Re: Stars are mostly big burny things right?
"Not to mention that 0.3% dimming every year doesn't at all match phases that have time scales of millions of years."
Exactly. It doesn't match ANYTHING that we know about the physics of stars or their burnout. Someone mentioned the Drake equation, and that the odds of observing a civilization in realtime would be near zero. IMHO, this is no longer true. It could be that these "star dimming" things happen all of the time, but we never before had the computer power or observational equipment to detect them in real time. Think about supernovas... it use to be weeks/months/years before someone noticed a star going supernova. Now, we sometimes detect these things WITHIN HOURS/DAYS. Drake fail.