Friday, October 15, 2021

Dreams of Mars


When I think of alien worlds, Mars immediately comes to mind.
It's the one world that I may live to see astronauts land on,
and it's the one world that humans may colonize in this century.

So it was great fun to participate in  Rain's Thursday Art Date theme Alien Worlds,
and to think about Mars and human colonization. 

Mars has haunted the dreams and imaginations of humankind
since we first gazed at the red planet. 
It has been associated with war and bloodshed since ancient times because of its color.
Babylonians called Mars Nergal after their god of fire, war, and destruction, 
and Romans named it Mars after their god of war.   Google



Dreams of Mars
by Louise MacBeath Barbour
October 13, 2021
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





The First Card in the Mars Attacks Trading Card Series, 1962
To See the Full Series Click Here

From Earth, Mars is the most accessible place in the solar system,
although establishing a colony on Mars poses difficult challenges:
radiation exposure, isolation, low gravity, toxic soil, 
very cold temperatures, and a lack of available water and oxygen.

NASA artist's conception of a human mission to Mars (painting), 1989






True color image of Mars taken by the OSIRIS instrument on the European Space Agency Rosetta spacecraft during its February 2007 flyby of the planet.
The image was generated using the OSIRIS orange (red), green, and blue filters.


Mars has always fascinated me.
When I watched the Eagle land on the moon on July, 20, 1969,
I was certain we'd have colonies on Mars by now.
My hopes were crushed by the lack of human space exploration over the last half century.

But on September 28, 2018, I felt renewed hope when Nature reported an exciting find.
Planetary scientists reported the discovery of liquid water below the surface
of Ultimi Scopuli at the base of Mar's south polar layered deposits.

The water existed in a 20 kilometer-wide lake about 1.5 kilometers
under a thick polar cap formed by layers of ice and dust.   
The Mars Advance Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) survey
collected the data leading to the detection of water.  Nature.com

Illustration of the European Space Agency's Mars Express Mission Showing its MARSIS Antenna


The European Space Agency conducts the Mars Express mission to explore Mars.
MARSIS is a radar instrument carried on Mars Express,
and it was designed to search for water, water-ice, or permafrost layers
under the visible surface of the planet.  Mark Plank Institute for Solar Research
The MARSIS principal investigator is Giovanni Picardi at Sapienza University of Rome. 

Mars-Subglacial Water-South Pole Region
A view of the southern polar plain of Mars, with the Mars Express’s color-coded findings superimposed at the site where they were detected. The 12-mile-wide lake is believed to be about a mile deep.






The South Polar Ice Cap, Mars, Summer 2000






Layered Deposits at the South Pole of Mars
The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter captured this view 
of part of the south polar ice cap on Mars on 13 May 2018


Mars Express detects water buried under the south pole of Mars.






MARSIS Survey


If Scopuli sounds familiar than you are likely a fan of Amazon's The Expanse,
a fabulous, critically acclaimed, science fiction series based on the James A. Corey novels.
The Scopuli was a Martian light transport freighter that is pivotal to the Expanse series.


On September 28, 2020 Nature reported more water
detected beneath Mar's south polar layered deposits.
Since the initial report in 2018 was met with skepticism as well as excitement,
scientists collected additional data with the Mars Express orbiter.

Elena Pettinelli and her colleagues at the University of Rome confirmed the existence
of the first lake and the discovery of three more.
Altogether the lakes cover an area of 29,000 square miles 
(75 thousand square kilometers), about 1/5 the area of Germany.  EarthSky.org and Nature

Radar Map from Mars Express
Showing One Large Subsurface Lake and Three Smaller Ones

Water is life, not necessarily for Martian life,
but rather to support humans living on Mars.
So I dream of a underground colony on Mars, one that extracts
potable water from the hypersaline brines in the subsurface lakes.

Such a colony would face other challenges.
An underground colony would solve the problems
of radiation exposure and and very cold temperatures.
Oxygen could be recovered from the Martian atmosphere by electrolysis, 
a process that splits carbon dioxide into oxygen and carbon monoxide.

Low gravity is a big challenge, but I imagine that could be overcome
with centrifuge-like human living pods within the colony,
exercise, supplements, and perhaps genetic tweaking.

Cyanobacteria could be used to transform toxic soil into soil to support plant life,
and lab-produced meat substitutes could expand the variety of food available.

As for isolation, mixed sex colonists, space mission visitors, 
and advanced communications, would help colonists deal with being so far from Earth.

I can see it!

A Rough Sketch of an Underground Colony Below Ultimi Scopuli 
by Louise MacBeath Barbour
October 13, 2021
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

My sketch for an underground colony is rough indeed!
I imagine a series of underground tunnels connected
by dome-covered elevators, one main and two adjacent,
with a separate dome and elevator leading to a nuclear energy plant.

I see humans living in a tunnel colony about 300 feet below ground,
and cyanobacteria and plants growing in a tunnel
several hundred feet below the human habitat.

Hundreds of feet deeper in another tunnel,
a factory produces oxygen and other life support systems are functioning.
Finally, in the lowest tunnel, a water production system
processes water several hundred feet above the underground lake.

I believe humankind's survival depends on expanding from our home planet Earth,
and establishing a colony on Mars is a necessary step.
Here's to a bright and successful future!

The International Space Station Orbiting above the Earth


Stay happy and safe!




Till next time ~
Fundy Blue



On the Bay of Fundy
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved









Friday, October 8, 2021

Oops! Back on Friday, October 15th!

Oops!
I forgot to say in my Wednesday post that my next post 
will be on Friday, October 15, 2021.
Typically I post on the first Wednesday of the month
for the Insecure Writer's Support Group,
and all other Fridays in the month except the one in the IWSG week.
So I'll be back next Friday with a post on Alien Worlds
for my friend Rain's Thursday Art Date.




See you next week!  Stay happy and safe!




Till next time ~
Fundy Blue



On the Bay of Fundy
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved









 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

IWSG: Wednesday, October 6, 2020 ~ Where Do You Draw the Line?

 




It's the first Wednesday of the month,
the day that members of the
Insecure Writer's Support Group
share their writing struggles
and writing successes
and offer their encouragement
and support to fellow writers.






To visit the IWSG website, click here.

To become a member of the IWSG, click here.

Our wonderful co-hosts who are volunteering today,
along with IWSG Founder Alex J. Cavanaugh are Jemima Pett, J Lenni Dorner, Cathrina Constantine, Ronel Janse van Vuuren,  and Mary Aalgaard.

I hope you have a chance to visit today's hosts and thank them for co-hosting.
I'm sure they would appreciate a visit and an encouraging comment.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Every month the IWSG announces a question that members can answer
with advice, insight, a personal experience, or a story in their IWSG posts.

Or, the question can inspire members
if they aren't sure what to write about on IWSG Day.

Remember the question is optional.
This month's featured question is: 
In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Happy October, Everyone!
I hope your month has gotten off to a safe and happy start!

Mine has been busy.  
I feel like I'm going backwards.
Good thing I'm an optimist!
I wake up every day thinking, 
Today will be the day I get on top of things!

My Favorite Internet Cartoon!


October's question is a good one, and I am looking forward to reading your answers.
For me, the answer depends upon who the audience is for the piece I am writing.
The language and topics I use in writing a children's story are very different
from those that I use in a newspaper article or in adult fiction.



As a general rule, I don't use foul language in my writing.
However, I do in adult writing, if the language is integral to portraying a character.

I write a lot of nonfiction, and if I'm quoting someone, 
I sometimes include offensive or profane language.

I'll write about any topic, if I have a good reason to do so.
I would draw the line at some topics based on the age of readers.




What motivates me as a writer is truth.
If I'm writing about child molestation, discrimination, mental illness,
or the abuses of government and religious agencies in the North, 
I'm not going to pull any punches.
I'm going to tell the flat-out truth, as I have experienced it,
whatever the topic, whatever the language.



