It’s midnight on a far-flung planet and some alien astronomers happen to have their radio telescopes pointed right at Earth, when they get a tiny spike in RF power - it’s a message! Quick, decode it. What’s it say?
It’s . . . it’s . . . an advertisement for Doritos. Beamed across the cosmos. On purpose.
No joke. Doritos’ latest effort will see the UK public trying to come up with the winning 30-second spot that evidently will represent humanity’s first interstellar ad campaign. With that universal fame, the winner will collect the tidy sum of 20,000 GBP.
In June, the ad will be broadcast using the high frequency radar telescope at the EISCAT Space Centre in Svalbard, Norway. It’ll be aimed toward the "habitable zone" around one of the stars in the Ursa Major constellation, one of our best candidates for an untapped populace of snack food consumers.
But it’s 42 light years away. By the time they get the message and pop over, just think of all the Doritos flavours there will be.
OK, OK, so everybody loves a good PR stunt. Admittedly it could be more enticing than the heady stuff we’ve been pumping out until now, or nothing at all. And I’m as compulsive a Doritos eater as the next guy (or the next seagull).
But we are, conceivably, talking about the first impression we are going to make on an alien population. Couldn’t we advertise something more representative of our cultures, our hopes and dreams and interplanetary worthiness? Like Spam? Corn dogs? Help me out here. After June the marketing floodgates shall be open forever - what do you think we should be pitching to the universe at large?
Jason Palmer, New Scientist intern
(Mashup by danp)
The tradition of the Bujinkan recognizes nature and the universality of all human life, and is aware of that which flows naturally between the two parts:
a€¢"The secret principle of Taijutsu is to know the foundations of peace.
a€¢To study is the path to the immovable heart (fudoshin)."
Soccer superstar David Beckham has earned yet another distinction that sets him apart from mere mortalsa€"but this time not in a good way. It turns out Beckham has the worlda€™s largest carbon footprint and, for that matter, the largest in human history, according to Carbon Trust, a green group based in the UK.
Beckham and his spicy wife Victoria (aka Posh of the Spice Girls) fuel multiple homes around the world as well as 15 gas-guzzling vehicles, including a Hummer, a Porsche and a customized Lincoln Navigator. And between them, the couple logs more miles in carbon-spewing airliners than most pilots.
In 2007 alone, Beckham flew 250,000 milesa€"more than he would need for a trip to the far side of the moona€"jetting off to play in soccer matches around the world, to fulfill his advertising contracts, and to serve as official photographer for the Spice Girls when the group kicked off its comeback tour. In the process, Beckham personally contributed 163 tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere (compared to 9.4 tons annually for the average British citizen).
And thata€™s not even counting the carbon released by the raucous cheers and swooning sighs of his adoring fans.
Naturally, environmentalists and green politicians are calling on Beckham to reduce his carbon footprint by making lifestyle and travel choices that lead to fewer emissions, and to help raise awareness about the dangers of global warming. [environment.about]
This is what happens when fools plan April Fools jokes
Mr. Romney, the Republican candidate from Massachusetts by way of Michigan and Utah who enjoys a milkshake at the end of a long day, stopped by a staging area for a Martin Luther King Birthday parade here. In his dress shirt and tie, and with his unwavering smile, he walked over and posed for photographs with a group of black youngsters. Putting his arm around a teenage girl, he waved to the cameras and offered, a€oeWho let the dogs out?a€A He added a tepid a€oewoof woof.a€A
Somewhere, the Baha Men, the Bahamian group whose 2000 song the candidate was referencing, must have been shuddering.
Kevin Madden, one of Mr. Romneya€™s campaign boyz on the bus, said the candidate had been joking around and had responded to someone who asked, a€oeWho let you out?a€A
Later, Mr. Romney admired a childa€™s gold necklace and said, a€oeOh, youa€™ve got some bling-bling here.a€A
Ohh Boy…AA sounds a bit racialist to me.
[Cartoon Via] Special thanks to Jen.