On November 28th, 1964, the first successful fly by was completed by spacecraft “Mariner 4″, which returned to earth with close range images of Mars, forever marking that day each year as “Red Planet Day”.
We’ve come a long way since then and there are currently 5 spacecraft (3 orbiting and 2 exploring the surface) providing us with further information about the conditions and potential life supporting qualities of our solar system’s second smallest planet. (For more information about life on Mars, click HERE.) When I was younger, and first learned about aliens and martians, I assumed they were the same thing. After having asked around (thanks Mom and Dad) I found out that, like Marvin, martians are from Mars. The term “Alien” refers to any creature from outer space. I must admit that I’m glad Marvin the Martian is just a cartoon because he doesn’t seem like the kindly neighbor you’d hope for in your new model home in the Mars Colony of 2023. I’d be okay with E.T. though because he likes Reese’s Pieces.
For anyone out there who thinks life on the Red Planet would be peachy, here’s a few fun facts for you:
1. Mars experiences violent dust storms which continually change its surface. (The dust is made from iron-oxide which gives the planet its reddish hue).
2. Mars has a very thin atmosphere made mostly of carbon dioxide. Even if we bring some good ol’ oxygen with us, we’ll have to trap it inside a greenhouse or carry it around in a handy flask, otherwise it’ll just escape.
3. Mars can’t trap the sun’s heat, so it’s really cold during the mars “winter”, going all the way down to -143 Celsius. The coldest temperature recorded on earth was in Antarctica and was a measly -82.9 Celsius. So make sure you pack the big sweaters from your closet.
4. There are so many volcanoes on Mars that the planet is broken down into volcanic provinces… It is also home to the largest volcano in our solar system, Olympus Mons, which is 3 times higher than Mount Everest on Earth.
5. Mars has two moons, Phobo and Deimos. If you visit Deimos, make sure you wear your heavy shoes because you could launch yourself right into orbit just by running… so long gravity!
6. Mars is named after the Roman God of War… which explains why Marvin the Martian was so cranky.
7. Mars once had rivers and maybe even oceans, but if you’re partial to water, you’d better bring it yourself.
8. One year on Mars is equal to 687 days on Earth, which means that on Mars, you’d be half your age!
9. The atmosphere on Mars doesn’t give very much protection from radiation, so make sure you bring your sunscreen – SPF 300.
10. The Mars atmosphere is too thin to burn up falling meteorites (like Earth does – phew!). May I suggest wearing a hardhat?
When a UFO lands in his driveway, I’m just a grown up kid who has had
Shawn Drable has some serious many life experiences. I like being an
decisions to make. Does he tell his family, adult, but I remember being a kid,
does he tell his friends? And what about a teenager, and a young man like it
the imposing-looking alien who stumbled was yesterday…
out of the downed craft? What indeed… When I could fly…
“I don’t think I’m alone when I say I’d like to see more and more planets fall under the ruthless domination of our solar system.” – Jack Handy, Deep Thoughts
On the first of this month, President Obama made a declaration that November will be recognized as National Military Family month. For those of us who have family and friends that have served or are currently serving in the military, we understand how difficult this can be. We feel the President explained it well when he said: “When a young woman signs up to defend our Nation, her parents are enlisted as well. When a father deploys to a combat zone, his children are called to serve on the home front. And when the men and women of our military serve far from home, their families feel the strain of their absence. In that absence, let us stand together as one American family. “ (His full speech can be found here).
This made us think of National Listening Day. Are you familiar with it? Some refer to the Friday after Thanksgiving as “Black Friday” – a day for discount shopping. But this particular Friday is also known as National Listening Day. A day for families to get together and share their stories and memories. Ideally, one would want to capture all these amazing stories on video or audio tape so they can be stored and viewed at a later date. At Nationaldayoflistening.org, you can find a variety of sample questions to ask, along with various recorded “stories” and “memories” from people around the world. It’s a wonderful site!
November isn’t over yet, so we’d like to take advantage of this special month and provide you with some great eBooks that the whole family can enjoy. We love sharing, but we also love recommendations! So if you have an awesome BookRix book you’d like to share with us, please link to it in the comments below.
“You want weapons? We’re in a library. Books! Best weapons in the world! This room’s the greatest arsenal we could have.” – The Doctor
Doctor knows best, and he’s been saving the world, one solar system at a time, since 1963. The first Doctor Who was aired on this day, November 23rd, in 1963. It was originally created to be a family show that teaches everyone about science and important moments in history by following a time traveler. Obviously, it’s come a long way since then. Unless “they” just decided to leave the Daleks out of our history books. After airing 26 seasons on the BBC, Doctor Who finally went into hibernation due to a decline in viewers; however, it only lay dormant until 2005 when a new Doctor arrived, returning the show to all its former glory. I would even say it’s better because we are so much more technologically advanced now, so the special affects are much more impressive. As the Doctor would say, “This is my timey-wimey detector. Goes ‘ding’ when there’s stuff.”
Doctor Who holds the world record for longest running science fiction television show ever and has become a cult favorite. If you’re like me, you have a favorite Doctor – tell us who it is on Facebook! Like many of the cult followers, I’m in love with a Doctor, just not the kind my mom always dreamed of. “Hey, I’m the Doctor, I can save the universe using a kettle and some string. And look at me, I’m wearing a vegetable.” And although he doesn’t necessarily agree with what I’m doing right now, “We’re at the end of the universe! Right on the edge of knowledge itself, and you’re busy…blogging!” I still have to agree with him on one final statement: “Books. People never really stop loving books.”
If you’re feeling in the mood for something Doctor adjacent, check out “The Warriors of Rinn” by Judy Colella.
When a UFO lands in his driveway, Shawn Drable has some serious decisions to make. Does he tell his family? Does he tell his friends? And what about the imposing-looking alien who stumbled out of the downed craft? What indeed…
Read some Rave Reviews:
“A fabulous premise written with humor and intrigue.” -gooduklady
“This is great writing.” -writingmum
“I’M IN LOVE WITH WARIOURS OF RINN!!” -aishayesha
“I would like to say. I would have never read a book about ufos or aliens because it usually doesn’t interest me, but I could read your book any day.”
“Judy Colella is a bookrix author that keeps me reading on bookrix. I love her story plots, her characters and she does this all laced with just the right amount of humor, and wit.” -storyteller4
“some books are flat, some books are glossy. some books are even glittering. but this book is iridescent!!!” -daughter.of.the.moon
And because I want you to be as obsessed as I am, here’s a little taste of the Doctor – The trailer for the most recent season. If this doesn’t inspire your inner nerd, then nothing will: