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Antarctic Expedition To Track Down Extreme Living Creatures

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the don't-forget-your-swimsuit dept.

Space 69

WirePosted tips us to a story about a group of scientists who are heading to Antarctica to study organisms that thrive in climates too extreme for most other life forms. The team will be visiting a lake that has a pH "like strong Clorox," the sediments of which "produce more methane than any other natural body of water on our planet." The scientists hope to learn about the potential for life in other unforgiving climates, such as those on Mars or the various ice-covered moons in the Solar System. Expedition leader Richard Hoover was quoted saying, "This will help us decide where to search for life on other planets and how to recognize alien life if we actually find it." We've previously discussed Antarctic microbes as they related to conditions on Mars.

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Extreme living, eh? (3, Funny)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#22370640)

Sounds even more fun than extreme ironing! [extremeironing.com]

Re:Extreme living, eh? (1, Offtopic)

gaspar ilom (859751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22373970)

Finding out more about the *origins* of life is far more interesting than terraforming,in my view.

Terraforming is a far-off prospect, at best -- and quite possibly, not even feasible anywhere in this solar system. (the "gravity problem" of Mars may be impossible to overcome.)

On the other hand, if more of these extremophiles and endoliths [wikipedia.org] are found, and their DNA sequenced -- we could gain true insights in to the first lifeforms that lived on earth and how they arose. Furthermore, it is exactly their *slow metabolism* that may make it possible for such organisms to live for thousands or millions of years. (validating panspermia a real possibility.)

Re:Extreme living, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22400452)

Well that interesting! kanati [kanati.com.ph]

A first step to terraformation as well? (4, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22370654)

Besides showing us how to recognize alien life, wouldn't a better understanding of extreme creatures help us decide which species to first release in a terraforming effort? In Kim Stanley Robinson's trilogy beginning with Red Mars [amazon.com] , Sax Russell's choice of initial seedings is inspired by an earlier sojourn in Antarctica.

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22370706)

Ahhh, another dork who doesn't seem to know what the words SCIENCE FICTION mean. Here's a hint - we know so little about our own planet and its environment that we can't even begin to effect serious change here. After all, if we knew how to do it with the precision that would be needed to terraform a planet, don't you think it would be a hell of a lot easier to work on the planet we're on instead of one 35 or so million miles away? Here's another hint - you won't see terraforming of another planet happen in your lifetime, or in your kid's lifetimes.

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22370862)

But, I've seen it on Star Trek. The TV doesn't lie.

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22371028)

My TV just told me to kill my mother. I guess I should listen.

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22371096)

Too late for it to be of any use to us.

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22371140)

Likewise, I should have pulled out of your mom sooner.

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22374390)

Dude, You're like, the worst father, ever. How's about you take some responsibility for your kid instead of raggin' on him in a public forum. Jeez.

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (1)

tgrigsby (164308) | more than 6 years ago | (#22382730)

Dude, your dad totally sucks. I thought mine was harsh....

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (4, Interesting)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 6 years ago | (#22371094)

Ahhh, another dork who doesn't seem to know what the words FORWARD THINKING mean.

If you'd read the books, you'd know that while it is all fiction, those series are one of the few books out these days that had serious science done in them. Robinson was a fantastic writer, and very little was far from fact in that book. Terraforming a planet will in a number of ways be asier than changing our because we'd have a clean slate. Initial challenges aside, once we get the process going we can set up a runaway series of "reactions" to get the planet how we'd like it to be. On Earth, we're faced with the fact that the entire planet is alive and resisting nearly any change we put into it. We also have to account for the fact that we can't do anything radical because we're trying to keep everything currently alive still alive.

Nothing needs to change in even my great-grand children's lives, but a long process needs to start somewhere, and it's with parent's thinking.

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22371646)

Nothing needs to change in even my great-grand children's lives, but a long process needs to start somewhere, and it's with parent's thinking.

As you said, terraforming a world will be a long long long way off, if it ever happens at all. The parent post up there says that we need to be deciding which species to release first. Well guess what - as the article points out, we don't even know what species, if any, there even are in this Antarctic lake. So don't you think that heeding the parent's post up there is putting the carriage before the horse?

