Heroes

Let's dig in to some truly eyebrow-raising theories about aliens.

If there are so many planets, where the heck is everyone?

Let's dig in to some truly eyebrow-raising theories about aliens.

If there are so many planets, where the heck is everyone?

A video from Kurzgesagt digs into some truly eyebrow-raising questions about aliens. It starts with what physicists Enrico Fermi and Michael H. Hart got to wondering about. It's called the Fermi paradox, and it goes like this:

If...


  • There are 100 billion galaxies just in the observable universe
  • Which means there are 100 to 1,000 billion stars
  • Which means there are probably trillions of trillions of livable planets, so life could be, like, everywhere
  • And lots of these planets are older than Earth, so some of the theoretically more-developed folks/critters that might be on those planets could/should have figured out space travel by now

Then...

  • Where are they already?

Well, far far far far away, if they exist out in the larger universe.

The universe is expanding, so it would take us billions of years in the speediest spaceship to get to anybody outside of our galactic neighborhood.

All images by Kurzgesagt.

But if we think locally, it actually is possible.

In the Milky Way alone, there are likely to be about 4 billion habitable places to live.

And if just 0.1% of them actually have any life, that would be 4 million places somebody or something could be living. (The video incorrectly says "1 million." Hey, anyone can make a mistake.)

So the heavens should be teeming with spaceships.

So, um, where's the party? It may be due to those pesky things the video calls “filters."

For instance, maybe life requires a more particular set of conditions than we realize. Certainly, the universe hasn't always been very welcoming.

Maybe we're actually unique, or we could even be the first life anywhere.

Maybe some filters just make it really hard to keep living things alive. (Not to point any fingers here.)

It's also possible that an ancient advanced life-form has been watching us all along.

It could also be that we haven't seen anyone yet because that advanced life-form zaps away any civilization that advances to a certain point to preserve the galactic peace. Just saying.

But if we are alone, wow. That makes what we have even more important.

If we screw up this planet beyond saving, we could be eliminating the only life in the entire universe. Anywhere. Well, that's a big responsibility. After all, this universe is too beautiful not to be experienced by someone.

The video is tons of fun and full of big, weird ideas. Enjoy.

True

Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less
via Kim Kardashian West / Twitter

It's not hard for most people to make fun of the Kardashians. But this week it got even easier after Kim tweeted she took a birthday getaway to Tahiti with her friends and family — during a deadly pandemic.

"After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time," she tweeted.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

Ah, the awkward joy of school picture day. Most of us had to endure the unnatural positioning, the bright light shining in our face, and the oddly ethereal backgrounds that mark the annual ritual. Some of us even have painfully humorous memories to go along with our photos.

While entertaining school picture day stories are common, one mom's tale of her daughter's not-picture-perfect school photo is winning people's hearts for a funny—but also inspiring—reason.

Jenny Albers of A Beautifully Burdened Life shared a photo of her daughter on her Facebook page, which shows her looking just off camera with a very serious look on her face. No smile. Not even a twinkle in her eye. Her teacher was apologetic and reassured Albers that she could retake the photo, but Albers took one look and said no way.

Keep Reading Show less
via Ted-Ed / YouTube

Trees are one of the most effective ways to fight back against climate change. Like all plants, trees consume atmospheric carbon through photosynthesis then store it in their wood tissue and in the surrounding soil.

They work as an organic vacuum to remove the billions of pounds of carbon dioxide that humans have dumped into the atmosphere over the past century.

So, if trees are going to be part of the war on climate change, what strategies should we use to make the best use of their amazing ability to repair the Earth? How can we be sure that after planting these trees they are protected and don't become another ecological victim of human greed?

Keep Reading Show less