Weekend Windows Update on Mars

Posted on August 31, 2008. Filed under: Culture, Games, Musings, Science |

(No, not that “Windows”, not that “Weekend Update”, and it didn’t actually take place on “Mars”, but I just had to get some Mars news in, too…)

This is really meant to be an update on several posts I’ve made recently. My “Valance was out of Balance” as I reported in this post. I’d thought, as that adventure was winding down, that I’d obtain store-bought valances, and a really long curtain rod to hang them on and be done with the whole thing.

Then, my stubborn streak kicked in. I’m able to keep that formidable streak in fairly good control most of the time (I patronize it a bit, by telling it what a “nice” streak it is, and how it’s “helped” me on numerous occasions, but this time it saw through my platitudes and stubbornly decided to continue to be stubborn.)

I realized, by examining various woven wood, grass, and bamboo shades in the stores (something I might have considered doing before attempting to make my own valance!) :oops: that the reason my valance was sagging so unattractively and so unevenly, was because, as it was originally designed as a table runner, all the individual sticks that were stitched together were meant to lie on a flat surface (DUH!!!) and therefore were sewn vertically, and that woven shades, meant to be hung (with gravity being the force that it is) were sewn horizontally. Hah! What a discovery! Undaunted, I took the valance down, put it on the floor, lined up all the little individual sticks once again—and then proceeded to drill sets of two small holes every two inches all along the header. I then found a tapestry needle somewhere, and some really strong thread, and went along sewing and tying knots all along the header. I do not sew! I’m in complete denial that I even know the first thing about it! See what stubbornness can drive a person to?

So, for now, anyway, it’s staying straight; looks good. My valance is back in balance.

As for Mars, and in a related story, Biosphere II, I’m delighted to report that the Phoenix Lander is doing so well, and that the weather on Mars is so hospitable, that the lander is going to continue to be able to do experiments for at least another month (earth time). In addition to observing and testing ICE (and therefore WATER), the lander will now explore whether certain areas of Mars could once have been habitable. If so, they may be again, with a bit of terra-forming. Full story here.

Biosphere II is doing some really good work now in its latest incarnation. There is a ten minute interview here, which explains some of the hydrology and biological systems work they’re doing, and what interested me the most is a facility which will be open to the public to view and test which kinds of alternative energy sources would be best for a particular home or business. Here in Arizona we’re having local elections on Tuesday, and some of the candidates are running on a “solar” platform. With 300 days of sunshine a year here, there is no reason (other than the initial financial investments) that most of our power cannot be solar! I’ve read that Germany has more solar power than we do, with many fewer sunny days; but they have government incentive programs to get it done. Wish us luck on Tuesday!

UPDATE: The “Solar Panel” of candidates won in Arizona! Yay! Now, let’s see what they do!

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15 Responses to “Weekend Windows Update on Mars”

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Then, my stubborn streak kicked in. I’m able to keep that formidable streak in fairly good control most of the time (I patronize it a bit, by telling it what a “nice” streak it is, and how it’s “helped” me on numerous occasions, but this time it saw through my platitudes and stubbornly decided to continue to be stubborn.)

lol. It’s always good to appease our less liked traits because they’ll end up getting revenge on us eventually. And the fact is that they make us who we are.

But good things do happen when we’re stubborn, as you’ve found out! They aren’t as pretty or elegant or feasible as doing them the “right” way, but things get done and that’s what matters. Good to hear that your valance is back in balance.

In addition to observing and testing ICE 9 (and therefore the end of the world!)…

You don’t say! Maybe that’s what killed the martians!

hmm, i’m not very convinced if your valance is indeed in balance; i’m not sure if i trust your stubborn streak. :P how about photographic evidence? :D

Congratulations on getting your valance back in balance! Obviously you are better at DIY than you give yourself credit for.

I find it strangely amusing to hear Mars described as actually being “hospitable”. Did they find a good hotel? :)

My yin has pissed off with my yang!

I do not sew! I’m in complete denial that I even know the first thing about it!

I can – but that was all down to having a dad who was a Srgt Major in the British Army. And I can cut a persons eye out with the creases I get on shirts and pants! ;)

Good luck on the solar power initiatives! and wicked-cool about the biosphere fun. And… great news on the valances – I am sure you are delighted with the results!

Good job Muse! Glad to hear it’s back in balance. Good luck on those elections today!!

BTW, the pending comment above is me. So feel free to just delete it, I didn’t notice I was logged into a different username at the time of posting lol

Way to go with the Valance. I love it!

