Tuesday, July 12, 2016

An American Idea

By: Callie Ball


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you are looking for a vacation idea, here’s one: visit a National Park. With 390 parks to choose from there is no shortage of diversity. Take in the views from atop a volcano in Hawaii, witness climate change for yourself at Glacier National Park or traverse the labyrinth of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or just looking to reconnect with nature for a weekend, there is something for everyone.
Considered to be America’s best idea, it’s hard to imagine the United States without its National Parks. The idea to protect the best of nature dates back long before 1916 and the government declared vast amounts of land to be under federal protection before then. Yet, the idea was not welcomed by all. Many people had commercial, and therefore, political interests in the resources the Parks offer. But the idea really took off when Theodore Roosevelt became President. He and John Muir were the two main driving forces behind the protection of American land and by the time Roosevelt left office, over 100 million acres had come under federal protection.
Even though there was now a system in place to care for the nation’s natural treasures there was no order to it. If you wanted to visit the parks you had to blaze your own trail. There were no walking trails, information centers or guides; it was true wilderness. That changed in 1933 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into effect the Civilian Conservation Core or CCC. At the height of the Great Depression the CCC was a saving grace for the some 3 million Americans it employed. In its 9 years the CCC planted around 3 billion trees, constructed bridges and built over 13 thousand miles of trails.
So if you need to take a break from the modern, fast paced, technologically obsessed world we live in, visit a National Park. What you will see is the work of past generations and of present generations who believe that parts of this earth should be kept safe in all their magnificent beauty. With how fast the world is changing, it’s comforting to know that there will be a few things in this world that future generations will be able to see as we saw it.
“If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.” – Lyndon B. Johnson
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

First Natural Queen to be crowned in Charleston

By: Andrea Davis     

 
        Since April 2012, I embarked on what I call my “natural hair journey”-- by this I mean taking the scissors to my relaxed hair until all that was left was a teeny weenie afro that sat atop the crown of my head. Up until that date, I had been attached to the notion that I was only beautiful if I had long, bone straight hair streaming down my back. Since the age of twelve, I perched myself into the salon chair and endured the pain and nauseating smell of the “creamy crack” [relaxer] that was destroying every strand of my hair.  I would exit the chair with freshly relaxed hair, feeling like my hair was growing and thriving, when in reality my strands were being burned from my scalp and causing immense damage to otherwise healthy hair. I left the salons each time feeling beautiful and confident, but after a few weeks that feeling would fade when I reached to touch the back of my hair and felt my curls furiously tangling. The longer I went without a relaxer, the more unattractive I felt. Was this cycle going to be my life? Would I have to rely on a relaxer to straighten my kinky coils to fit into the societal standard of beauty? This cycle drained me until I had enough. As those scissors glided across the strands of my hair, ridding me of all the damage and unhealthy habits and products I’d put on my scalp, I felt liberated. The damaged hair that lay on the kitchen floor were symbolic of the pain and low self-esteem I had for myself in the name of beauty. Just like that hair, that ideology was getting thrown away. For the first time, I looked in the mirror and felt something I never truly felt before – beautiful. I saw in myself a confident person, with a passion for serving others and building success on my own merit. I didn’t need a relaxer to feel any more beautiful than I already was in my truest, natural form.

Pictured above are co-founders
of the Miss Naturally Crowned pageant
 (left) Jessica E. Boyd and (right) Maureen Ochola

    On December 2013, Jessica E. Boyd and Maureen Ochola, two entrepreneur and natural hair enthusiasts, founded a platform to give women such as myself the ability to not only embrace our natural kinks, curls, coils and dreadlocks, but to fund their own educations and businesses. They established the Miss Naturally Crowned pageant, which features all women ages 19-30 at different points in their natural hair journeys and in different stages of life. This unique, budget friendly pageant has been held exclusively in Columbia, SC since its conception . . . until now. The founders of the Miss Naturally Crowned pageant will be crowning the very first Miss Naturally Crowned Charleston on June 24, 2016 at The American Theater in Charleston. As the date looms closer, I can’t help but get more and more excited because out of many applicants who applied, I will be one of 9 ladies competing for the chance to fund my business and take home the crown!

       This is the first pageant I have ever done.  I am not experienced with walking a runway or strutting in heels. I’m a young mother, so flats and flip flops are amongst the top choices in my shoe arsenal these days. I also don’t own an elaborate ball gown to grace formal wear. So, why did I apply?

