If the first radio signals went into space over a hundred years ago and were received by a populated world how long at 10% speed of light would it take to get a visit or attack?

by Wayne Boyd – Philosopher, blogger, published author

Well, first of all, know that, as you pointed out in your question, we’ve been broadcasting radio signals for about a hundred years or so, which creates a radio bubble around SOL, our sun, with a radius of about 100 light years. So first lets look at how many stars are within that bubble.

According to A stars within 100 light-years

there are about 76 stars of type “A” within that distance, which is not very many compared to the estimated 100 to 400 billion stars thought to be in our own Milky Way Galaxy.

Of those stars, there just aren’t that many candidates for habitable planets in orbit around them.

At present speed and existing technology we could reach the nearest star system proxima centauri in about 10,000 years, which is 4 light years away. We can assume the aliens would have similar problems. If we could go as fast as 4.5% the speed of light, about 140 times faster than any spacecraft we have yet to create, then we could reach our nearest neighbor in about 100 years.

I really don’t think you need to worry. We don’t even know if microscopic alien life exists anywhere other than Earth, and we don’t have any evidence that anything more advanced is anywhere near us in the Milky Way Galaxy. Anyone who wanted to travel hundreds of years to try to invade us would be nuts.

How would life be for us if we were to colonize a super-Earth, assuming the planet is not too far from ours?

by Wayne Boyd – Philosopher, blogger, published author

I don’t know why I’d want to move over to that planet. I’d rather keep working to make things better on this planet. Also, I imagine it might be pretty expensive to move, then I have to buy some land and a house over there, make new friends, and so on. Too much trouble for me.

So to answer your question “How would life be for us if we were to colonize a super-Earth” I would think some people would migrate over there and some people or most people would stay here. I mean, people already have their lives set up here, why move over there?

SSL certificants aren’t free anymore

It’s been a pain and during the pandemic I’ve not been up-keeping with my self-installed, free SSL certificates for my websites, including rationalthinking101.com.

Alas, however, zeroSSL is now charging for SSL certificates if you want more than 3, and after 3 months you don’t get any more freebies.

So I did some research. GoDaddy wants to charge me $80 a year for one SSL certificate if I install it myself. zeroSSL charges $10/month for 3 domains. This means $180/year with Godaddy and $120/year with zeroSSL for 3 domains.

So I went again with zeroSSL.

How big is the Moon compared to the Sun and Earth?

by Wayne Boyd

This is an interesting question. I’m going to answer it with illustrations.

In answer to “How big is the Moon compared to the Sun and Earth?” I’m going to give you some illustrations that will put all of this into perspective. First, let’s look at a comparison of our Moon with Pluto and other dwarf planets in our solar system. Here’s a picture to illustrate.

So here you can see our Moon is quite large! In fact, it’s so large, it’s bigger than all of the known dwarf planets in our solar system, including Pluto!

Even though the Moon is bigger than Pluto, it’s not big compared to Earth. Here’s the comparison of that.

So the moon is relatively small compared to our big Earth. But when you bring the Sun into the mix, then you have to understand that Earth itself is not very big. In fact, the Sun is so big it dwarfs even Jupiter. Here’s the image of that comparison:

So to sum up, our Moon is big compared to Pluto and other dwarf planets in our solar system, but small compared to Earth. Earth itself is like a pebble of sand compared to the size of our Sun. Fortunately for us, the sun is also a long way away, and therefore looms the same relative size as the Moon in our sky.

I hope that sheds some light on the subject! Thanks for asking a cool question.

Why don’t flat Earth believers fly to the underside of the Earth, and take pictures to prove their belief?

By Wayne Edward Boyd

I’m going to answer this and go beyond and explain a lot more.

