Retire to Mars! Quality condominiums starting at only 300,000
This is where it all started. Ever since
1877 when Giovanni Schiaparelli thought he saw features on the surface
of Mars that looked like canals the picture of Mars that would
dominate the public mind for nearly a
century was becoming established. Mars
was once a world of green fields and wide oceans,but
being a much older world than Earth,
the oceans were drying up like my credit rating
and the Martians were struggling to keep
their ancient, advanced civilisation alive by building a giant network
of canals to bring water from the polar ice caps to the equatorial
regions before they turned entirely to deserts. Edgar Rice
Burroughs had a field day with this in his Barsoom stories; depicting
a dying world where colourful half-barbarians roamed on the dry sea
beds in search of high adventure and large-breasted
women with brass brassieres .
In the top picture by Paul, we can see his version of the Martian
cities. Here is a great technological metropolis nestled on the
banks of a canal that has been cut straight as a die. The dim
Martian twilight is lit by giant globes on great towers pierced by
monorail tubes while strangely coloured crops are tended below.
The title picture of this
page shows just how far we've come in how we see the future. The
idea that Mars was alive was a perfectly respectable position in the
'30s. Even scientists who declared Mars a "dead"
planet admitted that there were probably mosses and lichens to be
found. Mosses and lichens! Today,
we are calmly told that finding a fossil bacterium on Mars
would throw us into an
existential shock from which human
civilisation might never recover. We have definitely lowered the bar.