Cool Toys pics of the day: Be a Martian

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Be a Martian:
http://beamartian.jpl.nasa.gov/

Today I saw an announcement of Microsoft’s new Townhall application,
which is part of Microsoft’s Campaign Ready collection of campaign
social media management tools. Townhall is partly social network for
politicians and partly crowdsourcing app for constituents. I had
intended to blog that, and then I saw a sidenote that said NASA was
already using parts of this. I bop over to visit NASA, and well,
everything else left my mind. “I want to be a Martian citizen” was the
first thing I saw. I just finished reading the famous Mars Trilogy (Red
Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars). I spent most of the last six months
placing what little precious time I had for reading into these
volumes, which I feel I need in hard bound library editions on my
shelf next to Shakespeare. After roughly six months immersed in the
evolution of Martian culture, you bet I want to be a Martian citizen!

Sign me up! and off I go. Or not. This is, true to advertising, a site
built in collaboration with Microsoft. That means to get much of
anywhere I am going to have to install Silverlight, which I loathe.
Slows my computer down so much I might as well give up trying to do
anything. So I don’t. However, despite that, it sure looks like a lot
of fun — deeply educational, promoting science, technology,
engineering, and more. Characters have a variety of biologically based
avatars to choose from, so I am guessing that means the life sciences
are also included. Likewise you can choose primary roles to play of
explorer, volunteer, knowledge creator, innovator, witness, learner. I
couldn’t make up my mind. I hope you can change roles once you get
into it.

Personally, I’m not sure just what the relationship is between a
political campaign and crowdsourcing tool and what seems to be an
astronomical and outer space roleplay game, but I hope to find out, if
you know what I mean. 🙂 Me, I’m off to the map room, to start
exploring. Cheers!

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