Flat earth believers don’t fly to the underside of the earth and take pictures because, they say, there’s a dome over the whole thing, which is why we have a “wall of ice” to prevent us from getting out and walking over to touch it. It’s a convenient idea to avoid various dilemmas like the one you pose: flying over the edge to look at the other side. Here’s an image that illustrates their belief, showing the Earth, the dome, and the movement of the sun.

Please note, in this image below, the shape of Australia.

Notice, in this image, the sun is over Australia. This is a picture of what flat earth people think Australia looks like:

Let’s compare this image to actual distances. Below you can see Australia is actually 2,511 miles wide. You can drive it. There are roads.

Now in the image below you can see that Australia is almost as tall as it is wide using actual measurable distances.

So flat earth people believe Australia is much wider than tall, which is the only way they can depict Australia on their flat earth map. Below is what Australia actually looks like:

One of a billion problems with flat earth maps is they cannot account for the distortions that they see. This can only be rectified by using the spheroidal earth model.

So there you have it. The real reason they can’t fly underneath to see the flat Earth is that the Earth isn’t flat!

As my final point, I’d like to point out that people have walked and flown across that “wall of ice” and even built a station at the bottom of the world, the South Pole. Since the South Pole is at the bottom of the world, people have to be careful not to fall off and objects have to be secured to the ground, as clearly indicated by the following real picture taken at the South Pole.

Okay, that last bit was a shot at humor. At least like it for that.

Wearing Masks

Let me explain something. My mask is not going to protect me from getting the virus. It’s not the kind of mask required to stop me from breathing in the virus. So why do I wear one? I wear a mask so that if I sneeze, or I cough, or I even just breathe out, you won’t be exposed to any germs or viruses that might be coming out of my mouth or nose. I wear a mask to protect those around me. If you don’t care about protecting people around you then don’t wear a mask and be selfish and ignorant. Otherwise, if you want to stop this virus from spreading, then wear a mask when you go out.

Now you can say that you’re not sick so you aren’t spreading the virus to anyone. To that I might remind you that you can be spreading the virus to other people without even knowing that you have it. In fact you might be spreading the virus and not ever get sick yourself because you are asymptomatic. So set a good example and wear a mask you idiot.

And if you are going to wear a mask, then for God’s sake cover your nose as well. You’ve got to cover not just the mouth but the nose because when you sneeze and when you breathe it comes out the nose as well.

Now do humanity some good and share this message with others.

Is anybody out there?

In fact, had a giant asteroid not killed off the dinosaurs, homo sapiens might never have evolved. If it weren’t for that chance cataclysmic encounter from space, Earth might even now be ruled by dinosaurs.

By Wayne Boyd

In the early days of Hollywood and television, we used to think that life on other planets was common. Science fiction movies about invasions from the planet Mars or Venus were normal. HG Wells wrote War of the Worlds which later became a radio show and still later several big screen adaptations and it was about Martians invading Earth.

Even as our imagination thrived our knowledge of the cosmos grew. We sent probes and rovers throughout the solar system and beyond. We gazed into the stars with our space telescopes. We took images from non-visible light and radio waves. Great minds like Einstein and Hawking churned it over. Finally, after all that, we came to a startling if not disappointing realization: Planets other than Earth that support life, if they exist at all, appear to be the exception rather than the rule. There is no warmongering Martian civilization waiting to invade Earth. There are no lovely ladies lounging around on Venus. It’s true not only for our own solar system, but for all the exoplanets we’ve detected so far.

Our understanding of distances in space developed, especially between stars. Distances, it turned out, were vast. The more we knew the less likely it seemed anyone would go star hopping. That not only applies to us, but the aliens as well, if any extraterrestrial sentient beings exist at all! There will be no warp drives, no faster than light travel, and no light speed travel. It just isn’t possible. We can’t go there and they can’t come here.

Recently, there’s been some reports of UFOs in the news, and that’s always been there from the 1950s on. There is no evidence that unidentified flying objects are extraterrestrial in origin. It is unlikely for the simple reason that to travel from one star to the next would take tens of thousands of years. Sadly, and perhaps fortunately, no one is traveling from star to star. The best we can hope for is that we can visit other planets in our own solar system. Maybe one of them might at least have some microbes.

