Tag Archives: mars

May Column for Michiana House & Home Magazine: A Space Jam



Recently, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when a sponsored Groupon advertisement caught my eye. Evidently, for the low, low price of $15, I can buy an acre of land on Mars. Now, I do not pretend to be an expert on interplanetary Real Estate deals, but I have a few questions about this.

For starters, who exactly owns Mars? It’s not that I don’t trust the oh-so-official-sounding Lunar Embassy, which is located in Nevada of all places, but how did they get to be the official Realtor of the Red Planet? Did the little guy from the Looney Tunes shorts hand over the deed to Mars in order to lay claim to Bugs Bunny’s hole? Was it some kind of a trade deal like that whole Michael Jordan thing in Space Jam? Why is he so keen to get rid of Mars in the first place? What does he know about it that we don’t?

Secondly, how did the head honcho of this Galactic Realty firm decide $15 was a fair price for Martian soil? According to the advertisement, this price represents a 57 percent discount off of the suggested retail price, which by anyone’s definition is an incredible deal, but I remain skeptical. For example, how do we know that an acre of land is the same thing on Mars as it is here? What if it is a different unit of measurement entirely? Has anyone actually seen the comps from other neighboring planets to tell us whether or not Mars actually appraised for this price and has it passed its inspection?
Exactly where are these available acres? Is the entire planet up for grabs or only a specific neighborhood? Will we be given the XY coordinates to our little corner of the universe or is Google Mars already up there taking a more modern image for us to see? I may not be a genius, but I do know location is a key factor when buying a piece of property. Does $15 get me an enviable spot in downtown metropolitan Mars, a sweet spot in suburban Mars or a remote, pre-war, pre-fab, previously uninhabited plot of Outer Mongolia Mars? I think we have a right to know. I also think we should be told what our taxes might be, what kinds of schools we can expect for that money as well as the government’s plan for a steady water supply, but hey, not everyone is as picky as I am.

I know I am probably going to kick myself for not jumping on this ground floor opportunity, but there are just too many unknowns for me to plunk down some cash on my Martian estate just yet. Although my friends tell me to stop analyzing the logistics just do it, I’m content to let other folks cough up their closing costs, invent a way to get there, fight off whatever they find and pave the way for the rest of us.

In the meantime, I am going to do something safe and have a star named after me.



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Glo Column November: Passing the Test

bg_header       Although admitting this may confirm the fact that I have no life and that I really need to re-think what I do with my spare time, I positively love those little quizzes that pop up in my Facebook feed. You know which ones I am referring to, right? The ones that tell you in which country you really belong (France), which Disney princess you are most like (Belle), what song was written about you (“I Will Survive”) and on what day you are going to die. (I didn’t take that one because I believe some things in life really should remain a surprise.)

Yes, I question the scientific research that goes into the development of these things. After all, how does my picking a landscape scene have any bearing on which super hero sidekick I resemble? Still, I have to presume someone knows what he or she is doing and that by answering five or six multiple-choice questions; I will gain great personal insight into my psyche.

In the past month alone, I have learned some incredible things about myself. I did not know that I was Cleopatra in a past life or that I dated James Dean in an alternate universe. Apparently, I have more in common with JFK than any other US president and that I am 71 percent Jedi and 29 percent Sith. (Talk about a disturbance in the Force!) I am an “ultimate booktarian,” which isn’t even a real word according to…well, Word and I know all of my television sitcom characters from the 1960s through the 1980s. (Yet another fact that proves I should get out more.) If I were a student at Hogwarts, I would be sorted into Gryffindor and if I were part of a heavy metal/hard rock bank, I would definitely be a member of Led Zeppelin. OK, I did NOT need a Facebook quiz to tell me that one!

It’s true that I am addicted to Facebook quizzes in much the same way as I am countdown shows, tennis tournaments and term “Buy One Get One Free” however, I should have quit while I was ahead. A few nights ago, in a fit of inflated ego, I took the “Can You Answer Basic Fifth Grade Science Questions?” quiz and failed miserably.

Unlike the goobers at PlayBuzz who ask, “What inanimate object are you?” this quiz was brought to me from the good people at Time Magazine. I have to assume this means that they have done their homework and based on my two-out-of-eight score, clearly I didn’t do mine.

Seriously, did I learn any of this stuff at all? Admittedly fifth grade wasn’t my best year of elementary school, but still… Who knew nitrogen was the most common gas in the Earth’s atmosphere or that momentum is defined as the product of an object’s mass and velocity according to classical mechanics? (I think my dad subscribed to that magazine, by the way.) Why would I need to know which item (pulley, screw, wedge or hammer) is not a simple machine? I had it narrowed down to the wedge and hammer, but didn’t use my phone-a-friend lifeline to riddle out the final answer. In my defense I did know the three types of rock classifications and which element is responsible for the red look of the Martian soil, but it doesn’t make me feel any better and only begs the question why I know more about Mars than I do my home planet.

Naturally, Boy Wonder was delighted by my failure and tells everyone he knows that his mother is not “smarter than a fifth grader.” Maybe not, but neither are most Americans according to the study. Still, I must be doing something right. After all, I have two college degrees; a career that I love and Facebook says I am 95 percent likely to survive the zombie apocalypse. What more does anyone need?





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