The Eyes Have It!

It is difficult to find true FYI stuff for my weekend posts……but I try and some times I find great stuff other times not so much.

I have had to wear glasses, corrective lens, since I was in 3rd grade and in all that time glasses have been getting more expensive with each passing year.

I have almost always worn round frames or Ben Franklins as they were called in the “old days”…..when I was younger they were not hard to find but then the “designer” frames became popular and the prices skyrocketed and the round frames were not to most people’s liking.

The last time I used a local outlet I was aghast my frames were going to cost me $200 without the lens……in all it was going to be about $300…….just what about plastic was worth the $300?

An exec breaks it down……

Charles Dahan knows from first-hand experience how badly people get ripped off when buying eyeglasses.

He was once one of the leading suppliers of frames to LensCrafters, before the company was purchased by optical behemoth Luxottica. He also built machines that improved the lens-manufacturing process.

In other words, Dahan, 70, knows the eyewear business from start to finish. And he doesn’t like what’s happened.

“There is no competition in the industry, not any more,” he told me. “Luxottica bought everyone. They set whatever prices they please.”

Dahan, who lives in Potomac, Md., was responding to a column I recently wrote about why consumer prices for frames and lenses are so astronomically high, with markups often approaching 1,000%.

I noted that if you wear designer glasses, there’s a very good chance you’re wearing Luxottica frames.

I found an outlet on-line where my round frames are $10 …..$15 bucks with lens….needless to say this is where I get my glasses.

So my FYI for this weekend…..go on-line and do some  research….do not pay the price these so-called outlets want…..

When Mars Attacks?

I got to thinking after a post from last weekend about “alien life”…….what if Mars attacks?

I could go into a review of The Expanse: Season 3….but that would be cheating…..I am offering up what could happen if we have an “alien contact”….no not those “aliens”…..real life ones from a galaxy far far away.

This could be a reality for after all we have spent 50+ years sending messages to space for others to call us or to stop by for a chat……(personally, I do not think those are good ideas)

The Chinese government has promised to investigate the unidentified flying object that forced Xiaoshan Airport to delay 18 flights last week. Tabloids rushed to cover the incident, with the U.K. Sun making a gratuitous “alien craft” reference, and video footage on YouTube led to numerous comments regarding the existence of extraterrestrial life. What if aliens were to make contact—do we have an E.T. contingency plan?

Sort of. The U.S. government is not particularly interested in alien planning. Starting in 1947, the Air Force made a formal study of UFOs but stopped investigations in 1969 after having failed to uncover any evidence of extraterrestrial vehicles or of a threat to national security. In 1992, the government paid for a SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) project through NASA—the Microwave Observing Program’s mission was to conduct targeted analyses of nearby stars—but deemed it unworthy of funding one year later. There is, however, a nongovernmental organization established by the International Academy of Astronautics to “prepare, reflect on, manage, advise, and consult in preparation for … a putative signal of extraterrestrial intelligent (ETI) origin.” That organization, the SETI: Post-Detection Taskgroup helmed by the theoretical physicist Paul Davies, has a set of recommendations in place.

Really! Do we have a plan when ET comes for a visit?

The science fiction movie “Arrival,” which opened in theaters last weekend, poses tantalizing questions about how humans might make contact — and eventually communicate — with intelligent aliens. The much-hyped film has renewed people’s interest in the search for intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. But what would happen if humans really did make contact with an intelligent alien civilization? If E.T. calls, is there a plan?

The answer is yes, and no, said astronomer Seth Shostak, who leads efforts to detect radio signals from extraterrestrial civilizations at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California.

“There are some protocols, but I think that’s an unfortunate name, and it makes them sound more important than they are,” Shostak told Live Science. [Greetings, Earthlings! 8 Ways Aliens Could Contact Us]

To answer my question ….then yes we have a plan….the UN has put together protocols for a future meeting……

The United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) has announced that it will consider drafting protocols for what to do when we finally make contact with extra-terrestrial civilizations in space. What’s prompting the UN to consider this possibility is the fact that astronomers are expected to announce, perhaps later this year or next year, that our satellites (such as Kepler and Corot) have identified earth-like planets in space. So far, almost 500 large Jupiter-sized planets have been discovered, but earth-like planets are much more difficult to identify.

Want more info on UNOOSA……

It is always good to have a plan beforehand……never get caught flat footed as they say.