Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Goin' West, Martian-Style

The scene: America, circa 1820.

Abel: I'm gonna go west, to the frontier to set up a settlement.
Nahum: Why? There ain't nothin' out there.
Abel: There might be. If no one's gone out to look, then how do we know?
Nahum: But we sent out those probers, Lewis and Clark. They didn't find anything.
Abel: Sure they did! They found all sorts of animals and plants and new lands.
Nahum: But you can't make a living off of those.
Abel: [Gives Nahum a disbelieving stare.]
Nahum: What I mean is, you can't build a settlement just with those things. You need iron, and copper. Some silver and gold wouldn't hurt, neither. And Lewis and Clark didn't find that stuff.
Abel: First off, that expedition was only 11 people. Second, they were instructed to stick mainly to water routes, so their observation area was long but narrow. Thirdly, they didn't do any mining because that wasn't their mission and they didn't have tools for that.
Nahum: Well, you don't have a good way to get out west.
Abel: Sure I do. I got me a sturdy wagon. People've been usin' them for decades.
Nahum: That'll take too long. You should take a steam train out west.
Abel: But we ain't got steam trains. They haven't been invented yet.
Nahum: But folks is workin' on 'em. They should be ready to go out west in about 30 years.
Abel: But I don't have to have a steam train. I can get out west in a few months usin' my wagon.
Nahum: But the Injuns kill every person that goes out there!
Abel: Not true. Lewis and Clark made it back. And they were gone two solid years.
Nahum: Aha! But they came back! They didn't settle out there. The Injuns or weather or critters or disease would have killed 'em if they hadn't come back.
Abel: Probably true, but weather or critters or disease or old age is gonna kill you even if you stay right here in Pennsylvania.

Monday, February 8, 2016

New Mars One candidate video

Mars One is starting a new video series on its astronaut-settler candidates. Obviously working on the principle of "age before beauty", they kick off the series with my 3-minute profile. All kudos go to Glenn Slaughter: director, cameraman, soundman, video editor, and sound editor all rolled into one complete package.