Blow Your Mind: Go on a Date with an Extraterrestrial


Maybe don't be yourself on the first date, humans. (Rob Speed/Creative Commons)

We'd all love to date an extraterrestrial. Yes, all of us. Whether your dream date is a furry blue Jeff Goldblum or simply a clothing-optional space vampire, it's certainly crossed your mind at some point. To misquote Arthur C. Clarke, "Either we are alone in the Universe or we might possibly meet hotties from another planet. Both are equally terrifying."

Yes, terrifying. Because as Julie and I explore in this week's podcasts, humans bring a considerable amount of anthropomorphic baggage and plain old human drama to the table. So please, by all means, listen to theses podcasts if you hope to win the heart (or suitable alien cardiovascular organ) of that green-skinned dreamboat from the planet Orion.

Alien Etiquette 101 Chances are, you've got filters on your Facebook profile. There's one version of your online self for complete strangers, one version for mere acquaintances and still others for different friendship levels. You decide what the online world gets to know about you and what remains locked away in the closet.

When it comes to extraterrestrials, however, we're a bit of an open book. In this podcast, we discuss just what aliens may already know about us. What do all those TV programs say about our culture? Should we ask the aliens out before or after they find out about humanity's greatest crimes and the existence of Carrot Top? And what about the "Will you go out with me?" letters we've sent out in the form of deep-space probes and transmissions? Will they like the music on our golden records? And what will they think of the sexy photos we sent them?

All this and more will be addressed.

Earthlings, You're So Vain And yes, you probably think this universe is about you. We might be the most self-obsessed creatures in the cosmos. Seriously, walk up to us at the galactic bar and it's all going to be "yada yada carbon this" and "yada yada rare Earth that." Heaven forbid we shut up and buy someone a drink. Julie and I discuss such topics as the carbon chauvinism, the Goldilocks Principle and the Anthropic principle. Maybe we're alone in the universe because we're jerks?

So there you have it! You can find the latest STBYM episodes on iTunes or on the RSS feed. Turn on, tune in and drop out.

Skull still intact? Follow Robert and Julie for more mind-blowing science on Twitter and Facebook.


About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.