Overheard on CNN.com: Is there intelligent life on Earth?
The HARPS instrument has identified an Earth-like planet, shown in this artist's impression, orbiting star HD 85512 in the southern constellation of Vela.
September 14th, 2011
06:03 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Is there intelligent life on Earth?

Comment of the Day:

"The search for intelligent life in the universe will not be found on this planet."–Yumi

16 'super-Earths' discovered

A mere 35 light years away ... lies planet HD 85512b. About 3.6 times Earth's mass, it might have liquid water under certain circumstances. Its existence was recently reported by the European Southern Observatory. Don't get too excited, said many CNN.com readers, traveling there may be a bad idea, even if we can.

Nate said, "We can't even accept differing opinions and way of life within our species. Discovering extraterrestrial life would probably be like Christopher Columbus discovering a new land inhabited by natives. We would wipe them out and then steal their land and resources." zrxgrim said, "Unless we're the natives in canoes and they're Columbus."

Vesstair said, "We might not be Columbus. Heck, we might not even be the natives. We might be the fur-bearing animals the trappers wanted."

Paul said, "So, it is Monday morning and you and a few close friends hop on a "space shuttle service" flight to this kick-butt new place to live. You are 21. And, how old are you when you get there? Or is everyone frozen and then thawed-out upon arrival? Sorry. Think I will wait for the next train."

dnarich said, "As I used to tell my children: If you were to get into a spaceship on the day you were born, and hurtle through space headed towards the nearest star, as fast as the fastest spaceship any human has ever flown, the closest star would seem no closer at the end of your life than it did on the day you were born."

Spock said, "We can't build one now, but some sort of nuclear-powered interstellar ramjet engine could gather hydrogen atoms to use as reaction mass to power a spacecraft. This would provide continuous acceleration (and deceleration at our destination) and would allow the craft to approach light-speed on long trips. Relativistic effects would slow down time for those on board, so the trip would not take as long for them, although it would seem to take longer to an observer on Earth."

madcow11 said, "We will never get there. You simply cannot even approach the speed of light without turning into plasma. I loved 'Star Trek' as a kid and grew up wishing to become an aerospace engineer. But after much study, I had to come to the grim realization that 'Star Trek and its ilk' were not science fiction but fantasy. Focus on the big problems here on Earth: overpopulation and what will be our more immediate end: global warming."

jim replied, "Bull. Quantum mechanics has shown that Einstein was only partially correct, about space time on a cosmic scale. We now know that particles don't virtually exist; they can exist in multiple times and spaces at the same time, and we determine their behavior by observing them. We can instantaneously affect the behavior of particles at the other end of the universe, makiing the light "speed limit" irrelevant. Even teleportation is possible."

Republican wins Democratic district in New York race to replace Weiner

Does Dems' loss mean trouble with Jewish voters?

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner's seat, located in a heavily Orthodox Jewish district and considered a sure shot for Democrat David Weprin, was won by Republican Bob Turner. Did the election indicate Jewish dissatisfaction with the Democratic stance on Israel?

Stryker said, "It's not about Jews. I voted Republican just to send a message to Obama. The message is: If you don't get out there and fight for the middle class, if you keep acting as a Republican, we will vote you and the Democrats out. Since Obama acts as a Republican, it won't change what government is doing, and hopefully it will shake up the Demcrats."

VanBarbee said, "This wasn't about Jews turning Democrat to Republican, this was about Jews, and everyone else, not participating in the election. Turner barely came within striking distance of his 2010 tally against Wiener, and the other guy got a third of the Democrat vote that Rep. Wiener got. People didn't like the options and didn't turn out to vote."

Alex said, "Besides the large number of Orthodox Jews, in this district there are many like myself, immigrants or children of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. We are traditionally more conservative than the American Jews, but also, most of us have close family members in Israel and we are very troubled by some of our president's stances on Israel. All of my family members voted for the Republican Party."

grist said, "It is just crazy to think that the Orthodox community in this district in any way represents Jewish voters. A minuscule proportion of Jews are Orthodox. I am upset that this community is so critical of Obama for being more even-handed in terms of the Middle East. It is an approach that is much more likely to result in peace."

Howard said, "Jewish voters may be a little frustrated with everything like most of the country but the last thing they will do is vote for any of the current Republican candidates!"

