Captioned Photo

A brief but interesting article on Saturn’s Moon, Enceladus. Titan is just as interesting – maybe even more so. But they are a long way from Earth and won’t be explored seriously in my lifetime.

 

 

Life that feeds on Silacon?

Descende, audax viator, et terrestre centrum attinges (Descend, bold traveller, and you will attain the center of the Earth). The saying, in Latin, invites you to go on a Journey to the Center of the Earth in Jules Verne’s novel of the same name. 

And when you go deep inside the earth, not deep enough to be melted by magma, what do you find?

The Mponeng Gold Mine descends 1.7 miles below the surface of the earth. As such, it’s the deepest dry spot on the planet. In order for gold mine workers to operate at that depth where it’s hot because of radioactive decay and the nearness to the magma, a water slush is pumped down to reduce the temperature.

And there, in the rock is the only species known to live alone in its own ecosystem…candidatus desulfordis audaxviator.

Ca. D. audaxviator

It is one of the few known organisms that does not depend on sunlight for nourishment. Ca. D. audaxviator” is a Gram positive sulfate-reducing bacterium (making it the first complete such genome). The genome contains an unusual transposon and possesses many sites of insertion. Its complete intolerance of oxygen suggests long-term isolation. The hydrocarbons in that environment do not come from living organisms. The source of the hydrogen needed for their respiration comes from the decomposition of water by radioactive decay of uranium, thorium, and potassium. The radiation allows for the production of sulphur compounds that these bacteria can use as a high-energy source of food.

I’m not drawing linkage between a deep mine in South Africa and a moon racing around Saturn, but it’s all very interesting.

17 COMMENTS

    • I have to break from the bullshit from time to time because.

      The news is incredibly disturbing, but there are things in the world around us that are still engaging.

    • They wouldn’t think that you taste good.

      Which is always an interesting take on alien (space alien, not illegal alien) life. By that, I mean the Andromeda Strain – a more lethal pandemic in pop fiction. Anything from out there that is interested in eating your brain is unlikely to think that it tastes good. Now anal probing, which seems to be popular with space aliens, still serves to fascinate them, based on reports from those who are taken up into the sky on their ships. The fact that the campers that this impacts are also dropping acid and are LGBTQ+ in the first place should be ignored. (settled science and all that)

      • This is the thing that gets me about the alien life ideas. Remember that classic Twilight Zone with the book, “To Serve Man”? (“It’s a cookbook!!”) Aliens would have to be nearly biologically and chemically identical to us to feed on us.

        As for why they want to mutilate cows and probe people for nose nuggets, that’s just beyond me.

        • “probe people for nose nuggets”
          Have you had a COVID-test nasal swab? I haven’t, but I’m told by abductees, er, those who had ‘em, that they drive that swab darn near into your brain.

          Anyway, maybe the aliens are simply perverts, or enjoy doling out humiliation. Maybe we’re not dealing with scientific-minded aliens doing research, but rather their equivalents of cow tippers, or kids who capture a bug to torture it.

          • I have not been tested for the plague. I believe that I had it one year ago before it was cool because I interacted with people who returned from Wuhan, ill, and came down with a bad flu. Since then I’ve interacted with plague + people who were fully symptomatic over prolonged time (over 3 hours) and narry a sniffle.

            Has anyone tested the people who are driving swabs into brains for alien DNA? It’s a fair question.

            As to dolling out humiliation, being probed in any way medical is humiliating enough. Maybe it’s to get us accustomed to aliens?

          • My Sweet Little Wife is going to be tested on Monday. She said you drive up, get a swab in a sealed packet, open it, swab your own nose, put it back in the packet, and turn the packet back in.

            Be real interesting to take the swab and leave. Maybe find some like-minded people with lab access and see what, if anything, is on the swab itself…..

          • I hope that everything will turn out ok for her, for you (and of course for Pebbles-the-Wonder-Dog). I don’t know how accurate the testing is now, but I suspect that the long test (not the 5 minute test) has to be in the 90th percentile.

