Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday Thirteen 285: Life on Mars and Mixed-Up Files

I'm attempting a random list this week, something with which I always have difficulty doing. Here goes nothing!


1. In Monday's news, there was a story about a Dutch company, Mars One, is looking for volunteers to colonize Mars. Seriously. You can read Tuesday's CNN story if you don't believe me: A one-way ticket to Mars, apply now.

2. Think you might be interested? You can read about the qualifications and apply online here.

3. This story reminded me of a song learned in sixth grade choir, "There's no life on the moon / There's no life up on Mars / So let's take care of this lovely world of ours / Let's make the waters green again / And the fish smile when they swim..." That's all I can remember, and have had no luck finding it online.

4. Monday was also Earth Day, the brainchild of Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson. There were special events such as lectures, nature walks and neighborhood clean-ups held across the US and around the globe.

5. I also saw on Monday that YA author E.L. Konigsburg died last Friday at age 83, following a stroke.

6. Konigsburg is best known for her novel, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, for which she won her first of two Newbery Medals.

7. I first read the book in sixth grade English. Re-reading it this week reminded me of another book with a similar premise, read around the same time, Secrets of the Shopping Mall by Richard Peck.


8. First sign of spring in Madison: The Chairs are out and the UW Memorial Union Terrace open as of today. Bring on the sail boats and summer concerts!

9. Not that it has felt much like spring the past few weeks, with below average temps and above average rainfall. There has been widespread flooding, especially low-lying areas and along rivers, and we are dropping down around freezing again tonight, with a rain/snow mix.

10. On the bright side, better to have a rain/snow mix with no accumulation in Southern Wisconsin, than another foot of snow in Northern Wisconsin. *Shudders* Definitely not envying them!

11. March 2013 was the first time in recorded history that we had an inch or more of snow on the ground every day of the month.

12. Which is why many people did not get all of their Christmas decorations down until the beginning of April. Anything that had to be anchored, staked or connected to an electrical cord was frozen in place.

13. Though one to two weeks late, we are finally seeing spring flowers. No tulips yet, but crocus and daffodils have been making random appearances.



LINKING TO: Thursday Thirteen




28 comments:

Alice Audrey said...

20 years younger and I'd be interested in the Mars thing. Not that I ever qualified, but so cool.

anthonynorth said...

great list. i agree with Alice - in my youth I'd have gone.

Shelley Munro said...

I wonder how many applications they've received for the Mars thing.

sandyland said...

crocus warm welcome

CountryDew said...

I would live to have gone into outer space when I was younger. To the moon! I think the dismantling of NASA has been one of the worst things to happen in my lifetime.

Pearl said...

finally our last few neighbours are turning their Christmas lights off. it's the cusp of patio season here. Maybe picnicking too.

Janet said...

I love that your list ended in bright spring colors!

Mia Celeste said...

Oh, I didn't know E.L. Konigsburg. She's one of my favorite writers. One of those authors I wish I could write like. Sad. I'll miss her stories, but I won't miss winter. I'm glad crocuses and daffodils are blooming. :)


http://otherworlddiner.blogspot.com/2013/04/inspired-by-remarkable-unusual-and-true.html

Paige Tyler said...

Didn't know anything about colonizing Mars! Dr Who had a character from Mars on the show the other night! Very cool!

*hugs*
Paige

My TT is at http://paigetylertheauthor.blogspot.com/

Heather said...

Alice: I don't know that I would go. You couldn't even get me to go near the rocket rides they used to have at the fair.

Heather said...

Anthony: Another adventurous soul! I wonder how many writers this news will inspire?

Heather said...

Shelley: Apparently there are already a great number of people interested, and quite the age range.

Heather said...

Sandy: The crocus are definitely a warm and welcome sight!

Heather said...

Anita: I agree with you on the dismantling of NASA. There is still so much we don't know about the universe around us, and little wonder that we are falling behind in math and science. President Kenndy would be appalled!

Heather said...

Pearl At least my friend did unplug her Christmas lights, even if they were frozen in place until the first weekend in April. There are still remnants of gigantic snow piles in some store parking lots.

Heather said...

Thanks, Janet! I wish we were seeing more of those bright spring colors. If only it would warm up for more than a day or two!

Heather said...

Mia: I was gone most of last weekend, so almost missed the news about Konigsburg myself. I saw it Monday in an NPR blog update. I haven't read many of her books, but "Mixed-up Files" stayed with me long after I read it.

I keep watching for signs of other blooms, and am missing the flowering crabapple that grew outside the front window of my old apartment.

Heather said...

Paige: Don't you love coincidences like that--how you'll hear the mention of something as random as Mars and then it seems to be everywhere? *g*

Jana said...

I can't wrap my mind around the Mars thing. I mean, it's not like you get to go visit and then come back to Earth with awesome stories about it. You'd be stuck there for the rest of your LIFE. No coming back home. No seeing your family ever again. How would it even work? No doctors. No Advil for headaches. What would you even eat or drink? What about the bathroom situation? What about chocolate??? There would be no more chocolate!

Ugh. My brain hurts just even thinking about it. Needless to say, they'd have to drug me and stuff my lifeless unconscious body in the rocket to get me to Mars. haha

Adelle Laudan said...

Great list. I don't know if I'd want to book a flight to Mars one day, never mind live there. Maybe, as many have said, in my younger years. Not that it was very long ago *wink
Happy T13!

Alice Audrey said...

You mean I have to be conscious on the way there?

Kimberly Menozzi said...

The only problem I have with the delayed Spring is that Summer will come in before we know it.

Oh, wait, that's how it is every year, isn't it? ;)

Happy TT!

Heather said...

Jana: ROFLMBO... Your answer cracks me up, even though you bring up excellent points. I'm sure the food and medical questions are being addressed by Mars One, but to live without chocolate? And yes, you would have to give up everything back here on Earth, with no chance of shipping your belongings later or ever seeing friends and family again.

Heather said...

Adelle: What do you mean in your younger years? You still look seventeen. ;-D

Thanks for visiting!

Heather said...

Alice: You know, that is a good question. I mean, we've already proven the ability to fly ships manually from planet Earth, so it's not like they really need someone awake to control the ship, right? Seems like the trip would go a lot faster if you could take a nice, long nap and wake up when you get there.

Heather said...

Kimberly: True--summer does seem to arrive before we are even aware of it. *g*

The Gal Herself said...

I'm in Chicagoland and I could have written #9, too. Thankfully today (Friday) I'm able to finally wear sandals and show the world my happy pink pedi.

Heather said...

Hi Gal! I've heard Chicago is seeing some of the worst flooding in years. At least we are getting a nice, warm, DRY weekend for a change. Already 65F here today, and supposed to be above 70 Monday.