After years of protests from scientists, the entire species is recognized as endangered, not just the wild ones.

What that headline means is that the United States has been considering wild chimpanzees an endangered species but considering chimps in cages for experiments as perfectly non-endangered, since they've been nice and safe in the cages. Except for the experiments being performed on them for developing AIDS vaccines and other such non-endangering fun time-passers.

After years of protests from scientists, the entire species is recognized as endangered.

Jane Goodall responded with "It shows an awakening, it shows a new consciousness. We should all raise our glasses tonight.”

Raising a glass arounds chimpanzees might present other problems, but the general idea of celebration is agreeable. Except for the underlying problem that the chimps are endangered.

New research posits that Jupiter was a bit of a drunk bull in a bowling alley set in the middle of a china shop before it settled into its current orbit.

JupiterCredit: NASA/Cassini

New research posits that Jupiter was a bit of a drunk bull in a bowling alley set in the middle of a china shop before it settled into its current orbit. During that youthful period it indiscreetly powdered a smaller group of nascent planets, clearing the way for the current configuration: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars.

Many observed solar systems have gigantic inner planets, perhaps earth-like but with much greater gravity and less variety. Jupiter's wreckless careening, theoretically, sent some of the ones in our sysem crashing into the sun and the dusty remnants coalesced into our smaller, tidier planets.

What this means in practical terms is that when we encounter intelligent alien life someday they are likely to be bigger yet crushed down by the heavier gravity of their homeworlds, creating, by our earthian standards, a somewhat "squashed" or flattened appearance.

We here attempted an artist's rendering of these creatures, who would easily outnumber us, based on current estimates of the number of gigantic planets out there in the average solar systems:

Artist's rendering: Alien lifeforms from heavy exoplanets might compensate for the greater gravity by having a flattened appearance by Earth standards.
Artist's rendering: Alien lifeforms from heavy exoplanets might compensate for the greater gravity by having a flattened appearance by Earth standards.

Bear in mind, however, that part of the reason these solar systems with larger planets are estimated to far outnumber our system is because the current level of our telescopes and space exploration only allows us to see  the big ones right now; if there are other systems with a planetary system similar to ours, we would have difficulty detecting it from here, unless it were right around the corner.

The second half of the Wells interview with Hubbard.

Chapter 45 [Part 1]: L. Ron Hubbard, featuring Andrew Daly

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H.G. Wells. L.R. Hubbard. One of these two men know the difference between a science fiction story and a science fiction story masquerading at real life. You will have two hours to figure out which fiction writer believes which.

Part II available Tuesday, June 30, 2015.

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A study indicates that chimpanzees like cooked food, and might even prefer it. What's more surprising (actually that first part isn't surprising at all, but this is) is that chimpanzees "could" cook, if they wanted to. That's right: if they wanted to.
lunch
More study is needed.

A study indicates that chimpanzees like cooked food, and might even prefer it. What's more surprising (actually that first part isn't surprising at all, but this is) is that chimpanzees "could" cook, if they wanted to. That's right: if they wanted to.

The experiment used a fake pot with a false bottom (literally a magic oven) to let the chimps swap uncooked potatoes for cooked ones. The conclusion drawn by many news organizations was that the only thing holding these furry relatives back from careers at McDonalds or Buddokan was laziness or a reluctance to work for tips. This is not entirely supported by the study, though it does not rule it out. It also does not delve into the chimp attitude to sandwiches, ice cream in cones vs. bowls, or toasting raisin bread.

It is a small stretch to go from saying they prefer cooked potatoes to declaring they could totally cook if we gave them a fire or a microwave. (It is not necessarily a huge stretch. A huge stretch would be suggesting they like lobster bibs.) I know many humans who love french fries and will drive twenty minutes to a McDonalds but would not dream of cooking their own fries even if they could do it without setting their furry arms on fire. I know a smaller number of humans who would starve rather than get up from the couch for more ketchup to make their fries edible. For all we know the chimps might really like ketchup and not so much the hot potato. More study is needed.

This, of course, ties in neatly with another new study that finds chimpanzees will get drunk if they drink alcohol.  From which we can leap to the conclusion that a new study will find that chimps like Wing Night at Applebee's.