Life on Mars

On August 5, the day Curiosity landed, our neighbors across the street rescued a perfectly fine example of a treeing walker coonhound from the pound (any coonhound owners out there? Yeah. They had no idea.). Being nerds, they named her Mars. Mars rover. Ha.

Apparently the other Mars rover found something really, really interesting but he’s too busy baying at a squirrel or something to tell us what it is. If this was a Damon Lindhof story we should just walk away now because NOTHING GOOD CAN COME from asking big existential questions. Let’s just talk about Top Chef, ok? Nothing to see here. And whatever you do, for the love of supply-side Jeebus, don’t clone it.

63 replies
  1. 1
    Felonius Monk says:

    WTF? Or more correctly what the Sartre?

  2. 2
    greennotGreen says:

    Actually, I have a black and tan coonhound, but he very, very rarely bays. My totally Heinz 57 dog is much more likely to bay. Now, that doesn’t mean the coonhound is quiet; he’s pretty barky, but he makes up for it by being both exceptionally gentle and a grinner which means he bares his teeth to everyone who comes up to the fence. I feel very secure living alone with him around.

  3. 3
    Comrade Jake says:

    They found the whitey tape up there, didn’t they.

  4. 4
    jl says:

    Mars Rover better be careful, Martians have Acme ray guns.

  5. 5
    Raven says:

    Bohdi only howls when he hears the howl of his long lost Raven. Raven died over 5 years ago and whenever I play this video Bohdi lights it up.

  6. 6
    Brendanyc says:

    i”ve had two black and tan coohhounds my life and they were both just wonderful creatures. Close to untrainable–except to run like a thouroughbred, chase any thing that moves, cry the leaves off of trees, and oh, speaking of trees, they seemed to learn that real easily. in fact, i think they could be trained to do anything they were born knowing.
    but beautiful! and kind dogs. and so mellow–great with kids, ’cause they just don’t give a damn: kids could walk all over them, pull their beautiful ears, whatever. they never stopped being sweet, even when they had to move away.
    the neighbors will be very happy. i hope you like baying–if so, you will be, too.

    the martians, maybe not. i don’t think Rover found any hound dogs up there.

  7. 7
    Brendanyc says:

    i”ve had two black and tan coonhounds my life and they were both just wonderful creatures. Close to untrainable–except to run like a thouroughbred, chase any thing that moves, cry the leaves off of trees, and oh, speaking of trees, they seemed to learn that treeing thing real easily. in fact, i think they could be trained to do anything they were born knowing.
    but beautiful! and kind dogs. and so mellow–great with kids, ’cause they just don’t give a damn: kids could walk all over them, pull their beautiful ears, whatever. they never stopped being sweet, even when they had to move away.
    the neighbors will be very happy. i hope you like baying–if so, you will be, too.

    the martians, maybe not. i don’t think Rover found any hound dogs up there.

  8. 8
    Yutsano says:

    @greennotGreen: This demands photographic evidence! :)

  9. 9
    fuzed says:

    @Comrade Jake: +1000

    & martian birth certificate

    (No really , they found Elon’s secret hideout)

  10. 10
    Raven says:

    @Yutsano: You can watch my video!

  11. 11
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Raven: I love that video :-)


  12. 12
    greennotGreen says:

    @Yutsano: Unfortunately, I’ve never taken a picture, but I’ll try to remember to take one tomorrow when I come home from chemo. And hey, that’s something to be thankful for, not just Thursday, but every day. Science, baby! It’s helping me beat the big C!

    Now, back to our regularly scheduled coonhound thread.

  13. 13
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    Thank you for that update. I’ve been a Mars Curiosity geek ever since it landed (on my birthday no less!)and I’d missed that story.

    My brother had a coon hound – lab mix/ Bravest, smartest, no common sense dog I’ve ever seen. Stomach of iron and I swear that dog could fly.

  14. 14
    Maude says:

    She’ll zap them.
    She landed on the 6th, but the 5th is close enough.
    I hope they enjoy the hound.

  15. 15
    Raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: He’s such a funny dog. He has this growl when you scratch his belly, it’s no aggressive, just expressive. I think it’s the husky in him.

  16. 16
    wonkie says:

    We had a treeing walker coon hound at the rescue where I volunteer. She came from a a puppymill/hoarder situation, a concentration camp for animals. She had only three legs and he hoarder/miller did the operation herself. Annie, the coon hound was suprisingly friendly to humans, given her experiences. She loooveeed people so much that we could not keep her in a kennel (the baying drove everyoe nuts). No, Miss Thing had to have her very own bed in the lobby by the office and next to the kitichen so she could be with people all the time. She was adopted by a retired couple and now is queen of her very own home.

  17. 17
    the Conster says:

    The Mayans were right on schedule. MARS, BITCHEZ!

  18. 18
    FoxinSocks says:

    Not the same thing, but I have a beagle mix. One time when I was on the phone, she started howling. Person on the other end asked me if an air raid siren had just gone off.

    I adore her. She’s howling right now. Where are my earplugs?

