Specular Reflections
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thoughts on Life, Science, Writing and the Universe at Large

Sunday, February 26, 2006
More Random musings near February's End

Currently life is a little too overwhelming, with too many things on the home front and at work, and in writing, not to mention the greater universe beyond. Since I can do no credit to any topic as a whole, I am going to spend these stolen few minutes on a random snippet or two.

There's always the weather. Snowed nearly all day yesterday, but it was light. Today is cold, the kind that goes right through you. I'm waiting --- as is the dog, and trees, and birds --- for the end of winter. For some reason I am thinking of the weather in Chennai, where my sister is, now, on a business visit. When I lived there it was warm throughout the year, and winter was something that happened to other places. In the summers it was terribly hot, but there was always the 3 pm sea-breeze to revive you.

I recently read Geoffrey Landis' book, Mars Crossing. Quite marvelous, especially in its evocation of the Martian landscape. Took the reader right there with him, in the catacombs of the Valles Marinaris and other strange places. The author being a NASA scientist helps with the verisimilitude, but also, the guy can write. Talking of weather, hurricane-force winds are common enough on Mars, but the wild thing is that because the atmosphere there is so much more tenuous than our own, a hurricane on Mars wouldn't have anywhere near the impact it would on Earth.

Mars is also very dusty, and since there isn't much protection from cosmic rays, the dust tends to get ionized. So it is a static-y place as well. I wonder if it is static-y enough to interfere with electronic devices.

I also read Mary Turzillo's Nebula-winning story, "Mars is no place for children." Very effective, especially in detailing some of the issues that a human colony would have to deal with. All this reading was over the past month or so, in between grading and lecture prep and while stirring dinner on the stove.

So I suppose when my sub-tropical self recalls the copious sunshine of Chennai, I can remind myself that at least New England isn't Mars.

posted by Vandana 6:47 PM
. . .

. . .