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Alien Turns 35 This Year And There Are All Sorts Of Fun Things Planned

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AlienThose of you who’ve been counting know that Ridley Scott’s sci-fi/horror classic Alien turns 35-years-old in 2014. And if you’re wondering, yes, it is still just as amazing as it ever was. And so is the sequel. To mark the occasion, Twentieth Century Fox if pulling out all of the stops to celebrate, teaming up with a bunch of different companies to bring out a variety of cool stuff for you to drool over and add to your collection.

Some of the items that will be released include videogames, action figures, other toys, comics, and even a giant freakin’ bust of the Big Chap alien. How awesome is that? Just imagine your buddies all coming over and sitting smack in the middle of your coffee table is a damn xenomorph.

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Prime Minister Of New Zealand Claims He’s Not A Shapeshifting Alien

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Lizard

PM David Cameron, also accused of being a shapeshifting reptilian alien

It might sound like a strange claim to make. We’re used to leaders furnishing evidence proving they were indeed born in the United States, or that they didn’t father an illegitimate child or get up to shenanigans with one of their aides. So why would New Zealand Prime Minister John Key be asked to prove that he’s not an alien, as though it’s somehow presumed that he is?

Conspiracy theorists already know the answer to this question — it has to do with British author and conspiracy theory master David Icke, who used to be a professional football player and sports personality but now publishes books and travels the globe speaking about how the world is being controlled by a global elite sometimes known as the “Illuminati” who are descended from an ancient, extraterrestrial bloodline. Most world leaders, including both George Bushes, Barack Obama, and the Queen, fall into this category, and Icke believes them to be shapeshifting reptilian aliens.

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SETI Predicts We’ll Find Intelligent Alien Life By 2040

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system Gliese 667Scientists like to debate theories about aliens — are they out there? Where? Which planets are most likely to harbor life? If aliens are out there, why haven’t they contacted us? The truth is, no one really knows, and no one will until we come into contact with alien life (and unless, but I think this is a “when,” not an “if,” proposition). Especially intelligent alien life, which the chief astronomer from SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) predicts will happen around 2040.

I first became aware of SETI the same way as many people — by downloading the SETI@home screensaver that helps analyze radio signals. That program has now been augmented by setiQuest, which taps into the global community via a bunch of cool apps, such as the SETIsyncProb that allows users to sync radio wave detection ranges with the lifespan of those ranges to generate a “snapshot” of radio wave activity. SETI was one of the first programs ever designed to use and demonstrate the effectiveness of volunteer brainpower — it’s kind of like crowdsourcing, except easier (at least the screensavers are). But thus far, all those computers and all those radio waves analyzed by SETI and its volunteers have turned up nothing. Lack of evidence isn’t proof of nonexistence, though — far from it. And the better astronomers get at identifying and scanning star systems, the more likely it is that they’ll find something.

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A Real Life Power Loader From Aliens Isn’t Far Off

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Exosuits are big in sci-fi right now. For all of the movie’s flaws, the metal frame that Matt Damon has bolted into his skeleton in Elysium is totally badass. And sure, the one Tom Cruise wears in the upcoming Edge of Tomorrow is clunky, bulky, and comical looking when he runs, but it makes up for any inherent silliness with ample, alien-fighting firepower. Activelink, a subsidiary of Panasonic, is working on an exoskeleton called the Power Loader that is definitely more science and less fiction.

This device amplifies human strength and will come in handy when you have to do things like move heavy loads, or in clear rubble in the case of an emergencys. Or, you know, in the event that you have to strap in and fight off an armor-plated alien-queen killing machine. This looks and functions almost exactly like the power loader that Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) uses to beat back the big bitch xenomorph in James Cameron’s 1986 film Aliens. It’s even just named the Power Loader, for crying out load. They must have taken one look at this, realized exactly what it is they built, and said, what the hell, why call it anything else?

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Superhabitable Super-Earths May Be Better Than The Real Thing

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Kepler-62f

Kepler-62f, an exoplanet that is about 40% larger than Earth. It’s located about 1,200 light-years from our solar system in the constellation Lyra. Credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

It’s hard to look at space-related news without seeing a mention of a newly discovered potentially habitable planet, or the latest calculation of just how many Earth-like planets may exist out there. All sorts of factors contribute to a planet’s habitability, including its location relative to its host star. “Goldilocks” planets are those that orbit close enough to a star to be warm enough to support life and liquid water, but aren’t too close to the sun to frizzle fry life forms. Most of the time, when astronomers, with the help of the Kepler telescope, find potentially habitable planets, they’re about the size and mass of Earth. But a new study suggests that planets bigger than Earth could actually be more conducive to life than Earth.

Scientists call potentially habitable planets double or triple the size of Earth “super-Earths” and have concluded that they may be “superhabitable.” In a paper published in Astrobiology, astronomers suggest that bigger might actually be better in the case of habitability because tectonic activity on larger planets takes longer to happen, which reduces the likelihood of frequent and sudden earthquakes and other disruptive or destructive events. The fewer and less frequent the tectonic shifts, the more stable the planet and the longer life has to get a foothold and start to flourish. Bigger planets also tend to have thicker atmosphere, which can help promote life-enhancing weather systems and shielding against radiation and solar flares.

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Interstellar Safety Council Video Warns Of The Dangers Of Mankind

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy describes the Earth simply as “Mostly harmless.” Before Ford Prefect’s research trip, it just said “Harmless.” Over the course of Douglas Adams’ inaccurately named Hitchhiker’s Trilogy, mankind in general and Arthur Dent in particular are the universe’s punching bag, cast adrift on the cosmos from one ridiculous indignity to the next. Far be it from me to question the wisdom of the Guide, but it seems that another galactic entity would disagree with Prefect’s assessment. The above video from the Interstellar Safety Council paints a very different picture of humanity.