first remained hidden).
In 1 out of 3 equally-likely scenarios, you have the $100 bill and in 2 out of the 3 scenarios, I have the $100.”
Any questions? Send a $100 to “Are We Alone?” and we’ll answer it for you (or, leave a comment and Dr. Bennett will)!