Magazine October 18, 2010, Issue

Plan 9 from Turtle Bay

NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image showing the bright star-forming ring that surrounds the heart of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1097, a Seyfert galaxy. (NASA/ESA/Hubble/Handout via Reuters)

The Hubble telescope spots it first; the astronauts on the International Space Station watch in stunned silence as it glides past the moon and enters our atmosphere. It is an enormous craft of extraterrestrial origin. We are not alone! Well, except when we talk about that rash we had last year. But in a cosmic sense, we now have neighbors — or landlords. A nervous world scrambles to choose an emissary to greet them. Some possible choices:

Stephen Hawking. Downside: Aliens recognize his genius and explain where his theories are wrong, leading to another book we’ll have to pretend we read,

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Letters

I have long thought Steyn one of the best writers in America. Now I now know him to be a seer as well.

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