Friday, June 13, 2014

Follow Friday - xkcd 162 Is About Angular Momentum and Love

It's Friday again, and this means it's time for Follow Friday. There has been a slight change to the format, as now there are two Follow Friday hosts blogs and two Follow Friday Features Bloggers each week. To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow both of the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read) and any one else you want to follow on the list.
  2. Follow the two Featured Bloggers of the week - Cornerfolds and Awesome Book Assessment.
  3. Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments.
  5. Follow, follow, follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "Hi".
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the love . . . and the followers.
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
  8. If you're new to the Follow Friday Hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
And now for the Follow Friday Question: Armchair Travel! Tell us about your favorite book in a setting you’d like to visit (a real place for this question).

Mars. I'd like to go to Mars. I don't really care which fictional account of Mars might be referenced: The Mars described in Clarke's The Sands of Mars, or the Mars described in Asimov's David Starr. Space Ranger or The Martian Way, or the Mars described in Bradbury's Martian Chronicles, or the Mars described in Heinlein's Red Planet would all be fine, although all are probably wildly inaccurate as they were based upon what we now know to be an incomplete, and therefore faulty, understanding of the planet.

Of one could go based upon Robinson's Martian trilogy of Red Mars, Blue Mars, and Green Mars. Or based on Ben Bova's book Mars. Those would be generally more accurate, and no less enticing than the fictional versions of earlier writers. Because no matter what fictional version of Mars you use as a jumping off point, the actual Mars remains endlessly fascinating to me. It has polar caps. It has Olympus Mons, a mountain that dwarfs those on Earth. It has an enormous canyon that makes the Grand Canyon look like a tiny scratch in the ground. It may have harbored life at one point, and may still do so. Granted, it is almost certainly microbial life if it is there, but any life that isn't life from Earth would revolutionize the entire field of biology. And those are just the highlights. Mars is a place we could live. A place we could terraform and make into a new home.

I think I should note that my second choice was Jupiter and its moons (or Saturn and its moons) as presented by Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey and 2010: Odyssey Two. Or possibly Titan, as it exists in Clarke's Imperial Earth. Growing up in the shadow of the Apollo landings, and coming of age during the time that the Viking landers were touching down on Mars and the Voyager probes were sending us close up pictures of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, my love of these places far from Earth seems to me to have been almost inevitable. And at the time, I was certain we would get there. After all, during the first decade of my life we sent six missions to the Moon. In 1980, it seemed like the next step would be establishing a permanent base there and then sending men to Mars and the outer planets. But now, nearly forty-five years later, we are less capable of putting men into space than we were when I was a teenager. And that makes me both angry and sad. We used to have expansive dreams, and throughout my life our dreams have receded and become small.

And finally, for anyone wondering what xkcd 162 is, here you go:

And you can find the rest of xkcd here. At least the author of xkcd still dreams of big things. Even if we can't do them any more.

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  1. Mars is a unique choice you got :)
    By the way, I'm a new follower VIA GFC
    Christine @ Bibliophilic Madness

    1. @Christine Danielle: The fact that we haven't actually gone to Mars annoys me greatly.

  2. Mars is an interesting choice- I absolutely love xkcd :) New GFC follower :) Enjoy the rest of your weekend! My FF

    1. @Jennifer Morgan: xkcd is fantastic. It is one of the sites I check daily.