  19. 19
    Raven says:

    @wonkie: Some asshole shot this hound and then half starved it. My friends rescued him and he still loves peoples!

  20. 20
    MikeJ says:

    @jl: I thought they had Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulators.

  21. 21
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @TaMara (BHF): The only thing better than all the cool videos Nasa put online this past year is seeing them on a big screen at the major Nasa radio telescope centre near where I live. :D

  22. 22
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: It’s all been cool. I’m loving Curiosity’s twitter feed.

  23. 23
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @TaMara (BHF): I have had to swear off twitter. too much fun stuff to read/learn/laugh at.

  24. 24
    Schlemizel says:

    don’t tell anyone but they found ‘water’

  25. 25
    👽 Martin says:

    @Schlemizel: Well, we kinda know there’s water there. Mars does have polar caps after all. But my money is on amino acids. No guarantee of life, but anything organic is a big deal.

  26. 26
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    OT and unrelated: ARRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH

  27. 27
    The Dangerman says:

    Obama’s birth certificate?

    Well, shit, I see Comrade Jake kinda beat me all the way at 3; still, consider me amused if Obama goes all Ray Walston on us.

  28. 28
    wasabi gasp says:

    A kitty poo.

  29. 29
    Maude says:

    You have the Deep Dish Network in Canberra. That’s cool. Opportunity and Curiosity talk through it. They have other links, but that’s the big one.

  30. 30
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Raven: I think he’s lovely. I saved the photo of him you posted a couple of days ago. He has the sweetest face.

  31. 31
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Maude: 25 minute drive from my house. Also in the middle of stunningly beautiful bush. Right by:

  32. 32
    ImJohnGalt says:

    I’ve got a shelter dog that we thought was a beagle, then a Treeing Walker’s Coonhound, but when we sent her DNA away for one of those $99.00 tests against the AKA list of breeds, came back as part English Coonhound, part Redbone Coonhound, no Beagle (or not enough to even be a tertiary breed) and no Treeing Walker.

    She only howls when we’re in a park and she wants off-leash to play. She is awesomedog.

  33. 33
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @👽 Martin: Why is “anything organic” a big deal?!?!? Cripes, it’s been almost 60 years since they made ’em out of methane, hydrogen, water & ammonia using nothing but electric discharges in the classic Miller-Urey experiment–& over 10 years since they found amino acids floating in interstellar space.

    It’s got to be something a little more spectacular than that. My wild-arsed guess is it’s something that strongly suggests the existence of plate tectonics on primordial Mars…but my really wild-arsed hope is it’s something that could only have been made artificially, like fission products or unbihexium-310.

    ETA: Moderation?!?!?! What the fuck for?!?!?!? FYWARCSWP!

  34. 34
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: Are you okay? May I bring you anything, glass of water perhaps? Would you like to sit down for a minute?

  35. 35
    ImJohnGalt says:

    @ImJohnGalt: Apparently for a long time people thought the Treeing Walker Coonhound and English Coonhound were the same, until 1945 when it was recognized as its own breed. Huh, the things you find from a quick google.

  36. 36
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: It’s just… I should know better than to email bloggers when they say stupid things online.

  37. 37
  38. 38

    @jl: I’m more worried about the Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator.

  39. 39
    redshirt says:

    It’s gonna be a letdown. Something like a unique organic material that only forms in wet conditions. Oooo!

  40. 40
    👽 Martin says:

    @The Dangerman: I think his birth certificate may well be there. Remember, Obama went to Mars when he was a teenager.

    Between 1981 and 1983, Obama is supposed to have visited Mars twice, by way of a teleportation chamber called a “jump room.” Basiago, a fellow chrononaut, told the website Exopolitics that he saw Obama “walk back to the jump room from across the Martian terrain.” To acknowledge his comrade, Obama is said to have told Basiago, “We’re here” — apparently, “with some sense of fatalism.”

    And the jump room was, of course, located at College of the Siskiyous, one of California’s finer community colleges – a mere 600 miles away from Oxy where Obama attended. And where was Curiosity built? JPL – just a few miles from Oxy. Coincidence? I don’t think so…

  41. 41
    Maude says:

    I bookmarked it. I’ve seen some pictures of Canberra and the landscaping is lovely.
    I wonder if you could make free international phone calls with that dish without anyone knowing?

  42. 42
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Maude: I think they’d figure it out pretty quickly. Alternatively… news headline:

    Mars Called: Bring Beer! LOL!

  43. 43
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Heh. Don’t know what it was about but I know the feeling.

    That is one adorable puppehface!

  44. 44
    Scamp Dog says:

    @Maude: No, but if you know the right people, you can make an interplanetary call. :)

  45. 45
    👽 Martin says:

    @redshirt: We’ve never directly observed extraterrestrial organic material. That’s a big deal. Understanding the conditions it forms under and how broadly it can be found is a big deal.

    And then our children can learn about extraterrestrial life at the same time that they’re learning how God created velociraptors for Jesus to ride in order to more quickly spread the gospel and smite those that would ban assault weapons.