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22371814)

Hmm. If we're going to plan ahead, how about not making your great grandchildren so numerous that they need to terraform whole planets, eh? Sounds a lot easier, a lot more reliable, and a lot more aesthetically pleasing.

I will never figure out the blind expansionism of the space-colonizer types...

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (2, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22376148)

Hmm. If we're going to plan ahead, how about not making your great grandchildren so numerous that they need to terraform whole planets, eh? Sounds a lot easier, a lot more reliable, and a lot more aesthetically pleasing.

You don't need population growth for a reason to go somewhere else. Besides Earth is out of room for many things. If you want to start a new nation, for example, it's hard to start one on Earth.

I will never figure out the blind expansionism of the space-colonizer types...

It helps to first try to understand a different viewpoint.

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22373770)

Well considering how the Bush administration killed an experimental low carbon emission coal power plan recently because it had "ballooned" $800M over budget, yet we have people who want to blow billions on revisiting the moon or planning manned expeditions to Mars. We are currently re-forming Earth's atmosphere and are scheduled to be finished before we can do anything serious on Mars. But hey I guess I am not FORWARD THINKING.

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#22371940)

Ahhh, another dork who doesn't seem to know what the words SCIENCE FICTION mean. Here's a hint - we know so little about our own planet and its environment that we can't even begin to effect serious change here. After all, if we knew how to do it with the precision that would be needed to terraform a planet, don't you think it would be a hell of a lot easier to work on the planet we're on instead of one 35 or so million miles away?
I dunno about you, but I prefer to test on a lab system before deploying to the production systems. Just a thought.

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22372300)

A lab system that you have almost zero knowledge and understand of, I might add. Not exactly the best "lab" conditions.

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22374386)

After all, if we knew how to do it with the precision that would be needed to terraform a planet,

Precision? That's the word to use here. If one looks at successful terraforming efforts on Earth (here, I define terraforming as making an environment more habitable for humans rather than more Earthlike), we don't need to be precise. Irrigation, city building, etc. These are very imprecise methods. We don't know what our cities will look like in 50 years, for example. So much for precision.

don't you think it would be a hell of a lot easier to work on the planet we're on instead of one 35 or so million miles away? Here's another hint - you won't see terraforming of another planet happen in your lifetime, or in your kid's lifetimes.

Yes. I agree that it is easier to work on Earth. Further, given the current short human lifespan, you are correct. We probably won't see terraforming (especially extensive terraforming) of another body in the above time period.

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (1)

hobbitFeet (1127615) | more than 6 years ago | (#22379006)

I don't know... I read Spin, and it all seems pretty plausible to me.

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (3, Interesting)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22371620)

The problem with the idea terraforming Mars is that it doesn't seem to be able to hold its own atmosphere that well. It has a weak gravity and little magnetic field. To make terraforming an actual long-term project, there needs to be a good way to keep the atmosphere trapped, or else it's not going to last, maybe not even take hold.

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (3, Interesting)

Hizonner (38491) | more than 6 years ago | (#22372006)

The problem with the idea of terraforming Mars is that there's no good reason to try it in the first place. Why would you want to do a thing like that?

To preempt the most common answers--

  • It's not going to be a home for the teeming billions of Earth. It would cost too much, mostly in the form of energy, to transport that many people there. Anyway, it would just be a stopgap even if transport were free. Geometric growth is still geometric growth. The amount of time you'd gain may not even be the amount of time it would take to do the terraform job.

  • It's not a particularly efficient way to provide a "backup" habitat in case of the destruction of the human species on Earth. Open-space colonies would be cheaper and easier. Even that, of course, is only interesting if you really care about the issue in the first place. Personally, I don't care very much, definitely not enough to go to all that trouble. The big problem with species-destroying events, from my point of view, is the death of all those individuals, and a backup colony doesn't save many, if any, individuals.

Complete boondoggle. And politically and economically impossible, as well...

