Tag Archives: biology

The Clouds of Barsoom*

*Barsoom – A fictional representation of the planet Mars created by American pulp fiction author Edgar Rice Burroughs .

From J.P. Skipper’s Mars Anomaly Research site:

When you see some of the images below with the Mars atmosphere a little more prominent and accurately represented, stop and think a minute. When you’re looking at them, note that you will be thinking more about the obscuring atmosphere rather than just the geological terrain alone. That is the point. As a thing is minimized in visual perception, it is also minimized in psychological awareness. This is how subtle manipulation is done.

The trouble is that showing various global views of a more real looking Mars with its high sunlight reflective atmospheric haze would mean less perception of the planet’s geological surface as well as the dry as dust scenario and more perception of the planet having a very real atmosphere that actually includes significant water vapor. Remember that obscuring atmospheric sunlight reflective haze means concentrations of water vapor either in liquid or solid particulate ice form. Just remember that sunlight reflects off of that water presence as a white color defining general water vapor as a haze or in greater concentrations as clouds.

With that thought in mind, take a look at the next two images. I had to make the first one large enough so that you could adequately read the text credits at the bottom of it and that meant that I had to make the second one equally as large for more direct comparison purposes.

03-162-1995-original-tan.Mars

04-162-1995-changed-to-red.Mars

 

The question of just how “Earth-like” Mars may, or may not be has been a huge argument between official mainstream scientists and independent researchers since 1877 when Schiaparelli mistakenly spied canali or channels on the surface, spawning many tales for generations of evil invaders, princesses, ancient civilizations and other myriad images that ended up being pareidolia .

Now, to be fair to the mainstreamers, the main fly in their ointment, Richard C. Hoagland (Face on Mars), has over the years has started to be more New Age with his and Mike Bara’s “Dark Mission: The Secret History of NASA” and has tarnished his image with pushing book sales instead of research for researchs’ sake (a guy’s gotta eat I suppose), but their hue and cry of “conspiracy nutcases” , outright denials, obfuscations and the most damning probably, silence, has made NASA, JPL and other mainstream organizations’ credibility almost lacking as people such as Hoagland.

Now am I saying that Mars is Earth-like? No.

But I’m willing to consider that Mars isn’t as deadly to related (Terran) forms of biology as the mainstream purports it to be and that it might have a more advanced biosphere than is being let on.

To make a point, the 1960 Brookings Report is a little known study conducted during the late 1950s concerning “what would happen if humans made contact with a more advanced civilization?”

It wasn’t favorable to say the least.

So what do you do to mitigate the culture shock?

You slooowly insert the meme of non-earth life, starting with the primitive life, into the mainstream culture.

Do I have proof that’s what NASA’s doing? No. And despite his and Bara’s book, they should’ve taken a lesson from the Brookings Report they wanted to expose and left out the occult stuff, even if it might have been true. They would’ve sounded credible and gained more supporters from the mainstream, if that was their aim to begin with, which I don’t think it was.

As far as I can see, Skipper doesn’t have a literary axe to grind (he does claim to be working on a book) and is more open to give out his information for free than the aforementioned folks. He seems to just want people to question what they’re told and do some digging on their own.

Maybe eventually we’ll get past the Brookings Report attitude pervading our so-called “leadership.”

Mars Global Evidence: Report #162

Hat Tip

Venusian Floaters, more biology in sci-fi and Bigfoot over the fireplace mantle

Courtesy of Posthuman Blues:

Seemingly, people in the space community have a tendency to push the boundaries of thought about all the possibilities that await us in the universe. Case in point: Geoffrey Landis. Landis is a scientist at NASA’s Glenn Research Center who writes science fiction in his spare time. Last week Landis shared with us his ideas for using a solar powered airplane to study Venus.Venus. Yes, Venus, our hot, greenhouse-effect-gone-mad neighboring planet with a crushing surface pressure that has doomed the few spacecraft that have attempted to reach the planet’s mysterious landscape. Landis knows Venus’ surface itself is pretty much out of the question for human habitation. But up about 50 kilometers above the surface, Landis says the atmosphere of Venus is the most Earth-like environment, other than Earth itself, in the solar system. What Landis proposes is creating floating cities on Venus where people could live and work, as well as study the planet below.

Ahh, cities in the sky, long a dream of many a science-fiction author. This is the first time I’ve seen it applied to Venus though.

