Saturday, January 9, 2016

Best of '15: The Martian

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I've been thinking about laws on Mars. There's an international treaty saying that no country can lay claim to anything that's not on Earth. By another treaty if you're not in any country's territory, maritime law aplies. So Mars is international waters. Now, NASA is an American non-military organization, it owns the Hab. But the second I walk outside I'm in international waters. So Here's the cool part. I'm about to leave for the Schiaparelli Crater where I'm going to commandeer the Ares IV lander. Nobody explicitly gave me permission to do this, and they can't until I'm on board the Ares IV. So I'm going to be taking a craft over in international waters without permission, which by definition... makes me a pirate. Mark Watney: Space Pirate.

(note: the above quote garnered spontaneous applause during the movie in my Greenville theater. ARRRRGGGHHH!)

I have to begin by thanking Megan Potter for posting on facebook that Andy Weir's book The Martian was one of her recent favorites. She's an English teacher, I trust her judgement, and it was a sci-fi book, so I was hooked. I loved the book and was super-excited about seeing Ridley Scott's take. Although the movie lost a bit of the page-turning stress to fit into a manageable run-time, Scott and Matt Damon nailed it (save for the "Iron Man" change near the end). With the back-to-back space adventures of Interstellar and The Martian, sci-fi, NASA, and my Chemistry class have all gotten a much-deserved boost!

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