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(The Register)   Curiosity ready to scoop first soil sample, kill cat   (theregister.co.uk) divider line 41
    More: Followup, cats, soil sample, Martians, scoop, mineralogy, Mars rovers, Grease  
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1827 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Oct 2012 at 2:30 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-05 12:34:41 PM  
"It is standard to run a split of your sample through first and dump it out, to clean out any residue from a previous sample," said Joel Hurowitz, a sampling system scientist on the Curiosity team. "We want to be sure the first sample we analyse is unambiguously Martian, so we take these steps to remove any residual material from Earth that might be on the walls of our sample handling system."

Thus releasing Terran microbes and commencing phase one of Martian terraformation. I knew it.
 
2012-10-05 12:53:34 PM  
We have several rovers on Mars and this one is the biggest. It's something like the size of a small car or dune buggy. The technology used to land it, IMO, was one step short of fantastic. I hadn't realized we had come that far in robotics.

So, we've gone from Rovers about the size of the old Little Red Wagon, to this behemoth, which means much more equipment can be packed aboard.

I think that's great.

I'm a bit curious though. I wonder if anyone thought to put something like a mini-compressor on board with fixed or movable air jets to blast dust off the solar panels? Or even windshield wipers? Dust accumulation knocked one Rover out of service some time back. Ignorance is understandable the first time but not the second.

I read where a small group of enthusiasts contacted NASA before one of the Rovers launched some years back and got permission to include a microphone for sound in the equipment. They, like myself, wanted to hear the sounds of an alien world, even if it's just the wind blowing or the wheels crunching through the gravel.

The system they created failed. It never sent back one peep.
I wonder why NASA has not included any such microphones since. I think it would be great to listen to the sound from a Rover. Not to mention NASA, cash strapped as always, could make a bundle off the recordings which various artists would no doubt put to music.

Kind of like Whale Sounds.

I'll never get to Mars. I'd be surprised if we even send any actual astronauts to the planet in my lifetime. By the time we return to the moon, I'll probably be too old to give a shiat.

However, I'd love to hear the winds blow on Mars.
 
2012-10-05 01:02:25 PM  

Rik01: I wonder if anyone thought to put something like a mini-compressor on board with fixed or movable air jets to blast dust off the solar panels?


Curiosity is nuclear powered.
 
2012-10-05 01:11:40 PM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: Rik01: I wonder if anyone thought to put something like a mini-compressor on board with fixed or movable air jets to blast dust off the solar panels?

Curiosity is nuclear powered.


He's talking about a sub-system for excavation.

Rik01: However, I'd love to hear the winds blow on Mars.


Looks like you're going to have to settle for Uranus for the foreseeable future.
 
2012-10-05 02:04:13 PM  
blogs.suntimes.com
 
2012-10-05 02:40:41 PM  
[obligatory xkcd]
 
2012-10-05 02:41:37 PM  
images.tribe.net

/Come at me bro
 
2012-10-05 02:45:33 PM  

Rik01: We have several rovers on Mars and this one is the biggest. It's something like the size of a small car or dune buggy. The technology used to land it, IMO, was one step short of fantastic. I hadn't realized we had come that far in robotics.

So, we've gone from Rovers about the size of the old Little Red Wagon, to this behemoth, which means much more equipment can be packed aboard.

I think that's great.

I'm a bit curious though. I wonder if anyone thought to put something like a mini-compressor on board with fixed or movable air jets to blast dust off the solar panels? Or even windshield wipers? Dust accumulation knocked one Rover out of service some time back. Ignorance is understandable the first time but not the second.

I read where a small group of enthusiasts contacted NASA before one of the Rovers launched some years back and got permission to include a microphone for sound in the equipment. They, like myself, wanted to hear the sounds of an alien world, even if it's just the wind blowing or the wheels crunching through the gravel.

The system they created failed. It never sent back one peep.
I wonder why NASA has not included any such microphones since. I think it would be great to listen to the sound from a Rover. Not to mention NASA, cash strapped as always, could make a bundle off the recordings which various artists would no doubt put to music.