TTC Student and contestant in inaugural
Miss Naturally Crowned Charleston pageant, Andrea Davis

Because the title of Miss Naturally Crowned Charleston embodies who I am. I am a devoted wife of a veteran, a nurturing mother, an entrepreneur looking to take my bath and body business [Motherland Essentials] to the next level, and most importantly I am unapologetically and unconditionally me. This pageant is about making connections, creating opportunities, and embracing who you are and where you are. I am excited to be the example of where simply being yourself can take you. I encourage everyone to come out and show your support on this prestigious night. The first ever Miss Naturally Crowned Charleston will be a night of entertainment, inspiration, and excitement. Be there when history is made as the first Miss Naturally Crowned Charleston takes the throne!
The first Miss Naturally Crowned Charleston will be held on
June 24, 2016 at The American Theater in Charleston, SC.
Tickets are now on sale for the event.

Disney's Movie Remakes

By: Callie Ball

Even if you’re not an avid Disney fan you have probably still noticed that a majority of their new releases have been remakes. Remakes of some of the most iconic films that became instant classics and still have us humming their tunes.

Tunes like “The Bare Necessities” which was re-featured in Disney’s The Jungle Book live-action-remake, which debuted last month. And according to Forbes, had a domestic weekend opening of $103 million. Last year Disney gave us a Cinderella movie that had fans ecstatic months before it was to be released. They accomplished this by showing a sixty-six second trailer that showed nothing but the glass slipper. And this August the remake of Pete’s Dragon will hit theaters.

So far, every Disney remake has been considerably different from its original version, but what do these remakes have the originals don’t? Take 2014’s Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie, which took the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty and told it from the perspective of the character Maleficent. The 2015 Cinderella version is much darker than the original 1950's version, with no singing mice or animals helping her get dressed, the step sisters end up cutting of their feet and having their eyes pecked out.

Have you figured it out yet? What the remakes have that the originals do not?

Better plots, and stronger characters.

The prince is no longer the one to always jump in, kiss the girl and save the day. Characters don’t put their lives in the hands (or paws) of others all the time.

Disney has given us the old stories and made them new. With The Jungle Book they told us how it is better to be yourself and not always follow the pack. In Alice in Wonderland they proved a girl can be the hero. In Maleficent we saw that there is more than one kind of true love. And Cinderella showed us that having courage and being kind is always the best policy.
I doubt Disney will stop remaking the beloved classics since there is little risk for them. There is already a fan base and not a single of the recent live action remakes has flopped at the box office. Disney has already confirmed several more live action remakes and most aren’t expecting them to be anything less than phenomenal. Bryan Cogman from the Game of Thrones is said to have been signed on for the remake of The Sword in The Stone. This makes me wonder, how dark is Disney willing to go? Tim Burton is set to direct a live action Dumbo and Peter Hedges is signed to write the script for Pinocchio, and Alex Ross Perry is slated to direct the live action version of Winnie the Pooh. I hope they can continue on the high they have been riding, as well as not butchering any of our beloved childhood movies.

Friday, April 8, 2016

With an Excruciating Rotten Tomatoes Rating of 29

By: Terry Beyer

With an excruciating Rotten Tomatoes rating of 29, many began reading Batman vs. Superman its last rites before the doors even opened. I think these same critics would walk out on a Cary Grant classic because it had too many one liners or call Clint Eastwood a cliché tough guy. Walking into this movie a week after it came out, I was too busy hiding from spoilers on Facebook to build too much anticipation. Sitting mid theater with a large bucket of popcorn and collectible Bats Vs Sup's cup (I sprung for the extra 70 cents), I wanted only 3 things:

One: Batman and Superman to square off, see who can take and give a hit.

Two: No long drawn out origin story.

Three: Wonder Woman to join the party and not need the boys to fight her fights

Walking out, and keeping spoilers to a minimum, I was not disappointed. No one goes to see Batman Vs. Superman expecting a deep plot, relatable characters and emotional attachment (apart from special effects induced adrenaline, but hey I don't do roller coasters, gotta get it somewhere). I didn't want clean cut superheroes, fighting for justice and mankind. No! I wanted to see personal vendettas, human nature, and our heroes get a bit flustered. What's more, this movie opened the door to the DC universe that promised a darker superhero conglomeration, with a little grit and no small amount of awesome. As I sign off to go watch Arsenic and Old Lace (seriously, great movie, Cary Grant and Theodore Roosevelt make a great team), I tell you to go watch Batman Vs Superman and expect to see a superpowered face-off. You won't be disappointed. Take a skeptic with you. The extra 70 cents for the collector’s cup is worth it.

