Tuesday, March 4, 2008

When an avalanche falls on Mars, is anyone around to hear it?

Evidently our robot satellites are! I find it more fascinating that we have robot satellites circling Mars than I do that there was a ho-hum avalanche on the red planet. It's a neat photo, with its contribution to science close to nil. It's really all about the Bitchen Factor, which is why NASA exists to begin with. Why do we go to space? Cause we can. Cause it's bitchen! Is there scientific knowledge to be gathered? Sure. Also, it is bitchen. This is a big part of why Americans do things.

"We don't know what set off these landslides," said Patrick Russell of the University of Berne, Switzerland, a HiRISE team collaborator. "We plan to take more images of the site through the changing Martian seasons to see if this kind of avalanche happens all year or is restricted to early spring."

And this is important why?

"Our Mars program is the envy of the world," said Alan Stern, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. "We plan to launch a total of five more missions in the next decade, beginning with the Mars Science Lab rover next year and a Mars Aeronomy Scout mission in 2013."

See? Because it's bitchen.

Like the hard-at-work Martians, I spent my weekend moving mounds of dirt from one location to another, as if I didn't get enough of it at work last week, but this was my house and my dirt. Why did I do this? Because my daughter thinks it's bitchen. It is. I've been building a sandbox.

It puts me in the company of other great earth-movers of the world.

The weather is terrific today, as it was yesterday, making it so much easier to fulfill MY MORAL OBLIGATION TO BE HAPPY! It's amazing how weather can have such an effect on one's mood (or, at least, my own). It was cloudy and overcast last Saturday when I was moving mounds of dirt from location to location. I had so looked forward all week to working in the yard, only to have dreary weather on my Saturday afternoon. "What a drag," commented Mrs. Ditchman. Yes, it was a drag. And that, literally. With the wheelbarrow. Maybe I'm doing it wrong.

But today it's beautiful out, and it's work, work, and more work. A drag, yes, but somewhat less so than yesterday, which is why I missed a post.