Is Anybody Out There?

DATELINE:  Phone Home!

SETI@home No Robots Need Apply!

When we ask if anybody is out there, it sounds as if we are wondering whether anybody actually reads these blogs. Some may say that our outreach indicates there is no intelligent life behind the message.

The question and answer is somewhat bigger. A documentary about intelligent life in the universe raises some traditional questions about whether we humans are alone in the universe, and it runs through the SETI organization for the most part.

In case you have been hiding from ET, SETI is the acronym for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. It sounds like an oxymoron, not an acronym.

We don’t even have intelligent life in college faculties, let alone the entire planet.

The hour-long recap of info deals with the Drake Formula and the Fermi Paradox. One tells us how many intelligent planets there could be in the Milky Way (only a fraction of the universe), and the Fermi pessimism stated that all intelligent life forms have come and gone by now. We are indeed all alone.

If there is one point of interest from the doc, it is that there is something out there called SETI@home, which is a means that all of us, everyday idiots, can scan the skies for a phone call from ALF.

In 2010 Stephen Hawking warned against trying to reach out and touch an alien. SETI dismisses that idea.

We noticed on the application form that robots are not allowed to join SETI@home.

We prefer not to have furry aliens living in our garage, or mind-controlling our children, but it would break up the monotony of daily existence for the vast majority of intelligence-challenged humans.

You should watch this little science kindergarten show-and-tell because education has to start somewhere.

 

 

Yellow Brick Road Leads Out of Foxboro

 DATELINE: Patriots in Munchkinland

bosch Gillette Stadium?

Something has happened to the New England Patriots in the past month. You may not be in Kansas, but it sure doesn’t look like New England.

Less than kind Patriot-haters might say the rats are leaving the sinking ship.  Whatever your thoughts, the good ship SS Belichick is listing badly after hitting an iceberg in the Super Bowl.

Key players have opted to leave in free agency—and teammates remaining are wishing them good luck and happy voyage, almost as if they are envious.

Foremost among the congratulations on social media are coming from Tom Brady and Gronk.

Gronk still has not dispelled rumors he is going Hollywood on New England, and Tom Brady dropped a hint that he is a man of his convictions in his TV autobiography series—and he appears to have switched convictions in mid-stream.

Life begins at 40—but not in Foxboro.

These key Patriots (Nate Solder, Amendola, Butler, Lewis, and who knows who else) have talked among teammates. If you don’t realize that, you don’t know what’s happening.

It’s like a bad Bob Dylan song: the mattress is now balancing precariously on Bill Belichick’s head. Someone is ready to drop a house on Wicked Witchy Belichick. His former coaches and underlings are picking up the pieces Belichick has shed. And they are happy to have them.

During the season, opposing players attacked the Foxboro as being as unpleasant under the control of Ebenezer Scrooge Belichick before any ghosts haunted him. It was worse than Hieronymus Bosch’s depiction of Hell.

We see the end as coming in a whimper, not a bang. Brady and Gronk are packing their bags, and everyone else is cashing in their chips.

Oh, my. Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my. The gold brick road is leading to ruination for the Kraft family of marshmallows.

Wrap Up Oak Island: Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

DATELINE:  Like a Hunt for the Maltese Falcon

Falcon.jpeg

If ever a season of hope was upon Oak Island, the fifth year of the series dig was it. Yet, the curse of the treasure hunt was that hope may be their worst enemy.

As the team of hunters gathered at the end of The Curse of Oak Island for an assessment, we came away yet again with a great respect for 94-year old Dan Blankenship. He cut through all the discoveries and made a simple pronouncement. He felt 90% of what they found was on the surface, not under ground.

He wondered about the expense. Yet, he was also even as he comes around the bend toward a century of life, allured by the mystery of the place where he has spent half his life.

We went around the table at the faces of we have come to know quite well: Dan, the wise elder, to Gary Drayton, our metal detector, to Alex Lagina, the hot young nephew of the expedition leaders, to his bearded cousin—and a couple of historians who lead the scribe element of grand expeditions from Alexander the Great to Lewis & Clark.

Dumb luck was lost to dumb decisions, that made the dive team into a 75-foot shaft disheartening. The wish for a steel plate over a treasure chest is the stuff of dreams. If Oak Island is just another Maltese Falcon, we are satisfied with the adventure of it all.

Will there be another season? You can bet your Nielsen ratings on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patriots Come Up with More Plots than Dickens

DATELINE:  Turn of the Screw?

Belichick Hit Man Hit

Yikes! Babe McDaniels will not leave the New England Patriots.

What gives? You may wonder why or how someone comes to the decision to back out of a promotion to head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.

The team that created treachery by accusing Tom Brady of “Deflategate” was about to introduce Josh McDaniels at a press conference in the morning—when he changed his mind.

Yes, on the heels of a dozen present and former players sending out supporting tweets on behalf of Malcolm Butler, whom Belichick benched for no good reason during the Super Bowl, and all against Bill Belichick, we have the offensive coordinator, and close friend of Tom Brady, reneging on a deal to coach the Colts.

We haven’t seen this sort of machination since—gulp hard, fans, since Bill Belichick reneged on the Jets!

History is repeating itself. But why?

Can it be that Belichick is closer to leaving the Patriots than anyone can possibly imagine by hook or crook?

Can it be that Robert Kraft has indeed sweetened the pot to keep Josh McDaniels—by promising him the job as head of the Patriots in the near future?

