What do you tell an alien being when you have his attention? What you don't tell him apparently, is anything about how humans reproduce.

This is hardly the academic matter it may seem to be, at least according to an article fearlessly entitled "NASA Bans Sex From Outer Space" by Nicholas Wade in the Sept. 16 issue of Science.

For the two Voyager spacecraft launched recently are expected to be around for a billion years. And just in case they run into any funny little men, they are carrying discs containing pictures and music to let the folks out there know the whole truth about Planet Earth.

Radio astronomer Frank Drake of Cornell was chosen to decide what messages should be carried. He thought letting on that humans reproduce would be nice, and he decided on a rather dumpy, unclothed couple - Magazines

"If you are really trying to tell them what we are like, you don't send Raquel Welch and Robert Redford" - but he reckoned without the Mrs. Grunsys of NASA, who nixed the idea.

Herbert Rowe, NASA's associate administrator for external affairs, explained that "some people might get the wrong idea." Did he mean the aliens or the people on earth? We didn't think that as far as the aliens were concerned the picture was needed to tell the story."

Some things, however, Wade reports, remain of overwhelming importance: "Just at the last moment, a few hours before the Voyager record had to be engraved. NASA officials realized that the message being sent into the depths of time and space was incomplete. An urgent call went to Cornell: Add the names of all the congressmen on the House and Senate science committees." More Sex

As Gabriel Heatter used to say, there's good news in the world tonight. Not one but two current wormen's magazines now claim that men, long pilloried as bostial barbarians, are not so bad after all.

It's true that Redbook's October article. "Great News About Men and Sex" sticks mainly to platitudes before concluding "they aren't all that different from women." (How's that again?) But the October Laides' Home Journal contribution - "At Last! How Men Really Feel About Sex. A Startling Survey" - comes out with some cold, hard facts.

Based on what it calls the first extensive national survey of male sexuality since Kinsey, the Journal reports that men, bless their hearts are "complex, sensitive creatues" less promiscuous and more romantic than anyone had thought possible.

Specifically, 38.4 per cent surveyed believed love was the most important thing in life, another 30 per cent said it made sex better and only 6 per cent (the cads') felt that love was old hat or that sex was better without it.

Other palpitating percentages include in 30.5 per cent that see marriage as the ideal sexual situation and the 51 per cent who have never cheated on a wife or girlfriend. As to what type of woman was wanted for a longterm relationship, men felt the most desirable trait was concern for their needs, followed by sincerity, then affection with more men (16.2 per cent versus 11.1 per cent) opting for an intelligent woman rather than a sexy one.

So there! It's Here

Oh ye of little faith. The Washington Journalism review has arrived.

When publisher Robert Kranz and associate publisher Valerie McGhee, who like to say they have "over 40 years experience in life" between them announced last March that their new mag would debut in September a lot of older heads just nodded politely, "I think it would be fair to say," Kranz says carefully, "that the establishment media in town was skeptical."

Yet, the WJR, a spiffy 65-page number with stories on everything from the perils of free lancing to what the noble Redskins think about those pesky D.C. scribes, came out of its 10,000 issue press run right on time and is by all accounts selling quite well.

Not that all the problems have gone away. A permanent editor must be found and money must be raised to see the magazine through the next three years. Kranz plans to start monthly publication with issue No. 2, scheduled for January, 1978. How sure are you about that date, Roger? "As sure as I was a year ago that I was going to publish the first issue in September." Masked Marvel

Ever since the Lone Ranger first appeared on WXYZ Radio in Detroit in 1932, lots of people have wondered what Indian tribe his trusty sidekick Tonto belonged to and what Kemo sab mean, anyhow.

Martha Kendall, however, is not lots of people. She is an anthropology Ph.D. specializing in American Indian languages and as the September Smithsonian reports when she got curious, she did somthing about it.

First Kendall thought the ace companion was a Western Apache, a Tonto Apache in fact, but when she discovered that he and Geronimo were unable to understand each other in "The Lone Ranger and the Renegade Savage," she abandoned that idea.

