Monday, November 15, 2010

Hey, here's an extra credit assignment we can all get behind.

I know we bristle when we already know the horse is gone and they want to know if they can still close that barn door.  But I think I found a fair concession we could all consider the next time we're asked for extra credit.

Snowflake Field Trip!!!

I don't know if you arts and humanities folks can justify it, but all of us in natural and social science should be on solid ground offering this for credit in our classes. 


  1. I've got a student I'd GIVE an A to if he'd take me up on that offer! Forget extra credit! I'll give 'em all As if this kid will take the deal!

  2. Oh, please don't. I like Mars.

  3. Quite frankly, I think they'd get lost and end up fucking up Pluto for us. But We can always dream!

  4. There are all kinds of roles for humanities and social studies people on a mission like this, aside from the practical stuff the humanities people will be spending their careers doing anyway, like doing the dishes in the space capsule's galley.

    - a mission historian
    - an anthropologist to study the small-group communication and the development of a new terra-martian culture at its inception
    - an English lit professor to lull the crew to sleep when normal day/night patterns are broken up by space travel
    - Everyone on board is going to need some form of therapy, of course, so there are jobs in psychology waiting as well.

  5. We're going to need a stop-over base on the Moon first; I suggest we send this generation of `flakes to build both it and a nice automatic telescope array on the dark side. We could call it the Richard Wright Memorial Moonbase.

    Mars can only really work if the planet is terraformed...if there is nothing to mine there, we will need to introduce a sort of genetically mutated worm that creates a brain-bending "spice." In ten thousand years things will get interesting.

  6. I think they'd get lost and end up fucking up Pluto for us.

    Check out Larry Niven's story about the guy who freezes solid on Pluto and ends up conscious forever, as his nervous system is chilled down enough to superconduct.

    Being conscious might be a nice change for some of the 'flakes.


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