Sanity is relative….


Populating Mars??

I don’t know if any of you are familiar with the Mars One project, but, according to recent press releases, there will be life on Mars as early as 2024.  As we speak, applicants are being narrowed down, and chosen to begin an eight year long training program to prepare them for a one-way trip to Mars.  The catch?  Well, those chosen to go will never return to Earth.

Basically, groups of four will be sent to Mars, beginning in the year 2024 (providing there are no delays), and every two years thereafter.  The first unmanned journey is set for 2018 for delivery of supplies, rovers, and living quarters.  When the chosen astronauts arrive, they will construct their living quarters in an area that will have been scoped by the rovers.  Since the atmosphere on Mars consists of high levels of Carbon Dioxide, and low levels of Oxygen, and is also much too thin for us to breathe, the inhabitants will have to wear Mars Suits any time they are outside of the living quarters.  These suits will also protect the astronauts from the extreme weather, and any potentially harmful radiation.  Two communications satellites, along with an Earth ground base will assist in communications, although, at best, voice calls will have a 7 minute delay.  Talking to your friends, or family members from Mars by phone may prove very difficult!

Believe it or not, this project was founded in 2011, by Bas Lansdorp and Arno Wielders.  It was during that year that communications meetings were held with developers of aerospace components in the  UK, US, Canada, and Italy.  Supplier engineers, and business developers solidified mission architecture, budget plans, and timelines, and the baseline design of a mission to establish permanent human settlement on the planet Mars using only existing technology was designed.

Crew selection is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, with training beginning for the astronauts in 2015.  As they are trained, supplies will be sent, and locations for optimal construction of the living quarters will be scouted by one of two rovers.  In 2024, we should be seeing off the first 4 humans that will establish permanent settlement on Mars, however, it will take them about 7 months before they set foot on their new home planet.  It is estimated that they will land in 2025, and begin constructing their living quarters, and growing plants for food.  Another drop-off will be made containing additional living quarters, and life support units for the next group of four to arrive.  The plan is to have these quarters constructed, and ready by the time the next group of inhabitants arrives.  The second departure is scheduled for 2026, meaning they will probably arrive in Mars in 2027.

It is astonishing to read these plans, and even more so to realize that all of this is taking place in our lifetime!  It does, however, lead to an interesting question.  Who is to say that WE (as in all of us here, on Earth), were not part of the original version of this very project?  In my earlier blog, “The What If Game”, I posed an interesting theory about the possibility of us all being part of an alien experiment, like an ant farm that is being watched as we evolve.  In a way, isn’t that exactly what we are doing on Mars?  We are sending small groups to begin inhabiting a foreign planet, hoping that they can learn to sustain life there.  At this point, it is but a project for us.

Hundreds of years from now, there could be hundreds of thousands of us living on Mars, completely unaware of our roots on Earth.  We will be starting over on a new planet, with a clean slate.  Who is to say that those on Mars won’t decide to cut communications with us at some point as they grow, and strengthen as a nation?  It is, after all, possible that after many years, we could evolve, and adapt to that atmosphere, making the living quarters no longer a necessity.  Perhaps, at some point, they may decide that they no longer need, or desire, contact with us.  By that point, we will probably have put this planet into a devastating place anyway, void of natural resources, and potentially close to barren for us.  We may have entered another world war by then, and wiped out the majority of our own kind with nuclear weapons, or chemical warfare.  Earth could be a distant memory of a no longer existent planet in a hundred years, or a thousand years.  Will those on Mars still study our history, and speak of us fondly?  Or will they choose to block out all knowledge of us to their young so that it is never known to them how corrupt, and greedy, and insensitive people became before we managed to cause our own extinction?

The theories, and possibilities are absolutely endless as to what could happen, may happen, or will happen.  With this new project thrown into the mix of “life as we know it”, what doors does that open for the future?  Even more curious, though, is what does it say about the possibility of our PAST?  Could we have been part of a race that has long since destroyed itself, or its planet?  Or even one that watches us still, taking notes on our developments, and advancements and logging it in timelines, and record books for reference?  Maybe we all ended up here because our original race grew to be as we are growing to be, and before they stripped their own planet completely of all resources, they started sending people here to repopulate, to continue the human race.  Any of these theories is possible, when you consider them.  Especially when you consider the fact that we are now sending people to a new planet to start a new community as part of a “project”.  I’m sure we will record what they do, and log events as they unfold.  At some point, we may even begin shuttling people there in larger groups, once we realize that our demise is inevitable, even if self-inflicted.

