Can Going to Mars Fix Earth?

Mars is cool. Isn’t it? Well, spoiler alert: neither you nor I are going to settle on Mars.
It’s inhospitable and has no benefit. It’s not a safe haven if we screw up Earth. Why? Because Mars lost its hot core billions of years ago. Without a hot core Mars lost the magnetic field shielding it from the sun. The atmosphere blew away, the volcanos dried up, and there’s nothing protecting any people there from the dangerous rays of the sun. It has no value for humans to go there, what to speak live there, and NASA has a whole department dedicated to making sure we don’t bring germs to other planets or from other planets back to Earth. That means we’ll never terraform Mars. We will never grow stuff there, and we will never survive there. Mars is useless except, maybe, for rovers to rove.
Same goes for the moon. No point in going back to the moon. Anything you want to do there you can do without human hands. That’s what robots are for, and if a robot dies it costs money but no lives.
We were born on this Earth. We will die on it. We’ve got stuff in orbit, and robots on Mars and in space, but that’s it. Maybe SpaceX or somebody will put some poor souls on the surface of Mars, but they will either die or have to come back to the safety of Earth.
There will be no Star Trek Enterprise. There will never be a spaceship that can go “warp” speed. There will never be a Federation of Planets. Get real. Sorry if it’s upsetting. Great TV, great movies, but it’s science fiction.
We won’t be able to visit those 7 “earthlike planets” recently discovered over 40 light years away, 10 times further than our closest stellar neighbor.
We’ve got one place to live. Earth. Screw it up, and the future’s screwed. We have the science to sustain it, but greediness and politics, international conflicts and third world governments, big industry and you and me in our cozy environment choking homes, will not allow us to save it. Gradually a wide variety of species will go extinct, both plants and animals. Gradually the food chain will be disrupted. Not for you, probably not for your kids, but down the line it’s coming.
Sometimes Earth people go “green” – reducing their “environmental footprint.” Yeah, you can try. You can even succeed if you try really hard. You can live off the grid, by candlelight or self generated electricity, don’t buy any food in containers or wrapped in plastic, make compost and grow food.
I know people who live like that and it’s great for them.
However, let’s get real here. Out of billions of people, if a few people leave less of an environmental footprint than most of the others, it might make them feel good but will it really save the world? No it won’t, because at the core of the problem is humanity itself. We are the polluters of our own planet. We are not likely to stop as a whole. We are not one world government, one people and one culture. We are diverse and dream of going to other planets if this one gets screwed up.
Is this a pessimistic view? Probably. I’m going to be 64 years old in a few months. This is the world the boomers and those before us are leaving behind. See if you can fix it.

How fast is "Now?"

Somewhere a distant star went supernova and we haven’t seen it yet because the light has yet to reach Earth.
The question is: does “now” happen instantly but we won’t know it until light and energy arrive at the speed of light, or does “now” also travel at the speed of light, implying it happens when we see it?
How fast is “now?”
Is it like that age-old question if a tree falls in a forest and nobody’s there to hear it, does it make any sound?
So does “now” travel at the speed of light or is it instant?
The question can be rephrased. Does time travel at the speed of light?
The answer isn’t simple and to address it would require us to delve into Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity. Let it suffice to say that time and space are intertwined and Einstein called it spacetime.
Why bother? A star a long way off goes supernova. It takes years for the light to reach us. When it does reach us we look in telescopes and say “ooo, ahhh” and try to discern something that benefits our understanding of the universe.
Good enough for me.

Bullied Kid Seek Revenge?

What if I told you scientists don’t know how life started on Earth? Well they don’t. Demoralizing I suppose.
Scientists do not know how life began on Earth. They do know that the early Earth’s atmosphere was very different from the atmosphere now.  -Las Cumbres Observatory website
Then there’s these curious comments made here and there. In 2015 Science magazine said: “Researchers may have solved origin-of-life conundrum”  (they didn’t). In Wikipedia: “The origin of life is a scientific problem which is not yet solved. There are plenty of ideas, but few clear facts.”
Theories abound. Lightning. Storms. Even pass it on to somebody else’s problem, like it began elsewhere and came here on a rock from space.
Scientists will be the first people to tell you they don’t know everything. They never claimed they did. They’ve got lots of areas where more research and scientific research is needed and is inevitable.
Combine this with trying to find life on other planets and I see a great unspoken bullied kid grows up syndrome. Scientists have been bullied, and now they’d love to punch back.
For centuries, indeed even in today’s political field, science itself and those that are trained in it’s methods, are politicized and bullied. In the past the Church called them heretics. Nowadays politicians suggest the government has no business funding any scientific research at all!  For example, the respected journal Scientific American, once wrote an article “Battle over Science Funding Gets Fiercer in U.S. Congress … Research agency critics, such as Sen. Ted Cruz, have new positions with power to control money and priorities.”
How things would change if we could just somehow prove that life exists on other planets, and that it evolved from chemicals here on earth! It would mean the Earth isn’t the center of the Universe. It would give a scientific explanation for life other than Creationism. It would mean the bullied kid could grow up and take on the bully.
That’s why the category of this article is called “The Way I See it.” Because it is.

No Cease of Amazement

It never ceases to amaze me why people use Microsoft Windows. It simply bewilders me why anybody would pay for an operating system!
I’d rather build my own computer or have someone else build it for me, then install the operating system of my choice on it.
It also surprises me when people find out that you can download an operating system for free and it’s not bootlegging and it’s legal to do so. You are not downloading Microsoft Windows, you’re downloading a version of Linux.
There are, of course, many versions of Linux. My favorite is called Linux Mint.

Scientists Discover Life on Another Planet

By Wayne E. Boyd
Breaking news. Astrophysicists have discovered a new planet within the “Goldilocks” region orbiting a yellow dwarf star and believe it is teaming with life, thus putting to rest the age-old question: “Is there life on other planets?”
The planet appears to be similar to our own in size and has an atmosphere primarily of oxygen and nitrogen. However, don’t plan on visiting the new world anytime soon. Not only is it many light years away, but microbial life floating in the wind would be a death trap without a spacesuit since we have never developed evolutionary immunity against them.
Observations suggest the surface of the planet is mostly submerged under salt-water oceans which themselves are full of aquatic life of all sizes. The areas that rise above the oceans, approximately 25% of the planet surface, are covered with plant life which provide food for many of the animals that live there.
Evidence indicates the dry land areas are inhabited mainly by germs and insects, however quadrupeds and bipeds live among them. The bipeds appear to be polluting their own air and water due to advanced industrial revolution. Great cities have arisen all over the land and the bipeds appear to have launched satellites and probes into space. Unfortunately, they quarrel and kill each other and share no common interests with their environment.
The planet is located inside the neighboring Milky Way Galaxy, which can be seen from our own Andromeda Galaxy with the naked eye in the night sky, and appears brilliant when seen through even modest telescopes.
Tentatively the planet, has been named “Earth” and due to the circumstances may be barren of all life within a few thousand years. It has been classified as dangerous for habitation and the search for intelligent life on other worlds continues.

Is the universe infinite?

We can see a long way. But does it end or keep going? Different theories for different folks. Is there more than one universe or just this one? Do parallel universes exist? Are their duplicates of us somewhere? Do wormholes exist that bend spacetime? Is light both waves and particles at the same time?
The show I just watched on TV asked all the questions and answered none, because, well, nobody knows!