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Television For an Audience 45 Light Years Away 324

beebopdebop writes, "The Irish Times notes that Europe goes intergalactic tonight with the broadcast of a program conceived for aliens and broadcast towards a point 45 light years away in the direction of the Big Dipper. The two naked hosts will present their own unclothed bodies as examples of our physical embodiments, and will tell about daily human existence. Music, art, and our own personal messages will be transmitted as well as discussions from sociologists, scientists, and space experts. This project is the brainchild of the French-based Centre National D'etudes Spatiales and is rooted in seriousness as a natural extension of the gold-plated ambassador disks of Pioneer 10. Those of us wishing to be included can still post messages to be sent into space via a CNES antenna. We will have to wait 90 years to learn whether or not some lifeform was listening."
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Television For an Audience 45 Light Years Away

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  • by he-sk ( 103163 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @06:33AM (#16264429)
    The "hosts" were animated drawings, which looked surprisingly like the man and woman drawn on the disk that is aboard Pioneer.

    Incidentelly, I was watching TV with a friend yesterday as I don't own one, and while we flipped through the channels we stumbled upon that program. In the 10 minutes or so we watched, they showed an interview with Orson Welles, telling that he was shocked to learn that so many people took his radio play of War of the Worlds for real and then a guy who on 9/11 first thought that he, too, was in some kind of fake television play. Then they showed a report about early alien/monster movies and how they spoke of the desire and fear we have of the unknown.

    Inbetween segments they had a split screen with one panel showing a guy laying on the grass talking about something or other and in the other panels they showed beautiful nature photography.

    Quite entertaining, I must say.
  • The "hosts" were animated drawings

    Actually they are real human beings, look here [www.arte.tv]

    Anyway the program is mainly an artform to me, and the "send it to aliens" is just there as a cover.
    The idea is funny, but that's it...

    The best part was the letters to aliens from some average people, some were quite funny.
  • by Lord Crc ( 151920 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @08:36AM (#16264827)
    I remember reading about a conference on communication with ET's where one person prepared a message, not encrypted, but just expressed in a strange way

    Yeah I saw something similar. The guy had made a file containing the binary data and handed to fellow ET researchers, asking if they could decode it. Nobody was able to do it. The trick was that if you printed out the 1's and 0's using a certain column width, it drew a picture.

    There's a LOT of ways to encode data, which might seem intuative to some but will baffle others. I don't think you'll have to go further than the various file formats we got to see that ;)
  • by IWannaBeAnAC ( 653701 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @09:23AM (#16264989)
    Scary, you never did computer science 101, you don't even know what 'equivalence' means?

    Either that, or you never get undressed without having sex in the process.

  • by Explo ( 132216 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @10:10AM (#16265219)
    Being an hopeless astronomy freak, I couldn't help noticing that the article doesn't quite appear to know where they're actually sending the broadcast. On the beginning on the article they're talking about sending the broadcast to a star in Big Dipper. Later, the name of the star turns out to be Errai. All is fine and dandy, except that the Errai resides in Cepheus.

    Article does not mention why that particular star was selected, however, it appears to host a known exoplanet, which is quite probably the reason here. Errai also happens to be somewhat more massive than our sun, which means that it progresses through its 'life' faster than the Sol. Any possible life out there has less time to evolve before the star kicks the bucket. It's also a double star, which may make the orbits of the planet(s) in the system somewhat more chaotic.
  • by Fred_A ( 10934 ) <fred@freds[ ]e.org ['hom' in gap]> on Sunday October 01, 2006 @11:20AM (#16265701) Homepage
    They used animated versions of the two "sample humans" that were engraved on the pioneer probes.
  • Re:The reply: (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kidbro ( 80868 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @05:16PM (#16269007)
    It was a joke, dammit.

    Anyhoo, since people started complaining so much about it, I had to dig this [who.int] up (30kg/m^2+ is apparently the definition [wikipedia.org] of "obese"). The European countries are chosen "randomly" (in other words, I scrolled up and down that list, and picked the ones I noticed, until I had a total of ten).

  • Re:The reply: (Score:3, Informative)

    by Pathwalker ( 103 ) <hotgrits@yourpants.net> on Monday October 02, 2006 @03:20AM (#16273961) Homepage Journal
    The CDC has maps breaking down obesity by state.

    The 2005 data is here [cdc.gov].

System checkpoint complete.