Are any of you going to participate in NaNoWriMo in November?
Terry and I had planned to be in Hawaii then, so I wasn't going to do NaNoWriMo.
But our plans changed, and now I'm getting ready to join in.
I'll be rewriting my memoir.
Wishing each of you who tackles NaNoWriMo success!

I Love Grumpy Cat!


I hope each of you has fun visiting around today.
Happy writing to each of you in October!





Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

https://selkiegrey4.blogspot.com 







Terry and I are so happy to do normal things again, 
and we're grateful that vaccines and booster shots have made this safer for us.

Like catching a Rockies baseball game with friends!

Heading to Denver International Airport to Meet Our Friends
September 29, 2021
Gateway Station,  Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Terry Dave, and Julie
September 29, 2021
Coors Field, Denver,  Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Charlie Blackmon at Bat ~ Go Rockies!
September 29, 2021
Coors Field, Denver,  Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




Friday, October 1, 2021

Puzzles and More


Do you have a favorite way to relax, an activity that you can lose yourself in for hours?
For me that relaxing activity is putting together jigsaw puzzles.

The Springbok Cats ~ 1000 pieces
(And when I was finished, 2 of the 1,000 pieces were missing! ~ Argh!)
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved













I've been assembling jigsaw puzzles since I was a small child.
My mother Sara MacBeath, her mother Ella MacDonald, 
and her grandmother Sara Cossaboom all did jigsaw puzzles.
That love for puzzles was passed on to my brother, three sisters, and me.

Jigsaw puzzles made countless rainy summer days or snowy winter nights
fly by when we were growing up.
To this day, we all love to tackle jigsaw puzzles,
although the pastime is easier for those of us who don't have cats.

We, in turn, have passed the love of jigsaw puzzles on to the next generation,
and my four-year-old-great-niece Ella is now putting puzzles together.

Ella with Homegrown Strawberries
Photo by Her Mother Jeannie









My brother Roy and I are probably the most addicted to the jigsaw habit.
We send each other pictures of our current puzzles and our progress.
We exchange used puzzles, the harder, the better.
And we love sitting down with a puzzle and working it together.

The Ravensburger Krypt Silver 654 ~ 500 pieces 
It's considered one of the most difficult of jigsaw puzzles,
and is a puzzle Roy did during the pandemic.
I sure hope he doesn't pass this on to me!
Photo by Roy MacBeath








Roy and I have similar tastes in puzzles:  nature scenes and animals.
Roy especially likes cats, and I especially like rocks.
Give me horses and rocks, and I am thrilled!

The Master Pieces Running the Sacred Cliffs ~ 1000 pieces
(I'm not going to be missing a piece again!)
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


We both have permanent puzzle tables, mimicking our Great Grandmother Sara.
She had a custom puzzle board that she could lay across the arms of her favorite chair
when she settled in to work on a jigsaw puzzle in front of her wood stove.


Our Great Grandmother Sara Cossaboom
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



From the beginning of my teaching career, I had jigsaw puzzles in my classroom.
I thought assembling jigsaw puzzles was a valuable activity as students worked
on pattern recognition, sorting and categorizing, spatial thinking, and fine motor control,
and they learned a whole lot about cooperation and sharing.
I was always hunting for great jigsaw puzzles
that connected to different areas of our curriculum.
Because puzzles are engrossing, they increased my students' focus and concentration,
and because they were relaxing, they calmed my students down. 
Best of all they were fun!


Perfect for a Lesson Plan!



Roy recently completed his first 3,000-piece puzzle.
He's an engineer, so he approaches the process methodically,
completing the border first and laying out his puzzle pieces precisely.

