Watch out for nomadic extra-terrestrials

Hawking’s earliest astrophysics work posited the existence of singularities, mathematically conforming black holes with Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity…An atheist, anti-war activist, BDS supporter and anti-capitalist, the overlap between Hawking’s humanist politics and scientific interests found expression in his repeated public statements on the possibility of contact with extraterrestrial life.

Hawking took a conflicted position on alien life, at once promoting the search for extraterrestrial life and warning about the potential dangers of first contact with an alien species. His position on extraterrestrial life advocates two approaches: collecting intel and keeping as quiet as possible.

In 2010, Hawking worried what that answer would bring, describing the dangers of first contact with aliens in a Discovery Channel documentary. “If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans,” Hawking says. “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.”

It could be worse than perpetual Trumpism.

Croatian village fights holey war!

It happened suddenly and without warning. Where there should have been the emerging first shoots of potato seedlings behind the orchard in Nikola Borojević’s spacious garden, there was now huge hole. Measuring 30m (98ft) wide and 15m (49ft) deep, it quickly filled with water. And it wasn’t the only one.

Within the space of a few weeks, dozens of similar holes had opened up around the village of Mečenčani and neighbouring Borojovići in north-east Croatia. The one outside Borojević’s home in Mečenčani appeared on 5 January, just six days after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the area around the nearby city of Petrinja. It was the strongest earthquake to have hit Croatia for more than four decades, killing seven people and destroying thousands of homes.

While landslides and sinkholes are known to be triggered by earthquakes, along with other strange geological phenomena such as liquefactions – where the solid ground begins to behave like a liquid – the sheer number of holes appearing around the two villages surprised and baffled experts. A month after the earthquake, there were almost 100 sinkholes spread over a 10 sq km (3.8 sq miles) area, with new ones opening every week…

After analysing data collected from the area around Mečenčani and Borojovići, Croatian geologists concluded that the strange events resulted from a complex combination of several different factors…

“The situation in Croatia can be considered as warning of what can happen in countries with earthquakes and areas that are prone to cover-collapse sinkholes,” says geologist George Veni.

RTFA. Interesting details. Bother your local geologists to see if there’s something comparable in your backyard.