Magazine article New Internationalist

Alien vs Predator: Cool Ranch

Magazine article New Internationalist

Alien vs Predator: Cool Ranch

Article excerpt

The worlds of science and marketing are in a tizzy following the revelation that astronomers plan to broadcast a junk food advertisement to a star 42 light years away.

Doritos - makers of tortilla chips and dips - plans to broadcast a 3o-second advert to a distant star in the Ursa Major constellation. The star is known to be orbited by planets that scientists suggest may harbour life.

While radio and television waves routinely escape the earth's atmosphere, offering extraterrestrials the opportunity to catch up on episodes of Baywatch they may have missed; this will be the first time a deliberate attempt has been made to communicate with another star system. And what better way is there to say 'Hi!' than by bombarding ET with an ad for nachos?

This project is a desperate attempt by astronomers at the EISCAT Space Centre in Svalbard, Norway, to raise some money after years of budget cuts; and is a desperate attempt for a junk food company to find new markets as the current earth market is saturated (mainly with fats, salt and carbohydrates). …

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