Ozymandias71 said, "National Organization for Marriage invested $75,000 into Turner's campaign, attempting to stir up the Jewish Orthodox community against David Wepbrin because of his support for the Marriage Equality bill. On NOM's blog, they're taking all sorts of credit for Turner's victory, couching it in uber religious terms. This is just a foreshadowing of the 2012 elections."

5@5 – Things you never want to hear in a restaurant

What are the signs of a bad dining experience waiting to happen? For one, beware of the overly familiar waiter, warns digital food magazine editor Sean Elder. CNN.com readers offered their own warning signs.

a Foodie said, "When the waiter says, 'Our power was off last night but everything should be okay.' You also don't want to have your waiter return to your table and say, 'The chef just quit.' "

Lori said, "Servers who come to the table when the meal is finished and make remarks like 'Wow, you must have really enjoyed that!' I know they don't mean it as an insult, but it always makes me feel like they think I'm a glutton."

Livin' Legend said, "At a Texas Roadhouse, an overly-friendly, socially awkward waiter overheard a conversation about a horror movie we had just seen. He excitedly described his favorites, and then told us he had just gotten out of jail and how nice it was to be able to spend his off days drinking and passing out on his porch. He ended with, 'Man, I LOVE horror movies! You oughta see my tattoos!' "

Andrea M said, "Exception to the rule: Generally, the more rude the service at a Chinese place, the better the food. You know you're in heaven when they charge you for rice and shout at you in questionable English." Joeymom agreed, "We have a Chinese restaurant where the more the couple that owns it fight, the hotter and better the food is. Often locals pop their head in, listen for yelling in the kitchen, and stay or leave depending on what they hear."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Jazzzzzzzz

    Ohhh, RUFFIE Where are youuuuu, He He
    They need this question answered, what say you Sir?

    September 14, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John doe


    September 14, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |


    September 14, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. drap

    After watching tea party debate..I'd say no... .

    September 14, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |


    September 14, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    I worked at a sports bar way back when....this cute older couple came in and ordered steaks and baked potatoes. After I served them, I rushed off to serve other customers. As I ran by them, the gentleman stopped me and said "Miss, I think this potato is bad!" I picked it up, slapped it a few times, and said "bad potato! You stop that right now!" Then I put the potato on the table and said, "Now, you let me know if that tater gives you any more trouble". I then went to the kitchen to get him another one. (It was just a few steps away) When I got back to the table, the gentleman was still sitting there, stunned, and his wife was LHAO!
    They became steady customers of mine.

    I would *not* have been surprised to see that experience related above...

    September 14, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. leeintulsa

    Seems to me overcrowding and global warming are *precisely* the reasons to colonize other worlds. Sure, we can't reach earth-like worlds. So get on the domes.

    September 14, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Darwin

    Yes, but not much.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Andy

    @madcow11: actually quite a lot of science in Star trek has already happened. Communicators, oops I mean cell phones. Medical tricorders, oops I mean cell phones again(that's right they're working on making cell phones that can take xray's of someone and then those xrays can be transmitted to the hospital so when the ambulance arrives they know what treatment is needed already. Fax machines are a form of transports, yes they only transport information but the concept is the same. Finally two physicists at one of the halderon colliders reported that they did indeed break the speed of light a few years ago, not sure if they ever duplicated the experiment yet though. Too bad you didn't continue with your studies, who knows maybe you would've been the one who developed warp engine technology.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. RUFFNUTT (kcmo , hut tub repairman & maker of disco balls)

    OF COURSE THERE IS INTELLEGENT LIFE ON EARTH... how else do you explain the 82 camaro?

    September 14, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jazzzzzzzz

    And how is *KIT* now(er) days ?

    September 14, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RUFFNUTT (kcmo , hut tub repairman & maker of disco balls)

    planet HD 85512b... i think we can take em...

    September 14, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. RUFFNUTT (kcmo , hut tub repairman & maker of disco balls)

    sometimes i dress up like david hasslehoff and talk to my watch... k.i.t.t. i need help the beer store is closed... can you use the ejection seat and laucnch me on the roof?

    September 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jazzzzzzzz


    September 14, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jazzzzzzzz

    You got the shirt unbuttoned showing your hairy manilyness ?

    September 14, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4