Colonizing Venus With Floating Cities

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Blogging biologist Peggy of Biology in Science Fiction goes on a small rant about stories that help, and hinder understanding of real biology:

In any case, the issue of public perception of science and scientists is an important one, if only because that public perception influences politics and funding. Part of the problem, as I see it, is that the anti-science stories actually ring true to many people who have a deep distrust (and dislike) of corporations, the government, and anyone who is an “expert”. It can be satisfying to see arrogant establishment types who believe themselves to be very clever shown up as bumbling and foolish, even if it does mean death and disaster as a result. Hell, I often enjoy those kind of stories, and I like science.

So what’s the solution? More positive SF? That certainly couldn’t hurt. But there’s no guarantee that any particular novel or movie will become popular enough to really make a difference in public perception. I suspect that education is really the key. Part of what feeds people’s fear of scientific progress is that they don’t understand it. I’m not sure how we can go about that, though, beyond ensuring kids get a thorough science education in school. Public lectures are a possibility, as are entertaining exhibitions at science museums, and maybe blogs too. I’d like to think that anyway.

I’m guilty of being ignorant of biology in science, and science-fiction. My last exposure to it was college long ago (my grade was pretty good actually) and my own biases of being a tech and historian.

Peggy makes valid points. I should read up on it more.

(The post referenced doesn’t have its own link. Click on the link at the beginning of this one, then scroll down at her site.)

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Ever heard of the eBay $150,000 Bigfoot hunter? Neither have I, but apparently this guy is for real:

The eBay Bigfoot hunter has been identified. The $150,000 man first discussed at Boing Boing yesterday can be more fully revealed here today.

TPeterson6969 is Tim Peterson, the owner of Hawk Creek Taxidermy in Maynard, Minnesota. The business address of Hawk Creek Taxidermy & Archery is technically 12640 890 St. Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55401 , a mere 25.4 miles from Young America…

[…]

When asked for a comment for an interview, Tim Peterson briefly told me that he is a “big game hunting guide” for A Double J Outfitters in Buffalo, Wyoming. He claims to “have been hunting big game for 34 years” and is “experienced in the back country.”

If Tim Peterson helps you bag a Bigfoot, it is obvious he can mount it for you. He can also help you with the skull too. According to the links on his taxidermy website, it appears a relative of his, Rorri Peterson, runs Beetle My Bones Skullworks, a business preparing heads for trophy animal skulls displays.

Well, you hafta admit that a hunter/taxidermist would be the ideal person to track and bag a Bigfoot, that would settle it once and for all about the damn things.

I wonder what Peggy the Biologist thinks about Bigfoot?

eBay’s $150,000 Bigfoot Hunter ID’d

The Biology of Science Fiction

Biology is one area of science I know very little about. I never blog, comment, use it in my fiction or reference it only in very limited terms, with the possible exception of when I talk about my chronic maladies in passing. Which is probably very ignorant on my part because it would behoove me to be at least somewhat educated on how biology works, especially my own.

Even the type of science fiction I read is influenced by my lack of knowledge in the discipline. My book-shelves are full of space opera, Singularity science, social science and even psychological sci-fi. I do know a little about nano-tech though, but biological nano, not so much.

This is just physical and mental laziness on my part, and according to Peggy of Biology In Science Fiction in a post referencing an interview with writer Peter Watts, it would be a mistake for me to continue to do so:

In April, Åka at Physicality of Words interviewed Peter Watts about the science in science fiction. Asked about a recent Con where the science panel was made up of astronomers and physicists, and whether he “get[s] the feeling that biology and biological ideas get less attention in science fiction than physics and astronomy?” , Watts opined:

Biology is the headline science of the twenty-first century so far, and I think that’s being reflected in the more recent sf to come down the pike (mine, for example). If con panels still emphasise physics and astronomy, perhaps that reflects the “graying of fandom” we keep hearing about; perhaps panels are disproportionately populated by the TwenCen old guard who haven’t caught up with the times yet.

I’ve read Watts’ Blind Sight recently. It is very good and engrossing, I couldn’t put it down until I got too tired to read. And yes, it had a lot of biological science in it. What I liked was that he made the biology parts understandable and credible. But he was good with the tech stuff too I thought. Or maybe I just perceived it that way because I’m a techie anyways.

Okay I’ll admit it, I’m a senile “TwenCen” old fart…er…guard type who’s behind the times too.

So sue me.

It’s no secret that biotech is a fast growing industry, from the genetically modified food corporations to the genetics of stem cell research and now more recently, “gengineering” plants that sequester carbon dioxide, this science is going to be a huge money making machine.

Not so much for the “little people” I’m afraid.

As usual, they (us) get stuck paying the research bills while working our Wally-Mart, Rotten Ronnie jobs and living in our luxurious Tent City condos!

Biology is the headline science of the 21st century