You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Mars Rover’ tag.

The Oxford English Dictionary has announced this year’s “Word of the Year”.  Every year they pick one that has been made popular, coined, or otherwise come to the attention of whoever is on the committee and announce that it is an amazing word.  This year’s Word is…


Yes, really.  It means something which appears to be a shambles no matter which direction you look at it from.  While it’s not the worst word I could think of, it certainly doesn’t scream “Word of the Year” to me.  Mind you, it’s better than some of the others on the shortlist.  See if you can match the following words with their definitions:

“Eurogeddon”               you only live once
“mummy porn”            using a computer and TV at the same time
“green-on-blue”           a derogatory term for the lower classes
“to medal”                    a financial problem in a certain part of the world
“second screening”      to win a medal
“Yolo”                            a genre inspired by 50 shades
“Pleb”                            military attacks by neutral forces

The thing that strikes me most is how many of these potential “Words of the Year” are not, in fact, words.  Three of them are phrases, one is an acronym, and one is a contraction of a longer word.

I’m also amused by the fact that most of them I hadn’t heard even once before they occurred in this article.   Perhaps I don’t watch enough TV.


Short Martian Aside

From here:

It is at the base of this peak that the rover expects to find some of the most interesting rocks during its mission, although it will be many months before it gets there.

The rover is expecting things now?  Why did nobody mention it was sentient?


With all the fuss about the Mars rover, I thought I’d take the time to collect some interesting quotes that don’t mention it.

An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment.
― David Attenborough

Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people. ― Leo Burnett

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
― Albert Einstein

“Curiosity killed the cat,” Fesgao remarked, his dark eyes unreadable.
Aly rolled her eyes. Why did everyone say that to her? “People always forget
the rest of the saying,” she complained. “‘And satisfaction brought it back.”
― Tamora PierceTrickster’s Choice

“It’s not a silly question if you can’t answer it.”
― Jostein GaarderSophie’s World

“Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it saved my ass.”
― Michael J. Fox

“People say: idle curiosity. The one thing that curiosity cannot be is idle.”
― Leo Rosten

Do you have a favourite quote about curiosity?  Share it below!

As I mentioned yesterday, Curiosity landed on Mars.

There’s so much fun you could have with missions to Mars, but my question today is simply this: like Dorothy landing on the wicked witch of the west, did the rover land on any poor unsuspecting Martian cats?

(Blast, now I have an idea for a modern retelling of the Wizard of Oz, with Dorothy as an AI on a spaceship.  I don’t have time for more ideas!)


Curiosity is the name of the Mars Rover which touched down on the surface of the red planet early on Monday morning.  I’ve known this for a while, and I suspect that most of you science-fiction fans will have known too (unless you’ve been on another planet, and even then you might have noticed if the planet in question was Mars).

What I didn’t realise until today was how cute it is.  Like a cross between WALL-E and Number Five from Short Circuit, only slighly more macho.

I also didn’t realise that the mission is no puny little 30-day thing.  No, they’re funded for two years (Earth years, that is), but the batteries could last for ten or more.  Will it still be operational when we eventually land people on Mars?

I see a story developing in which we land people on Mars, and they have some problem with their technology and need spare parts.  Curiosity has the parts they need, but it’s not responding to their attempts at remote control – the radio receiver is broken so it’s just trundling about sampling rocks and sending the data to Earth, but can’t be controlled.  The astronauts have to go on a desperate hunt through the Martian landscape to capture the rover before it’s too late!

The Author

Nicola Higgins is a 30-something martial artist who runs two Brownie packs and works full time. She somehow still finds time to write.

Her favourite genres are near-future and alternate world science fiction and fantasy.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 100 other followers