So here’s the deal – yesterday evening while sitting in my car waiting for my son to get out of school I was searching for alien life (as you do) when I ran across Metropolis II…
My son and one of his best friends are in the JROTC drill team at school. They practice marching around after school until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. I pick them up two evenings and the friend’s mother does the other two.
I think that the JROTC is great (as a concept – I don’t think it would have been my “thing” when I was young), but in the case of the one at my son’s school, they couldn’t organize themselves to find their way out of a paper bag. They are constantly early or late or in the wrong place or something-or-other.
This is was that yesterday evening I found myself hanging around waiting for my son. To pass the time I decided to check up on the big NASA announcement that they had discovered “Alien Life” (Click Here to see one article).
When I first heard that NASA was scheduled to make a major announcement I was hoping that they had discovered evidence of intelligent life via some means like detecting radio signals or something. At the very least, I was hoping for some sort of biological signature detected on an exoplanet.
So I must admit that I was a little disappointed to learn that, in fact, NASA scientists announced that they had found a type of bacteria deep down in the mud at the bottom of Mono Lake in California that was able to live on arsenic rather than phosphorous.
Now, although this isn’t as revolutionary as I’d hoped, it is still quite exciting in its own way, because – until now – the six fundamental building-block-atoms of all life as we know it have comprised of carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, sulfur, and phosphorous. Prior to this discovery, nothing known to science has been able to consume arsenic and survive, with or without phosphorous.
The bottom line is that this will impact the search for extraterrestrial life. Consider the fact that our probes to Mars have not yet discovered anything resembling life … but maybe they were looking for the wrong thing … and now we know that life can exist in a high-arsenic environment, we can start looking for it in those environments, like certain moons of Jupiter and Saturn.
But that’s not what I wanted to tell you about (grin)…
Do you remember the classic black-and-white science fiction film Metropolis? Produced in 1927 in Germany by Fritz Lang, the film is set in the massive, sprawling futuristic mega-city Metropolis, whose society is divided into two classes: one of planners and management, who live high above the Earth in luxurious skyscrapers; and one of workers, who live and toil underground.
Well, after my search for alien life, I happened to blunder into a video on YouTube called Metropolis II. This features a warehouse containing a sprawling “city” containing thousands of miniature cars. The sound of the cars racing around is awesome:
And here’s another version with the sound of the cars replaced by a music soundtrack:
This really is rather cool … I would love to see it in the flesh (as it were)… maybe one day I will…