What do you fear will happen within the next 50 years (and why)?

I fear losing wildlife. Whole species going extinct. Rising tides. The middle-class almost vanishing completely. Hate crimes higher than ever. No health care for elderly Americans and insufficient funds for social-security and Medicaid. People will die. Increased terror attacks around the world. A lot of chaos and that sort of thing. The reason? Politics, I’d probably say.

On the other hand, I think there will be a lot of good things, exciting things, to look forward to, especially in the fields of science, astrophysics, technology, artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, medicine (despite being too expensive for people to pay for without health insurance).

I don’t think we’ll ever have flying cars for common use, but many people will have IoT connected homes (that trend is just starting to catch on) and fun virtual reality devices. It will be a different world, but futures are almost always different than they were predicted. It’s fun sometimes to look back and see what was predicted for today.

What are the worst commutes in Amarillo, TX? What are some tips for making them better?

I live in Amarillo. I’ve lived here 15 years. All these years there has been no direct exit from I-40 Westbound to I-27 south without going through local streets. This is now being corrected and the entire area around I-40 and I-27 south (I-27 begins in Amarillo and ends in Lubbock, TX) is under massive construction.

That being said, and knowing there are ways to drive around this area without getting on an Interstate, Amarillo only takes 15 minutes to drive from east to west on the highway in normal conditions.

The worst of Amarillo traffic is a good day in any other city in Texas.

However, the busiest street in Amarillo during the morning and evening rush is Coulter Street, which starts from the north by two major hospitals, Northwest Texas Healthcare System, and BSA – Babtist Saint Anthony health care system. Besides these two excellent, huge and major hospitals, there are dozens of other medical facilities nearby, plus motels, Waffle House, the Cinema, etc. It can be busy with lots of lights during rush hour. Further south on Coulter you’ll find many shopping areas, a bank or two and even a Walmart. You will be okay, though. Nothing like what you might experience in bigger cities.

How long will it be till we have the technology to terraform?

We should never, ever try to terraform. This is a bad idea. We need to keep these planets in a pristine condition as we can in order to study them for the possibility of life having once existed on them.

This is also NASA’s official position. Do not contaminate other planets, and don’t contaminate Earth on return.

Since we have received no apparent signals of intelligent life in the past 70 years or so can we conclude none exsist in 70 light years from us?

No.

This is a very intelligent question, thank you.

As a comparison, let us turn the table and look at humans on Earth and someone in space listening to see if we exist.

Humans have been on Earth for only a tiny portion of the age of the planet, and of the time we have been here, only within the last hundred years have been transmitting in earnest.

Anything beyond a hundred and fifty light years away wouldn’t know we existed yet.

How far is that? Well, it’s mostly everywhere in space. No intelligent life “out there” likely knows we’re here.

Similarly, we are listening. There could be an advanced civilization with cell phones and GPS and geostationary planets and all that within 75 lights years from here (very, very close) and we wouldn’t know about it here yet.

The chances of that happening? Very low.

Life is out there. Chances they are withing listening range before our species becomes extinct? Very low.

All this takes places within our own neighborhood here in our section of the Milky Way galaxy. Beyond that is the rest of our galaxy, Andromeda, and …. there are long distances involved — hundreds of millions of billions of years. There could be life very close to us but we wouldn’t hear them yet because they might be 300 or 10,000 years away from developing transmission technology! Or they might be a million light years away in a galaxy far, far away.

Do Western countries really have a right to criticize human rights abuses in other countries?

That a caveman used to drag his wife into the cave by her hair mean we should all be ashamed? No. He was a caveman. We are not.

What people of the past did, whether directly our ancestors or someone else’s, matters not. What matters is what we’ve learned of human compassion and treatment. We can teach that.

Thinking of Moving to Amarillo, Texas?

Want to move to Amarillo and buy a house? Planning to spend a few years here? Sure. Housing is good quality and inexpensive.

In the long run we have a little problem coming up. It’s called the Ogallala Aquifer. That’s an underground water source running up and down the middle of the United States.

It’s what keeps all these nice farms green and healthy:

The entire Texas Panhandle gets the majority of it’s water supply from this underground system. Unfortunately, it’s going to run dry, and when it does whole cities like Amarillo, Texas, are in for a very big problem.

Real Estate values will crash.

That’s still 20 or 30 years out, though, so if you plan to buy and live here a few years, go for it!

Life in California

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Meet California’s “weed nun” Christine Meeusen (on right) who is 57 years old, smoking a joint with Sister Eevee at Sisters of the Valley near Merced, California, April 18, 2017.

Apparently it is perfectly okay for nuns in California to smoke weed and not be smoked by God.

Alcohol was once banned by Prohibition in the United States. The law was later repealed by constitutional amendment. Do we have a right to expect people won’t drink and drive? Do employers have a right to expect employees not to show up drunk for work?

Similar laws could be appropriate for cannabis according to some state legislatures.

We all know that recreational marijuana and/or medical marijuana are “legal” in some states. However, it still violates federal law. Theoretically, the feds could swoop down on weed shops in Colorado anytime and arrest everyone, state law or not.

This begs the question, of course, should recreational marijuana be legal in the United States?

What do you think?