Good luck on Tuesday!

I meant that I love that you were able to figure out a way to get what you wanted! I love it when a plan comes together like that. :)

True enough, leap! I like what you say about how they make us who we are. Of course if I didn’t care for who I “are” I’d have to blame something else… :) I don’t, in fact, say! Ah, how the words of lonely are twisted. (teehee) ;)

But, sulz, I don’t like to take pictures. :( Oh, well, I’ll have to find some way to live with your distrust and unconvincedness. :razz:

Thank you B0bby. Yes, indeed. The Mars Hilton will be the home of the first off-world blogging conference! See you there? ;)

Haha, Will! I’ll send you my next valance project then! Perhaps in the winter when you’re too cold to do anything else. Now I’m frightened of your creases! oooooohhhh! :D

Oh, thanks, C. ! I’m quite wallowing in delightedness. I don’t know the election results yet, but we are quietly optimistic.

Thank you very much, Shane. Oh, so that was you! {Folks, you should have seen what he wrote in the other one. Whew! It’s a good thing I monitor first comments!} {Just kidding, it was the same, LOL} I thought it was odd I got the same content in two comments in a row, and I didn’t know who the second person was! Consider your alternate self deleted. :)

Thanks, BD. Oh, OK, I’m glad it worked out, too. A couple days later now, and it’s still hangin’ in there! :)

Any good solar power home option link would be much appreciated. I’ll eventually build a prefab I’d love to be completely sustainable. More and more options are showing up everyday. More architects are making wonderfully designed prefabs.

This is probably going to be a long post. :)

I just listened to the interview you linked to. This is exciting! I have been interested in solar/wind power. But it is so hard to get a straight answer!

I mean, when you talk to a company, of course, they want to sell you their product. So, it’s not likely they will give you any downside.

The technology keeps changing, getting better. What if I buy “this” and two years later there is something way better. That always happens. Many people said to hold out, that better is on the way.

If you research alternative energies, you get so many different opinions and studies. It leaves me confused and unsure. Unless I actually buy it and try it, I’ll never know the truth.

The problem is, it is expensive. To invest all that in something that will not work as well as you thought, scares me.

A project like this could answer so many questions.

You are so lucky! I’d love to see this place. I know it’s wrong to be jealous, but I am! :)

When you first talked about the Biosphere I had so many questions and things were just running through my mind. I wanted to write about it. But I think I’ll spend a little more time educating myself on it, so I don’t ask already answered questions.

One thing I read on-line, and I will eventually find it, was that someone said the sun is the closest it is going to get, right now. That it is going to get less powerful from here on out. It could be a total farce for all I know. That kind of stuff is beyond my knowledge. But it got me thinking is solar the way to go? I hope it is though.

Just too cool, Muse.
Thanks for keeping us updated!

I’ve done some more reading. The food is grown without pesticides or chemicals! YAY!
I saw the cookbook too! This just gets better and better.

When I first heard about this, I had many negative reactions to it. I bet you knew that. :)
But the more I read, the more interested I’ve become. This is just fascinating.

I just wanted to ask and you do not have to answer this, but what about the seeds? Do you know if they used heritage seeds? Or if the seeds are altered Monsanto style?

I did read that they used new varieties of grains, to work better in the environment. I know that it doesn’t mean it is a bad thing. And this work could very well save all of us one day, if need be. I know it’s normal to make hybrids, but every time I hear altered, it freaks me out a bit.

I bought a book on plant propagation that is awesome and learned altering or making changes does not always mean chemicals and using genes. I have so much to learn.

Sorry to post so much.

What was that all? My brain is fuzzy now ;)

seeing: I’ll look into it some more. It will be a while before the center’s opened, but, being local I can probably find out what’s planned. In the meantime, our solar candidates won! W00t!

Oh yes, it is very, very wrong to be jealous, BD! :razz: {leaving stern lecture mode} There is a huge amount of information out there, and you are right, a lot of installations would be very expensive. That’s why a center such as this could be so useful! They already have “casitas” in place (there used to be a hotel at the site where people could stay after a day of peering in at the Biospherians). ;) I’m looking at the seeds issue, too. I believe, in the original project only naturally propagated seeds were used as they were studying natural processes. I don’t think that’s changed. We have several distributors of “Seeds of Change” and the like in the area. PS: Don’t be sorry! I love that you’re interested! :D

Well, it’s good for your brain to be fuzzy sometimes, kaylee. Too much clarity is boring! (How did you expect me to respond to a comment like that?) Haha :)


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