Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Fools of April

Google always finds a neat trick for April Fools. This year, Google combined with Virgin to create Virgle: The Adventure of Many Lifetimes. It is the chance to colonize Mars!

They did a really nice job creating a 100 year plan (check out the escape pods from Virgle City), as well as testing your potential to noting that Mars will be an “open source planet.”

It’s very funny and worth taking their “Test Your Pioneering Potential” quiz. My two favorite questions were:

Q: If I was unexpectedly confronted with the emergence of a bewilderingly alien and frighteningly advanced Martian life form which appeared bent on killing me if I failed to quickly and effectively communicate my peaceful intentions and potential value to its civilization, I would

a) Die
b) Whip out my handy universal transcorder and start schmoozing my ass off.
c) Well, given that there's no such thing as a transcorder that works for a Martian language that we haven't even heard yet, I guess I'd just do my best to seem non-threatening while communicating my peaceful intentions with subtly universal hand gestures.
d) Run straight toward the Martian while screaming wildly and brandishing whatever weapon happens to be handy.

(I picked “A”. “D” was a close second…)

Q: A multi-stage heavy lift rocket built using established solid and liquid propellant technology with solid boosters doubled for increased payload capability could start a burn for insertion into a lunar trajectory and then back toward Earth for final insertion into a modified Hohmann Transfer Orbit, increasing its final Earth-to-Mars transfer velocity through a periapsis delta-v burn performed at the closest lunar and subsequent Earth approach, with the additional delta v gained on account of the potential energy from the mass of expended propellant,

A) Actually, I would think fairly quickly and easily
B) Only with significant time and fuel expenditure
C) My SAT tutor said to always guess C if you aren't sure
D) goo goo ga ga hee hee ha ha

(I picked “C”)

I’m curious how many people believed and signed up

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