Archives for August, 2008

Shermer and the Drake Equation

To how many technological civilisations is our galaxy home at this moment? It would be nice to know, so we could estimate our chances of ever coming into contact with somebody out there. In 1961, astronomer Francis Drake suggested a number of parameters relevant to this issue, and summarised them in an equation that bears…

Jeff Medkeff 1968-2008

One of Aard’s regulars, Jeff the Blue Collar Astronomer, died yesterday. He was diagnosed out of the blue with spontaneous (“cryptogenic”) liver cancer in early June. Jeff was 39. I learned the sad news from Wikipedia contributor Kwix this morning. Derek of Skepticality confirmed it on the JREF forum: “Jeff started to have some internal…

Having read what I had to say about Orsinian Tales, Ursula K. LeGuin’s 1976 collection of short stories set in an alternative Balkans, Dear Reader Tty suggested that I read Avram Davidson’s Doctor Eszterhazy stories. For this I thank him warmly: I have just finished the 1975 collection The Enquiries of Doctor Eszterhazy, and I…