There oughta be a post a day ’bout the Eclipse

No, it will not be a total eclipse in Amarillo, Texas, where I live, although there will be a partial eclipse. Yes I am going to see the total eclipse with my wife by traveling up to the zone of totality. Yes, this is worth it, if you’re aware of the universe around you.

What do you think of building a city on Mars?

I do not think building a city on Mars is going to solve anything at all! First of all, it’s unlikely a city on Mars will be built due to the incredible problem of transporting parts and materials to that planet. We all would like this to happen, since we screwed this planet, to go to a new planet. However, Mars has such an inhospitable climate that you wouldn’t be able to go outside without exposure risk of harmful UV light and cosmic radiation. These things give you cancer. There’s neither an organized magnetic field not an atmosphere (well, technically there’s an atmosphere 100 times weaker than our own. What’s left is poisonous to us.) Without an organized magnetic field there’s no aurora borealis to protect you by drawing off the sun’s harmful rays.

Cursive writing

Kids, young adults, some of them with families and kids of their own — do not know how to read cursive writing. It’s our secret hieroglyphics, our secret code. You can write faster, the pen never leaves the paper between words, and “new” people have no idea what it says. One guy told me it looked like “Chinese” to him.

Wow. As a result, I write everything in hieroglyphics (AKA cursive writing) at work. If some of my supervisors can’t read English, that’s not my problem!

How bad is excessive use of a smart phone to your life?

When Paul McCartney sung the song “When I’m sixty four” it reminded me of me because I’m 64, but I really like my smart phone and use it all the time to gather knowledge, ask questions, get navigation, make and receive phone calls and text messages. However, I lose the thing all the time because I put it down in the house and my wife has to call me so I can find my phone.

I think smart phones are an incredible asset. We have the entire world at your fingertips. Unfortunately, a lot of dumb people use them and don’t even pay attention to the marvel of technology in their hand.

On what planet should we build the first non-Earth city?

I know. It’s sad. Depressing really. Humans will never build a city off our planet Earth.

I say this because of distances. Even if we were to find a planetary candidate, it would take hundreds or thousands or more years to go one way to visit it just to see if the candidate is really like we need, what to speak of building a city.

Distances in space are unimaginably big. Let’s say the nearest star is 4 light years away. There is no guarantee there is life over there, but to travel that 4 light years will not take 4 years, or 40 years. At the fastest speed ever achieved it would take at least 150 years each way.

Suppose we wanted to take a closer look at the Trappist-1 system, 40 light years away. It is the next best candidate for life. That would take a mere 1,500 to 2,000 years to go one way just to see if anything really was habitable, what to speak of building a city.

Sadly, this is indeed science fiction. We want it to happen, so badly, but it never will happen. At most we might leave some foot prints on Mars and send some robotic systems to the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, but that’s it. Long before our sun blows up, life on Earth will be extinguished.

Why does it seem like nothing “big” ever happens near me?

Nothing big ever happens around you?

The sun! On August 21st, 2017, the eclipse! The inevitable merging of Andromeda Galaxy with the Milky Way Galaxy — do not ignore what’s going on about you!

How old were you when you became an adult?

I’m sixty-four and still working on that. People call me “Mister” these days, but inside I still feel and joke around like a kid. That probably looks bad to people, but it’s how I feel. I’m in denial, I guess, about my age. I feel I never fully grew up.