Mars One; Are We Ready For This?

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Earth, our home for the time being, and out of all the planets in the Milky Way galaxy, this planet provided the right combination of oxygen, water and atmosphere for single-celled organisms to evolve into the bi-pedal creatures called human beings. There are a confirmed 989 “exoplanets” in this galaxy so the fact that we are on one that was “tailor-made” for us is mind boggling. But yet we keep a constant look out for a planet that could possibly contain life or at least contained life in the past. The newly found Kepler 452B, 1400 light years away seems to have all the qualifications of a planet resembling ours but is there life out there?

Sure, we want to know if we are the only species in this galaxy, or space in general for that matter. Something tells me that we can’t be. And if we are not alone, I believe whatever is out there is not to be disturbed by us. Maybe there’s a reason that all the planets that we have discovered so far have harsh environments. The galactic version of “do not disturb signs”. What may seem harsh to us could be paradise to another species and could be the buffer that keeps us seperated. We are just about to launch a colony of space travelers to the planet Mars in 2023 to set up house keeping, and they won’t be coming back. The dream of a Dutch entrepreneur Mars One, as the mission is being dubbed, plans to launch “colonist” to the red planet where they will attempt to lay a foundation for the future.  Are we actually ready for such an endeavor? The plan is an aggressive one for sure, and one where there is bound to be a loss of life. Some believe that such a mission is already doomed and say that all the people will be dead in 68 days. The reasons given vary but it is believed that the lack of food and water will be their downfall. But that hasn’t seemed to discourage the 100 finalist who are in the pool to become the first known Martians. The field will be widdled down to 24 by launch time and the space vessel that will make this 7 month journey will be assembled in space. We have already spent billions of dollars studying the red planet which has been the topic of countless discussions and unbridled theories every since H. G. Wells unleashed his 1898 thriller, “The War Of The Worlds”.  Curiosity is still a strong motivator and man will not be satisfied until there’s “boots on the ground.”

Should we invest billions more and possible lost of lives to go to a planet that has shown no signicant signs of current or past life? Even if the colony of “Martians” are able to establish the colony how long is it going to take to make it a satisfactory way of life? As a human colony there will no doubt be births to balance out the deaths and those born on the red planet will be born in an artificial atmosphere of man made oxygen in heavy gravity. The number of triumphs and tragedies will tell a chilling story after the first year on such an expedition and if it’s determined that the colony should be abandoned will we be ready to send a rescue mission to bring them back?

NASA, who is on board with the program, has the right idea about establishing a colony in space, but do we have to travel that far when there’s an alternative and safer solution. Why not go back to the moon and start there. All the things that needs to be tested for long space flights can be done on the moon, and a three day rescue trip is a lot cheaper than a seven month trip to Mars. Not to mention you could get a supply ship to the moon colonist and even swap out crews if need be. I think a moon base would be just the dry run needed before we go outside the neighborhood.

Suspended Animation; Hitting The “Pause” Button

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You have been just diagnosed with a terminal illness and there is no known cure at this time so what’s next? No worries mate for we are just about to cross the thresh-hold into the world of suspended animation. Say your good-byes to family and friends and make your reservation to be frozen in time until a cure is found. In the mean- time, visitors can visit your motionless body while it lies in a clear cryogenic viewing tube. But they will die of old age, and you, you’ll still be looking fresh as a daisy instead of pushing them up. The concept of putting people on ice goes a lot farther back than you might think. Let’s jump into the way-back machine and see when man first thought of people freezing.

Way back in the fourth century Hippocrates thought of using cold water to treat a variety of ailments including hemorrhages, and when Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812, snow was used to numb limbs that had to be amputated during battle. Recently a young man hitched a ride on an Hawaiian Airlines jet by stowing away in one of the planes wheel wells. He survived a 3 hour flight in subzero temperatures and no oxygen flying at 30,000 feet with no ill effects. Apparently his body had adapted to the cold temperatures and thin air. Now emergency prevention and resuscitation (EPR), also known in simple terms as suspended animation, is in clinical trials for the very first time with humans. The plan is to perform EPR on 10 trauma patients over the next two years.

This accomplishment could be both a blessing and a curse when you give it some rational thought. The cost I imagine would be prohibited for a lot of people who would like to save their loved ones but who lack the financial means. That means that only the wealthy would be able to buy immortality unless our politicians out of the goodness of their hearts pass legislation to assure all citizens a cost break to make it available to everyone. Which would mean a subsidy of some sort which some will be totally against which will mean a case before the Supreme Court etc. And then there’s the question of storage space and a competent guardian or a company to oversee the maintenance. The technology is here and it’s just a matter of time before it happens but first it’s probably going to be tested in the most harsh environment we know, outer space. Using the science of suspended animation, NASA and Space Works Enterprises are studying on how to induce a hypothermic state in the Mars bound settlers in 2023. It would save considerately on resources needed to make the six month one way journey. Once it becomes a successfully tested technology imagine the countless uses. But somehow someone will find a way to use it for unethical purposes like freezing criminals until they can be truly rehabilitated.