After much work, Kendall boiled it down to two main possibilities. The first is that Tonto was a Tewa who lived along the Rio Grande, a notion based on a 1916 Smithsonian publication which translates Kemo sabe as meaning "friend of the Apache" in that language. The other is that he was a Yavapai from Arizona, in whose language kinmasab-eh means "one who dresses in white."

But finally, after all that huffing and puffing, Kendall decided it really didn't matter what kemo sabe means. It's the thought that counts. Harrumph

While most magazines run advertisements proudly telling the world that simply everyone reads them, U.S. News & World Report has had great success with a TV and print campaign emphasizing those who ignore it.

"Have you ever met anyone who actually reads this magazine?" asks a glum-looking John H. Sweet, the magazine's president and publisher, in a full-page spread, going to say that USN&WR is "disigned to repel non-serious readers. For amusement, you simply have to go elsewhere."

"It's sort of a tell-it-like-it-is concept," explains Sweet, who admits he was initially reluctant to appear in the ads himself that has since had to fend off perfect strangers who reconginze him in elevators. But does he always look that glum? "Well," he says, "I was told to be serious, but I don't think I'm quite as serious as that picture indicates. But that's my face, I can't take that away." Ralph's Back

Ralph Ginzburg, the self-described "brandied fruitcake of a publisher," is at it again, sending out demented pictures of himself and trying to promote yet another monthly, this one called EXTRA!

Ginzburg, best known for publishing Fact, which went out of business after Barry Goldwater won a libel suit against it, as well as Eros, which went out of business when Ginzburg went to jail for being naughty, is now touting EXTRA! as "a hell-raising intellectual publication," which he promises will share with his other magazines the quality of "being very outrageous one way or another, touching a raw nerve."

Ginzburg has lots of raw nerves himself, particularly about how some new skin mag has dared call itself Eros and how though old copies of his Eros sell for $125 per, he can't join in the fun. "That's the supreme irony," he fumes. "I'm the one guy in American who can't sell it. I went to prison for selling it. And here comes this vulgar sheet and takes the name. That's the most ironic twist to this whole abortion of a judicial proceeding." Still More Sex

Bruce Jay Friedman's Lonely Guy returns in the October Esquire, dealing with the ultimate Lonely Guy bugaboo, women.

While it may be true, Friedman says, that your initial reaction when a beautiful woman enters the room is to "as a matter of routine duck behind the drapes, paw at the rug and say, Guy, all is not necessary lost.

Remember, he says, "you still retain a certain battered charm. You know failure. Rejection has been your friend. No one is more solidly grounded in ineptitude. These qualities will appeal to the discerning woman who does not find you nauseating."

Thanks Bruce, we needed that. Tidbits

Quote of the month comes from the mother of punk rocker Johnny Rotten, who says in the October High Times, "My boy is doing his own thing. He's not going around murdering people. In fact, groups like Johnny's help society by bringing kids off the streets." About the Sex Pistols' language, "I've brought my children up plain speaking." And on Johnny's drug bust, "It was only speed."

. . . The October Cosmopolitan features a no-holds-barred pictorial on what it calls "cushiony girls" entitled "Plump and Loving It" . . . Do it Yourself Department: Cover story of the summer issue of Vigilante. "The Magazine of Personal Security," boasts "for the first time complete and easy step-by-step plans for building an authentic, real to life, scaled down functioning model of a true gallows," . . . In case you're wondering what the story was with "Exorcist II, The Heretic," the worst cinematic fiasco of recent years. Todd McCarthy in the September-October Film Comment has decided its "arguably the first $10 million plus avant-grade art film ever made on Hollywood sound stages." . . .

After 81 years as the Sierra Club Bulletin, the monthly publication of that organization is going to gussy itself up and become Sierra, a slick magazine available in natural food markets and backpacking equipment stores, among other places . . . The Oct. 18 Family Circle ranks the top 10 cities in the United States and finds that almost all are west of the Mississippi. The 10 in order are: Seattle, Eugene, Minneapolis, Denver, San Francisco, Portland, Honolulu, La Crosse, San Diego and Santa Fe. . . . If you are "exceptionally intelligent, resourceful, and hardworking; if you never settle for good work when outstanding accomplishment is within reach," and if you are not otherwise occupied being wonderful, MORE magazine could use you as an associate publisher. See Help Wanted ad in the October issue.