Monday, October 17, 2016

Seven Years Ago Today...

Seven years ago today, Mac Tonnies was just a phone call, a tweet, a blog comment, or an email away... and I guess that's a day I'd rather remember than all the days that followed. So, I'm jumping the gun on the usual PMB "anniversary" post because, ultimately, October 17, 2009, is the day that really mattered; Mac was still here.

I wandered over to his old Flickr pages today and, while it may merely be the fault of my outdated browser, half the photos on his photostream appear to have disappeared. This is not to say they can't, in some way, be viewed or accessed through old links off this blog or Posthuman Blues, but, well, it's still somewhat dismaying. Which is why I've decided to post Paul Kimball's 2009 tribute to Mac which appears on Youtube. Happily, he inadvertently archived many of those missing photos. Thanks Paul! And, thanks also for the video which appears below... Mac talking Cryptoterrestrials...

In the end, this is the way (I think) we'd all like to remember him... today, tomorrow, and every day after. It's the one comfort, the one "magical" power that film bestows more than any other art or medium...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Flying the Martian Skies

(click to enlarge)

This is a simulation... this is only a simulation... of a NASA aircraft (found on a NASA web-page) that may someday fly over Mars. (Full story here)

Pretty cool, huh? Almost kind of reminds me of one of those boomerang-type UFOs people have claimed to see... although not quite as cool as the one illustrated on this UFO Explorer page... a craft seen over Keisterbach. Germany in 2007...

Speaking of UFOs, here's a link to another informative site: UFO Hunters.

Meanwhile, over at Radio Misterioso, Greg Bishop - who's recently had a new book published (in which he mentions Mac, and discusses here) - hosted a UFO  Roundtable earlier in the week. Listen to his radio shows on the main RM page.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Dying to go to Mars

Strata at Base of Mount Sharp -   NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
(All images: click to enlarge,)

"Dying to go to Mars? You soon might have the option.

As early as 2025, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, plans to get humans to Mars. Mission “Heart of Gold,”  (in honor of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), could carry up to 100 people — with a “high” chance that participants could die.

The Guardian, a British publication, asked readers if they would be willing to risk their lives for this Martian outer-space adventure. Those who said yes were young, male and mostly American, and offered varied reasons, from taking out-of-this-world photos to dressing like a Jedi."

- From the Forbes article: Would You Risk Your Life To Travel To Mars? Elon Musk Offers The Chance -- & Many Are Ready

"Why go to Mars? Life on Mars has potential life-saving possibilities for everyone on earth. Depleting water supplies, overwhelming climate change, and a host of other disasters—from terrorist attacks to meteor strikes—all loom large. We must become a space-faring species to survive. We have the technology not only to get humans to Mars, but to convert Mars into another habitable planet. It will likely take 300 years to “terraform” Mars, as the jargon goes, but we can turn it into a veritable second Garden of Eden. And we can live there, in specially designed habitations, within the next twenty years." 

-  From the Simon and Schuster (TED Books) page for How We'll Live on Mars by Stephen Petranek. (see video below)

"The elegance of this mission, from a financial perspective at least, is that I wouldn't necessarily be coming back, sparing mission planners the need for a return vehicle. I'd wander the landscape and keep myself alive and healthy for as long as possible, awaiting eventual relief from a more robust crewed mission. It's quite possible I could "live off the land" indefinitely, giving me enough time to really take in the sights: the soaring slopes of Olympus Mons, the labyrinthine fractures of Valles Marineris, the enigmatic massifs of Cydonia."

- Mac Tonnies from a 4/25/06 Posthuman Blues post reposted here.


Sorry for such a long absence. I intended to post a few times in the past 2 months, notably on Mac's birthday (August 20), but, truthfully, nothing moved me very much... no news inspired me, and life had a bad habit of getting in my way. (Come to think of it, it still does!)

I had started to gather information about Tabby's Star and Dyson's Spheres (my own interpretation, inset, right), but despite loads of hype, hoopla, and Kickstarter campaigns... well, no real joy there. When it comes to massive artificial structures, I'm more inclined to reconsider the reality of our Moon (and this, from Red Ice).

And, then, there's Proxima Centauri b - a possibly habitable planet - discovered in August of this year. Pretty exciting, right? Um, well, as (soberly) reminds us: Is the Nearest Alien Planet Proxima b Habitable? 'It's Complicated'. In other words, no real joy there, either.

Instead, what drew me back to Mac's memorial was... well, what else (?)... Mars! Yes, thanks to NASA (!) - and tech hero (and, rightly so) Elon Musk - I finally found some news I could sink my tiny vampiric teeth into...