 
 
 

As We Saw During The Great Pollen Dusting of March

By: Terry Beyer
As we saw during the great pollen dusting of March, spring has sprung in the low-country. The days are warmer, the rain is more regular, and nature is giving us a green thumbs up to break out our pots and seeds. For the novice planter (me), there are a lot of unknowns.

For example, 96% of a plants nutrients are Carbon, Oxygen, and Hydrogen. Any plant not planted on the moon can find these in abundance. Among the 4% remaining, the larger part is Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), and Potassium (K). This is not as abundant in nature, but can be supplemented with fertilized dirt (potting soil). On the bag the NPK ratio will tell you the quantities of each element that is in the fertilizer.
 
Nitrogen, for green growth, is great for leafy vegetables. Phosphorous is for our fruits and flowering plants. It encourages healthy growth of the stems, buds, leaves and so on. Potassium is for the well-being of your plant. It encourages the plant’s immune system (they get bugs too), and plant metabolism. Think of it as a digestive aid for the daily meal of sun, water, and air. With this in mind (and hopefully armed with a better knowledge than I) try finding an NPK ratio that best fits what you are planting this spring.
 
The NPK ratio is only one of many factors to consider when doing spring potting and planting, but demystified, it at least makes sense. Take a look at what you're buying next time and hopefully this will see your green thumb do better than my grey one. Good luck and Happy Spring!




 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Requiem for a Dream

By: Mary Kiser

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


This movie reminds me of The Weeknd's Trilogy. It reflects the short Heaven and bitter Hell of drug use; it's the diesel in the needle that shoots you to the moon and back, and it's why Darren Aronofsky is one of my favorite directors. He's like a baker making a cake, combining all the necessary ingredients in order to make it both delicious and addicting. The movie is made with brilliant acting credited to Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans. They, along with powerful music that envelops the characters throughout the highs and lows of their usage, portray the "deviled" experience that junkies and tweakers can relate to all too well and ill.

If the "Just Say No" program doesn't work for you, I highly recommend this movie. It doesn't glamorize drugs and the users; instead, what seems like a promising painting, is smeared with the hard and harrowing facts of what continued pill-popping, dope-snorting, and needle-injecting can do to a person, and how it transforms them into a person they don't even recognize.



 

Fifty Shades of Crazy

By: Mary Kiser














I've written about presidential candidate Donald J. Trump before, half-heartedly joking that I'd love for him to be the GOP nominee, so I could drink beer and watch what I think is more of a reality TV circus than pressing political debates. But now that he's still in the race, with a whopping 736 delegates won, he is the front-runner for the nomination. And that's such a scary fact because facts don't lie, and that fact is the truth. The truth that Trump could secure the nomination; the truth that he could debate with either Clinton or Sanders; the truth that he could become the next POTUS, no matter how big or small his chances are against the Democrat nominee.

But, and that's a big "but," hence the italics, he has to start making some sense. Yes, I said it. He has to start using coherence and strong ideals mashed with fact. Otherwise, the only people that would vote for him would be his family, the affluent, and a portion of the easily influenced.

There are so many examples I could write about concerning Trump and his antics to aid my bully pulpit, but I'll refer to his comments on abortion, since those are his most recent spectacle. Later retracted, he believes that women should be punished if they choose to abort versus adoption or raising the child. Because of this outlandish comment, critics went wild with even more ammo to fire at Trump. So, he then said that the doctor should be punished and not the woman.

Now, both Cruz and Kasich say women shouldn't be punished, but their policies portray a different story. Cruz favored the shut down of the federal government in order to "block Planned Parenthood Funding," which hurts women who want basic healthcare for themselves and their sex lives. Kasich, on the other hand, has signed seventeen anti-abortion tactics into law since 2011.

