It’s absurd to think we’re all alone in the dark

There is life … and in our solar system! (Well is = might be).

scientists at the United States space agency NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) believe that the vital clues they have discovered indicate the possibility for existence of early stages of aliens (primitive life forms) on Titan, one of the many moons orbiting planet Saturn.

According to researchers, Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, is the only one with a dense atmosphere, but the water on Titan’s surface is frozen and is too cold to support life. Though water is very necessary for any life to thrive, there has been extensive speculation about water being not a strict requirement because astrobiologists for sometime now, have been advocating theories about possible methane-based life.

Two new research papers based on the data sent from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft show hydrogen molecules flowing down through Titan’s atmosphere and disappearing at the surface, and lack of acetylene, an organic molecule that should be abundant in the moon’s thick atmosphere triggered by ultraviolet sunlight.

The findings have lead scientists to believe that something is consuming hydrogen gas and eating the organic molecule acetylene, which fits the hypothesis of methane-based life forms. However, scientists have emphasized that these findings are not proof of life and that a lot of work needs to be done to rule out possible non-biological explanations.

Don’t scoff — extraterrestrial life impossible, you say?

We reside in the Milky Way Galaxy, which boasts four hundred billion stars. From the movie Contact:

“You know, there are four hundred billion stars out there, just in our galaxy alone. If only one out of a million of those had planets, and just of out of a million of those had life, and just one out of a million of those had intelligent life; there would be literally millions of civilizations out there.”

I don’t think the math quite adds up … but it is a huge universe out there, and there are billions of galaxies.

(What’s four hundred billion times a billion? I don’t know, but it’s a lot of stars).

Contesting a Parking Ticket in DC?

Back at the end of April, my parents (who live in Columbia), went out to Colorado for a week, and graciously lent me my old car back for that time (I sold it to my dad almost two years ago).

Being the conscientious DC resident that I am, I obtained the appropriate visitor’s parking permit from my local police station, and displayed it on the car’s windshield.

Because I never – ever – saw a parking ticket on the car, I assumed the permit did its job. Alas, t’was not the case, as my dad handed me a letter yesterday from DC’s DMV regarding a ticket apparently issued April 26th. And, since it hadn’t been paid, oh, look, here’s a fine doubling the original cost.

Uh-oh.

Particularly uh-oh as I’m pretty sure the visitor’s permit was trashed.

Anyway, the letter states that to contest the ticket, one must travel to www.dmv.dc.gov, which I did. I’d heard from some Twitter/Facebookatti that contesting a parking ticket is a relatively easy thing to do —

— and maybe “relatively” is the key word here.

Anyway, I guess I’ll be contesting by mail:

The relevant sign was missing or obscured

I hope “relevant sign” includes visitor’s parking passes.

In the meantime, I’m going to mail a letter to the DMV requesting a copy of the ticket. At the very least, if I am stuck paying it, I don’t want to have to pay a late fee for a ticket I never knew was owed. (And since I don’t have the visitor’s permit … I’m pretty sure I’m going to wind up paying up, y’know?)

Weight Week Thirteen: hmmm, baseball stadium hot dogs …

My sister and just-about-but-not-quite brother-in-law were in town for the weekend: both for the annual trip up to Camden Yards to see the O’s play the Red Sox (a game for which the Connecticut/Massachusetts contingent come down), and as a starting point for a trip to Providence, where they hope to find an apartment. Because pretty much as soon as they’re lhitched, they’re packing up their place in Boulder and moving northeast.

As it turns out, yesterday’s game (such a beautiful day for it, too) went into extra innings, but with friends coming to my parent’s house last night, half of us had to leave early to make sure the evening’s celebration could begin on time.

So, forgetting the copious amounts of chili and ice cream and beer I ate and drank Sunday evening, and all the peanuts I chomped on at the game, I am kind of mystified as whether I should be happy or upset with the price of hot dogs at Camden Yards.

Thank you? Thank you, concession prices, for keeping me from eating hot dogs to my heart’s content?

Or fuck you? Fuck you, concession prices, for keeping me from eating hot dogs to my heart’s content?

In any case, my really long walk Saturday morning no doubt came in handy, as of course I had a hot dog. (How can you go to a ball game and not have a hot dog? I ask you).

Last week I weighed in at 239 pounds, a gain of a pound and a half since the previous week. But today? 236.5, a loss of two and a half pounds since last week (but only one pound since week 11), and a total loss of twenty-two and a half pounds.