Lately there’s been some talk between I and a few other geoscience bloggers about a possible Pacific Northwest tweetup. Details are sparse right now, but signs are pointing towards later in the summer, possibly late July or August. Which, if the tweetup is held in the Portland area, means that we’ll have some sunshine to look forward to. Lots of ideas are floating around about wine tasting and its connection to the local geology and I believe @lockwooddewitt has some field trip ideas up his sleeve. Dates haven’t been set, but as we get ideas rolling we’ll be sure to let everybody know through e-mail or one of the blogs. We’ll try hard to limit our enthusiasm on Twitter so as to not clog everyone’s feed.
In other news, I recently listened to a couple of Are We Alone podcasts from Seth Shostack. For those not familiar, Seth Shostak is the director of the SETI Institute. In his latest podcast “Skeptic Check: Mayhem and Octoberhem he and his cohost, Molly Bentley, talk about those that believe that the Rapture will happen May 21 followed by the end of the world October 21st. It’s a fantastic episode that also features Phil Plait who talks about actual ways that the world can end.
Another reason I bring up SETI and Seth Shostak is that funding for the Allen Telescope Array has basically been cut. This array was to be used in conjuction with the Kepler space telescope in order to look for radio transmissions from the planets that Kepler has discovered. As of this week the Allen Telescope Array is in hibernation until more funding can be secured. Since funding from both the state and the federal government is nonexistent, SETI is asking the public for donations to keep the Array up and running. They are excepting any donation amount and you can either donate through paypal or their own link. If you’re interested or able to help, click here and follow the instructions. And before I forget, the latest podcast of Skeptics Guide to the Universe has an interview with Seth where he discusses the importance of maintaining funding for the Array.