July 27, 2007

SETI@home Reply!

The other day I had sent the following suggestion to the Director of the SETI@home project. (If you're not familiar with SETI@home, read this first.)

Dear Mr. Anderson,

I'm very interested in the SETI@home project and have been a supporter of it for years. I'm writing because I have an idea that I believe will bring SETI@home to a much wider audience, thereby increasing its scope and efficiency.

The idea is simple: If your computer is the first one to locate extraterrestrial intelligence, you win a valuable prize.

I was thinking First Prize could be something like: Dinner with the Aliens. All expenses paid. This could be either here on Earth or on their home planet. (Assuming. A: Their planet can support human life, and B: They're not hellbent on the cataclysmic destruction of our entire race.) If it is here on Earth, it should probably be someplace nice, but not so upscale that the extraterrestrials think we're all snooty. I STRONGLY suggest The Outback Steakhouse. (But none of this is set in stone.)

Second Prize: 6 free months of DSL

Third Prize: Maybe a phone call from Lou Ferigno.

Please let me know what you think. I'm ready to promote the new SETI@home prizing structure on my website as soon as you as you give me the official go-ahead.


P.S. I realize my immediate family should probably not be eligible to enter the contest, just to keep things fair.

Here is the terrific reply I received...


Those prizes are fine. The Outback is a good choice - something to please every palate (or whatever) and not too pricey.

For a celebrity tie-in, I'd prefer Kristen Johnston to Lou Ferigno.

I read through Best of The Sneeze and greatly enjoyed it; much of it struck a chord since I have a 2-year old and am losing hair, am grossed out by corporate food, etc.

-- David

Thanks, David! You rock. I like the Kristen Johnston, "3rd Rock" alien tie-in. We'll make the 3rd prize: "Maybe a phone call from Kristen Johnston (and possibly Lou Ferigno)."

I explained more about the SETI@home project in the previous post. If you'd like to take part in it, you can use your computer's downtime to help out with SETI@home, along with several other fascinating areas of scientific research at http://boinc.berkeley.edu.

Click here for The Sneeze Home Page!
Posted by Steven | Archive