Kind of like Whale Sounds.

I'll never get to Mars. I'd be surprised if we even send any actual astronauts to the planet in my lifetime. By the time we return to the moon, I'll probably be too old to give a shiat.

However, I'd love to hear the winds blow on Mars.


The previous rovers were expected to die before the point that dust build-up would reduce their power supplies. Their longevity was an unexpected surprise.

Curiosity is nuclear powered. Dust on a solar array won't knock it out.
 
2012-10-05 02:50:56 PM  
So Melmac is just a code name for Mars?
 
2012-10-05 03:00:09 PM  

WordsnCollision: [images.tribe.net image 850x561]

/Come at me bro


What is Batman's logo doing in a pulp sci-fi art piece?.
 
2012-10-05 03:03:11 PM  
Curiosity has rolled up to rocknest. Who's headlining? Foghat?
 
2012-10-05 03:23:49 PM  

Rik01: I wonder if anyone thought to put something like a mini-compressor on board with fixed or movable air jets to blast dust off the solar panels? Or even windshield wipers? Dust accumulation knocked one Rover out of service some time back. Ignorance is understandable the first time but not the second.


Actually it was the opposite (new window). NASA expected Spirit and Opportunity to last for 90 days before dust build-up drained the solar power. Instead, Martian winds continually cleaned off the panels, allowing the rovers to last for years.
 
2012-10-05 03:35:51 PM  
25.media.tumblr.com
25.media.tumblr.com
 
2012-10-05 03:37:21 PM  
I loved the headline. That actually made me literally laugh out loud.
 
2012-10-05 03:44:22 PM  

doyner: Thus releasing Terran microbes and commencing phase one of Martian terraformation. I knew it.


Not only that, but Curiosity is nuclear-powered. If I've learned anything from comic books it's that alien spores+radiation can't lead to anything good.

Actually, I remember reading an article about the lengths NASA went to in order to avoid contamination. But I wonder what the chances are of a spore surviving that long in the frozen vacuum of space (much less reentry)?
 
2012-10-05 04:02:37 PM  

DemDave: doyner: Thus releasing Terran microbes and commencing phase one of Martian terraformation. I knew it.

Not only that, but Curiosity is nuclear-powered. If I've learned anything from comic books it's that alien spores+radiation can't lead to anything good.

Actually, I remember reading an article about the lengths NASA went to in order to avoid contamination. But I wonder what the chances are of a spore surviving that long in the frozen vacuum of space (much less reentry)?


Pretty good if it survived their decontamination processes.
 
2012-10-05 04:17:37 PM  

Rik01: ...I'd love to hear the winds blow on Mars.


Poetic. Thanks for that. Made my day better.
 
2012-10-05 04:31:44 PM  
I'd like one of those to scoop out the cat litter. The machines that are currently available clog up and frighten the cat by going off mid-poop.
 
2012-10-05 04:44:14 PM  

doyner: DemDave: doyner: Thus releasing Terran microbes and commencing phase one of Martian terraformation. I knew it.

Not only that, but Curiosity is nuclear-powered. If I've learned anything from comic books it's that alien spores+radiation can't lead to anything good.

Actually, I remember reading an article about the lengths NASA went to in order to avoid contamination. But I wonder what the chances are of a spore surviving that long in the frozen vacuum of space (much less reentry)?

Pretty good if it survived their decontamination processes.


Clearly, I was talking about a hypothetical. But according to this article, that "hypothetical" might actually have been more of a "reality."
 
2012-10-05 04:49:23 PM  
Thus finding out that he soil has a low Ph.

The goofy fake scottish guy says to send 2000 tons of lime.... feed your soil... feed it.
 
