Thursday, March 27, 2014

Daddy and Daughter: the Mothership

Daddy, what are those sparkly wheels in the sky.

"What did they tell you in school?"

The teacher said they were spy satellites.

"We gotta get you out of Thompson's class."

"You're right. They are sparkly wheels. See, the Earth spins a thousand miles an hour, thats a lot of energy being expressed. These 'sparkly wheels' help capture that energy.

"These energy wheels are huge, as large as the moon, but have very little mass. They function like gears and touch the Earth just enough to spin, capturing the thousand mile an hour rotational energy.

"When I was young, this new power infrastructure was used to power homes, hospitals and emergency services only. Later it was expanded to power projects like water desalinization in the Middle East, climate control in Africa and destroying nuclear weapons in the West.

"No more paying for electricity. The wheel powered everything at no cost."

"Then scientists at Howard University in DC theorized that a series of wheels could be used to power space travel. It was dubbed the Mothership project.


"The Mothership works like this: create wheels for the inner planets in the solar system. Each wheel carries a charge. When at least four planets are aligned and the wheels engaged, they could function as a railgun for a spaceship. Noted science bloggers rallied the public to fund the Mothership project. They were successful. Energy wheels for Mercury, Venus and Mars were built two years ago.

"The interplanetary railgun and could fire a spaceship at above lightspeeds. The first flight is scheduled for next year.


"On the ship, along with the astronauts, there will be technology to create other wheels. The idea is to create a network of wheel jump points across the Milky Way. It's an exciting time to live in. You know..."

Zzzzzzz zzzzz...

"Oh you fell asleep, Pretty? Guess Daddy went into too much detail. So much has been achieved in our lifetimes. Sometimes I wonder, what is there left to dream about.."


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Coffeehouse on Mars part 7

\\ Mechanical shop engineers message each other on encrypted channel. Mr. Watson is at the door talking a truant officer and a teenage boy. The engineers are each huddled into one side of a cubicle. The bearded engineer, Eric. The tall slangy one named Terry and the short stocky engineer known as Malcolm.

Eric is anxious ["Gamification works well in test environment. I think it's ready for alpha testers."]

Terry unconsciously nodded, [We got fifty people who want in on the game. Everybody sworn to secrecy. Most friends and some family.]

["Good. Keep circle small. Have to build slowly. Have to get to critical mass of devotees, so when we're discovered, they can't shut us down so easily."]

Malcolm chimes in [You know, they didn't want the kids to be exposed to violence in the game. Said nothing about adults, seems kinda silly we hiding like this. What makes you think the general assembly would shut us adults down?]

["Because crowds are dumb. Individuals are smart. The G.A. is a crowd where only the lowest common denominator gets passed. Nothing new was ever invented by a crowd. We are creating something, filling a need. We can give life to the mundane existence we all experience on this rusty rock."] The bearded engineer is surprised by a tap on his shoulder by Mr. Watson.

Eric, take this young man, December, under your wing. Explain to him the importance of contributing here in the Shop. He just wants to hang out with his friends while others do all the work.

"Sit down kid."

\\ December feels like he's a prisoner. Trying to figure out how to distract himself for the next three hours.

"I'm not going to lecture you, kid. You won't listen anyway, what I will say is that I have had my run-ins with the truant officers when I was your age. It got so bad, they waited outside our house every morning to take me to this very mechanical shop. If you're just hanging out, then get used to the truant officers and the sanitation plant. If you want the society to change, learn how to build something, then you can change things. Now get us some coffee. I'll take mine black."

Cream, three sugars.

Espresso, two shots.

Martian Moons Transit the SunThe upper-left of these images shows the passing, or transit, of the Martian moon Deimos across the sun. This event is similar to solar eclipses seen from Earth in which our moon crosses in front of the sun.The bottom three images show Phobos, Mars's other moon, transiting the sun. The potato-shaped Phobos is roughly 15 miles across, about twice the size of Deimos. Deimos appears so much smaller because it is also a bit more than twice as far away from Mars as Phobos is.The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity took images of both moons on different days in March 2004.Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell


Friday, March 7, 2014

Foodie 4

Love the color, sure it's burnt on the bottom, but I get it perfect next time.


Foodie 3

This is how you hook up some Quaker Instant Oatmeal. Cut up some Red Delicious apples, jailbroke this breakfast.


Foodie 2

Wrinkly pepper and onion found in fridge. Taken w/ my iPad Mini and on board camera app. Love how this veggie skin surface contrasts with the textures of the seeds.


Foodie 1

Just thought these apples looked beautiful. Found them in the fridge. Has an interesting leathery finish to the skin. Taken with my iPad Mini 1st gen, on board camera app.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Coffeehouse on Mars part 6

The teens descend cold rusty stone stairs toward the airlock. They can see the Martian sky reflected in the glass window just before the door slides open. Once everyone is inside, the door closes, the light, temperature and oxygen are adjusted. Now they see a reflection in the city facing window, a truant officer.

\\ The city facing airlock door slides open. Six teenagers step out with the surface suit helmets still on.

You already know what this is, remove your helmets so I can scan your faces.

\\ A blue vertical line slides across every scared young face the officer grimaces at. His smart glasses pulls data on each child.

Ok, you kids know that going to the surface without an adult is forbidden. All of you are well under eighteen. And you, December Jones, you were due to report to the mechanical shop a full two hours ago. What's your excuse this time? All your vitals are healthy.

"I just don't want to go. I don't like it there. I wanna hangout with my friends."

\\ The other five teenagers braced themselves for a confrontation. This truant officer isn't known for for his patience.

December, you're an idiot and I'll tell your parent so when I take you home. And you kids are idiots for hanging around him. You guys have no clue what's going on do you? You think I wanna be out here chasing kids? Huh?!

You know what us truint officers used to do when we first migrated to this planet? We used to hunt for creatures that might harm humans. We were the first and only security force established here. We never found anything other than frozen microbes. Thats right, there weren't always truant officers. It was only in the last thirty years that society realized that it was our wayward children that are the biggest threat to life on Mars. You lot are killing our culture.

You eat the food, drink the water, you breathe the air, but don't want to contribute anything to the effort make them. You do realized Mars has none of these things - Right?! We had to create all of it from scratch. We can't afford to have a generation of consumers that don't produce what they consume. This is NOT Earth, we don't have the resources, we can't afford it!

\\ The teens whince at this last rant, fear in their faces. The officer sees this and stops himself. May have let some misplaced anger out on these kids. Touches one of the boys shoulder reassuringly

You five, get back to your homes. If I see you loitering again, you'll do a month in the sanitation plant. December, you come with me.

Electra Relay Radio on MAVEN Mission to Mars. NASA's Mars-bound MAVEN spacecraft (for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) carries this relay radio transmitter and receiver to be used for UHF (ultra-high frequency) communication with robots on the surface of Mars. It is MAVEN's Electra UHF Transceiver, which passed an in-flight checkout on the spacecraft on Feb. 19, 2014. - Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech