It´s official: Primitive life could have lived on ancient Mars, NASA says. A sample of Mars drilled from a rock by NASA´s Curiosity rover and then studied by onboard instruments "shows ancient Mars could have supported living microbes," NASA officials announced Tuesday in a statement and press conference.The discovery comes just seven months after the Curiosity rover landed on Mars to spend at least two years determining if the planet could have ever supported primitive life. "A fundamental question for this mission is whether Mars could have supported a habitable environment,"
Just watching Nova reruns on Spirit and Opportunity last night. Amazing accomplishments. Of course, the Curiosity landing last Summer and mission is even more complex and amazing. A parting reminder of what NASA is supposed to be?
As to the life issue: it´s still very early - just let the facts come out. If microbes or fossils of same could be located, a DNA analysis would be most intriguing. Are we all really "Martians"? It won´t change the minds of those who believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis, but it would make the rest of us think and wonder.
(In a related story: there is still little evidence of intelligent life inside the Beltway. /s)
So there are the elements for life on Mars. So what? Mars is as old as earth, and hasn’t undergone any traumatic events over the eons. If earth has had life for a billion or more years, why would life have died out on Mars? Try again NASA.
For life to spontaneously burst into existence it must immediately have the following:
The ability to procure & digest food (of some kind) The ability to eliminate waste products The ability to procreate or duplicate itself
Now, there are several (at least) inter-related and inter-dependent processes required for each of the above, the simultaneous evolution for which is highly unlikely and that leaves out the fact that the previous list is itself HIGHLY unlikely. When I say HIGHLY unlikely, I mean much more unlikely than a naked human jumping from the surface of Earth to the moon without technological aids of any kind. You don´t have to be a ´scientist´ to understand that 10 rolls of the dice is NEVER going to come up ´snake-eyes´ every time.
One of the original NASA folks observed that nobody would support the enormous cost of space exploration if the product would only be rocks. The possibility of life carried the funding burden. The original shtick persists.
Primitive life is living in DC, Detroit and throughout too many of this country´s inner cities and limousine-liberal suburbs. We don´t need to go to Mars to find primitive life. But I am always amazed, proud of and encourage and support the men and women of our space program.
As you gaze out into the eternal vastness of space and ponder the infinate number of planets, stars, and galaxies, it is absolutely stunning to think there is actually much more evidence for bigfoot than there is for a single cell living outside the planet earth.
#12, "You don´t have to be a ´scientist´ to understand that 10 rolls of the dice is NEVER going to come up ´snake-eyes´ every time."
On average, one out of 60,466,176 sets of ten rolls will be all snake eyes, assuming fair dice and so on. Long odds against, but there it is, simply 1/6 (you have chosen one value of six possible) to the 10th power (a set of ten rolls). A sixth of a sixth ... of a sixth. I´m better than Spock I show my work ;-)
I think #14 hit the nail on the head...there really is nothing to see here, except for Sheldon Cooper-like NASA geeks who love the idea of exploring Mars, and they´re only going to get to do so if they can find "signs of life" to make "news."
Castle Rock, Colorado´s Oakwood Apartment´s is telling tenants--including 77 year-old Marine Art Dorsch--to get rid of their guns or get out of the apartment complex. Just last week the manager of the complex sent a letter to tenants informing them of new rules banning all "firearms and weapons" on the premises. According to The Washington Times, former USMC Dorsch says it "upsets [him] very much." Dorsch is both "an avid hunter" and a concealed carry permit holder. He also lives on a fixed income so he cannot afford to pack up and move to an apartment complex that is
FORT HOOD, Texas — Two soldiers who were shot during the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood say they initially thought the gunfire was from a training exercise. Both testified Thursday during the trial of Maj. Nidal Hasan. The Army psychiatrist is accused of killing 13 people in the attack on the Texas military post. If convicted, he´ll face the death penalty. Staff Sgt. Michael Davis told jurors he hid under a desk when he realized the shooting wasn´t a drill. He says he saw blood spray and someone get shot. He was shot in the back.
