This and That

Blog Post
Housekeeping

For those of you who follow this blog, personal illness has kept me from beginning the move to the White Wolf Mine this past week. It’s that whole cold and flu season thing. You think that you’re going to die, but you don’t. However it’s incapacitating.
Helpful hints: If you think that you’re getting the stomach flu and you feel as if you might throw up, crack open a can of peaches in heavy syrup and drink a tablespoon of the nectar every thirty minutes. It makes the barfing more tolerable. Not tolerable, more tolerable.
And when you’re finished with the purge, start on Gatorade…and maybe some chicken soup…and saltines. Replace the fluid and electrolytes that you lost.
Caravans
More are forming in Honduras and Guatemala because there are desperately poor and miserable people there and they want to get out of their situations. They will continue to form and come North so long at the US releases them as soon as they’ve gone over the fence (not at all a WALL). Many of them bring diseases we haven’t seen in the US for a long time, they are uneducated to any standard we’d recognize and and don’t speak English, so end up working under the table in the agriculture industry for sub-minimum wages. It’s the sub-minimum wage thing that keeps the WALL from being built. There are a lot of ‘good old boy Republicans and Democrats’ out there who don’t want that WALL. 
There are a lot of people born into human misery under circumstances where there is scant hope of escape. A lot of what we call misery in the US would NOT pass for misery in the third/developing world. Volumes have been written about it, and I need not add to it here. Suffice to say that so long as Americans are willing to sit still for the situation, it will still be a situation. Gumballs
Human Travel to Mars?

There is an interesting article HERE about Astronaut Scott Kelly’s health issues after having spent a year in space. Given this, we all need to take a deep breath before we start talking about sending an expedition to Mars. There are a number of serious issues that need to be considered well and apart from moving beyond the protective radiation belt that surrounds Earth (and to a lesser extent, the Moon). Landing a bunch of sick people on Mars essentially means that their chances of surviving once they arrive are drastically reduced. A human trip to Mars given our current technology is a one-way ticket. Nobody will be coming back. Weigh that against far less expensive robotic exploration.

It might be possible to build a space elevator and use other innovations that would make construction of a sufficiently advanced spacecraft (creates its own gravity) possible. Better still, send three or four spacecraft in convoy to Mars. It would cost trillions of dollars. But by then, our national debt may be $100 trillion so the cost of the program would be equivalent to a ’rounding error’.

28 thoughts on “This and That

  1. Sorry to hear you're under the weather, LL.

    Re: peach nectar, I find another liquid that works that way is Mountain Dew – AFAICT, that stuff is completely unaffected by the Human digestive tract, it goes in as Mountain Dew, and it comes out the same way. YMMV, and hope you feel better soon.
    -Kle.

  2. I grew up with those flu "Remedies". Well, all but the peach syrup. Sounds like we both like the heavy syrup peaches. To be honest though, I wish I hadn't read the first section you wrote.

  3. I always take some baking soda dissolved in water if I think I'm going to barf. It may or may not settle stomach, but barfing's a lot easier if you don't get a noseful of acid, too.

  4. Sorry about the flu, but I have no useful remedies. Just hope you ride it out and feel better soon. I never though about being bombarded with rays that could cause cancer, etc, while in the space craft, but I guess that stuff goes through most anything that would be light enough to get into space. I wonder if wearing a sort of tights in space would help with the leg swelling back home. Something similar to what the jet jockey's wear.

  5. Scott Kelly's condition sounds gruesome. If his brother has half the issues Scott has, maybe that's why the gun control insanity struck him. Or not.

    The people that have been pushing the idea of rotating "artificial gravity" spacecraft for the last 75 (100?) years had a good insight.

  6. I lost my comment.

    Will pray for a speedy recovery.
    Another blogging friend on the East coast mentioned in her blog yesterday about the peaches in heavy syrup. For the same reason.

    Funny in all the books, comics and movies, the disabilities are never really mentioned; except for perhaps the occasional insane astronaut.

    Hope you all have a blessed New Year.

