An ancient civilization from a distant star could have created immortal machines to roam the Milky Way and keep its legacy alive
By Avi Loeb on September 11, 2021
By now I have reached an age at which my birthdays can be thought of as a countdown to the inescapable end.
We live our life without knowing when that end will come. But acknowledging its inevitability encourages us to build monuments of our accomplishments that will outlast us.
Of course, our DNA can give us that sort of longevity through our children. But we often wish to add meaning to the world we leave behind that goes beyond our genetic code.
Source: Looking for Interstellar Monuments – Scientific American
It started with a blind date.
Theoretical astrophysicist Kip Thorne was a divorced, single dad raising a teenage daughter when he got a call in September 1980 from a close friend — who happened to be fellow scientist Carl Sagan.
Would Thorne be interested in going out with a woman he knew?
Though the shy Caltech professor was far more comfortable contemplating black holes and other imponderables than he was navigating the world of dating, he said yes.
Thorne took his date, Lynda Obst, then a science editor at the New York Times Magazine, to the world premiere of Sagan’s TV series “Cosmos” at the Griffith Observatory. True to science-nerd form, Thorne wore a not very flattering tuxedo — he remembers it being baby blue, though Obst insists it was maroon.
via Meet the astrophysicist whose 1980 blind date led to ‘Interstellar’ – LA Times.
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Famed physicist Kip Thorne brought real science to this year’s sci-fi movie epic “Interstellar.”
In his new book “The Science of ‘Interstellar'” (W.W. Norton & Company, 2014), Thorne goes into detail about the physics that underlies the awesome phenomena explored in the movie, including black holes, time dilation, a disease that could decimate food crops on Earth and an alien planet with 4,000-foot-tall (1,200 meters) water waves.
via ‘The Science of ‘Interstellar’ (US 2014): Book Excerpt.
“Like the great space epics of the past, Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” distills terrestrial anxieties and aspirations into a potent pop parable, a mirror of the mood down here on Earth. Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” blended the technological awe of the Apollo era with the trippy hopes and terrors of the Age of Aquarius. George Lucas’s first “Star Wars” trilogy, set not in the speculative future but in the imaginary past, answered the malaise of the ’70s with swashbuckling nostalgia. “Interstellar,” full of visual dazzle, thematic ambition, geek bait and corn (including the literal kind), is a sweeping, futuristic adventure driven by grief, dread and regret.”
via ‘Interstellar’ Review: Christopher Nolan’s Film Starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway – NYTimes.com.
Some minor spoilers in the review, but nothing major. Hope to see the film this weekend…
“After he plumbed the direst depths of Gotham City in his “Dark Knight” trilogy and traversed multiple levels of consciousness in “Inception,” it seems the only place the filmmaker Christopher Nolan could go next was outer space. In his latest feature, “Interstellar,” an intrepid shuttle team slips the surly bonds of earth to search for wormholes, black holes and planets beyond our galaxy; at the same time, the film is closely concerned with the pale blue dot the crew came from, which is rapidly becoming inhospitable to human life.”
via Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain on ‘Interstellar’ – NYTimes.com.