President Obama is set to go on vacation in Martha´s Vineyard, Mass., on Saturday, raising the question of whether he’ll speak to the press before he leaves. The president hasn´t fielded questions from reporters in a solo press conference since April 30, despite swirling controversies over issues like National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and political targeting at the IRS. The White House is also grappling with a terror threat that has forced the closure of embassies and diplomatic posts across the Middle East and the upcoming showdown over the debt ceiling and federal budget. Obama himself has sent signals
On July 31, 2013, NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell celebrated her 35th anniversary at the network and was predictably praised by her media colleagues. Calling in to Mitchell´s 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show that day, former Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw listed numerous historic events that occurred the year Mitchell was hired in 1978, concluding: "The biggest story of all, Andrea Mitchell joins NBC News and no one in public life is ever safe again." While that fawning sentiment may have been true for conservatives and Republicans in public life, it was certainly never the case for
This is what President Obama’s “reset” of relations with Russia looks like. He abruptly canceled plans Wednesday to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow next month when he goes to Russia for the Group of 20 summit in St. Petersburg. This is payback for Russia’s grant of temporary asylum to Edward J. Snowden, the National Security Agency leaker whom Mr. Obama dismissed not long ago as an inconsequential “29-year-old hacker.” (Snip) The shifting policies are of a piece with this administration’s revisionism, foreign and domestic, on full display at Mr. Obama’s sixth visit to Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show”
Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who lived on food stamps and resided in low-income housing to identify with his poor constituents, is acknowledging his status as a technology millionaire as he campaigns across New Jersey for a U.S. Senate seat. The 44-year-old Democrat, in a report filed with the U.S. Senate last month, listed a $1 million to $5 million interest in Waywire LLC, a New York-based social-media company he co-founded in 2012. The two-term mayor filed a similar report with Newark Aug. 6, a week before the Democratic Senate primary election.
NEW YORK- Two Republican congressmen, Daniel Webster and Aaron Shock, said they support the legalization of undocumented immigrants and a pathway to U.S. citizenship. The statements of support come after an intense campaign by pro-immigration advocates, who targeted House of Representative members at town hall events prior to rallies, drives and other events across the country. With Webster of Florida and Shock of Illinois, 21 House Republicans now support the measure, ABC News reported. The announcements come after Sen. Chuck Schumer said he´d support the Republican-led House´s piecemeal approach to U.S. immigration reform, provided it offered a path to citizenship.
NBC News political director Chuck Todd on Thursday labeled the new NBC miniseries about Hillary Rodham Clinton a “total nightmare” for the network’s news division — adding another voice to the increasing backlash against the project. “This is why this miniseries is a total nightmare for NBC News,” Todd said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “We know there’s this giant firewall. We know that we have nothing to do with it. We know that we’d love probably to be as critical or whatever it is going to be, if it comes out.”
In a series of pictures taken from a personal perspective, Connecticut photographer Susan Falzone has documented the daily life of her elderly aunt who has Alzehimer´s. The photographs include shots of her aunt, Grace, being taken to the grocery store or park, as well as images that show how her life has changed since the disease was diagnosed about five years ago. ´I had seen Alzheimer’s take my grandmother - a slow, painful death. So I looked at this work as a way to cope with the situation, but at the same time share Aunt Grace’s story that’s similar to millions
Joe Scarborough has yet again scaled his soap box to mock those of us in the conservative blogosphere. He described us today as a bunch of "very stupid people" living in their mama´s basement who write "really stupid things" about him. The thin-skinned Scarborough has often derided his show´s critics as Cheetos-chewing cellar-dwellers. He was at it again this morning, depicting them as people who if not in mama´s basement would otherwise be wandering the streets in their pajamas. View the video after the jump. Scarborough´s ire this morning was aimed at Tea Party members and
ATLANTA— A restaurant executive said Wednesday that the company switched bread vendors after a customer found a cluster of maggots on his sandwich at Atlanta´s airport. Weekly traveler Joel Woloshuk told WSB-TV (http://bit.ly/1895s6l) that he bought a sandwich from Café Intermezzo and realized the white specks on top of it were maggots — not parmesan — when they began writhing across the bun. In a statement to WSB-TV, Café Intermezzo´s president said the case was an isolated incident and the problem could not have originated at the restaurant. He said the restaurant switched bread vendors
Barack Obama told Marines at Camp Pendleton Wednesday that the United States "will never retreat from the world" merely a day after his Administration warned American citizens to flee the country of Yemen. According to The Hill, Obama said, "Al Qaeda´s top ranks have been hammered," and "the core of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan is on the way to defeat." "We do not get terrorized," he boasted. "We´re going to keep standing up to our enemies." Just two days before Obama made these claims, his Administration closed 20 embassies and/or consulates around the world for fear of an attack
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie holds a narrow lead among Republicans for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination, but even more GOP voters say he’s the candidate they least want to see nominated. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that Christie earns 21% support when Republican voters are asked whom they would vote for if the party’s primary in their state were held today. Florida Senator Marco Rubio runs a close second with 18% of the GOP vote, followed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at 16% and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul with 15% of the vote.