  7. I hope you get over the flu quickly. I have not experienced the active nausea part in years but do remember how awful it was. I can guess that you are anxious to make the move to the WWM. I am looking forward to your first post as a permanent resident there.

    Scott Kelly's condition sounds horrible. He has sacrificed his health for science. The medical community will have to see what can be done to counter the extremely low gravity issues he has presented. The radiation issues are yet another matter. It looks like Elon's aspirations to go to Mars soon may need to be put on hold until some solutions can be found. The 2030's to 2040's time window looks more promising.

  8. I don't think that a G-suit is the answer, John. I think that the human body needs gravity, whether artificial or real (standing on a big rock like Earth or even Mars). The Moon's gravity is 1/6th of standard Earth gravity and that may be enough. We just don't know, which is why Scott Kelly's sacrifice has real value to science.

  9. The human body needs gravity over the long term. Of course, it we become space faring on day (for real), I think that we'll find an altered DNA solution. If we do that will that bit of altered carbon be human or something else?

  10. I don't think that many people consider a "sick Astronaut" other than the three intrepid crew members of Apollo 13 who came down with the flu (along with everything else that went wrong). But being sick and a X million miles from home does not sound very warm and fuzzy.

  11. I usually don't have nausea issues, but this one was pure upper and lower gastrointestinal purge hell. No sinus issues, only a slight fever, but OMG, it hit hard.

    The goal of Apollo was to send humans (American men) to the Moon and to bring them home safely. I think that we might be able to build a ship by 2100 that could do that. Maybe. Shielding is a big issue, an answer to the gravity problem with extended flight as is a round trip capability. There is always the possibility of hibernation, and I know that there has been research in that area, but it's not certain that you'd wake up — at this point in the science.

  12. Sorry you're not feeling well. Never heard of peach nectar or Mountain Dew. We always used Ginger Ale & Gatorade at my house.
    White rice to help bind the diarrhea.

  13. I've never tried white rice, but it makes sense. I went more for the soda crackers and chicken soup, but I'll keep rice in mind.

  14. I didn't know the extent of Scott Kelly's complications, but these disabilities are unacceptable for a future crew to Mars. Sadly, it seems to me that a mission to Mars will remain in the realm of science fiction until we can equip a ship with artificial gravity as in "2001: A Space Odyssey" or develop a faster propulsion system that limits the time of exposure. Elon Musk talks big about Mars, but when he's looking for volunteers, I'll say, "You first."

    Gumballs was illustrative, but gave no real solutions. We've been throwing money at these countries for years and, in the same way we funnel higher taxes to the federal government, not much seems to get accomplished except for a chosen few to get richer.

  15. Gumballs rationalized the futility of 'bringing them here'. If they want a better world, they need to make it where they are. If it means breaking a few eggs and changing the way that they do business in the s-hole countries, then maybe that will work.

    There are MANY things that could go wrong on a trip to Mars. I just don't think that we'll be ready for a long time at our current rate of development. Putting a base or bases on Mars means a MASSIVE and CONTINUAL pull of resources there. Unless something of value beyond planetary science info comes back home, send robots.

  16. Sorry to hear you suffered the ravages of The Crud. I rarely get the flu, but when I do, it is the 24 hour gut bender, kneeling early and often before the porcelain god. Yeah, little kids are definitely cross vectors.

    Check out the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast). Then live culture yogurt once your plumbing settles down.

    Travel to Mars. Yeah, we're pretty much geared to living on the surface of this rock. Scott Kelly's experience takes the old saying "don't use it, lose it" to a whole new level.

  17. Sorry to hear of your aliments. I haven't had that kind of illness since I stopped eating at McDonald's (serious comment – not being flippant)

  18. Space elevators? Trips to Mars? Caravans? Bring all three aspects into ONE compelling scyfy short/novel.

    Sorry you're not well, get better!

  19. I'm better and all things being equal, will be out at the WWM on NY day. What better way to ring in 2019…than with a cow bell?

  20. Get a moon colony going. Create manufacturing. Shoot the materials in orbit of the moon. Spin up a station. Create the ships. Send out unmanned ships with materials, to mars. Land them.
    Send out people.

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