  1. I have been wracking my old brain for a reason that the left is prepared to destroy our country. How seemingly intelligent people cannot see the end result of their insane ideas. So , maybe they are aliens intent on world domination, that would be a Great Reset, take out the USA , the rest of the world would fall in behind. that would explain a lot.

    • I’m telling you, all of the other conspiracies are used up. It has to be space aliens. Pelosi (a lizard) wearing a human skin suit.

    • The people destroying this country don’t think like you. Or me. To them it’s not insane, because they have a different set of cultural programming. We may share the same language, and intersect in every other possible way (using the same financial system, same roads and bridges, and same shops; watching the same movies, etc) but they occupy a radically different headspace. Trying to figure out/predict their actions using our values and reasoning is doomed to failure and defeat. I’m not saying that what they do is random, I’m saying that you have to put yourself into their headspace. I don’t have a complete answer, but I think it would help to have the following fundamental premises when wargaming it out:
      1. resentment and paranoia – everyone is out to get you, and everything they do has an evil ulterior motive.
      2. insane competition – everything is a zero sum game, on the individual level to be sure, but especially when it comes to inter-group rivalry. YOU may not be competing with THEM, but they are with you, and in their mind you are a hostile competitor, willing to stoop to any depths to get one over on them. So they do that to you, not because THEY are bad people, but out of pre-emptive self defense.
      3. insecurity and self-loathing – the insecurity comes of being raised so that everything, especially intrafamily, is a zero sum game. I’ve seen it with a number of colleagues. The result is overachievers who are casually and self-righteously horrible to others. (Because that is how THEY were treated when they were young and helpless.)
      4. self righteousness manifesting as psychopathy – everyone is out to get them for no reason at all, so anything they do is only right and just; it’s the other people who are malignant and evil. Always for no reason at all. Therefore there is no reason to refrain from any action against other individuals not belonging to their righteous (or lefteous) tribe however they identify, be it the BLM Tribe, the Progressive Tribe, or any other Tribe. Because the outsiders are fundamentally evil, any act against them is permitted. Indeed, it is not only permitted, but correct. [1]

      At least that’s how I see it. I don’t think the above is close to everything, but I think it covers 60-70% of the actions of the persons destroying this country.

      As to the different cultural assumptions/different headspace thing, two examples from popular culture:
      1. Archie Bunker was supposed to the hateful buffoon. Meathead Mike Stivik was the one with the correct opinions. But normal people liked Archie and thought Meathead was the buffoon. Norman Lear’s world view was not the same as the average American’s.
      2. The character Rorschach from Alan Moore’s Watchmen (either the comic or the original movie, forget the SJW Black Power TV version) was supposed to be a caricature of the activist far right, literally an ultraviolent, unbathed basement dweller. Moore was shocked and horrified that Rorschach became popular; he failed to understand that despite the smelliness and the ultraviolence, people respected the character for his integrity.

      [1] The Progs talk big about loving The People, but they tend to be terrible to individual persons. Me, I hate “people” as in crowds, mobs, political parties, and so forth. But I am very interested in persons. PKG shakes her head over this on a regular basis. “You say you hate people, but you can spend a half-hour talking to the store clerk about how she ended up in Maine. Or an hour talking with the furnace [HVAC] guy about the ballistics of .270 Winchester. What the hell?”

      • I find that conservatives don’t want to force people into their way of thinking. Progs must live in an environment where everyone affirms their bullshit or they go insane.

        Which brings to mind the recent election where the Donkeys are really divided by so many different grievance groups, all of which want THEIR philosophy to be dominant. There are the Green New Deal morons who feel that the planet will be dead in six years, the socialists who want to use other’s wealth, the communists who want to destroy all money, the champaign liberals (let them eat cake) who want to lecture the towel boy at the country club because he has dirt under his fingernails, and so forth. It’s not really one big tent. It’s fifty pup tents under a bigtop and you have a walking corpse and a whore who will be the ringmasters. Each of the fifty groups despises the other 49, and can’t abide a situation where THEIR philosophy isn’t the accepted one.

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