Sunday, June 1, 2008

Offshore Voting, Mars Dreaming

The Phoenix Mars Lander's thrusters may have uncovered a large patch of ice on the Martian surface this weekend. Lightly covered by just a few inches of red dirt, it was quickly exposed by the blowing thrusters during Phoenix's landing. The goal of this mission, equipped with a backhoe-like robotic arm, is to dig into the Martian surface looking for ice. The lander was sent to a northern region in hopes of finding frozen water, but just how deep underground it might be was unknown. Scientists are excited as this will allow them to easily test the ice for evidence of organic compounds that are the chemical building blocks of life.

Some U.S. Presidential campaigns are also excited. The prospect of all these organic compounds located in a U.S. Territory (see flag photo below) has caused the DNC to award them primary delegates. Of course, these additional delegates will raise the total delegate count required to name a nominee, even though until these organic compounds agree to become an offical U.S. state, they will not be able to vote in the General Election in November. This prospect has caused Terry McAuliffe to exclaim, "We always knew there were more votes out there, we just didn't know how far we'd have to go to find them. It is our continued position that offshore votes must be counted, no matter how far offshore."

A tentative Mars primary date has been set for the latter part of June, or as soon as the Phoenix's onboard computers can be reconfigured to count the votes, whichever comes first -- to which Harold Ickes responded, "Why rush? We are prepared to take this to the convention or beyond, years/decades, if necessary. These white hardworking white low income white collegeless organic compounds are an important democratic demographic."

While the Mars weather forecast for June looks to be a bit colder than, say, Puerto Rico, a large voter turnout is nonetheless expected. Although unsure exactly how an organic compound might be able to flip a switch, touch a screen, or punch a chad, Howard Dean remains confident that all votes will be counted ..... Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Yeeee-hawwww!


This image shows the American flag and a mini-DVD on the Phoenix's deck, as it sits on the Martian surface. The mini-DVD contains a message to future Martian explorers and the names of more than a quarter million earthlings.

The American flag implies that Mars is now U.S. Territory. The DVD list of names seems to have been inspired by the infamous no-fly list, implying that certain people will also be persona non-grata on Mars, should we succeed in setting up biocolonies there someday! The message to future explorers? The U.S. has a priori rights to this planet and all that lies above or beneath it; better luck on Venus, chumps!

If you're as excited as I am by Mars, Click here for an excellent website set up for the Phoenix Mars Mission with overview information on Mars geology, atmosphere, polar ice caps, habitability, etc. Unfortunately, this site omitted crucial Mars voter information, an oversight I have attempted to correct with this post.

Mars has many of the same features as my current Utah desert residence. For example, on the left are water erosion gullies in Utah's Capitol Reef, while on the right are very similiar gullies on Mars which might also be the result of water erosion :










These are only two examples. Click here for three pages of other fascinating similarities.

24 comments:

an average patriot said...

I really don't understand messing around with Mars. So they found water. Who knows if it's drinkable I doubt it. They would do well to take care of our only planet if they really cared about life in the future and send Ickes to Mars. He and Hillary are going to be a thorn in our side. There is no unity. Hillary will not go away unless forced and even then kicking and screaming foul!

enigma4ever said...

omg....too funny...shhh , don't tell hIll...she will be waiting for those numbers to come to her...

D.K. Raed said...

Avg Pat: I doubt it's drinkable water we are looking for on Mars. I do know what you're saying about taking care of our own planet. In that regard, Mars serves as an excellent example of what could easily happen here if we allow it. And yes, we need to take care of problems here on earth, absolutely. But Mars is also precious, possibly the only nearby place we could colonize. I'd rather consign Ickes to Mercury, or even Pluto. With sadness, I agree that what is happening now seems very much like what happens when a party breaks apart. We've just never had TV cameras to witness it before. I truly hope not, but that's what it feels like.

Enigma: Thanks for laughing! I was just trying to have fun with what is a very troubling situation. I do think if there was any way to be sure they'd vote for her, the martian organic compounds, if they do indeed exist, would be being solicited & pandered to.

Fran said...

In breaking news, the Clinton campaign reiterates ALL votes MUST be counted. They also noted they happened to put ballots on the spaceship & only her name is on it, but insists the process must be fair and balanced- and every vote counted. It's all about democracy baby.
Bill & Chelsea have already been sent to the planet to stump for her, soon photo ops will be released with Hillary mingling in a bar with Martians. She is wearing green pantsuits to show solidaity with the martians.
It's playing out well, but on the hard working white voters front, Clinton is coming up emptyhanded. She's going to have to pander to the hard working AND slacking green martian demographic, if she hopes to win this planet.

D.K. Raed said...

Fran:
OMG, how could I have overlooked the litle green martian component?!? Yes, Hillary is definitely going to have to come up with a new set of panderisms to win them over. She'll have to spike up her hair to resemble antennas & brush up on bowling with rocks. I think the green spacesuit pantsuit will be a good look for her.

dada said...