These are just thoughts, brought on by our eagerness to spread out as a people, to explore new places, and make settlements in uncharted territories.  Surely you don’t believe we are the first to have this “brilliant” idea?  Then again, maybe there are many of us out there with that egotistical, self-absorbed attitude that I have spoken about before, that believe that we are the only superior beings in this infinitely vast universe.  Maybe it is that very attitude that brought us here to begin with, and has led to our savage, greedy, and violent nature that is now proving to be a strain on our very environment, as well as on our ability to coexist peacefully within it.


An Apology for a Busy Week

I have not posted in a few days, mainly because I have started a new class this week, and have had to focus my time and energies elsewhere for a bit, just until I am more familiar with how this class will go.  So far, this is one of my more difficult classes, as far as the expectations of my instructor.  He is, however, a friendly, and engaging teacher, and I do enjoy the live sessions of the class.  He seems to be very helpful, so far, despite his higher standards for some of the work that other classes have not given as much weight concerning.  In each class, we have a discussion forum where we are expected to respond to the question given in a main post, as well as to leave comment posts to at least two of our peers each week.  Usually, these questions are fairly short, and require no more than the 150 word minimum that most instructors place.  We have always been told to cite sources, and include references when applicable, but many of the questions don’t require that we find a source.  I usually try to include one, only because I was under the understanding that it was a required part of these discussion posts.  This instructor does require research for the post.  Keep in mind, now, that 150 words, really isn’t that much.  Especially when it comes to a topic that may require research.  In the past, I have been able to include information from one source, along with what I may already know, to create a fairly lengthy post.  This week, I think I searched for sources to answer the question for longer than I took to write the post!  The question wanted explanations, pros and cons, and an opinion for each of three Adobe programs.  Then, we were to choose the one we felt was the best to use for a game development company.

First off, I have no idea how to develop a game, or graphics for one, at this point in my education. I have taken classes on Photoshop, and Illustrator, but this week is the first time I have explored Adobe Flash at all.  Right off the bat, I had no personal opinions as to which program would be best, other than to assume that Flash would probably be the best choice because I did know that you could use it to create animated, or interactive things.  It took hours, and hours of searching to find relative information about these programs.  It wasn’t enough to just know what to say about them, I had to understand why they would, or would not, be a good choice for game development.  SHEESH!!  I finally completed the assignment, only to realize that my Internet was out, and I was unable to post it on time, which means that I will lose 3 points on my grade for the post being late.

On top of this, I have had over four hours of in-class time, and have a pretty big two-part assignment due on Saturday.  I also have an assessment, which is basically a short quiz (or I hope it’s short anyway) that need to be completed by Saturday as well.  Needless to say, I was not really prepared for this shift in difficulty levels of my classes.  I actually had two classes for the last Module, and felt pretty good about the time management of my projects, tests, and posts.  The first week of a new class is always a little rougher, though, because that’s when you get to know what your expectations are from a new instructor, and you have to really reorganize your methods sometimes to accommodate.

Anyway…..I have been planning to start my flash fiction story soon, but was waiting until this first week wore off a little bit, and I was in a better groove with my studying, and school work.  I also have the school newspaper to write for this month, which takes precedence over my personal writing.  Hopefully, things will even out for me by Saturday, and I can post some interesting things that people will actually WANT to read lol.  Thanks to those of you who are reading, though!! I appreciate your patience as I wade through the week, and I promise that my efforts will be back here with you guys within a few days!!



Time to Play the What-If Game~Round 1

     What if nothing is as it seems?  What if you see the color blue the way that I see the color pink?  I mean, if we all grew up repeatedly being told that an orange is orange, and an apple is red, the sky is blue, and the grass is green, would we not always make that word relation to that same color? How do you really know, though, that what our eyes see is exactly the same from person to person?  True, scientifically it breaks down into light beams, and rods and cones inside the eye sending messages into the brain, but, how can anyone be sure that the exact hue, tint, saturation of those colors really LOOKS the same to every single person? 

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     What if there are tons of civilizations on tons of planets throughout the vast universe?  Are we the ones looking for life on another planet? Or are we the “life on another planet” that is being sought after by another race somewhere far off into the Universe?  It could be that they have already discovered us, and deemed us unworthy of their time and efforts, and have zoomed off into the distance of space looking for intelligent lifeforms somewhere else, somewhere far, far away from this planet.  And who could blame them?  They would find here inhabitants who destroy the Earth like a cancer, eating away at the good parts, and spreading the disease ever further across the globe.  They, surely, could see how humankind is not at all human.  Do they watch us and wonder how we can strive off of greed, and hatred? Or how we can continue to be at war over reasons, that to them, probably don’t make sense at all?  Do they see how we hurt each other, kill each other, have no compassion for one another, and think to themselves that they are better off staying far away from a planet filled with such disease?

