Friday, October 10, 2008

Survivor: Gabwned

The new season of survivor started a few weeks ago, and as usual the Survivor pool has begun again. Here's the line-up:






The coolest part of the picks this year is they lined up perfectly with the tribes switching up right after we made them. So in a season where I already feel it's anyone's game, it made the picks even that much harder to choose well. I'm really happy with my team. I think that Charlie is in the lead right now as most likely to win, but I've got my dark horse Randy in there who I think will do very well (despite being picked 2nd to last) and Crystal, who will probaby get far although she probably won't win (unless all hell breaks loose again).

The second-best picks I think go to Bag. He's got Marcus who I think is really strong and Matty, who looks like he's in better shape now with a tribal mix-up than he was before. Kelly is about as useless as they come, but with two other strong picks, Bag will probably get far in this pool.

Alia I think is the third strongest. Sugar has the immunity idol, which is a huge boost, and I think she's playing the game well besides. Ace is pretty indispensible right now, so I think he'll get further than he would have without the mix-up. Alia got stuck with Susie as the last person picked, but I still think that she is a better option than Kelly and GC, so it could've been worse!

Doug has probably been the most rocked by the tribes mixing up. His number 1 pick was booted the very next episode basically because she was playing the game too well and her new tribe saw her as a threat. His 2 other guys Bob and Dan are both average players, and I think one or both of them will make the jury, but it's unlikely that they will crack the top 4. They don't have the alliances going their way.

Moon I think has the worst team. Corinne is an okay pick, but I think one episode depicted her as being a bigger player in the game than she will end up being. Moon picking GC in the second round was probably the worst move I've seen in the draft, although he did pick Eric "stupidest survivor ever" last season, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.

The prize this season? Probably a dinner paid for by all the losers, but more importantly, the winner will break the current 5-way tie we have going. Everyone in this pool has one once: I won with Danni in Guatemala, Moon won with Yul in the race v. race Survivor, Bag won with Parvati in fans v. faves, Doug won with Earl in Fiji, and Alia won with Todd in China.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

To infinity... and beyond!

I read in the news today that NASA has written up a plan to prepare our astronauts for a trip to Mars. It's one of those moments that I've always dreamed of, but never really could say for sure if I'd get to see happen. This is of couse some REALLY long-term planning. They first want to test the astronauts' voyage through simulations aboard the International Space Station and the Moon (our pretend Mars), which would probably last somewhere between 2-3 years. If that goes well, then they'd begin to put together plans for a real trip to the Great Beyond.

As an avid SciFi fan, I've read and watched about a hundred different writers' visions for what our lives would be like if we lived on different planets in the future. It's one of the final frontiers so the imagination can run wild with what might be out there. To think that these dreams may some day be a reality would be so amazing.

At this point I think that for sure I'll be around to see the first (wo)man walk on Mars. (Barring an untimely death on my part, or the Apocalypse.) And by the end of my life, I think I could even see people living on Mars, creating a new civilization, even. That would truly be remarkable. It's beyond words how I would feel if that happened.

With everything that's happening right now, I can't help but think back to the 50s and 60s, when the Cold War was icily raging, and everyone was living with a slightly nervous edge, or maybe even full-fledged fear. And then JFK turned that fear into competition and excitement when he turned the goal of the Cold War from potentially another world war into a race to the Moon. I think that's exactly the sort of thing we need now. Our economy's in a rut, our country is involved in a war that most people don't even want us to be in, gas prices are skyrocketing, and our politicians keep talking about how terrorists are out to get us so they're going to take away more of our freedoms. What we really need is a distraction from how crappy life is right now. And I think that distraction should be Mars.