If Bill Belichick is leaving, Josh would be the natural choice to succeed him and keep Brady in clover for a few more years.

We are among those who are now thinking that the house of cards constructed by Swami Belichick has dry rot.

We are among those who wonder how much longer Belichick will be coaching in Foxboro. Is it retirement that drives him, or a job with another team?

Shock waves usually create a tsunami. Head for the high ground because we think that Foxboro may be inundated shortly and deeply.

Crossing Your Heart on Oak Island

 DATELINE:  Medieval Cross Amazes Hunters

lagina's cross

Rick Lagina crosses our hearts.

 

You may be surprised that we are up to Episode 10 of the fifth season on Oak Island. They have hit a plateau with the boring stuff.

Yes, their 50” drill, supposedly to be used with great care, has fallen through some vault and down 10 feet without meeting any resistance. So much for smashed objects.

There really is no where to go but down.

While waiting for more water (they are out of water on an island?) that is used to sift through the debris located at 150 feet to locate more bones, pottery, or whatever else is down there, Rick Lagina and Gary Drayton, the Australian metal detector guy, went to a rocky beach area at low tide.

With the expensive metal detector, Drayton made one of the more intriguing discoveries of a season of odd items. He located a rough-hewn cross made of lead.

Rick Lagina immediately recognized it as resembling the crosses he had seen from Knights Templars—and Drayton was convinced, without any other confirmation, that the style of the cross meant it could be from as early as 1200.

The Templars were wiped out as heretics in the early 1300s.

There is no way to know if the cross came to Oak Island, improbably, years after it was made, lost off a ship, brought by waves to its present location. No, we suspect it was dropped there by a visitor. But, jumping the gun becomes the norm when your patience is at a nadir. We want some official inspection by experts.

We feel the long wait may be about to pay off on Oak Island.

Patriot Destiny Calls—and the Ringing Phone is from Nemesis

DATELINE:  Nemesis Rears Its Ugly Head

lord

Teams of destiny, uh-oh. The Patriots may have answered the call this weekend, but the call was for two other winners: Jaguars and Vikings.

The stench of inevitability, not inability, turns people against teams:  whether it’s the New York Yankees or the New England Patriots. If you win the dynasty game, you are fair game for nemesis. That is the ultimate retribution for being a lucky winner ad nauseum.

Thank you, Alex Guerrero for putting the Patriots on notice with TB12’s curse. Tom smashed that mirror in the pre-season as a challenge, and now the piper must be paid.

Tom Brady has won enmity more than anything else since his Deflategate and his five Super Bowl rings. So, you know that people love to hate him. His new documentary series will be a hit because those haters want to see the icon up close for disparaging. These boots were made for disparaging, for us too.

As far as worry, the Patriots ought to be scared s***less, if we may borrow one of their biggest fans favorite epithets. Trump will send endless curses on the Patriots, his team of destiny.

Now there are two other teams of destiny:  Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings. They were not meant to win much, certainly not a Super Bowl. But they have become the nouveau Jack the Giant Slayer.  Either they are that or they are old-fashioned jackdaws. That’s the dirty old crow that likes to steal baubles for no reason and bring them back to their nest.

The Pats may have their pockets picked by either one of these new teams of destiny. Someone up there doesn’t like the Pats—and may be nothing can stop these perennial also-runners up from hitting the dizzying heights of metaphor Destiny.

You may hear the term in the next few weeks, if not already. Team of Destiny.  And let us be the first to tell you: it is the Patriots who are headed for an ugly fall, sooner or later.

Scorched Earth of Belichick

DATELINE:  What Follows

Saluting BB

Fans may be a little disconcerted to learn that, if Bill Belichick leaves the New England Patriots in a snit, he will destroy everything he has created and leave mere ashes to his successor, whoever that dumb associate is.

If you think Josh McDaniels or Matt Patricia is prepared to pick up the pieces, or capable of saving the franchise, you will not be surprised they are moving onward.

Scorched Earth will mean that whatever is left will be in a messy state: like an aging Brady and his guru Guerrero running the team. Doddering Robert Kraft will surrender more power to his dim-wit son. We’ve seen in other cases of primogeniture how that works out in the NFL.

Will Bill depart after this season, perhaps with yet another Super Bowl trophy, and return the Pats back to their pathetic Patsie ways before he arrived? Ah, yes, the happy days of Pete Carroll!

Look at what may happen. The Patriots will have a 41-year-old quarterback on his last legs. His successor-in-emergency will be Brian Hoyer, a man who has lost in seven franchises.

Coordinators Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia will happily move on to other teams.

Front office genius Nick Caserio will leave for greener pastures.

Without Jimmy G, the Patriot future is bleak. Perhaps he will re-sign in free agency.

Otherwise, Brian Hoyer will mostly help the aging Brady on and off the field for the next five to ten years.

It was always the strategy of the Roman emperors to leave the nation in worse hands after his departure.

The logic was that the former emperor, now gone, will be much better appreciated if those taking up his job and his successors are deplorable.

Time and time again in Ancient Rome, the Empire crumbled because worse and worse emperors followed each other, rewarded because they would insure the previous leader was missed, appreciated, and honored.

There is no head coach on earth who can follow Bill Belichick.  The crying of fans will have just begun.

 

What comes in his wake when he leaves is the fall of the Patriot Empire.