     What if we are but a chronic illness to the organism that we call Earth, and not actually “human” at all?  What if our entire society, and all that we know eats away at this larger organism, destroying pieces of it little by little, and making it ever sicker until it dies?  What if cancer, and AIDS, and Diabetes are the antibodies sent by the organism that we are killing, in order to fight us off, and preserve its host (Earth)?  All of our ideas about who, and what we are in the grand scheme of things, are, after all, very relative.  Everything that we think we know is relative, based upon other things that we think that we know.  But, what if we are wrong?  About everything?  What if the disease that eats away at our bodies is really another race of beings, just like us, believing that they are on their very own planet, and certain that they are the highest intelligence in the world? 

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     What if we are part of a larger experiment created by an even more advanced society?  We have built habitats for wild animals, attempting to trick them into believing that they are not hostages, in the name of science.  We have built glass encased ant farms so that we can watch the busy little ants working away at their extravagant tunnels, and investigated how they live their lives.  But, what if WE are all just part of an “ant farm”, so to speak?  What if we were strategically placed in this “habitat” by beings who just wanted to see what our true nature as people really is?  If that happened, I believe the scientists would be extremely disappointed at this juncture.  I can see them shaking their heads, pencils over their ears, wearing lab coats, carrying clipboards, and speaking to one another about why we can’t manage to get past selfishness, and violence.  What if this has all been done before, before the “big bang”?  This could be one of hundreds of these “human ant farms” where we are placed, watched, recorded, and left alone to destroy, not only the habitat, but ourselves, as well.  We may have failed this whole trial a few (or a few hundred) times already, still they watch.  Maybe they change variables in each experiment, giving us ever more information about the necessity of humanity, love, and compassion, and each time, we manage to return to this uncivilized state of selfish, “wild animal” behavior.  Perhaps each time, those watching decide that they have failed, yet again, and destroy the giant case that we live in.  Of course, that “giant casing” could be just a metaphor, I’m not saying there is an actual glass case around us, I am simply pointing out the possibility that this is all part of a bigger, grander thing in a bigger, grander universe that we are far too proud, and self-absorbed to bother to see, or admit to.  For us to admit to that, we must admit to being inferior.  One flaw I have found with humans, is their utter, and complete inability to believe that they are inferior to ANYTHING.  Some humans, even more so than others. 

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     What if the lives that we lead are displayed solely for entertainment, like “The Truman Show”, with Jim Carrey?  Maybe we live a non-stop reality show, or maybe it just seems non-stop to us.  It could be that it isn’t even a show, but an elaborate play in which we are all the dolls, and structures of a child’s play room.  We sleep when we are not being used, and we would have no real way to know the time, other than the settings each day, which are provided by the child.  Again, so many people will read this, and dismiss it hastily.  That goes back to the inability to realize that size, even OUR size, is all completely relative.  Just as ants are tiny to us, there could be beings out there much larger than we are.  Just because we aren’t aware of them, does not mean that it is an impossibility.  It goes back to the simplest idea that we only think we know what we know because of the information that we have available.  If we weren’t in control of what information that was, how would we ever TRULY know any different?  We wouldn’t.  Do you really think ants in the ant farm realize that they are not a part of a bigger world?  If dolls could think, like we do, would they know anything other than what world the child created for them to know?  Probably not.

     I am in no way saying that any of this is true.  This is a little thing I like to call the “What If” game, and I play it quite a bit.  It is basically a “food for thought” kind of rant, where I question knowledge, or whatever else I may have on my mind.  This forces you to think, at least for a second, about the other endless possibilities about life, and people.  I like to point out how very imperative relativity is, in every respect.  And I want other people to stop, even if for only a brief moment, and realize that we may not necessarily be alone in the universe, and we may not be the superior beings.  It is POSSIBLE that we may not be ANYTHING like what we think we are.  Once you can start opening your mind to these thoughts, these possibilities, I think your general manner of thinking expands, and you are more open to the little things that you may have taken for granted yesterday.  All I’m really trying to do is to make you STOP, and just THINK. 

     I mean, really, WHAT IF you just stopped, smelled the roses, and let your mind wander for a little while?  What if we all admit that maybe we aren’t as smart as we think we are?  What if we allowed some of this to really sink in, and maybe, just maybe, it gave us the push we needed to be a LITTLE bit nicer to one another? A little more forgiving? A little more compassionate?  What if these are the thoughts that lead to a world filled with more love for one another, and less hate? More building, than destroying? More peace, than war? More consideration to our HOME, and less destruction, and abuse? 

