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An alien visit is most probably not in the cards, but we might very well be able to start listening in on a cosmic conversation going on between alien civilizations that have long ago establish two-way communication. They probably have not visited each other, but they could exchange ideas and scientific discoveries. The long lapses between question and reply would be frustrating, often arriving after the question has already been answered by the questioner, but occasionally arriving as a new insight.

Bad decision; Worse timing.

Oh, dear! Now I’ve done it.

The Government of the United Kingdom (UK) has come under a fully-justified barrage of criticism for its recent announcement regarding changes to its nuclear weapons stance. In what follows, we will place this policy shift in context, so as to underscore the need not only to reverse it, but also to do more … much more.

Among a pack of nuclear-armed reprobates, the UK has labored mightily to present itself as the least reprehensible. With generous dollop of self-adulation, it announced at the 2015 NPT Review Conference (RevCon) that it aimed to bring the number of…

Alfonso Garcia Robles shared the 1982 Nobel Peace Prize with Alva Myrdal of Sweden.

On the momentous occasion of the entry into force of the Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), January 22, 2021, I would like to share some reflections on the past and future of independent, collective action by non-nuclear-weapon states (NNWSs)

The drive to achieve a ban treaty was not the first such intervention by NNWSs in nuclear affairs; nor will it be the last. …

Mount Chimborazo, elevation 6,263.47 m (20,549.4 ft)

The summit of Mt. Everest is the highest point above sea level. But sea level is not as far from the center of the Earth at Everest’s latitude as it is at the Equator. If you want to find the highest point on Earth as measured from the center of the Earth, you need to look near the Equator, because swimming in the sea at the Equator you are already further from the center than if you were standing atop Everest! (And so much more accessible!)

I actually located the spot in Mexico City! The streets of the neighborhood we…

Mount Shasta, California, elevation 14,179 feet/4,322 meters

The trailhead for Mount Shasta is only just above the timberline and far below the summit. (Or at least it was in the 1970s, on the day in question.) So I awoke before dawn to make it up and down before sunset. The first thing I discovered was that, during the night, a racoon had helped itself to all my trail gorp. The zipper of my backpack had readily yielded to its powerful little claws.

Way number one: The climb was long, but required no technical skills, just putting one foot in front of another for six hours until …

Aaron Tovish

Geognosticator

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