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22372334)

a backup colony doesn't save many, if any, individuals.
I think the point of the backup colony in this scenario is without it there would be *no* individuals.

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (1)

Hizonner (38491) | more than 6 years ago | (#22372572)

Yes, but that's not that important. The same number of individuals will probably die in whatever the event is. If there are 12 billion people on Earth and they all get killed, it's not that much better if there are a million additional people somewhere else who don't get killed. The disaster is still a disaster.

The unborn (1)

Gorimek (61128) | more than 6 years ago | (#22373358)

You're not thinking long term.

Those 1 million will over time have many billion descendants.

Re:The unborn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22377454)

And then what? The process repeats itself over and over again and we become like the aliens in Independence Day or the silver surfer?

Seems we should spend time and effort to keep this one habitable rather than become leeches of the universe.

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (2, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22374702)

A disaster is still a disaster, but I'd take a situation where humanity can at least carry on vs. total extinction.

Re:A first step to terraformation as well? (1)

yndrd1984 (730475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22375624)

It will be a disaster no matter what, but there's a big difference between a disaster and extinction. About 100 billion people have already died, but the human race as a whole manages to keep going. On a long enough time scale, every disaster is just another historical event, but extinction would be the end of (human) history - those seem quite different to me.

Oh they'll find it (5, Funny)

Nylathotep (72183) | more than 6 years ago | (#22370678)

Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!

Re:Oh they'll find it (2, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22371132)

Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!
Fucker, you beat me to it. :) But to remain on topic...

Shoggoth, Shoggoth, Shoggoth, I made you out of flesh... [youtube.com]

The fun guys from Yuggoth [youtube.com]

Shoggoth on the Roof [youtube.com]

I saw mommy kissing Yog-Sothoth [youtube.com]

To the tune of "Jesus Loves me" (2, Funny)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22371198)

Cthulhu hates me, this I know
For the old ones told me so
Human souls to him belong
They are weak but he is Strong!

Yah, Cthulhu Fh'tagn!
Yah, Cthulhu Fh'tagn!
Yah, Cthulhu Fh'tagn!

The old ones told me so!

Re:To the tune of "Jesus Loves me" (2, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22371342)

Sing this to the tune of Tiny Toon Adventures

We're slimey, we're squishy, we're all a little fishy,
and in this adventure we'll be feasting on your brains.
We're abysmal creatures, with gross horrific features.
In Cthuloid adventures, lose alot of sanity.
So here's Miskatonic U. where all the creatures dwell,
take a look at a mythos book and find yourself in hell.
Your guns aren't defective, they just aren't real effective.
Our feast of human flesh and souls is about to start.
Your magic, and voodoo will not stop Great Cthulhu.
Don't eat with the Tchoo Tchoo, and the Migo steal your brain!
Here's Narly, Tsathoggua, over there's Cthugha,
don't forget Ithaqua, and Hastur hates his name.
So here's sunken R'lyeh where the angles are all wrong.
You'll lose your soul, and go insane if you stay there too long.
We're slimey, we're squishy, we're all a little fishy,
Our feast of human flesh and souls is about to start.
And now we'll eat your heart.

Re:Oh they'll find it (3, Informative)

vhogemann (797994) | more than 6 years ago | (#22371874)

Unfortunatelly I don't have mod points... Let's see how long it takes until someone mod you up.

Until then, let me enlight the rest of you that didn't got the reference:

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/At_the_Mountains_of_Madness [wikisource.org]

Great history.

Re:Oh they'll find it (2, Funny)

SurturZ (54334) | more than 6 years ago | (#22373814)

>Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!

I see the eyes have it.

Or maybe the other way around.

Mix 'em up! (3, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22370774)

Add the Clorox to the methane producing dudes. Kill 'em off! Need to fix the gloabl warming.

Producing Methane? (0)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#22370778)

the sediments of which "produce more methane than any other natural body of water on our planet."

I'll take that challenge. They've obviously never been to my toilet after I've had Mexican food and beer!

Re:Producing Methane? (5, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22371340)

They've obviously never been to my toilet after I've had Mexican food and beer!