So, these are your three. Donald J. Trump might be a little more bold and brash about his political stance, but he truly does reflect what the GOP wants for America. And if this isn't what you want for our country, then go out and vote. It's so crucial and vital, especially now when racism, sexism, and xenophobia have skyrocketed at an all-time high within the Republican Party.

http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20160331/blog/160339975

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Exciting Things Happening in the English Department

By: Dr. Roger West

While South Carolina’s state bird, the mosquito, thrives in stagnant, smelly water, we in the halls of the English department have been working hard to offer free-flowing, continuously changing waters. We strive to provide students with new and exciting courses that keep pace with the ever changing academic tide.  The 2016-2017 academic year will bring several courses never offered before, which are structured to elevate you, our students, to meet the writing demands of the digital-age professional world.
 
In Summer 2016, you can sign up for ENG 299.001, a Special Topics in English course, “Film and the American Novel,” taught by Ed Macy.  This course will examine some significant 20th century American novels and the films that these novels inspired. Among the novels and films that will be assigned are Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men and Stephen King’s The Shining. Don’t miss out on a great learning experience and an entertaining way to earn college credits.

In Fall 2016, ENG 214, the Fiction genre class, will be titled “Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll.”  The readings will focus on novels from the 1960’s, with some lyrics from the music of that era, especially those written by Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison, added to enhance the experience.  Novels assigned for the class will include Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Richard Farina’s Been Down So Long It Looks like Up to Me.  And no course on the literature of that decade can ignore Hunter S. Thompson and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. While there will not be a dress code for the class, bell bottoms and tie-dyed shirts are encouraged.
 
Some other changes that are coming in Fall 2016 involve the Professional Writing Certificate, which students may earn by taking additional courses focusing on creative and workplace writing instruction.  The certificate program still has ENG 238 (Creative Writing), ENG 260 (Advanced Technical Communication), and JOU 101 (Introduction to Journalism), there have been additional courses added to the curriculum.  ENG 242 (Advanced Creative Writing) will allow interested students to take an additional course related to some aspect of writing fiction or poetry.  The emphasis of the course will change from semester to semester and will provide a more focused study of various aspects of writing, such as narration or character development, or types of writing, such as memoir or creative non-fiction.

Another new course will be ENG 265, Advanced Professional Communication. This course will focus on various types of workplace writing outside of that covered in ENG 260.  The course will focus on writing proposals and the various types of business-related reports students will need the skills to do as they enter the job market.  Students will also learn how to make effective workplace presentations as a part of the course curriculum.
 
Probably the most exciting course addition to the Professional Writing Certificate curriculum is ENG 263, Writing for Social Media. Social media, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or any of the other platforms, provide the most pervasive method to communicate with a large audience.  The course will provide instruction in how to write for social media to achieve your desired outcomes.  Just look closely at how Facebook exposes its many users to ads for a plethora of products and services, just as many organizations and individuals get people to “like” or support them, through their posts.  It is all about written communication, and the skills to be able to do this will continue to be important in the job market.

Because we cannot regularly offer courses in all the types of writing students may be interested in learning the skills for, we will periodically offer ENG 299, Special Topics in English, courses that will provide the opportunities for students to learn how to write for other areas. In Spring 2017, ENG 299 will be Collecting and Writing About Folklore.  This course will focus on the skills for recognizing and gathering folkloric artifacts and then how to present those findings for a reading audience.  Part of the course will have students exploring the rich folkloric tradition of the Lowcountry and then reporting on it.

Because the college has four campuses, it is difficult to provide these courses on each campus.  We will be offering these courses in a Mixed-Mode format at both the Main and Palmer Campuses, but most of these courses will also be available in an online format.  Even if students don’t want to complete the Professional Writing Certificate, they can take any of these courses to enhance their educational experience and marketability in the job search.

The two most important skills any person can have, not only in searching for a career, but in living a full life, are the abilities to read and write.  The Department of English and Journalism at Trident Technical College strives to help all of our students develop those skills.

