Tuesday, July 14, 2015

My own trip to Mars (cheating a bit); Hint: Florida; rumors about the afterlife

If you want to take a trip to Mars, the cheapest and most reasonable idea is to visit Mission Space at Disney Epcot Center near Orlando, FL.  You can sign up for basic (green) or advanced (orange) training and then ride a simulator which shows what a landing on Mars would look like.

The “real” animation is pretty effective, with an emphasis on deep canyons and the polar ice caps.
There is also a Mars exploration pavilion at the Kennedy Space Center south of Titusville, FL on the coast, but that doesn’t show as much.
I’d like to see a similar simulation of the Huygens Cassini landing of a craft on Titan in 2005.
Florida in July is very humid and hard on tourists in that respect, but it’s OK when there is shade or cloud cover. Thunderstorms are welcome. 

By coincidence, the news story on the surface of Pluto from NASA broke this week, with a typical account on CNN here. Maybe some mountains of frozen nitrogen?  Note the article in National Geographic, July 2015, p. 117, with hypothetical surfaces on p. 120-121.
Over the weekend in Florida, I somewhere (probably surfing on my iPhone) a speculative essay suggesting that when someone dies naturally after cardiac and respiratory arrest, the brain can actually remain “conscious” for several hours, which (given the nature of space-time) might stretch out to eternity as perceived, and the person knows he or she is not coming back and cannot communicate what is happening.  Maybe for many people there is a glimpse of Heaven, or maybe there is just a “Core” of void.  (See Eben Alexander’s book, reviewed on Books blog March 30, 2013).  This would also seem to have implications for how the death penalty is experienced.  It might also mean that the presence of loved ones at the end is even more important than we had thought.  It used to be that many males died suddenly of massive heart attacks, and Sanjay Gupta has pointed out that these are actually excruciating when experienced. 
The best evidence of physics suggests that, for most people, a new “soul” evolves as the person or even animal matures and becomes a new agent of free will. But can a “soul” disappear?  Maybe it hangs in space-time for eternity.  Maybe it can be reincarnated and will be, even on another planet.  This may be nature’s answer to entropy.
The total number of people who have ever lived is said to be about 108 billion (Discover, here ).  Of course, that might depend on how you define “man”.  About seven billion or 6%, are alive today.  So that would suggest that most “old” souls could not have been reincarnated yet, at least on this planet.  

I wonder what the Monroe Institute has to say about this.

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