WASHINGTON — U.S. officials insisted Tuesday that extraordinary security measures for nearly two dozen diplomatic posts were to thwart an “immediate, specific threat,” a claim questioned by counterterrorism experts, who note that the alert covers an incongruous set of nations from the Middle East to an island off the southern coast of Africa. Analysts don’t dispute the Obama administration’s narrative that it’s gleaned intelligence on a plot involving al Qaida’s most active affiliate, the Yemen-based Arabian Peninsula branch. That would explain why most U.S. posts in the Persian Gulf are on lockdown, including the U.
Barack Obama delivered one gaffe after another in his August 6 interview with Jay Leno, but the networks that usually mock every mistake or slip of the tongue made by Republicans ignored the President´s verbal mishaps. ABC´s Good Morning America, CBS´s This Morning and NBC´s Today show, on Wednesday morning, all bypassed the chance to criticize Obama for: downplaying the threat of terrorism; falsely claiming Vladimir Putin once ran the KGB; placing the Atlantic coast cities of Savannah, Charleston and Jacksonville on the Gulf of Mexico; confusing the Winter Olympics with the Summer Olympics. First up, on the
Critics of the president are convinced that Barack Obama will do lasting damage to the U.S. I doubt it. Obama came to power in the third year of large Democratic congressional majorities. In his first referendum, he lost the House and he may soon lose the Senate; in other words, there followed a somewhat normal reaction against a majority party. Obama’s popularity rating is well below 50%, despite an obsequious media and a brilliantly negative billion-dollar campaign that long ago turned Mitt Romney into a veritable elevator-using, equestrian-marrying, canine-hating monster. In the second term, there is little
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney jumped into the debate over the GOP’s future Tuesday night, warning congressional Republicans against forcing a government shutdown in their quest to stop President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. Romney addressed more than 200 donors on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee at a fundraiser for the New Hampshire Republican Party, staged just four miles from the vacation home where he has spent much of the summer with his family. The event was closed to the media, but his office released his prepared remarks.
The U.S. State Department issued a global alert about the terrorist threat allegedly posed by Al-Qaeda in Yemen. The USA announced the closure of its missions in the Middle East and Africa, and their example was followed by France, Britain, and Germany. However, this was only an attempt to justify the activities of the National Security Agency.Last Saturday, right after alerting of the terror threat civilians and BOLO complex ("be on the lookout") that includes law enforcement and federal officials, President Barack Obama went to play golf, and then celebrated his birthday at the presidential retreat at Camp David.
In a rare diplomatic snub, President Obama is canceling plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow next month. The decision reflects both U.S. anger over Russia´s harboring of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and growing frustration within the Obama administration over what it sees as Moscow´s stubbornness on other key issues, including missile defense and human rights. Obama will still attend the Group of 20 economic summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, but a top White House official said the president had no plans to hold one-on-one talks with Putin while there.
Ending a war is a good thing. Killing civilians a bad thing. Deliberately targeting civilians is murder, and is never morally licit, even in pursuit of a good thing such as ending a war. The tens of thousands of Japanese non-combatants we killed 68 years ago this week with two nuclear bombs were not “collateral damage” of military strikes. They were the intended targets. We hoped that mass murder would bring the Japanese emperor to surrender. It worked, and American and Japanese soldiers’ lives were probably saved by it —
A poll released Friday by Public Policy Polling found that Alaska voters would pick former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the state´s former Republican governor, Sarah Palin, if the two women were to face off in the 2016 presidential election. Clinton led with 49 percent in the hypothetical match-up, with Palin at 40 percent, a nine-point gap. As of July 3, Republicans comprised 27 percent of the state´s registered voters and Democrats made up just 14 percent. The last time Alaskans opted for the Democrats´ presidential candidate was in 1964. Clinton trails five other hypothetical GOP candidates –
Over the last week, there has been a lot of buzz about a supposed CIA angle to the Benghazi story. Specifically, it has been alleged that a substantial number of CIA employees were on the ground in Benghazi, carrying out a mission that involved rounding up Libyan weapons and transferring them to rebels in Syria. Further, it has been reported that the CIA has leaned on its employees not to cooperate with Congressional investigations or the media, and it has been suggested that the CIA’s role in Benghazi may be related to the al Qaeda
President Obama is slated to deliver a speech later this month commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Obama will deliver his speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial — the same place where King spoke 50 years ago. The Let Freedom Ring ceremony will be held Aug. 28. "It’s obviously a historic, seminal event in the country. It’s part of my generation’s formative memory and it’s a good time for us to do some reflection,"
In a move some claim is tantamount to social engineering, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is imposing a new rule that would allow the feds to track diversity in America’s neighborhoods and then push policies to change those it deems discriminatory. The policy is called, "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing." It will require HUD to gather data on segregation and discrimination in every single neighborhood and try to remedy it. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan unveiled the federal rule at the NAACP convention in July. "Unfortunately, in too many of our hardest hit communities, no matter how hard