Thanks DK. This explains why I get this "unearthly" feeling when traversing Utah.

[Don't you find it ironic that the very planet man came from after he destroyed it as habitat, he now has his sights set on to return to and reclaim? Should we take that as a bad portent for the near future (read "death") of his current home planet?]

Everybody sing - "Well, we're movin' on up!"

DivaJood said...

This just in: Sir Richard Branson is offering packages to his private resort on Mars, complete with space fare on Virgin Galactic, for a mere $175M per person, based upon double occupancy. The single supplement is double, but you only pay taxes once.

Oh, and there's a hefty fuel surcharge that gets added.

D.K. Raed said...

Dada: UT certainly is a bit E.T. Oh boy, you said a mouthful about us reclaiming our possible ancestral home! By my rough calculations it appears to take about 2 billion yrs, give or take a few million, before planetary recovery might even be possible. So I guess the question is has Mars been lifeless long enough?

As far as "the end of the world as we know it", I've always enjoyed Dylan's "Hwy 61" take on making it a public spectacle:

"Now the rovin' gambler he was very bored.
He was tryin' to create a next world war.
He found a promoter who nearly fell off the floor.
He said I never engaged in this kind of thing before!
But yes, I think it can be very easily done ...
We'll just put some bleachers out in the sun,
And have it on Highway 61."

********
********
I've just returned from playing "Desperado" today since EK & I have been "out riding fences", repairing fence damage at my Dad's property. I may post some photos later.

D.K. Raed said...

Diva:
well now you know where my first billion will be spent, assuming those "hefty fuel surcharges" are massive indeed. Is Sir Branson himself included in the deal, maybe as part of the "double occupancy" rate?

DivaJood said...

You know, DK, since I've got Alan Rickman all to myself, I am willing to let you travel with Sir Richard. I can be magnanimous with my fantasy Brits.

D.K. Raed said...

Diva, I am abashed at your generosity, but I'm not so sure I want to give up all FUTURE rights to Rickman. You have him for the nonce, though. Try to be gentle.

DivaJood said...

Nonce my perfect pink ass - he's all mine, forever! Gentle? No way, Jose. I do not share Alan Rickman. Okay. I give you one Sir Richard Branson, half a Russell Crowe and a player to be named later so that I can keep exclusive rights to Rickman.

D.K. Raed said...

Tempting, Diva, very tempting ... why only half a Crowe, which half, and what are you doing with the other half?

DivaJood said...

Not exactly half a Crowe. More like, you can have him three days, I can have him three days, and one day a week he can spend with someone else.

D.K. Raed said...

hmmm Diva, what if I take the Rusker to Mars with me? Assuming Sir Richard will allow such a rowdy fellow on flight. Will you accompany us so as to enforce your 3-day clause or invoke a penalty fee? Plus why am I getting the idea that Crowe will be totally useless for *my* 3-days?

DivaJood said...

Last January, I was invited to the annual Australia Day Ball in Los Angeles, part of the G'Day LA week. Russell was attending as well, and well, my friends know about me and such. So unbeknownst to me, one of my friends made bejeweled handcuffs (befitting a Diva) and, just before Russell went to make his presentation to Naomi Watts, they handcuffed me to the chair.

But I'd already shaken his hand; and John Travolta had already kissed my hand. All was not lost.

You can take Russell to Mars, it's only a vacation. I can be quite magnanimous with my fantasy men.

D.K. Raed said...

OMG, Diva, your friends REALLY do know you! Russell doesn't know what he missed out on! The chair must've been bolted to the ground. Now just so we're clear, you DO realize that even a quickie Mars trip will take years? And that Sir Richard and Russell & I will return home looking exactly the same age as when we left?

DivaJood said...

DK, I live in Los Angeles, and therefore have only one word for you: Botox.

D.K. Raed said...

Diva, you will have Botox & Alan Rickman, but I will have Sir Richard & Russell ... hmmmm ... not sure who's ahead.

DivaJood said...

Along with Alan Rickman, I get Hugh Jackman, and George Clooney.

D.K. Raed said...

LOL, you ARE a Diva!

DivaJood said...

you do realize I've never actually had botox, don't you? No work done at all. I am just naturally childish.

D.K. Raed said...

Diva, I would NEVER have thought that you were botoxed! NEVER, I say! Your smile is too genuine. I can sense it coming through the keyboard. Why, I bet you can even raise your eyebrows without assistance! Besides, I think Pelosi has cornered the market on that substance. What about lip-plumping? Would you ever consider that?

DivaJood said...

No lip plumping for me. I use Bare Esscentuals "Buxom" lip gloss which makes them look plumped. Then I put Nars Cosmetics "Orgasm" lip gloss on top.