2012-10-05 04:59:08 PM  

Contents Under Pressure: I'd like one of those to scoop out the cat litter. The machines that are currently available clog up and frighten the cat by going off mid-poop.


we have this massive 8-year-old male cat, he is literally the size of a six month old baby and weighs a good 25, maybe 30 pounds. medium long, haired, and you'll see why that's relevant.

he does not give a good god-damn about ANYTHING. the internet would term it 'like a boss'. he's freakishly patient with our toddler. he is completely chill and laconic about anything that happens to him.

we used to have one of those auto-flush boxes that would run the litter through a literal wash cycle to macerate the poop. this is a fairly noisy and violent process. most cats are terrified of it and learn to be speed-crappers.

not gilderoy. when i said he don't give a damn, he does not GIVE ONE GOOD GODDAMN, he will do what he wants, how and when he wants.

when that box went into a wash cycle while he was in mid poop, he just flicked his ears and got an ass-washing while he was at it. it was actually kind of funny to watch him sit in the box as the litter got soaked through and he sank into it.

eventually the box got killed due to his hair getting jammed up in it(remember the mid-long hair bit?).

he refused to give a damn, and transitioned nicely back to the old litterbox.

/seen him get mad just twice, ever. one was on another cat that wandered into our place by accident, and another was on a beagle that had the temerity to not heel because OMFG A CAT when his owners visited us.
//he actually straight up punched the beagle in the face, no claws, hard enough to rock the dog into a stagger... beagle pulled a complete 180 and hid behind his owner. gilderoy just sauntered on like a pimp.
///awesomest cat ever.
 
2012-10-05 05:43:44 PM  

WordsnCollision: [images.tribe.net image 850x561]

/Come at me bro


Why is Batman fighting a lion with a sword, nearly naked?
 
2012-10-05 06:02:50 PM  

azazyel: [25.media.tumblr.com image 540x180]
[25.media.tumblr.com image 500x412]


This feels like it should be a "SOON" pic
 
2012-10-05 06:15:55 PM  

Torqueknot: WordsnCollision: [images.tribe.net image 850x561]

/Come at me bro

Why is Batman fighting a lion with a sword, nearly naked?


because batman doesnt use guns... duuuuh....

/that said he doesnt hang out which chicks either so the picture is a little confusing
 
2012-10-05 06:32:20 PM  

Rik01: We have several rovers on Mars and this one is the biggest. It's something like the size of a small car or dune buggy. The technology used to land it, IMO, was one step short of fantastic. I hadn't realized we had come that far in robotics.

So, we've gone from Rovers about the size of the old Little Red Wagon, to this behemoth, which means much more equipment can be packed aboard.

I think that's great.

I'm a bit curious though. I wonder if anyone thought to put something like a mini-compressor on board with fixed or movable air jets to blast dust off the solar panels? Or even windshield wipers? Dust accumulation knocked one Rover out of service some time back. Ignorance is understandable the first time but not the second.

I read where a small group of enthusiasts contacted NASA before one of the Rovers launched some years back and got permission to include a microphone for sound in the equipment. They, like myself, wanted to hear the sounds of an alien world, even if it's just the wind blowing or the wheels crunching through the gravel.

The system they created failed. It never sent back one peep.
I wonder why NASA has not included any such microphones since. I think it would be great to listen to the sound from a Rover. Not to mention NASA, cash strapped as always, could make a bundle off the recordings which various artists would no doubt put to music.

Kind of like Whale Sounds.

I'll never get to Mars. I'd be surprised if we even send any actual astronauts to the planet in my lifetime. By the time we return to the moon, I'll probably be too old to give a shiat.

However, I'd love to hear the winds blow on Mars.


Opportunity doesn't need dust blowers because it's nuclear powered not solar powered. Spirit's mission wasn't ended by dust on solar panels it was ended because it got stuck in the sand and couldn't be extricated. And sojourner mission ended because it's base station lost contact with mission control even though the rover itself was still operational. Dust hasn't really been to much of an issue, but spirit and opportunity had a few close calls in the fall and winter months for a few seasons.
 