 
 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

America's Losing the War on Drugs

By: Mary Kiser

 
Not many people understand addiction and the science behind it. What is considered a brain disease is highly stigmatized by American society as a personal problem due to a lack of motivation and an unwillingness to change. While those two factors can be incorporated into why a person wouldn't stop using, it does not account for the entire eight slices of pie.
Wake up, America! Drug addiction is a mental illness that can create havoc on the victim's brain which can lead to, or enhance a slew of mental disorders, such as: depression, anxiety, and/or schizophrenia. Since a patient is more than likely to deal with multiple issues coinciding with cravings and withdrawal, diagnosis and treatment can be complicated due to this type of comorbidity.
Ronald Reagan declared the "War on Drugs" on October 14, 1982 as a major threat to the United States. His wife implemented her own opinion on the matter by stating, "Just say no." when a child asked her what to do if someone offered drugs. People who don't fully understand just how complicated the disease of addiction is are more than likely to agree with the 40th president and his wife. However, people who have lived with this brain disease or have seen it in the flesh know differently. Addicts don't get better by serving more prison time. They get better by recognizing that using was only a symptom of a much bigger problem that they were trying to mask.
Even though the drug policies today haven't been significantly altered, the Obama administration does not endorse the phrase "War on Drugs" because they believe it to be "counterproductive." Until America delves deeper into the root causes of addiction, she will only continue fighting a losing "war" with addicts free-falling further into the rabbit hole.
Websites:






Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Universe of Love

By: DLH

Universe of Love
 Our love is like the universe
It’s forever lasting
We might have black holes
Sucking up all the bad moments
Until they explode into arguments
But as time goes by we build
Beautiful and fascinating planets
These represent our good memories
While our children shall be galaxies
And they shall build planets like we have
Then this cycle shall continue forever

Holiday Heartbreak

 
         When I think about Thanksgiving, I think about the Silver Linings Playbook. Both Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper play broken characters that have fallen in their personal lives, but strive for their silver lining. He wants his wife back, and she wants him. Viewers experience the raw passion and pain that these two people are going through, and it shows a different side to the holiday while keeping the traditional excitement of good food and football. My own memories of Thanksgiving aren’t as hectic or heartwarming, but I share them with my loved ones in a home that’s a haven. During this time, we forget about our petty arguments and unresolved issues to focus on what we have and all that we shouldn’t take for granted.
 
          This November 26, 2015 will mark another Thanksgiving with the turkey as the centerpiece, and the TV remote being voted most popular. The Panthers are going to play the Cowboys at 4:30, and most people in South Carolina are going to have their forks and napkins ready. While most of us will be surrounded in warmth and comfort, let’s not forget about Paris and Syria. Innocent civilians are dying from brutal attacks, whether they’re from the government or rebel forces, such as IS. We’re filling our bellies with collard greens, macaroni-and-cheese, and sweet potato casserole, and somewhere in Syria a mother is mourning the death of her child. We’re going to watch football through a sleepy haze while Paris deals with the aftershock of terrorism. When we sit down with our family and friends, let’s remember to honestly thank God for what we have and who we have. Let’s remember to say a prayer for Paris and Syria.
 Websites

 

Just Let It Be and Breathe

By: Mary Kiser


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


It started with a text.

After flip phones were introduced to the public in 1989, messaging people as if it were like drinking water later became the newest trend in ’93. Gone were the days of kitchen-phones attached to clunky, coiled wires. Gone were the days of asking Mrs. Smith if he could speak to her daughter. And gone were the days of awkward calls with your significant other as your parents listened in on the other line. 20th century America and 21st century America are like fraternal twins: the two share many similarities, but the rapid growth of technology has been forever ingrained in the latter’s DNA. Therefore, our generation is more accustomed to the impersonal <3 or ;) than actual conversations and physical connections.

I have to admit that I am part of the millions of teens that squeal over a new iPhone, especially since I love texting an emoji or nine, listening to music through YouTube, or stalking irrelevant celebrities’ Instagram accounts. However, it can create problems of disconnection, isolation, and plain existence as more people, especially teens, become more in love with their screens versus the potential faces they could be seeing. Technology advancement definitely has its advantages, like being able to find a missing child quicker, or contacting a mother you never had the chance to know. Don’t let those perks fool you! Be aware of the disadvantages just as much as you’re aware of your best friend’s drama. A good book or outdoor activity usually doesn’t lead to a lack of sleep, a catfish scandal, or trouble with your parents, anyways. J 

August: Osage County

By: Mary Kiser
 

My admiration for Meryl Streep runs deep. Any movie she stars in is bound to be box office gold. Her emotions are real. They're raw. When people see her on the big screen, they can feel her passion through the character’s words and actions. She's the white Oprah Winfrey of movie performances. You feel like you've just won a new car every time she spins everyday words into jaw-dropping scenes.

