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Imagining What Alien Life Might Look Like

By Emily Cataneo/Undark

Animals as varied as sharks, salamanders, and duck-billed platypuses can detect electric fields around them, while some fish, including the South American knifefish and various species of African elephantfish, can actually generate unique, complex electric fields, which they use to communicate information about their social status, sex, and dominance position within their social group.

Could animals like these exist in space? On a celestial body with completely dark oceans, such as Saturn's moon Enceladus, our notion of evolution would support this method of communication, leading us to believe that aliens on such a planet might concoct their language out of electric signals.

These are the kinds of musings that can help us postulate about alien life, according to The Zoologist's Guide to the Galaxy: What Animals on Earth Reveal About Aliens - and Ourselves, by University of Cambridge zoologist Arik Kershenbaum.

Continue reading "Imagining What Alien Life Might Look Like" »
Posted on April 13, 2021

History Club

A People's History Of Thanksgiving

Where Is The Gold?
With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.
Continue reading "A People's History Of Thanksgiving" »
Posted on November 28, 2013
Chicago Blog Review

Chicago Blog Review: Fruit Slinger

A welcome blast of summer-friendly food porn on a daily basis.
Continue reading "Chicago Blog Review: Fruit Slinger" »
Posted on August 6, 2009

Imagining What Alien Life Might Look Like

By Emily Cataneo/Undark
After all, aliens might be telekinetic, or all-knowing, or little green men with big heads, but why? Some outcomes are simply not likely, like a hyper-intelligent alien floating through the universe and philosophizing for no reason. Others are quite likely.

Posted on April 13, 2021

The Quest For Papa's Perfect Sentence

By David Rutter
Though the imitation was not deliberate, I took no solace. I knew it to be real. I could write better sentences as a fake Hemingway than I could write as the real me. That revelation was fearsome.

Posted on April 8, 2021

To Destroy White Supremacy, Interrogate The Canon

By Lorena German/The Hechinger Report
If we want to dismantle white supremacy in the imagination and work against the idea of Whiteness as property, we need to see how supremacist values have operated in our schools. Specifically, in canonical texts.

Posted on March 31, 2021

Southern Illinois' Snake Road

By SIU Press
"Snake Road is the only road in the world closed every year (from March 15 - May 15, and again from September 1 - October 30) for its biannual migration of snakes and other reptiles."

Posted on March 16, 2021

After Democracy

"What if there is something better out there, and technology can help us uncover a long-hidden path to it? We change and so does our technology, but we cling to past iterations of democracy like a dream we desperately try to remember after we wake up. Life is not static. Neither is democracy."

Posted on March 11, 2021

Dark Participation: When Journalists And Readers Engage

By Jacob L. Nelson/The Conversation
What's the point?

Posted on March 4, 2021

The Unintended Consequences Of Taming Nature

By John Schwartz/Undark
As she puts it, this is a book "about people trying to solve problems created by people trying to solve problems."

Posted on February 27, 2021

Copyright Law Just Went Awry

By Katharine Trendacosta and Cara Gagliano/The Electronic Frontier Foundation
Two copyright bills were added to the Congress's December spending package, despite not having any place there - not least because there hadn't been robust hearings where the issues with them could be pointed out. One of the bills didn't even have text available to the public until the very last second. And they are now law.

Posted on February 6, 2021

Being Sure About George Ryan

By Ed Hammer
Testing the sincerity of the former governor's moratorium on the death penalty.

Posted on January 19, 2021

Why Chimpanzees Don't Hold Elections

By Lisa Feldman Barrett/Undark
Most of your life takes place in a made-up world.

Posted on January 5, 2021

MUSIC - Fixing Sexist Playlists.
TV - BMW Is The Answer.
POLITICS - The Fed Is Making The Rich Richer.
SPORTS - Bears Turn The Beat Around.

BOOKS - What Alien Life Might Look Like.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - White Castle's New Durags.

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