Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Virgin and Google announce joint Mars Base 100 year plan

Maybe you saw the header on Google's main page today:

A Cool World: Enjoy a rosier future as a Virgle Pioneer

Maybe you ignored it it because it sounded daffy. Uninformative. You don't click on links that tell you how you can become one of the cool kids. "Virgle" sounds like strangling virgins. And no matter where you stand on the issue of depicting the true colors of Mars, you reserve "rosy" for translations of Homer, not Virgil, and certainly not Mars.

So if you managed to bypass all those reasons not to open the link, you find "An invitation. Earth has issues, and it's time humanity got started on a Plan B. So, starting in 2014, Virgin founder Richard Branson and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will be leading hundreds of users on one of the grandest adventures in human history: Project Virgle, the first permanent human colony on Mars."

They seem to have glommed onto the Mars Society, so I guess that rules out anomalists as being the kind of Mars geek they want onboard. Or will it?

Curious illustration at their opening page, http://www.google.com/virgle/index.html . Teeny weeny little explorers on some kind of long rectangular mesa, the mesa having seemingly escaped some intense ejecta from the crater. Ejecta that has hurtled out into the air in long rectilinear pillars, some with straight channels, some with straight channels forming a cross. Their FAQ gives no nod to planetary SETI; the illustration lists the page URL as its address in properties. Wonder what that's meant to show?

Then again, consider the date. It gets much sillier as you go on.

Oh well. :)

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