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May 31, 2011

almost nine years ago

I am a science guy. I was accepted to an engineering university during the summer between my 2nd and 3rd year of high school. Because of that, I dropped my English and language courses to take more math and science and never actually got all the credits needed to graduate high school. I graduated at the top of my class, went to grad school, and work full time as a chemical engineer. I read Science and Nature and attend lectures at MIT and Harvard in my spare time. The scientific method isn't something I once saw in a book -- it is very much embedded within my psyche. My everyday life is a series of acute observations and I very actively and consciously form and test hypothesis almost all the time.
(I'm not bragging or anything. I wish I could turn this off since it's very draining. Even when I'm taking a casual stroll through the neighborhood, I am always looking about and thinking about why is the paint in that part of that house faded, why would that plant's leaves be that shape, why are the power lines supported like that, etc. It sort of drives me nuts.)

All that said, I looooove this ancient alien stuff. I know it is complete garbage, but it makes for very compelling entertainment. When that terrible Indiana Jones movie came out a few years ago, I totally reverted to a little kid during it because it was just exactly the type of insanely fun movie I wanted to see. I literally skipped and hope the entire walk home and would not shut up about it for hours (ask the wife!).

Ancient history has always fascinated me, and the reason why is that it is all just so unknown. With science you will eventually get to truth and understanding. It is just a matter of formulating the proper hypothesis, conducting the proper tests, and using the proper observational techniques. With history, that data is lost in time. Beyond the bits and pieces of actual evidence, speculation is really all we have. It's a great outlet for creativity. And while the true academics in the field concern themselves with architecture, diets, political systems, and other stuff that is mostly boring to the historical layperson, everybody can come up with whatever crazy, outlandish ideas about the past, and "back it up" however they see fit. It's like imagining yourself in the midst of a sci-fi novel. Once of the reasons my favorite travel destinations are the locations of ancient civilizations I because I get a kick out of seeing the monuments and statues firsthand. It makes all the crazy stories more "real" to me, which makes the whole concept more fun.

I've never actually seen this Ancient Aliens show, but I will be sure to check it out. I love the pop-documentary TV show format as a whole, and this subject matter makes it that much better.