The Mars project continues to amaze me. Hopefully we will one day pull it off!

Mars continues to take the internet by storm, with a lot of people who are not normally aware there is a top to the atmosphere weighing in. The works out there from the Photoshoppers alone could fill a whole entry, and perhaps I will get that included here soon.

But for right now, there are still too many important and informative sites to list. This is another group of links to go with the last one, this time focused on Martian Blogs. OK, maybe I let one or 2 slip in just because they were too much fun; but if you have a serious interest in Mars, these are not to be missed!

Some of these are from the folks directly involved, some are about Mars because that is the buzz from Space right now and they are about all things Offworld, one or two may be well done jobs by serious fans. All of them are worth a visit; Enjoy!

This one includes the transcripts of the Nasa Press Briefings on the landers.
Adot’s Notblog

Susan is in the space biz, and this site should be on your Must Visit list.
2020Hindsight

James is also in the biz, and this is unofficial, but world class.
Mars Mission

How could I not include this group?
Louisiana Mars Society

Another person who worked on the project, and another Blog worth a regular visit!
RocketManBlog

A Canadian Fans Blog on all of this, again worth visiting.
Fan?

OK, I couldn’t help it; here are a few Fun Mars Blogs:

The Beagle2’s own personal Blog, a fun read by a fan.
Beagle

A SciFi Blog of the RedMars/GreenMars variety, one of my favorites.
Mars Blog

A lot of favorite Martian links here… as a resident Space Case, it is to be expected!

It’s that time again. We are once more making a major push to the red planet, and all kinds of information and reactions are available online. No real surprise, considering the combo of the massive space exploration budget cuts and the orbital dynamics (closest approach in 60 thousand years?), allowing the most cost-effective missions since we started space flight. There is even now (Finally!) a weak but potential chance of going there in person, tied to a possible permanent presence on the moon. So I thought a few links might be useful, click MORE to check them out. Here is the first, to get you started:

Nasa Mars Rovers

If you got here from a search looking for the band “Mars Everywhere”, sorry, this isn’t it. For the folks speculating that the Martians are shooting down the probes that will land downtown and letting the ones landing in the boonies through, this won’t cover anything but the facts. But you might still find something interesting in the lot, so read on…

The first link, from the intro screen, was the official NASA Mars Rover link at:

Nasa Mars Rovers

To watch any live developments as they come in, check out:

NASA TV: Mars

They have some great images already, but here is another great Mars Image site living at:

Best Mars Images

There are 3 probes currently in place or on the way. The first one, from the ESA, seems to have made it down and then been cut off. As of this writing, there is a chance it may yet re-establish contact, and the ESA is working its tail off to make that happen. For real-time info on the Beagle 2, use this link:

ESA: Mars

Speaking of real-time data, and a peek into potential future developments, do not miss:

Martian Soil

And another link into the future, as well as tracking the current situation in detail:

Mars Weather

These few should get you started, and I didn’t even mention the Planetary Society:

Planetary Society: Mars

If the other links here interest you, this is the one to add to your permanent collection!

Some Movie Reviews are just a matter of time and perspective…

You never know ahead of time how well a movie is going to do when translated from the book. However close they come with the movie version of this one, they have done a first-class job with the web site. If you write web pages, check the source code; this is a good combination of very functional JavaScript and Flash, with appropriate (if minimal) use of CSS.

I am going to approach the movie itself with my usual viewpoint of “Hope for the Best, Expect the Worst”. The track record of Asimov stories converted to the screen is not as good as I wish it was, and only a fraction of what his work deserves. Hoping this will be one of the winners!

I, Robot

The Edge of Science is one of my favorite places to hang out. The borderlands always produce an interesting collection of concepts, and I will return here often as time goes on.

Somewhere between Science and SciFi, we come to a blurry boundary. Some of my favorite things live along this border, and what I like the most is the potential they each have. To start off the new year, I would like to present you with 3 links; enjoy!

Chronos.ws

MAKING TOMORROW’S HISTORY TODAY! A time-travel site, with a lot of useful details, based on the physics of string theory and 9 dimensional math.

AFFS

The Academy For Future Science is a non-profit corporation that examines new scientific ideas.

Multi-Babel

A great way to test your understanding of the current language, and how it might be warped in translation. The current language is yours; the way it might be warped is up to the computer program doing the translations.

Hopefully you have created one or more works of your own art, so you can appreciate this entry.  FRANK KELLY FREAS was one of the demi-gods of American art… if you don’t know who he was, now is your chance to learn…

Here is another topic that can go on forever; in fact, just covering the different types of media can fill an entire web site! You have traditional media, like pencil, ink, various flavors of paint (oils, acrylic, watercolor, etc.), carvings, statues, and even tapestries; and if you can forget the costumers, you haven’t been to a Con lately! Then there are computer artists; photoshopers and 3D renderers for posters and illustrations, modelers creating game characters, avatars, and environments, or the multimedia folks generating short or full length animations. And that’s before you get to the Film/TV industry, with stop-motion specialists, makeup artists, matt artists, animators, special effects artists, and the whole CG effects sub-industry. That’s just the tip of the iceberg; but for this time around, let’s start with a few of the classics.

FRANK KELLY FREAS won 11 Hugo awards for his artwork, and was the Artist Guest of Honor at TorCon3 (World Science Fiction Convention in Toronto, 2003). On the side, he is an official NASA mission artist with works hanging in the Smithsonian, has done record album covers for bands like Queen, did the Mad Magazine covers from 1955-62, and a whole lot more.

Ed Emshwiller” was an abstract expressionist painter who created covers and interior illustrations for dozens of Fantasy and SciFi publications from 1951-79, including Analog, Galaxy and F&SF. Of his book covers, Heinlein’s Glory Road is my favorite. In the 60’s he began exploring multimedia in the form of film and video, and in 1979 released the ground-breaking three-minute 3-D computer animation Sunstone. That was also the year he became dean of the School of Film/Video at the California Institute of the Arts, where he remained until his death in 1990.

FRANK FRAZETTA was the original Naked-Ladies-of-Fantasy artist, no matter what those Boris fans claim. He was James Dean with a paintbrush, Jack Kerouac on the road to other worlds, and he had the bike to get there. If you don’t recognize his name, visit his site; you WILL recognize his work.

Another place where the edges between Science and Science Fiction are blurred beyond belief. We each have to choose our destination, and contribute to the kids having a proper education.

One of my favorite topics of conversation at parties has always been the science of science fiction. By that I don’t mean the wonderful work done by NASA’s Tools For Learning project, where they use science fiction to help teachers trick kids into learning space science. Or the many other science education sites like Frank Potter’s Science Gems>, or Bill Nye’s site.

Nor am I talking about the real science that goes into doing science fiction, this time. That topic deserves its own entry (or 12), and I will be getting to that one soon, I suspect.

What I am referring to is all those inventions that were first mentioned in a science fiction story, and then became a part of real life (or are in development now). Starting with Verne and Wells, and including authors like Philip Frances Nowlan (who in his 1928 original Buck Rogers novel predicted Walky-Talkies, Color TV, and even Amazon.Com), it is amazing how SciFi authors come up with ideas that get turned into real devices.

And there is finally a web site that puts it all together, with an online database that has to be seen to be believed. Run, don’t walk, to check out TechNOVELgy, a truly world-class web site!