Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A One Way Trip to Mars, Reality TV Stardom and Cage Matches

An article by Mike Wall reports that a company proposes funding the colonization of Mars by filming the process as a reality TV show, perhaps, I imagine, in the style of "The Truman Show"? They plan to raise "6 billion" through "corporate sponsorship" for the first four colonists. The article describes their attitude as "confident" in raising this sum; however, the show would have to be as successful as some of the highest grossing TV show franchises in history to reach that amount.

According to Statistic Brain, "The Simpsons" has earned "5.22 billion" in ad revenue since it first aired and the franchise as a whole has earned a total of "12.33 billon". The "Seinfeld" franchise has grossed about "2.7 billion" since it first aired (reports The Economic Times).

Besides funding, two other major spaceflight hurdles to overcome are the health risks which include 1) protecting humans from the cosmic ray radiation in space, and 2) neutralizing the permanent damage to the body caused by a long-term, zero gravity environment. The article doesn't mention how the company plans to address these potencial health risks or any of the other numerous issues with putting people on Mars.

Also, it fails to mention what prizes the colonists could possibly hope to win while on Mars that would make the show worth watching. On the way to Mars perhaps the colonists could compete in scavenger hunts during space walks or, once on the red planet, cage matches? Speculation aside, this does raise important questions about the proposal: Mainly, will the TV show have the structure of Survivor or Project Runway? An integral part of both these shows are elimination rounds, but how can you eliminate colonists who are supposed to be on Mars for the rest of their lives?

Despite the proposal being innovative and interesting, I, for one, will not be grasping and clawing at my TV in anticipation of the show’s premiere. No, certainly not before they announce the celebrity judges.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fireworks (at the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge)

Tried out some fireworks photography and got some results I am proud of. I found using the bulb function and just eyeing the display to be the best method.

Golden Gate Bridge 75th anniversary - fireworks 9 

Golden Gate Bridge 75th anniversary - Fireworks 7 

Golden Gate Bridge 75th anniversary - Fireworks 4 

Golden Gate Bridge 75th anniversary - Fireworks 3