What If??

One Bad Decision

The decision was made,

the deed was done…

too late to undo it, and nowhere to run..

The feel of cold steel, and the sound of that click

Regret fills the emptiness between where she and I sit

Embarrassment and shame, we hung our heads down

wondering “how can we redeem ourselves now?”

Without excuses, we accept our fault

and hope that will help us get out of this vault.

Weeks will pass full of anxiety

until we are certain what our fate will be.

One thing is certain, I am already sure

No more decisions this bad, for me, OR for her….


Inhale slowly, take the pain away,

a swallow, briskly, helps you face the day.

Red-rimmed eyes, pale, white face,

smile on your lips, you’re in a happy place.

Afternoon approaches, and with it will come tears,

unless you can find that last 5 bucks…

just a few more beers.

Evening wears thin, and you can barely move,

the baby crying in the den, but you are too confused.

Inhaled once too many times, your bottle nearly empty

and you can’t think over all that racket, isn’t it a pity?

Polish off the bottle, and stagger to the baby.

You can’t take the noise, the screaming driving you crazy.

Trip over your own feet as you hold the baby high,

walk with him to the stairs, slurring to him, “don’t you cry”.

He needs to go to bed now, but you can’t see through the blur,

head over heels, now you can hear “How on Earth will we tell her?”

You can’t remember falling, and now you can’t feel your legs,

the doctor sadly touches you, “You’re paralyzed, and the baby’s dead.”

What happens when a bad cop decides “we don’t have time for this”..

I read this article today in utter disbelief.  I am very well aware of the fact that police officers are not always the “good guys”, but this went beyond what anyone could have imagined, in my opinion.  To make matters worse, I read through the first several comments, only to find an anonymous comment that insisted that the jobs of police officers is NOT to protect and serve, just to enforce the law.  This further infuriated me on so many levels!

First of all, this officer’s response to the situation was just ridiculous.  By no means should this barely 18 year old boy suffering from a schizophrenic episode should have been SHOT AND KILLED while on the ground, and after being Tased.  According to the report, the kid only weighed about 90lbs.  I can not believe that, while being held down by two officers of the law & after having a Taser used on him, that this guy was able to create a violent enough situation to constitute being shot.  Of course, the last words uttered by the officer who shot him were, “We don’t have time for this.”  Well, that is CERTAINLY good to know!  Apparently, if a situation is not contained in a certain time frame by this officer, someone will be shot.  I guess that solves the time crunch.  ??

Second, officers are trained to respond to various types of conflict, including those regarding individuals with mental illnesses.  There are different procedures that must be used, in most cases.  I am fairly certain that none of them entail shooting someone who is already on the ground, and being held down by other officers.  If these officers were not familiar with how to deal with a mental health call, they should have requested back-up from other officers who were.  This shooting was unnecessary, and will haunt this family for the rest of their lives.  Could you imagine watching your son being shot by an officer of the law?

The other thing that really, really got to me, aside from the obvious, was this comment that the police are not supposed to “protect and serve”, just enforce laws.  If that isn’t an outright example of either stupidity, or ignorance on that person’s behalf, then I don’t know what is.  Part of their oath actually swears them to do just that.  Just because they don’t always remember that oath, or uphold it, does not mean that it is not still their JOB to do so.  In fact, in many localities, it is even painted on the police cars.

This case bothered me quite a bit, as I mentioned.  I have a friend who suffers from schizophrenia, and I can not imagine him being shot and killed for having an episode related to his illness.  There are other ways to handle the situation.  He is a lot bigger than 90 pounds, and has yet to have been brutalized, in any way, by professionals who have had to deal with him during any of his episodes.  Not that he had very many, but the fact is that people with this illness are subject to these bouts.  Sometimes, the medications stop working properly.  Other times, the medications work so well, that the patient feels that they no longer need to take them.  I’m not giving them free reign to do as they please, but they do need to be handled in a fair, and just manner when confronted by law officers, or health care professionals.  If force needs to be used to subdue the person, then by all means, use force.  But use it in a reasonable manner.  There is no reason why an officer should get away with shooting someone who is not carrying a lethal weapon, or attacking them relentlessly.  I am quite sure that had a citizen done this, they would be arrested, and jailed without question.  This officer gets paid vacation from work.  Seem unfair to anyone else?

I hope you will take the time to read this article, and see what this poor family is going through.  The justice system is continuously failing us, and cases like these are just proof of how corrupt things are becoming in the systems that were built to keep us all safe.


The Police officers Oath


A sample oath from :