Oh, they've tried ... it's just none of the expeditions sent to date ever returned.

you think that's extreme? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22370784)

look at this. [4girlsfingerpaint.com]

Why, why why? (0)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22370826)

We have a weird circular loop going here.
Searching the other planets for life etc is supposed to be telling us more about how life might have eveolved on earth.
Now we're searching earth to find out how life might evolve on another planet so we can come back and say how it might have eveolved on earth. Does anyone else see the irony in thi?.
Perhaps we should just skip the whole space searching deal and spend more time doing earth-based research?

X-Treme Life Forms (4, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 6 years ago | (#22370840)

Spock: Captain, sensors indicate that this creature subsists on a diet of Slim Jims and Cheetos... Fascinating. It's blood is a substance you humans know as 'Mountain Dew'.

Kirk: SPOCK! How. Can that... BE... possible?

McCoy: If what you're describing is true, we've discovered the most extreme organism in the entire galaxy.

Spock: Indeed, Doctor. Most intriguing.

Methane (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22370842)

Very interesting, if somewhat unclear - are these extremophiles supposed to be the source or the consumers of the methane? If it is the latter, it would be nice to draw some comparison with, let's say, Lake Kivu [wikipedia.org] . Reading TFA somehow didn't help. :)

Re:Methane (2, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22370908)

I think the article is perfectly clear on this--methane would be a waste product (or by-product) of any extremophiles living there (note that they haven't actually found any yet). If life there consumed methane, a different chemical compound would be given off as waste.

Go easy on the Extremophiles (4, Insightful)

Chakka! (524992) | more than 6 years ago | (#22370846)

May seem like such organisms are hardy & tough, but those are super fragile environments - Images of tourists throwing coins into the Yellowstone thermal pools come to mind.... Please remember that not every animal, organism, and scrap of land on this planet has to have a human use.

Re:Go easy on the Extremophiles (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22371366)

Fortunately, where these guys are going is unlikely to ever be much of a tourist attraction.

Re:Go easy on the Extremophiles (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22371690)

Antarctica is hardly a tourist attraction and will never be unless we get severe climate change. I hope the scientists don't screw anything up, but I think preventing contamination is a primary consideration on their minds anyway.

This is asking for trouble... (3, Funny)

Fallen Seraph4 (1186821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22370848)

Has HP Lovecraft taught us nothing?!

Re:This is asking for trouble... (1)

gotzero (1177159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22370920)

I wonder if they will find Chuck Norris... Hopefully they find something beneficial, but not immediately promising enough that they tear up the environment and species of whatever the paydirt turns up to be.

Re:This is asking for trouble... (1)

corifornia2 (1158503) | more than 6 years ago | (#22371362)

Of course they will. Everyone knows that Antarctica is one of Norris' favorite spots to do naked breakdancing.

Re:This is asking for trouble... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22372084)

Chuck Norris and Cthulhu already have a play date set for December 24, 2012. Hmm, that makes sense now...

I don't get it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22370880)

They're going to the antarctic to show that things can live at the antarctic.

Logically, if nothing could survive in the antarctic, then any expedition would be doomed, no?

The mere fact that they are planning to go (and return) proves that things can be expected to survive out there. ...But it would make for some entertaining television otherwise.

-Z

Re:I don't get it. (2, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22370936)

Logically, if nothing could survive in the antarctic, then any expedition would be doomed, no? The mere fact that they are planning to go (and return) proves that things can be expected to survive out there.

I'm not sure why I'm responding to such an idiotic post as this, but here goes. They're looking for self-sustaining life in this Antarctic lake. I can guarantee that the scientists would die up there if we didn't send them along with food and fresh water.

Re:I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22377456)

I can guarantee that the scientists would die up there if we didn't send them along with food and fresh water.
And pants. Big, big pants.

Re:I don't get it. (2, Funny)

g0dsp33d (849253) | more than 6 years ago | (#22370972)

... We are approaching the ring of deat[no carrier]...

Re:I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22373832)

They're going to the antarctic to show that things can live at the antarctic.
I know you're just trolling, but no that line is false, and as such so is everything else following it.

