[Recommended listening while reading this article is Planetarium by Sufjan Stevens et al. for extra spooky/space-age vibes]
I love space. I love staring at the stars, touching moon rocks in museums, and learning about the wonders of our universe with our friends Neil deGrasse Tyson and Brian Cox. No matter how much I love it however, I still can’t escape the fact that it frightens me to no end. Just like the ocean (which I am also terrified of) the fact that we know so little about what goes on up there and the possibilities the night sky holds is both endlessly fascinating and exciting, but also panic inducing.
In 1977, an astronomer by the name of Jerry Ehman was performing research at Ohio State University at their Radio Observatory, which to my personal enjoyment is also known as Big Ear. The observatory was involved in hunting extraterrestrial radio signals, and with its active years spanning 1973 to 1995, it is the longest running Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) in scientific history. While manning the telescope, Ehman came close to putting an end to years of searching once and for all.
After spending time not picking up anything much of interest, Ehman was suddenly bombarded with a signal burst. When studying his records he noticed that when he had been focusing on Chi Sagittarii, the Sagittarius constellation, the telescope had received a 72-second sequence of radio waves. He circled the data – annotating it with a ‘Wow!’ and thus the name was born. It is still unknown what caused this unusual and anomalous event and it has never occurred since, or been replicated. Now, although I did take science until my final year of school I was never good at physics and so have no actual understanding of this topic - so I’ll leave it to you, readers, to research more into this yourselves and you can explain it to me. But as a strong proponent of the belief that there is extraterrestrial life somewhere out there, until then I am fully convinced that the cause of the ‘Wow!’ Signal was really just a small, green man attempting to start his own radio DJ show who bought a slightly too powerful transmitter - I bet he’s a Spiritualized fan.
We are all of us from birth to death guests at a table which we did not spread. The sun, the earth, love, friends, our very breath are parts of the banquet… Shall we think of the day as a chance to come nearer to our Host, and to find out something of Him who has fed us so long? — Rebecca Harding Davis.
Kabaddi is an Indian sport. If you don’t know what it is, it’s like somebody looked at the game of rugby and thought, you know what the problem with this is? The ball. We just get rid of that. And it’s also the only game where the players stand there and just go, “Kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi.”
“Hey babe? You— yes, you, I’m talking to you.” An accusatory finger gun pointed at the person, eyes narrowed on her target. This was just her fourth tequila shot, but the girl being a lightweight, her system was full steam ahead to drunk city; population — Holly Mae Davis. “If the world was ending in two hours, and you could wish for anything in those two hours…