Once we figured out that there wasn’t much chance of advanced, intelligent life elsewhere within our own solar system, then we hoped we would find it on planets around other stars. Remember the movie Avatar? Supposedly that took place around Alpha Centauri, one of our closest group of stars. So if we can’t find life here then for sure it’s going to be on the closest star!

Yet, as we peered into the solar systems of other stars we came to a new understanding: most planets that we’re able to detect outside of our own solar system are hostile environments. There’s something weird about almost all of them, and so the prospect of finding life orbiting on a planet near our closest star is kind of unlikely. There’s no “Avatar” on Alpha Centauri.

Intelligent alien life is not impossible. The universe is a big place. The point is that we now know it to be rare. So rare, in fact, that it might exist nowhere other than here. At least as far as we can see so far.

In fact, had a giant asteroid not killed off the dinosaurs, homo sapiens might never have evolved. If it weren’t for that chance cataclysmic encounter from space, Earth might even now be ruled by dinosaurs.

Therefore, even if a planet were in an ideal goldilocks region around it’s star, and even if on the off chance single cell organisms had developed there, we have no reason to suspect that a homo-erectus kind of being might have developed there.

We really could be the only ones out there.

How would humanity react if there was a giant drawing of Pluto the dog on Pluto the dwarf planet? Would people pay much attention?

Probably! Especially since Pluto was not named after the dog Pluto, but after the Roman god of death, Pluto, since it was farthest from the sun and therefore considered to be very cold. Pluto used to be considered a planet, rather than a dwarf planet, and historically the planets were named after Greek Gods.

As for Pluto and dogs, Pluto has a few moons, one of which is named after a dog. Kerberos is named after the multi headed dog who is supposedly guarding the entrance to the underworld (in Greek mythology).

Here’s Pluto and it’s moons.

Life as an independent contractor during a pandemic

Since then, gas prices have plummeted, restaurant delivery has skyrocketed…

By Wayne Boyd

After working for 17 years at a state prison in Amarillo, Texas, even as a pandemic was beginning to spread across the nation, I decided to retire. After all, I was 67 years old and eligible for a) social security, b) a lifetime pension from TDCJ, and c) health insurance for life for my wife and myself. Not too shabby.

Furthermore, for the last 2 years I had been picking up Uber and Lyft passengers in my spare time, and more recently started restaurant deliveries with companies like GrubHub, DoorDash and Uber Eats. Why not continue that after retirement?

My wife and I discussed my options and decided that retirement would be okay if I could earn about $50 a day driving doing deliveries. Then we upped the figure to $70 because we wanted to account for wear and tear on the vehicle and gas prices. In other words, I’d be making a profit of $50 a day after gas, or $1,500 a month added to my social security and pension income. It would be more than comfortable.

Since then, gas prices have plummeted, restaurant delivery has skyrocketed, and working only a few hours a day I’m averaging $170 a day. I’m pulling in about $160/day profit, or $4,800/month, $3,300 more than projected to live comfortably.

I stopped picking up passengers with Uber and Lyft and just do the delivery now. I’m safer and there’s been no drop in income. Lyft sent me an email informing me how vital it was to have drivers and how desperately needed drivers were to move people around. I ignored the message.

As a side note, I’ve been a vegetarian since before I was old enough to vote. I wish I could get the world to stop eating meat, but that’s obviously not going to happen. So I decided okay, I can deliver food to these people and make a bunch of money. I won’t eat what they eat, but I was already delivering inmates food trays, why not drop off bags of food at people’s homes?

So for me, life is good now. In fact, it’s much better financially than before, even as many millions of Americans are losing their jobs in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

I just hope the State of Texas continues to afford my monthly pension check and the federal government continues to send me social security money.