Craig Butcher

Week Note Eight - Ya What?

NASA's Perseverance

What an incredible feat! Check out NASA's Mars 2020 for the lowdown on the new rover and take a good look at Mars' Helicopter that will be incredibly interesting to check out. Digging into the factsheet (PDF) and it weighs 1.8 kg (4 pounds), solar powered and recharges on its own, wireless communications, and with some extra digging, it runs on Linux!

Let's go back to the rover and one thing that we should be paying close attention to is MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment) (Straight from the factsheet pdf)

a technology demonstration that will produce oxygen from Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide. If successful, MOXIE's technology could be used by future astronauts on Mars to burn rocket fuel for returning to Earth.

This will be big news if it is successful and rooting every step (roll?) of the way for humanity to kick-start the space race again.


It has been six months now that I have switched to plant based diet (being vegetarian for most of 2020) and the difference has been absolutely striking to noticed. I have two BOSH cookbooks which helps out a lot what to cook when struggling for inspiration, ended up eating more vegetables which is much needed, increased my protein intakes in order to bulk as part of my workout routine (weight lifting, HIIT, and core), and lost most of my stomach fat which has been nagging me for years.

There has been a knock on effect where I no longer drink alcohol, rethinking how I should be treating myself (be kind!), and researching interesting vegan videos on YouTube which led to CosmicSkeptic, Earthling Ed, and others that leads into a rabbit hole of information.

How did the switch happens? It all started with Gary Yourofsky's Best Speech You Will Ever Hear and it led to an internal shift in that finally led me over to this side. My reasons for the switch is ethical and sustainable living. There are other reasons yet I need to learn how to compose and deliver a better analogy.

Apple Arcade

We have been enjoying the latest round of games and we are mostly enjoying Survival Z which is a nice tactical strategy game. Beware, it will often lead to squabbling with your children if you like playing games on the edge! Now I need to introduce my sons to Final Fantasy... This could be a while.

And finally...

It occurs to myself recently that we are all now into the area where we are truly feeling the strain of this lockdown, notably when family and friends are texting less than before because we are running out of things to say. It seems the usual saying of "what is the government going to be saying tomorrow?".

Should the UK goes back to Tier-whatever, we will do the deed of wearing a mask, social distancing, follow the rules as close as we can. We will know that there are people out there will flout the rules and it will be a trigger to go back to a national lockdown again.

Mentally, we can't have this happening again and we are at the tipping point where the vaccine is being rolled out everywhere.

Stay safe, save humanity, and look to the stars.

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