The Case for Mars by Dr. Robert Zubrin

The Case for Mars by Robert Zubrin

The Case for Mars by Dr. Robert Zubrin is a good primer about everything you need to know about humanity’s attempt to colonize Mars. The author, Dr. Zubrin, is an American aerospace engineer, author, and advocate for the human exploration of Mars.

As an engineer, his book has formulas and timelines, estimates, and analyses, so you’d need at least a Freshman college or university level of math, physics, and chemistry to make sense of them all. Don’t let that stop you; because the author offers you suitable history lessons and some good arguments favour tax-funded and commercial scientific endeavours to reach Mars. According to Dr. Zubrin, a human mission to Mars is entirely within reach even using late 1950s rockets, not computing, technologies.

Dr. Zubrin advises against building a Battlestar Galactical ship for this trip. Instead, he advocates living off the land and using local resources to make a two-way mission possible

It took about 250 days for the British navy to make it to Australia for the first time. Now with proper planning, we can go to Mars within only six months! Dr. Zubrin advises against building a Battlestar Galactical ship for this trip. Instead, he advocates living off the land and using local resources to make a two-way mission possible. We can send uncrewed spaceships and equipment to Mars in advance to use local Marsian resources to make rocket fuel and oxygen a round-trip to Mars possible.

If you follow NASA and SpaceX missions to Mars, this book will give you some good foundational knowledge to enrich your experience.

Vaccine passports aren’t a punishment

Vaccine passports aren’t a punishment. They are a means to protect the population from unvaccinated individuals who are potential hosts for pathogens and variants by removing them from public spaces.

In a pandemic such as this one, a population is only safe when 90% of the individuals are fully vaccinated. That is achieved by vaccinating as many people as possible and removing the individuals who won’t vaccinate. Otherwise, the virus will keep circulating in the population forever, making people sick, taking lives, and eventually bring down the economy and other infrastructures.

No vaccine is 100% effective, but it’s a very effective layer of protection in addition to the other layers of protection. Personal choice is for when you decide whether to take antibiotics, HPV vaccine or getting a nose job, where your decision only affects you.

In a pandemic, your choice of not getting vaccinated will put people in your community at risk. If it doesn’t kill someone in your immediate circle, the pathogen in your body will eventually harm someone a few degrees removed from you.

Your personal choice ends where other people’s safety starts. That’s how public health works.

Defying Limits by Dr. Dave Williams

Defying Limits by Dr. Dave Williams

After reading a dystopian novel such as 1984, I needed something more uplifting. Space travel is always uplifting, especially when it isn’t about billionaires flying to space. The book Defying Limits is by Dr. Dave Williams, an ER physician turned astronaut who was part of the first Canadian crew of astronauts.

This book is a super easy read and suitable for people of all ages, especially if they have big dreams. One of my favourite parts of the story is when they realized that their lab rats stopped feeding their babies in space, so the astronaut crew stayed up drip-feeding the baby mice. It turned out that mice enjoy playing in zero gravity.

Have you actually read 1984 by George Orwell?

1984 by George Orwell

Reading a dystopian novel during a world pandemic is probably not everyone’s cup of tea. I read 1984 before the COVID-19 lockdowns started, but you know what else I noticed? Many people who have been spreading misinformation online or feel inconvenienced when people hold them accountable draw the comparison with the 1984 novel that government, social media, liberals, or far-left are trying to censor them.

When you say “It’s Orwellian” or “It’s like 1984”, have you taken the time to read this book? Because I think you haven’t and you should. I think everyone should.

1984 by George Orwell” is a warning to all of us about authoritarian regimes that change the facts and rewrite history. It is a warning against mass surveillance and micro-managing people’s thoughts and behaviours.

There are no winners in this book; there is no happy ending. The only winners are the readers who will later advocate for fact-checking and evidence-based policies in the government. A healthy democracy requires a well-informed public; otherwise, it will turn into populism.

There is a bit of a romance happening in this book too, but as I said, it’s dystopian!

No is not enough by Naomi Klein

No is not enough by Naomi Klein

I finished this book about a month ago after the US election and the 46th US President’s inauguration. It talks about how the Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan type Neoliberalism eventually became the infrastructure that led to Populism and White Nationalism’s recent rise. There is a good discussion on how the centrist liberal democratic political parties only bring about social change incrementally. In contrast, social democratic parties aim for the overhaul of the system for the wellbeing of humanity and the environment.

This book was emotionally difficult to read before the US election. But when President IQ45 lost the election, I decided to continue reading it to the end because I knew there would be a happy ending.

I first learned about Naomi Klein when I was a university student. One day I saw her book No Logo in a bookstore. Then I heard her interview on the TeamHuman Podcast and decided to buy a couple of her books. If you are left with many questions about the world’s state since 2016, Naomi Klein has good explanations in this book.