2012-10-05 06:46:44 PM  

codergirl42: Rik01: We have several rovers on Mars and this one is the biggest. It's something like the size of a small car or dune buggy. The technology used to land it, IMO, was one step short of fantastic. I hadn't realized we had come that far in robotics.

So, we've gone from Rovers about the size of the old Little Red Wagon, to this behemoth, which means much more equipment can be packed aboard.

I think that's great.

I'm a bit curious though. I wonder if anyone thought to put something like a mini-compressor on board with fixed or movable air jets to blast dust off the solar panels? Or even windshield wipers? Dust accumulation knocked one Rover out of service some time back. Ignorance is understandable the first time but not the second.

I read where a small group of enthusiasts contacted NASA before one of the Rovers launched some years back and got permission to include a microphone for sound in the equipment. They, like myself, wanted to hear the sounds of an alien world, even if it's just the wind blowing or the wheels crunching through the gravel.

The system they created failed. It never sent back one peep.
I wonder why NASA has not included any such microphones since. I think it would be great to listen to the sound from a Rover. Not to mention NASA, cash strapped as always, could make a bundle off the recordings which various artists would no doubt put to music.

Kind of like Whale Sounds.

I'll never get to Mars. I'd be surprised if we even send any actual astronauts to the planet in my lifetime. By the time we return to the moon, I'll probably be too old to give a shiat.

However, I'd love to hear the winds blow on Mars.

Opportunity doesn't need dust blowers because it's nuclear powered not solar powered. Spirit's mission wasn't ended by dust on solar panels it was ended because it got stuck in the sand and couldn't be extricated. And sojourner mission ended because it's base station lost contact with mission control even though the rover itself was still oper ...


let's not forget that the small rovers(spirit and its partner) were intended to be 90-day missions that wound up running for several YEARS, which made them roaring successes, nevermind how the missions ended.
 
2012-10-05 07:10:49 PM  
Rik01

I'm a bit curious though. I wonder if anyone thought to put something like a mini-compressor on board with fixed or movable air jets to blast dust off the solar panels?

Maybe you should read a tad bit more about Curiosity
Nuclear generator powers Curiosity Mars mission


Also FFS subby link to the guys actually making the news not some euro-trash site
JPL's description of what Curiosity will be doing. Including animation of work.
 
2012-10-05 07:49:36 PM  

buttery_shame_cave: Contents Under Pressure: I'd like one of those to scoop out the cat litter. The machines that are currently available clog up and frighten the cat by going off mid-poop.

we have this massive 8-year-old male cat, he is literally the size of a six month old baby and weighs a good 25, maybe 30 pounds. medium long, haired, and you'll see why that's relevant.

he does not give a good god-damn about ANYTHING. the internet would term it 'like a boss'. he's freakishly patient with our toddler. he is completely chill and laconic about anything that happens to him.

we used to have one of those auto-flush boxes that would run the litter through a literal wash cycle to macerate the poop. this is a fairly noisy and violent process. most cats are terrified of it and learn to be speed-crappers.

not gilderoy. when i said he don't give a damn, he does not GIVE ONE GOOD GODDAMN, he will do what he wants, how and when he wants.

when that box went into a wash cycle while he was in mid poop, he just flicked his ears and got an ass-washing while he was at it. it was actually kind of funny to watch him sit in the box as the litter got soaked through and he sank into it.

eventually the box got killed due to his hair getting jammed up in it(remember the mid-long hair bit?).

he refused to give a damn, and transitioned nicely back to the old litterbox.

/seen him get mad just twice, ever. one was on another cat that wandered into our place by accident, and another was on a beagle that had the temerity to not heel because OMFG A CAT when his owners visited us.
//he actually straight up punched the beagle in the face, no claws, hard enough to rock the dog into a stagger... beagle pulled a complete 180 and hid behind his owner. gilderoy just sauntered on like a pimp.
///awesomest cat ever.


He's not an orange tabby is he? I swear every orange tabby I've ever met thought it was part honey badger
 
2012-10-05 08:32:06 PM  

Cognizer: Rik01: ...I'd love to hear the winds blow on Mars.

