Would you invite this alien to your home planet?

Because, according to Stephen Hawking, any successful attempt to contact extra-terrestrial life would probably result in something horrible like humans being farmed out as food, rather than the touching sort of human/alien contact portrayed in movies like Cocoon.

Aliens are out there... and we need to stop trying to talk to them, he says.

"We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet," the award-winning British scientist said in the series for the Discovery Channel.

To drive the point home, Hawking argued that aliens visiting Earth would likely be the same as when explorers first arrived in the New World.

"If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans," he said.


Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach," he said, arguing that they may have taken to the stars because they depleted resources on their home world.


Anxiously awaiting the arrival of my mail-order tomahawk, I note that over at macleans.ca there is some speculating going on as to who Scott Feschuk would rather hit over the head with a shovel, Michael Ignatieff or Stephen Harper:

Dear Scott:

If you had to hit either Stephen Harper or Michael Ignatieff with a shovel whom would you choose and why? – Anon Liberal

Anon Liberal

I think I speak for most people when I say the most important part of hitting someone with a shovel is the element of surprise. That’s one of the two things that make hitting someone with a shovel so satisfying. (The other thing: the hitting-him-with-a-shovel part.)

This leads to the question: If Stephen Harper got hit with a shovel, would anybody be surprised? Maybe for a moment. For a moment, they’d be surprised. But then they’d sit around and say things like, “It was bound to happen eventually” or “You know, I was thinking just the other day that Stephen Harper hadn’t been hit with a shovel lately.” That would ruin the whole experience for me.

While I, for one, consider a tomahawk (or even an Iroquois War Club) a much more versatile tool than a shovel for this sort of task, still I am glad to see that Feschuk has brought the question of Stephen Harper being struck with a blunt instrument into the realm of public discussion.



If democracy was a popularity contest, Harper would be out and Jean would stay in

On Wednesday Aaron Wherry posted the relative popularity of Canadian public figures, according to long time Conservative pollsters Angus Reid. The results?

Danny Williams 80%
Michäelle Jean 57%
Brad Wall 56%
Jack Layton 32%
Stephen Harper 29%
Greg Selinger 26%
Darrell Dexter 23%
Gordon Campbell 23%
Jean Charest 22%
Dalton McGuinty 21%
Michael Ignatieff 16%
Ed Stelmach 16%
Shawn Graham 15%