We know life can go into a cold area and return. Don't need to go there to see that.

The reason they are going... well, it said in the article and was implied in the summary you didnt read, no reason to think youll read this either or care

Tekeli-li! (1, Offtopic)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22371060)

Tekeli-li!

extreme facist crusader zealots cracking planet... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22371116)

population, etc...? doing more than their share of damage then, to say the least. the 'creatures' could likely be 'tracked down' in the jersey swamps this summer the way things seem to be going. let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

Re:extreme facist crusader zealots cracking planet (2, Funny)

tm2b (42473) | more than 6 years ago | (#22371206)

You forgot to add, "Vote for Ron Paul"

Re:extreme facist crusader zealots cracking planet (1)

macabresoul (1158179) | more than 6 years ago | (#22371950)

Holy tinfoil hat batman!!!!

Dupe, or repeated trip (3, Funny)

Mark_in_Brazil (537925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22371156)

I read about this already. Either this is a dupe or they're just repeating an expedition made years ago (1931 or something).

Here's [dagonbytes.com] a description of the trip from one of the members of the expedition.

Here's [wikipedia.org] a Wikipedia entry on the expedition.

Re:Dupe, or repeated trip (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 6 years ago | (#22373044)

to whoever modded this a troll, you are a idiot, it is obviously a Shoggoth!

Beware of Elder Things! (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#22371300)

Oh, oh! And shoggoths!

Oh, and shit! Those giant, albino penguins!

Better do it soon... (1)

HiVizDiver (640486) | more than 6 years ago | (#22371376)

Wilford Brimley isn't getting any younger...

"Life" Is But A "Form" (1)

buravirgil (137856) | more than 6 years ago | (#22371686)

Stanley Miller's experiments were the first efforts (of which i'm aware) to challenge the enormous chauvinsim implicit in the conventional definitions of Life, with a capital 'L'

the discovery of volcanic 'smokers' did much to challenge the conventional definitions

i found it perplexing that cosmologists proposed Life might needed to have been 'seeded' by asteroids as though the Earth itself were not more varied and complex in orders of magnitude than an asteroid and teeming with "Life" not yet discovered

similar chauvinism sullies the definition of 'intelligence'

this book by Louise B. Young, 1986
http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=9tFQIEd7hnkC&dq=unfinished+universe&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=Rd-pCskvdo&sig=tgTg6GadMWnXbUFE2kO1ggU59As [google.com]
challenges many assumptions

hotheaded naked ice borer (1)

Teilo (91279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22371794)

Perhaps now we will finally catch live specimens which will prove the existence of the hotheaded naked ice borer [tamu.edu] once and for all!

Aha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22372242)

Extreme living creatures? Wow, living creatures that are extreme. How about that. Better than extreme creatures that are dead, of course, but extreme-living creatures could be more interesting.

To Terraform or Not to Terraform? (1)

spaceman375 (780812) | more than 6 years ago | (#22373034)

So now we'll have even more examples of earth life that could stand conditions in some niche elsewhere in the solar system. Not only can we grow stuff on Mars, we can also find things in underwater smokers and volcanic lakes that will live in the upper atmosphere of Venus. I'd bet that something in Lake Vostok could stand living under the ice on a moon around Jupiter or Saturn. Cool stuff, to be sure. I'd even argue that we have a justifiable, instinctual drive to spread not just humans, but life as far and wide as we can.

But I wonder: How long do you study a new place to see if it already has life before you throw our, possibly hardier, alien invasion force at it? Destroying something native would be a far greater tragedy than letting a planet stay sterile for a while.

I still want a moonbase.

It burns, it burns!! (1)

HunkirDowne (452422) | more than 6 years ago | (#22386210)

Am I the only one that has a problem with the 'pH of strong Clorox' statement? Assuming they are talking about household bleach, the active ingredient of which is sodium hypochlorite, an oxidizing agent (as opposed to a reducing agent). This is different chemistry than acid-base chemistry where pH would be a more appropriate measure. Perhaps they meant to say lye.
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