Friday, January 15, 2010

Dictionary Highlights: Day 15

astringer - a person who trains and flies short-winged hawks, as the goshawk.

astrobiology - (not in technical use) exobiology.

Really, really presumptuous to assume that we will ever encounter extraterrestrial life. The probability of any given planet being able to support any sort of life is around 10^280. Cosmologists estimate that there are 10^90 atoms in the observable universe. In addition to that is the travel problem. All planets within a 157 light year radius of us have been shown uninhabitable. No space vessel, no matter how heavily armored, will be able to accelerate to more than 10% of the speed of light without being destroyed by space dust, and wormholes are too narrow to allow anything larger than an electron to pass through them.

asymptotic freedom - a property of the force between quarks, according to quantum chromodynamics, such that they behave almost like free particles when they are close together within a hadron.

ataraxia - a state of freedom from emotional disturbance and anxiety; tranquillity.

athirst -
1. having a keen desire; eager (often fol. by for): She has long been athirst for European travel.
2. Archaic for thirsty

Atlantis - a legendary island, first mentioned by Plato, said to have existed in the Atlantic Ocean west of Gibraltar and to have sunk beneath the sea, but linked by some modern archaeologists with the island of Thera, the surviving remnant of a much larger island destroyed by a volcanic eruption c1500 b.c.

Never knew modern archaeology investigated this

Attic - of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Greece or of Athens.

I wonder if the ancient Greeks had attics.

audion - an early type of triode.


Doug Mazanec said...

the probability of there being intelligence life elsewhere in the universe has been shown to be a near certainty ... and it is presumptuous to assume future space science won't allow us to attain speeds & distances far beyond our limited present understanding ..

accepting the above will bring you ataraxia ..

Drew said...

The idea of an infinitely large universe is a mathematical impossibility, a presumption that Aczel's case hangs on.

Accepting that metaphysical naturalism has been all but refuted may bring you ataraxia.

or in video form:

Drew said...

But is intelligent life a near certainty?