Daily Archives: 02/18/2006

Here’s A Big Drag

A Stanford researcher is forecasting that the retirement age ‘will rise to 85’ by 2050 according to a BBC report. Guess who will be 82 in 2050? This doesn’t make me happy at all. All the more reason to live fast and die young.

In a bit more depressing news, he also expects 50 and 75 year mortgages to become common as people live these greatly extended lives. Of course if George W. Bush gets his way and HSA’s become more common, I suspect a great many folks won’t be enjoying those golden years.

Cahokia Mounds Gets A Little Larger

It took years of trying, but Cahokia Mounds State Park in Illinois finally got some money to purchase additional land adjacent to the existing park. The park currently protects 2,200 acres of the original 4,000 that comprised the ancient city, and the additional money will help acquire land from private farmers and homeowners in Collinsville.

Cahokia, a World Heritage site, was the center of a vast inland culture during the Mississippian Period from 800 AD to 1400 AD. The centerpiece of the site is Monks Mound, one of the largest mounds in the New World. The mound is over 100 feet high, and covers 14 acres at its base. The mound got its name from a Trappist monastery who lived nearby in the early 1800’s.

Dust Devils Of Mars

The Christian Science Monitor has a little piece on NASA’s Energizer Bunnies, aka the Mars Rovers Spirt and Opportunity. For two years now, the redoubtable rovers have been wandering the surface of Mars, and while parts are wearing out, both machines are still going strong. It is amazing, and apparently a big part of their longevity are regular scourings by Martian dust devils which keep the solar panels clear of dusty buildup.

I love this picture of the Martian sunset at Gusev Crater. It’s on my desktop computer at work. The small resolution doesn’t do it justice, open up the medium sized image hyperlink to get an idea of how cool this photo really is…

Martian Sunset at Gusev Crater