Wednesday, September 30, 2015

1535 The Martian Chronicles (with apologies to Ray Bradbury)

1535 The Martian Chronicles (with apologies to Ray Bradbury.)


True or false: Mars is


--dry.
--populated by Little Green Men who disappear when spotted by the NASA machinery.
--Has sent some of the LGMs to earth in flying saucers and now they live among us.
--Is planning to invade earth using global warming as a weapon of mass destruction.
--Is planning to invade earth by taking over the minds and bodies of whichever minority you most hate and/or fear this week.
--Has salt water streams.


Can they all be true? No.  Too many contradictions.  


Can they all be false? Yes. But we don’t know enough to say.


Can some of them be true-ish?  Sure.


The recently discovered hydrated salts on Mars give rise to academically sound theorizing that the planet is less dry than believed, at least in spots.

So, what should we do?  First thought is to send up a gift.  Maybe pond scum.  Be good for their rivers as it is for ours.


“We are making the solar system safe for American Democracy.  Or environmental protection. Or something.”  


Similar programs have worked well for us in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and countless other places.  And since the US is the World’s Brain, the Martians will listen to us and adopt our ways, bringing peace to the solar system.


Oh, wait.  There IS peace in the solar system except for small pockets here on earth.


Seriously, though, NASA’s take on discovery of hydrated salts is a little more enthusiastic than that of the scientists who analyzed the images.


After studying the information from the Mars Orbiter, the lead investigator, Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona, told the New York Times “There pretty much has to have been liquid water recently present to produce the hydrated salt.”


“Pretty much has to have been...” is not the same as “Has to have been.”


Aside: we’re not talking about lake- size bodies of water, here.  We’re talking about damp ground.  Or maybe “pretty much” damp-looking ground.

What’s the big deal about water, anyway?  Well, where there’s water, often there’s life.  Often.  Pretty much. Not always.


But life on Mars is one of earthlings’ favorite speculations.  And it’s well founded. Think about it. Look at the night sky and ask yourself “how with all that’s up there can “we” be the only “intelligent life form?”


It doesn’t seem possible.


But just because some Little Green Man spat on the ground and then disappeared, keep your eye out for those invading flying saucers and the stolen minds of the minority you most hate or fear.


Shrapnel:


--Here’s a way to help ease our balance of trade deficit. Start including military weapons stolen from those to whom we gave them.  Start with Syria.


--They use antiseptic swabs before administering lethal injections. Why? To move the veins closer to the skin.  Wouldn’t want to hurt them, now would we?


--Twitter is again considering ways to expand users’ 140 character limit. If that happens, it will have shed its main asset, forcing people to say what they have to say in a small space. This Shrapnel has 221 characters.


I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com

© WJR 2015

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