Poetic. Thanks for that. Made my day better.


Yes it is. Is there any reason we can't? Take up too much signal or something?
 
2012-10-05 08:58:20 PM  

Rik01: We have several rovers on Mars and this one is the biggest. It's something like the size of a small car or dune buggy. The technology used to land it, IMO, was one step short of fantastic. I hadn't realized we had come that far in robotics.


Hello? 1970s? HELLO???

blogs.scientificamerican.com

We've been able to land small-car sized objects on Mars for a while now.
 
2012-10-05 09:59:29 PM  

codergirl42: Opportunity doesn't need dust blowers because it's nuclear powered not solar powered. Spirit's mission wasn't ended by dust on solar panels it was ended because it got stuck in the sand and couldn't be extricated. And sojourner mission ended because it's base station lost contact with mission control even though the rover itself was still operational. Dust hasn't really been to much of an issue, but spirit and opportunity had a few close calls in the fall and winter months for a few seasons.


Opportunity is solar powered and Spirit was solar powered. Neither is nuclear powered. Curiosity is nuclear powered.

Actually Spirit did die because it was unable to get enough power from its solar panels. Spirit got stuck. Thus it could not move to a North-facing slope which is were it needed to be during the Martian winter. Such a slope is needed so the solar panels can pointed in the direct to get the most direct sunlight and thus solar power. The rover did not have enough electricity to operate and went silent. It was hoped that it might wake up when Spring came but that was a long shot. If the rover had woken up, the mission would have continued though its roving days would have been over. There was plans for science the rover could do as a stationary rover.

As an aside, neither Spirit or Opportunity would have survived if Mars had not unexpectedly blown dust off the solar panels. This really was unanticipated. When a cleaning event does not happen, power levels went down and it did affect operations. All plans on the rovers have to take into account how much power the rover has. Heck, even nuclear-powered Curiosity must have power consumption taken into account. The RTG on Curiosity powers a charger which charges a battery which runs the rover. A rover driver at unmannedspaceflight.com mentioned that eventually during the middle of winter, the rover will have less power for its operations. (And yes, he really is one of the drivers for Curiosity.) Obviously the RTG is unaffected by winter since it is nuclear. But any power used to run heaters is unavailable for moving the rover and for all its instruments.
 
2012-10-05 10:18:09 PM  

Vogon Poet: Rik01: I wonder if anyone thought to put something like a mini-compressor on board with fixed or movable air jets to blast dust off the solar panels? Or even windshield wipers? Dust accumulation knocked one Rover out of service some time back. Ignorance is understandable the first time but not the second.

Actually it was the opposite (new window). NASA expected Spirit and Opportunity to last for 90 days before dust build-up drained the solar power. Instead, Martian winds continually cleaned off the panels, allowing the rovers to last for years.


This is false. Yes the dust would eventually made the solar panels worthless. But that would have taken a few years. (Of course they would have to use less power as time went by.) Many in the MER program expected to be around for a year or two. Indeed the plan to go the the Columbia Hills was quickly formulated after Spirit landed. This would have been pointless if they had no idea the rover could last longer than 90 sols. Thus once it was clear that Bonneville Crater was scientifically uninteresting, they aimed Spirit towards the Hills.

The 90 sols figure was the formal criteria for success of the rovers. Among the criteria for mission success was that at least one rover had to last 90 sols and at least one rover needed to travel 600 meters. Naturally you set your "warranty" to what are sure you can do. Indeed there was talk that they did a "Scotty" (from the ST:TNG episode) which they made the 90 sol figure so they would look good when they far outdid it. Of course no one expected the rovers to last so long. They set the MRO orbiter uses a same channel as Spirit used because they did not expect it to be operational when MRO arrived. Whoops.
 
