Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Listening comfortably?

Best story of the day: "Are aliens tuned in to old radio stations?" A group of experts in the study of alien life forms met with a government minister yesterday and promised that by 2020 they will have definiitve answers about life on other planets.

For me, the most interesting point they made was that aliens could, even now, be listening in to our old radio shows. I wonder what they are making of ITMA, and The navy lark? Here are some more recommendations for any alien wishing to understand the British character:

Listen with mother (A good introduction to character-building rhymes and stories)

Journey into space (Best listened to from behind the sofa, this programme taught us all we know about the universe)

Hancock's Half Hour and The Goon Show (Understand these and you will BE a Brit.)

Mrs Dale's Diary and The Archers (For insight into the daily life of Middle England)

In Town Tonight (Instructions on how to stop the roar of busy London traffic)

I still have the rocket I built after listening to Children's Hour, so I'm going to send an advice sheet to the alien listeners. I would be happy to include more programmes, if you have any recommendations.


  1. Aliens scare me. Presumably they will be watching our TV soon and I'm hoping they become addicted to this so they will keep postponing their invasion for fear of missing the next episode.

  2. I can never keep them straight. Is that the one that Miss Brahms is on?

    As for aliens, leaving their non-existence to one side, their almost certainly not listening. If they are listening, it means they have radio receivers. If they have radio receivers, they have radio. If they have radio, they are broadcasting. If they are broadcasting and can hear us, they're broadcasting on the same spectrum we are. If they're broadcasting on the same spectrum we are and can hear us, we would be able to hear them. We can't hear them. Ergo, they can't hear us.

    Unless, of course, their giant warships are silently cruising through dark space listening for innocent worlds naively broadcasting their location.

  3. Peter: Do you mean that Corrie reaches Canada? Much to the horror of my family, I never miss an episode because the accents remind me of my Lancashire childhood. I must say though, I never met any of the characters or situations that appear in the 21st century episodes. Still, I can guarantee having the living room to myself for 30 minutes several times a week.

  4. David: you wouldn't spoil the fantasy with real science would you?

  5. monix, ditto. I believe it was one of your lot who said There are more things ... than are dreamt of in your philosophy. So who's to say there aren't ways, undreamt of by us, that aliens can listen to our radio transmissions without our being able to listen to theirs.

  6. Hmm, maybe your son needs to have a sit-down with you about what constitutes "real science." Just as soon as he figures it out.

  7. Although (and I swear I'm not making this up) someone told me just yesterday that his goal is to make me into a scientist.

  8. monix:

    Since about 1965. My mother and I used to watch it together every afternoon, but I knew the fate of the West was sealed when Ena Sharples died, so I gave it up.


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