Brainwashing Cupid

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Love and heartache, it’s been a part of us since the beginning of time and even though we sometimes get hurt emotionally, we can’t live without love, and sometimes love can’t live without us. They like to say that a woman is a ball of emotions when it comes to love, but truth is, so is a man. No one has a roadmap to falling in love and we would like to think that we know what we want in a relationship, but I hate to tell you, your hormones are in control of a hodgepodge of chemical reactions that we have come to call “Cupid’s Arrow.”

The pain of heartbreaks in a relationship is something that has driven people to take their own lives believing that they couldn’t live without that special love. The majority of us have all been victims of a love gone bad that left us hanging on to a dream that turned into a nightmare. And the thing that always seem to hurt the most is the memories. Well what if you could take a pill and the memories would vanish? Do you know that scientist are trying to develop a pill to do just that. They know that the chemical “oxytocin” better known as the love hormone plays a powerful role in the bonding of a relationship and is just one of the parts of a biochemical cocktail that scientist have yet to really understand.

Now while inventing a pill to take away the pain of a relationship may seem like a noble thing, scientist want to manipulate oxytocin to turn it into an off and on button,  a sort of anti-love biotechnology. Brian Earp, an Oxford University neuroethicist seems to think this type of technology will be developed but its purpose is a little bit suspect. Mr. Earp says that any drug developed to suppress the feelings of another person should be closely monitored for the possibility of abuse because as he says, “There’s a long history of attempting to harness biomedicine to diminish same-sex sexuality.” That is something to worry about especially since over the years, people thought that if you fell in love with someone of the same gender, you had to be mentally ill. There are those who say that developing such a pill could be beneficial in treating child rapist and sex addicts. That in itself brings a whole new set of circumstances to the table in the form of civil rights violations

Maybe such research should be abandoned all together because as we have seen, no government entity or religious order has proven to be stronger than the arrows of Cupid. As we all well know, love does not discriminate, so we must learn to accept this change in our evolution and move forward because one thing is certain, chemical brain-washing is not the way.



Marriage Equality For All; Now The Battle Begins

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Now that there’s marriage equality across the land, it solves only one part of the equation as the law does nothing about providing protections against other types of bias that same-sex couples are sure to encounter. With that said, there is a new legislative move in the works to now rewrite civil rights law and add some sort of protections to outlaw such things as discrimination against homosexuals in the workplace. That is just one of the issues that has come to everyone’s attention and the reason why Rep. David Cicilline (D., R.I.) has been the lead sponsor in the Republican controlled House of this new legislation because as he says, “You can be married on Saturday, post your pictures on Instagram on Sunday, and be fired from your job on Monday.” The reasoning behind this legislation is that the new law needs some teeth in it or else there will be plenty of circumventing and discriminating going on because as the saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink it” meaning that there is going to be a lot of disgruntled people who will not budge and will enlist every loop-hole possible to not comply with the law.

We must remember that not everybody was dancing in the streets when the ruling from the court came down, and to many, the Supreme Court’s decision was seen as the ultimate low, by defying the teachings of the Bible and rebelling against Christian values. And it will certainly be a platform and a lifting off point for the Republican candidates who want to be president, and who will covertly claimed those same values got lost in this country during Barack Obama’s term in the White House. And then they will be so bold as to say that they will need the White House in 2016 to save us from ourselves. What nice people! But the truth of the matter is that while we wait on those GOP saviors, the law stands, and the rush is on to make the legal language needed to counteract the bias’ that’s sure to surface in daily circumstances. In some states it’s still legal to refuse to serve same-sex couples in a restaurant or refuse to grant a loan to purchase a home, and none of these actions are protected by the ruling that same-sex marriages are a constitutional right.

When the high court ruled in favor of all laws that favored the conservative fan base such as the Hobby Lobby ruling, the court was heroes in their eyes, but now the tables have turned, and despite the courts ruling on same-sex marriages, conservatives are now saying the Justices are a bunch of jack-asses and is calling for “resistance” of the law because it tramples on the Bible. Excuse me, but the Bible also says take care of the sick and needy, and let no child go hungry but I don’t  see them preaching that sermon. Where’s the dedication to that? If you say you believe in the Bible, then let’s believe in the whole Bible not just the parts that you twist to benefit your wicked ways. I call it stealing in the name of the Lord. So while the battle to recognize same-sex marriages has been won, the little wars are just beginning.