A Martian Chronicle

News reports about a recent isolation experiment designed to assist in evaluating the effect of a voyage to Mars can be found here and here.   The six male members of the “crew” were kept isolated in cramped quarters in a Moscow suburb for 105 days, and the project tried to simulate other aspects of a mission to Mars, such as a 20-minute delay in communications with Earth, occasional emergencies, and so forth.  The experiment is the precursor to an isolation experiment lasting 520 days  — the approximate length of a trip to Mars — that is to occur in 2010.

Mars

Mars

I think the value of the experiment is limited, because the crew members did not have to deal with zero gravity, apparently ate normal food, and understood that they could leave the isolation chamber in the event of an emergency.  No matter how realistic the simulation was, crew members must have realized, deep down, that they were really in a Moscow suburb rather than hurtling toward Olympus Mons.  As a result, some of the mental and physical stresses of a long space voyage were not, and could not be, realistically simulated.  Nevertheless, I think it is encouraging that at least some space agencies are looking forward to the days of extended space travel, including visits to our neighbor The Red Planet.

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Words of Wisdom From Gramma Neal

I couldn’t help but be reminded of an old saying that my mothers mother often used when we were younger, “believe none of what you hear and half of what you see”.

I could understand first part of the saying  “none of what you hear”, but the second part “half of what you see” not so much. After viewing this video her words make perfect sense. 

Man In the Mirror

Since I retired a few months ago I have gotten into a regular routine of getting up in the morning and going to the library. I have to admit that I have rarely used the library for most of my adult life because of work constraints, but it has so much to offer.

When I get to the library the first thing I do is check my e-mail (usually nothing there – ha ha), then I go to “You Tube”. With the recent passing of Michael Jackson each day on “You Tube” there have been numerous videos set to some of his best known songs.

My favorite MJ song was “Man in the Mirror”. Not only does “MITM” have great beat to it, but the message that the songs sends is a powerful one. What better way to affect change then by starting with ones self.

After viewing the video you get a strong sense that even though our country has it’s problems they pale in comparison to some of the issues other countries in the world are dealing with like basic hunger. I hope you enjoy the video as much as I did. 

   

The Risk Of Overexposure

Kish and Richard disagree with me on this, but I think it is a mistake for the President to do things like spend time in the broadcast booth at the All-Star Game, hanging with Tim McCarver and Joe Buck. I don’t know whether familiarity breeds contempt, but I do think that politicians can get overexposed — and when the American public gets tired of somebody, it is never a good thing. Why not give people a break and let them watch the All-Star Game in peace, without having politics intrude upon the national pastime?