  46. 46
    Brandon says:

    In the movies, there is always a Black President when the earth is facing annihilation from an alien species or an asteroid or something. I can only expect that whatever they found up there on Mars cannot be good. Not good at all.

    By the way, how the hell can someone get so exercised about Prometheus to think so hard and write so much about it. I mean really. When I was finished with it, I think I said, “meh, thaaat ….wasn’t so good, I think I should have picked something else” and then proceeded to forget all about that film, even that it existed.

  47. 47
    mainmati says:

    Curiosity the Mars Rover is going to be finding a lot of good Martian Chronicles for a long time. Guaranteed.

  48. 48
    redshirt says:

    @👽 Martin: Oh, whatever it is, I’ll dig it. But your description will barely raise most people’s eyebrows.

    I think NASA overhypes a lot of their announcements. To their detriment, perhaps. I suppose they’ve got a marketing agenda behind it – maybe it works to hook people who would not normally pay attention to discoveries on Mars, or in anything scientific. Or maybe it leaves them all disappointed it wasn’t somehow “cooler”.

  49. 49
    kdaug says:

    I wonder if they’ll announce the findings on 12/21/12.

    That would be cool.

    Besides, wasn’t the Mayan prophesy about the “end of an age” or “dawn of a new world” or something? The “end of the world” shit is a mistranslation – they’d had several others before and after now.

  50. 50
    Brandon says:

    @kdaug: Uh oh, forgot about that too. We got life on Mars + Mayan prophecy + Black President. The only thing missing now is Ben Affleck in a flight suit. I am going to go start hording water and supplies now, while I can.

  51. 51
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @Raven: Awww … so beautiful! But you said he’s gone now? I’m so sorry.

  52. 52
    Raven says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton: No, Raven is. He was our lion hearted cocker that fought cancer with all his might. Now we have the Bohdi and Lil Bit, another black cocker who we rescued.

    You can scroll down on this page to read her story! She’s a mess but soooo happy.

  53. 53
    redshirt says:

    @kdaug: End of a long calendar cycle – whereupon a new one begins. That’s it – the entirety of the “prophecy”. Of course some have taken it far, analyzing past, smaller calendar cycles and finding HITLER! Fall of Rome! Jesus! All contained there in the Mayan calendars.

  54. 54
    wonkie says:

    @Raven: What’s this with people shooting the back legs off hound dogs? That’s how Annie lost her leg; thhe idiot husband of the hoarder shot her.

    Fortunately there’s a happy ending for the hudreds of dogs that were left on the property after we got Annie: the hoarder and her husband got in a fight and shot each other to death, All of the dogs were taken off the property and went to homes and rescues.

    Your hound has a sweet gentle face. Beautiful.

  55. 55
    mainmati says:

    It would be interesting to know how long it will last and what it will find. The previous roamers have far exceeded expectations.

    Expecting geeky-science wonderfulness for years to come. Wingers won’t notice.

  56. 56
    MikeJ says:

    @mainmati: When the reactor dies on this rover, it is dead dead dead. The previous rovers had solar panels and as long as the wind cleared the dust off they kept running. Use up the fuel on this one and it’s gone.

    And if the launcher goes all Challenger on us while launching the next one, you might not want to eat any Atlantic seafood.

  57. 57
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    Coonhounds! Wonderful, witty, and noisy.

  58. 58
    NonyNony says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    It’s got to be something a little more spectacular than that.

    NASA administration has finally figured out how to improve their budget.

    They will announce that they’ve found oil on Mars. The invasion of Mars will start by Friday.

  59. 59
    Maude says:

    I bet one day, NASA will go up to Mars and bring the rovers home. It would be a complicated mission, but even so, it would be worth it.
    That nuke on Curiosity is a long lifer. It’s the pump that would be of concern. If that goes, she will be gone. Like Spirit, that is gone because they think she got too cold.

  60. 60
    Applejinx says:

    Wow- Film Crit Hulk HERE? Amazing, amazing stuff, and somehow I skipped that one!

  61. 61
    Special One says:

    Is anyone else seriously chortling over the apparent irony of a pretty good essay dwelling on the theme of good ideas presented badly being written IN ALL CAPS!!!???

  62. 62
    john b says:

    we did a dog dna test recently on what we were sure was mostly a pitt who appeared on our front porch at 8 weeks old about a year ago. turns out she was 50% treeing walker coonhound. We named ours Dizzy after the trumpeter.

  63. 63
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:


    First off, it’s not a “reactor”, it’s a radioisotope battery. The half-life is long enough that power will last longer than the rover is likely to.

    Secondly, solar panels have a definite (much shorter) lifespan on Mars because they will eventually get too much dust on them to be usable. That’s what killed Spirit. Both the MER rovers had freak wind gusts give them somewhat of a cleaning at one point, but you can’t count on that.

    Thirdly, just a few weeks before the idiots were demonstrating to try to prevent Cassini‘s launch in 1997, an identical Titan 4 with an identical radioisotope battery had just gone all Challenger after being launched from Vandenberg with a spy satellite payload. They fished the RTG out of the ocean—not a scratch on the capsules. They reused them.

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