One of her lesser known films, August: Osage County, is about a dying matriarch struggling with both addiction and the sudden death of her husband, played by Mr. Sam Shepard. Her family come to Oklahoma to support her during this tough time, and that's when drama about life, love, and death ensue between Meryl Streep's character Violet and her three daughters played by Juliet Lewis, Juliette Nicholson, and the amazing Julia Roberts.

If you're in the mood for a dramedy, then this is the perfect movie to watch in 2016. You'll laugh; you'll cry, and you'll learn a thing or two about just how complicated life is no matter how old you are.

Man to Cyborg

By: DLH

Man to Cyborg


 Why do I have feelings?

They’re just worthless emotions

That us stupid humans have

So I shall sacrifice

My love, caring, etc.

And become a emotionless machine

Not having these inferior feelings

So I can’t go through pain

And put others through it

 

Love Fading

By: DLH
 
 Love Fading
 
 Our love fades each day we talk to each other
We push each other away to escape the pain
Each day worse than the last
My love for you is slowly becoming hate
Why won’t you make things better?
Do you want someone new?
Or do you want us
It’s all up to you because I’m here to stay
But maybe I’m just something temporary
You say you give up on this
I leave forever hurt
Wishing I could give you the things that you want
But I guess you just didn’t want me
 
 

 

Donald Duck

By: Mary Kiser

         

               When I turn on the television, and I see something Donald Trump related, I always turn up the volume and get a case of beer ready. From his fake birth certificate to his radical rants concerning Muslim-Americans and terrorism, Mr. Trump has proven himself to be the biggest quack out of all the remaining 2016 GOP candidates. His lack of empathy and insight are only drops in a bucket compared to his absence of moral code and character. He says whatever he wants, whenever he wants, and to whomever he wants. A paragon would be when he mocked Serge Kovaleski’s physical condition, known as arthrogryposis, in front of a rally in our very own southern-charm state of S.C., where several people in the video’s background appear to be laughing at his cruel insensitivity.
          Personally, I don’t think Donald Trump is this evil force who is secretly plotting the downfall of American civilization; however, I do think that he is a shining example of the playground bully who never learned his lesson because he’s always known how to play the game. And as much as I disdain any and all things Trump related, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he receives the 2016 Republican Presidential Nomination. I’d love to see him compete against (hopefully) Hillary Clinton. Even though America can’t always count on a reliable, reflective, and reserved Republican nominee, it always gets its ass. And I’m not referring to the Democrat.

Consumption

By: DLH
Consumption

 The sun is going to sleep

And the moon is rising

The dark side of the night arises

They come to corrupt you

But it’s your choice to fight it or join them

They give you everything you want to consume you

They will make you a slave of the night

You will never be able to escape their grasp

They will use you until you are useless to them

Then leave you confused and lonely

Unable to recover from this curse they have given you

You will forget who you were

And become a ghost in a shell

 
 



 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

NASA and Mars

By Levena Lindahl

A really exciting fact came from NASA on November 4th, and it might affect future trips to the red planet.  During the press conference, NASA confirmed evidence that liquid water flows on Mars, an announcement that is incredibly important to the question of, “Could there be life on Mars?”  This also is important for the possibility of future human colonies on Mars, as water is essential for life.


As seen here, these dark lines called recurring slope lineae, are thought to have been formed by contemporary flowing water, though it must only be present intermittently.  The bands come from hydrated salts and the mineral pyroxene.  The streaks ebb and flow, seeming to darken during warmer seasons, and fading during the cooler seasons.  The bands have also been seen in several locations on Mars.

The water on Mars would be briny, kind of like what would be found in runoff in areas that salt roads during the winter.  Briny or not, the shallow run off is enough to be noticeable by scientists here on Earth.  What makes this briney water special is the presence of minerals called perchlorates.  These are important because they have the ability to keep liquids from freezing in temperatures as low as -94 degrees Fahrenheit. 

This discovery of water on present day Mars is exceptional due to the fact that, before this, all discussions of water were about ancient or frozen water, not water that is currently there.  This lets scientists learn and discover how life could be supported on Mars and what resources are there to support life now and in the future.

If you’d like to read more on this, check out NASA’s website at http://nasa.gov !