2012-10-05 10:26:25 PM  

doyner: "It is standard to run a split of your sample through first and dump it out, to clean out any residue from a previous sample," said Joel Hurowitz, a sampling system scientist on the Curiosity team. "We want to be sure the first sample we analyse is unambiguously Martian, so we take these steps to remove any residual material from Earth that might be on the walls of our sample handling system."

Thus releasing Terran microbes and commencing phase one of Martian terraformation. I knew it.


Actually this has nothing to do with microbes. This was always planned even before the cheat on decontamination. The part in question was cleaned on Earth, but it is impossible to keep utterly nothing from getting on it while it waits for launch. A minute amount of oils will get on the surface and the chemistry labs can detect this contamination. So much down some sand, shake it for a few hours, spit it out. Do it again two more times. (They will also be imaging every step on this as well to make sure they know how this equipment is operating before taking scientific samples.)

Of course this means the headline is inaccurate. The first three scoops are not samples. If all goes to plan, the fourth one will be.
 
2012-10-05 10:45:30 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Rik01: We have several rovers on Mars and this one is the biggest. It's something like the size of a small car or dune buggy. The technology used to land it, IMO, was one step short of fantastic. I hadn't realized we had come that far in robotics.

Hello? 1970s? HELLO???

[Image of Carl Sagan by a Viking mockup.]

We've been able to land small-car sized objects on Mars for a while now.


True. The person you are replying to is not quite right. But it should be pointed out Curiosity (900 kg) easily outweighs a Viking lander (572 kg). Curiosity had a far smaller landing ellipse indeed Viking could not have landed in Gale because it does not have a large enough flat area. Curiosity has a larger and more sophisticated scientific payload that one would not want to break. And of course Curiosity can drive. So yes, the landing of Curiosity was far more difficult operation than the landing of Viking. They could not have landing Curiosity on Mars in the 1970s even if they could have built it.
 
2012-10-05 11:20:09 PM  
The sad part is, if we do find evidence of past life, anyone who is threatened by it is going to simply dismiss the results as contamination, regardless of how wrong that is.
 
2012-10-05 11:48:15 PM  

Tainted1: buttery_shame_cave: Contents Under Pressure: I'd like one of those to scoop out the cat litter. The machines that are currently available clog up and frighten the cat by going off mid-poop.

we have this massive 8-year-old male cat, he is literally the size of a six month old baby and weighs a good 25, maybe 30 pounds. medium long, haired, and you'll see why that's relevant.

he does not give a good god-damn about ANYTHING. the internet would term it 'like a boss'. he's freakishly patient with our toddler. he is completely chill and laconic about anything that happens to him.

we used to have one of those auto-flush boxes that would run the litter through a literal wash cycle to macerate the poop. this is a fairly noisy and violent process. most cats are terrified of it and learn to be speed-crappers.

not gilderoy. when i said he don't give a damn, he does not GIVE ONE GOOD GODDAMN, he will do what he wants, how and when he wants.

when that box went into a wash cycle while he was in mid poop, he just flicked his ears and got an ass-washing while he was at it. it was actually kind of funny to watch him sit in the box as the litter got soaked through and he sank into it.

eventually the box got killed due to his hair getting jammed up in it(remember the mid-long hair bit?).

he refused to give a damn, and transitioned nicely back to the old litterbox.

/seen him get mad just twice, ever. one was on another cat that wandered into our place by accident, and another was on a beagle that had the temerity to not heel because OMFG A CAT when his owners visited us.
//he actually straight up punched the beagle in the face, no claws, hard enough to rock the dog into a stagger... beagle pulled a complete 180 and hid behind his owner. gilderoy just sauntered on like a pimp.
///awesomest cat ever.

He's not an orange tabby is he? I swear every orange tabby I've ever met thought it was part honey badger


nope:sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net

black and white(not tuxedo). possibly part ragdoll or maine coon, we're not sure. pictured next to our at the time four and a half month old, and my foot, for scale( i wear a 10.5 american men's btw ). he's hunched in his rearparts so it's not REALLY representative of his sheer size. i swear to god this cat could slice a cucumber just by flexing his paws.. he's THAT BIG.
 
