blivet; speaking of 10 pounds in a 5 pound sack

[Reuters] Outer space gases brought to Earth on buckyballs

     WASHINGTON, March 21 - Weird gases from 
     outer space arrived on Earth during a 
     dinosaur-killing asteroid strike 65 million years 
     ago, and survive in molecular cages called 
     buckyballs, researchers reported on Tuesday. 
      
     Buckyballs, lacy-looking molecules made up of carbon 
     atoms, are also known as fullerenes and are named in 
     honor of Buckminster Fuller because they are shaped 
     like the geodesic dome he invented.
     <…>
     "They're enriched helium 3," Bunch said. "We know by 
     the helium signature that it was formed probably 
     outside the solar system … they've trapped them 
     inside (the buckyballs) at the site of formation." 
      
     This weird helium shows, as no other evidence has, 
     that buckyballs can transport extraterrestrial gases 
     without letting them escape on the way. Future 
     research may focus on other gases that might have 
     come to Earth in this fashion. 
      
     This research also supports the theory that gases 
     that make up Earth's atmosphere and organic 
     compounds came to Earth's surface during the 
     so-called age of bombardment, some 3.8 billion to 
     4.5 billion years ago, when "asteroids were running 
     wild in their orbits," as Bunch put it. 
     <…>
     "Most of the carbon in our bodies came from outside 
     the solar system," Bunch said. "We're all aliens."

Pretty cool stuff, kinda feeds the ‘where did life originate’ meme.

[Wired] In the new issue that came Saturday there is an article in which Bill Joy (über-geek, Sun Computer, wrote the vi text editor) talks about the future of nanotechnology and ‘intelligent machines’ and expresses his views on the necessity of the human race in the near future. Great article, I highly recommend it. A version of this story had surfaced on the 12th as ‘Bill Joy on the Extinction of Humans‘ at The Washington Post.

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Hal

I am the non-admin personality of blivet tool & die I have been academically trained as a professional archaeologist (MA, RPA) and now live in Arvada, CO. Father, husband, scientist, geek of several trades, and high-functioning Autistic adult. Future planetary expatriate?