Voyager Golden Record

My V'Ger swag has arrived, and it's gorgeous! The book and all the various bits and pieces are really cool. It also comes with a sweet slip mat.

I was a little disappointed that the audio download didn't come with the digitally encoded images, because I don't actually own a record player (shut up) but fortunately it's on Soundcloud. (direct download).

Here's a fun story about figuring out how to decode the images:

Unfortunately, I had gotten about this far when someone asked Dr. Frank Drake to explain what the hieroglyphics meant. What was obviously a record stylus had suggested nothing to me. How is an alien Kerbal supposed to know what a record stylus is? Dr. Drake resolved that one quickly enough: a stylus is provided with each spacecraft.

The files he was able to extract are all here.

I'm pretty sure some of these pictures violate the Terms of Service on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Nation Suddenly Realizes This Just Going To Be A Thing That Happens From Now On

From 2012. I liked The Onion more back when it was fiction.

NEW YORK -- Following Hurricane Sandy's destructive tear through the Northeast this week, the nation's 300 million citizens looked upon the trail of devastation and fully realized, for the first time, that this is just going to be something that happens from now on.

Gradually comprehending that this sort of thing is now just a fact of life, citizens all across America stared blankly at images of destroyed homes, major cities paralyzed by flooding, and ravaged communities covered in debris, and finally acknowledged that this, apparently, is now a regular part of the human experience.

"Oh, I see -- this is just going to be how it is from here on out," said New York City resident Brian Marcello, coming to terms with the fact that an immense storm that cripples mass transit systems and knocks out power for millions in the nation's largest metropolitan area can no longer be regarded as an isolated, freak incident, and will henceforth be just a normal thing that happens. "Hugely destructive weather events are going to keep happening, and they are going to get worse and worse, and living through them is something that will be a part of all our lives from now on, whether we like it or not." [...]

A Reuters poll conducted earlier this week found that 43 percent of Americans reported finally accepting the fact that a potentially endless number of increasingly lethal natural disasters would likely occur throughout the coming decades, while as many as 18 percent of respondents said they were "almost relieved" knowing that the possibility of their entire life being washed away in an instant now existed. [...]

"I went through something very similar a few years ago when I finally came to terms with the fact that no one would ever listen to anything I said about global warming," Morales added. "And that it is entirely too late to do anything about it."

Previously, previously.

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