2012-10-05 11:55:03 PM  

buttery_shame_cave: black and white(not tuxedo). possibly part ragdoll or maine coon, we're not sure. pictured next to our at the time four and a half month old, and my foot, for scale( i wear a 10.5 american men's btw ). he's hunched in his rearparts so it's not REALLY representative of his sheer size. i swear to god this cat could slice a cucumber just by flexing his paws.. he's THAT BIG.


Awesome. Grew up with a cat that was part Maine Coon. The thing was grumpy as all hell though. You didn't want to mess with him, he was built thick and you could see the muscles ripple under the fur when he decided to move. Now I have a cat I think might be part Bombay (stray) and is also muscular and heavy, but not in the same league as yours. He's quite heavy when he plops his fat ass on your chest at night.
 
2012-10-06 02:13:33 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: buttery_shame_cave: ...

Awesome. Grew up with a cat that was part Maine Coon. The thing was grumpy as all hell though. You didn't want to mess with him, he was built thick and you could see the muscles ripple under the fur when he decided to move. Now I have a cat I think might be part Bombay (stray) and is also muscular and heavy, but not in the same league as yours. He's quite heavy when he plops his fat ass on your chest at night.


Gilderoy, had we waited a little longer to name him, could very easily have been named 'the dude'. he's as far from grumpy as you could imagine, and a little further. if i didn't know better i'd say he was high ALL the time. oddly he will have nothing to do with catnip. total distdain for the stuff.

he's also a bit of a snuggler, as far as our oldest is concerned. the two of them have been tight since number one was crawling. doesn't really snuggle anyone else, though he's occasionally been inclined to sprawl across my chest when i sleep(which never lasts long between the smothering heat, fur, and pressure i wake up fast).

his purring is less gentle outboard and more... riding mower. with a blown overbored stroked engine that's had the exhaust chopped.

the funniest part is that as i see him all the time, it seems completely normal and appropriate that he's huge. until i go somewhere and see a typical housecat(9 pounds to his 25+ and 1/3 his size). then it's like 'jeez we have a huge cat.'

someone once floated the theory he's half bobcat. i dunno if that's even plausible up here in washington.
 
2012-10-06 08:14:17 AM  

justtray: The sad part is, if we do find evidence of past life, anyone who is threatened by it is going to simply dismiss the results as contamination, regardless of how wrong that is.


Curiosity is not capable of discovering evidence for past life unless happens to drive by an obvious fossil. It simply does not have the right equipment.

If in the future we find current life on Mars, it will be easy to determine if was from a probe if we can run genetic tests. If the life is descended from something carried by a probe, it will have DNA that uses the same genetic code and which a phylogenetic analysis will show is extremely related specific taxa found on Earth. (Easy obviously does not include the expense of getting genetic testing stuff to Mars...)
 
2012-10-06 11:59:36 AM  
What's this bit about killing a cat?

The scoop is far too slow to pose a threat to even the laziest cat. The camera operators would also see the cat.

Curiosity already killed the cat--remember that during landing it dropped a piece of gear onto Mars at hundreds of miles per hour. They never showed any video of the heat shield hitting--because it landed on the cat!
 
2012-10-06 03:52:54 PM  

TheMysteriousStranger: justtray: The sad part is, if we do find evidence of past life, anyone who is threatened by it is going to simply dismiss the results as contamination, regardless of how wrong that is.

Curiosity is not capable of discovering evidence for past life unless happens to drive by an obvious fossil. It simply does not have the right equipment.

If in the future we find current life on Mars, it will be easy to determine if was from a probe if we can run genetic tests. If the life is descended from something carried by a probe, it will have DNA that uses the same genetic code and which a phylogenetic analysis will show is extremely related specific taxa found on Earth. (Easy obviously does not include the expense of getting genetic testing stuff to Mars...)


Did I totally misunderstand? I thought they were digging in the soil to look for biological materials, or ones that could create life?
 
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