The Engineer's Puzzle Table and Puzzle
The Ravensburger Flowery Mountains ~ 3,000 pieces 
Photo by Roy MacBeath



Not to be outdone, I began my first 3,000-piece puzzle.
I didn't have much choice.
It was the only undone puzzle in my collection, 
a doozie that my nephew Kevin gave me some Christmases ago.
Unlike Roy, I jump in wherever I can, sorting pieces into mugs and tubs.
I had to add another leaf to my puzzle table and pile my mugs and tubs on a nearby counter.
But I'm off and running!

The Ravensburger World Map 1665 ~ 3,000 pieces
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved







 
Small Beginnings
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






A Little Progress
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved








If I'm lucky, I can work on my jigsaw puzzle twenty minutes or so late in the evening.
Some nights, I'm not lucky.  I get sucked into puzzle quicksand.
Just one more piece.  Just one more piece.








Still Friends and Competitors
Roy and Me, Circa 1954
Smith's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved









I missed posting last Friday.
I was painting and juggling appointments last week.
I've been dealing with worsening double vision,
and I really don't like seeing four-eyed people ~ LOL!
So more appointments and tests next week.  Oh joy!
I'm not worried ~ I likely have eye muscles that are not working together.

My friend Rain's Thursday Art Date theme last week was sculpture,
the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions.  Google
Well, I was definitely working in three dimensions last week!
I scoured, primed, and painted our seventeen-year-old cement porch floor and steps.
I've never done anything like this,
and to me the final results were a 3-D work of art!

Scoured


Partially Primed



Painted
September 22, 2021
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



I had selected a lot of sculptures for last week, 
but I couldn't put the post together,
so I'll share my favorite, Makua and Kila.

Makua and Kila
March 4, 2016
Waikiki Boardwalk by Kuhio Beach, Honolulu, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



This life-sized bronze statue of a boy and a seal surfing on the North Shore 
was sculpted by Kauai artist Holly Young.
Fred Van Dyke's book Two Surf Stories for Children inspired Young.
His story about the young surfer Makua who befriends the Hawaiian monk seal Kila 
captures the Hawaiian value of ohana, love and respect for family.
I never fail to visit Makua and Kila whenever I'm on the boardwalk.

Makua and Kila
March 4, 2016
Waikiki Boardwalk by Kuhio Beach, Honolulu, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





I love placing a lei around Kila's neck.
March 19, 2016
Waikiki Boardwalk by Kuhio Beach, Honolulu, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Looks Perfect!
March 19, 2016
Waikiki Boardwalk by Kuhio Beach, Honolulu, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



 Rain's Thursday Art Date theme this week is surrealism,
"a 20th-century avant-garde movement in art and literature which sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind, for example by the irrational juxtaposition of images."  Google 

Wednesday I was experiencing the surreal.
I'm not going to divulge how we did it,
but Terry, our friends Julie and Dave, and I
crashed the final Rockies home game in Coors Field.
We couldn't believe it! 
We watched over an inning before we caught the train for the airport.
Our friends were here on a nine-hour layover between Fargo and San Diego.


Heading to Denver International Airport 
September 29, 2021
Gateway Station, Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






After the Rain Delay at Coors Field #1
September 29, 2021
Denver,  Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






After the Rain Delay at Coors Field #2
September 29, 2021
Denver,  Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Charlie Blackmon at Bat
September 29, 2021
Coors Field, Denver,  Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Out of the Downpour and into Coors Field
Terry, Dave, and Julie
September 29, 2021
Coors Field, Denver,  Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Charlie Blackmon at Third
September 29, 2021
Coors Field, Denver,  Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






The Crashers!
September 29, 2021
Denver,  Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Riley Adams at Bat
September 29, 2021
Coors Field, Denver,  Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Why am I the only one who looks like a drowned rat?
Terry, Me, Dave, and Julie
September 29, 2021
Coors Field, Denver,  Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




The Rockies can thank us for their win!  We brought them luck!

I didn't have time to play with surrealism.
But I chose this example, for obvious reasons ~ LOL!


DRAWING SURREALISM exhibition 2012 
at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), U.S.A



Stay happy and safe!




Till next time ~
Fundy Blue



On the Bay of Fundy
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved