Thursday, July 03, 2014

1917 US Army IQ test; aliens; Cluny

1. Items - the US Army 1917 IQ Test

Showing the depth of my own stupidity, it took me hours to figure out that syntactically:
Lion : cat :: Dinosaur :  a) Mammal   b) Extinction   c) lizard   d)  Tyrannosaurus Rex
should be read as:
"Lion is to cat as Dinosaur is to ... choose one of the four following options."
The answer, by the way is c). So now we are all newly less stupid, it's time to take the test.


2. More on the Fermi Paradox

Carl Sagan was notorious for believing there were thousands and thousands of alien civilizations out there in the Milky Way and that they were all super-civilized and benevolent. Typical liberal astronomer. I recently reviewed "Lucky Planet: Why Earth is Exceptional—and What That Means for Life in the Universe" by David Waltham (who is a geologist with a contrary view) but I hadn't realised that the world is polarised between physicists and astronomers who think aliens are plentiful and biologists who think they are non-existent.

All is explained here.


3. Where we are inundated at Cluny, France

We arrived in Cluny, France (site of the famous mediaeval abbey) last Saturday evening after a sleepless night and a lengthy and exhausting drive up from Northern Italy. The weather was sunny, interspersed with violent thunderstorms. We pitched our tent and drove into Cluny, to the abbey which now houses, amongst other stuff, a restaurant. The outside tables were bathed in sunshine (also way too many flies but we were too fatigued to care) but mindful of the weather I pointed to a table under the canopy.

Our food arrived, and then this (video).