Rich people have extra houses, car owners have spare tires. NASA is making sure we have options when it comes to spare planets in case we ever have to get the heck off the one we're on.
To that end they've been looking outside our solar system at parts of the galaxy that aren't exactly in our 'hood.
600 light years away they've spied a planet that might be in the zone that's hospitable to life. Kepler-22b is in other ways very unlike Earth, but if it did have the right conditions it's fun to imagine what kind of life might've evolved there in case we ever decide to visit.
A planet hunter from MIT talks about some of the funky creatures Keplerians might be.
Computer generated images are everywhere in feature films in 2011 but there's still a hurdle when it comes to creating a CGI human face. Paradoxically, the closer the digital wizards get to perfection, the more disturbing it is to see.
Something primal in us gets triggered when our senses tell us the digital person isn't real. They call it the Uncanny Valley.
This month's big CGI movie is The Adventures of Tintin: the Secret of the Unicorn. We talk to Lawrence Weschler, author of the book Uncanny Valley: Adventures in The Narrative.
Where were you on May 21, 2011?
That's the day California preacher Harold Camping bet would be the end of the world. When the planet chugged inexorably onward after the ultimate deadline, media were ruthless in their condemnation of Camping and his definitive prediction.
Photographer Brandon Tauszik spent the months leading up to May 21 among Camping's followers and documented it with a compelling photo essay. He talks about the confusion among the faithful. And the hype. The end of the world is one of the options for top story of the year in the Big 6.
Category: Overhyped. Vote here.
Last week the U.S. Senate passed a bill that allows for indefinite detentions for suspected terrorists including American citizens. The bill passed overwhelmingly.
One of the few opposing votes came from the Republican Senator from Kentucky, libertarian tea party supporter Rand Paul. Senator Paul tells us why he opposes the bill and its unlimited detentions.
Canadian soldiers have been in Afghanistan for nearly 10 years, working hard, sustaining casualties in a dangerous ground war.
Pete Zedlacher was the first comedian to visit the Kandahar base, early in the mission, just after the friendly fire incident that killed four Canadian soldiers, our first casualties in a war that has now claimed 158.
Pete has been to Kandahar 3 times, his most recent trip was in October. He reflects on the end of Canada's Afghanistan mission.
Sugar Sammy is a Montreal comedian who works in 4 languages. His latest show You're Gonna Rire - Le show franglais spoofs our two official languages, and in a few weeks he's off to make people laugh in Haiti.
We thought there were some pretty funny things in the news this week- from RIM executives getting turfed by Air Canada and then losing their jobs, to the City of Gatineau asking immigrants to layoff on the spicy food. So we invited Sammy to spin it out for us and see how things look from his side of the footlights.
There's a little dig at Cornwall, Ontario in our show this week, but it's in good fun. One of our producers is from there, so we thought we could let it stand and not be misinterpreted. There's another Cornwall alumnus making headlines this year.
Ryan Gosling had a pretty awesome 2011. He's in the Big 6 category of Winning. And you can vote for him right here.
Seriously, there were those who thought Bradley Cooper winning People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive this year was an injustice greater than anything the Occupy movement was protesting. Jen Chaney assesses the gifts of Gosling.
At the UN climate talks in Durban South Africa this week more than 190 countries tried to hammer out a plan for what might replace the Kyoto Accord, a polarizing multilateral binding agreement on emissions.
Since Kyoto was adopted in 1997, it's been highly politicized and that's led even some supporters of Kyoto to look for a new way forward.
My guest is one of them.
Elliot Diringer is a prominent environmentalist. He's the Executive Vice President for the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.
And he's made the provocative argument that Kyoto is on life support and it's time to let go.
That's it for now, quite a good week down here on Kepler-22b's twin.
We're back with more next week and then it's the holiday season, but we'll be around then too, as we get ready for our Big 6 show on Dec 31.
Or as Harold Camping might call it "No Year's Eve".
Have a great weekend.
Brent Bambury @CBCDay6