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28 December 2009 @ 08:23 pm
Contest: What should David take to Mars?  
Over at the I'm going to mars! post, azahru points out that the ill-prepared character is often required to take command at some point, and martianmooncrab says "don't forget to take that random item that will save the mission and endear you to the Martians." threeoutside took that ball and ran with it, suggesting that it would be a cool contest. Why not?

So what (small, lightweight, inexpensive) random item should I take to Mars? threeoutside suggests a good old-fashioned church key, and beamjockey suggests an empty Burma Shave jar. What's your idea?

Winner gets a signed copy of Space Magic and an actual "Mars" rock.
Timapparentparadox on December 29th, 2009 04:40 am (UTC)
Take a towel!
Amy Sissonamysisson on December 29th, 2009 04:45 am (UTC)
I suppose a kitten is right out -- but they're small! And free! And everyone will love it (unless, you know, they're allergic or something). And it could save the day on Mars!
mklprc on December 29th, 2009 04:46 am (UTC)
Re: Mars
scarlettina: Science Geekscarlettina on December 29th, 2009 05:00 am (UTC)
Take a needle. You can use it to sew shut your torn space suit. You can use it to remove Martian splinters. You can use it to get that jammed CD out of the disc drive. Darn your socks. Sew your arm back on once that Martian lion has finished chewing on it.

You know--practical stuff.
Allan: Readingallanh on December 29th, 2009 05:18 am (UTC)
A copy of "Space Magic" signed by the entire Mars crew, and made available for a fundraising auction at the con of your choice.
David D. Levinedavidlevine on December 29th, 2009 05:20 am (UTC)
Is that the suggested random item, or an idea for a prize?
Allanallanh on December 29th, 2009 05:58 am (UTC)
The suggested random item, actually.

Although I suppose it would also make a fabulous prize.
angharaanghara on December 29th, 2009 05:46 am (UTC)
If I were being facetious I'd say a Magic 8 ball, for breaking a deadlock if a crisis decision gets bogged in one. But on the whole... I'd say chocolate. Good quality stuff. Save for emergencies. EVERTYHING seems better with chocolate, and I remember that MacGyver once used it to stop a leaking acid tank so it's gotta have practical uses, too. Chcocolate, I say.
Nancynancymcc on December 29th, 2009 06:02 am (UTC)
Take a small collection of safety pins.

A biggish one can substitute for a screwdriver after the real tool flies off the handle.

The point of one can be used to dig small holes or to puncture things, of course, or to make a little dotted line to be torn along.

Several can be chained together to simulate rope or string, and you can put bait on an open safety pin at the end (for the unexpected Martian life form).

You can fasten one to clothing or such to mark the location of some occurrence (like "the water came up to HERE!")

And of course, when everything is falling apart, a safety pin can really help you hold things together.
Kalimackalimac on December 29th, 2009 07:20 am (UTC)
"the water came up to HERE!"

On Mars?

That would really be something.
Nancynancymcc on December 29th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
Ayup. That's why I chose the example!
Julie Zetterberg Sardo: Sterilized With Fear!nebula5 on December 29th, 2009 06:26 am (UTC)
Duct/Duck tape.
Curtis C. Chensparckl on December 29th, 2009 07:40 am (UTC)
Clearly, the object must be: 1) of great sentimental value to you personally; and 2) made from some exotic material with unique or rare physical properties.

That way, when the time comes, you must sacrifice your beloved item--which is your only remaining link to a lost love/estranged family member/deceased mentor--in order to save the people you care about in the here and now.

Oh, wait, did you say Mars? For Mars you should take an umbrella. I'm serious. The biggest damn golf umbrella you can find. Trust me on this one.
Alisonbohemiancoast on December 29th, 2009 08:06 am (UTC)
A jar of Marmite. The Martians eat very well, but their food lacks that critical Marmite spark of savoury goodness. You give one of them a slice of toast and Marmite. At that point, one of two possibilities occur:

-- you are hailed a god and given the highest laurels:
-- you are thrown into jail and face execution as a poisoner.

One or the other. But which? Read on.
martianmooncrabmartianmooncrab on December 29th, 2009 08:24 am (UTC)
One of the space themed Mr Potato Head's ...
Kate: puzzle button: do you know this symbol?kateyule on December 29th, 2009 03:45 pm (UTC)
Shame on you, abusing a poor harmless apostophe like that!
R. Stuartwood_dragon on December 29th, 2009 12:30 pm (UTC)
My first thought was duct tape. Since someone already said that ... Lego. Fun to play with and you never know when you might need something just *that* shape.
Kate: puzzle button: do you know this symbol?kateyule on December 29th, 2009 04:02 pm (UTC)
Good responses, esp. the kitten (nothing more random than a kitten). But I think he'll save the day with the Casio CFX-200 he's had on his wrist daily since 1983.

Or a kazoo.

[note: linked web page is some other geek's, not David's.]

Edited at 2009-12-29 04:08 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous) on December 29th, 2009 04:12 pm (UTC)
Pretty much the first tool was a knife. Cut things when you can't get through. Cut food when it's too big to swallow. Cut people who are irritating you.

However, if you want to give the Martians an interesting lesson in human taboos, anthropology and anatomy, I suggest you get something from Sän at Lover's in Bellingham.
spencimusprimespencimusprime on December 29th, 2009 04:13 pm (UTC)
Woops, forgot to write that while signed into my account. The above comment is me.
biomekanicbiomekanic on December 29th, 2009 04:43 pm (UTC)
Might I suggest fire.

Multiple uses: to escape from ropes, use it to cleverly deal with guards, repairs to various items, and it can impress the natives, assuming they can't make their own. The original invention is still a good one.
Nobunobu on December 29th, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
Take a D20. Never know when you might have to roll a saving throw.
Rachel Swirskyrachel_swirsky on December 29th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
A runcible spoon.
kathrynmicekathrynmice on December 30th, 2009 02:02 am (UTC)
its not particularly light . . .
. . . but I think you should take one of those cool space pens that writes no matter where the center of gravity is and a boring old paper journal book.

Don't forget to have something to gift the aliens that show up out of the dark and save your hides.

qiihoskeh on December 30th, 2009 04:49 am (UTC)
Winner gets a signed copy of Space Magic and an actual "Mars" rock.

This is so tempting that I've been wracking my brains ... but all I can come up with is "American Express card".
(Anonymous) on December 30th, 2009 05:37 am (UTC)
What to take...
A book of matches and a single stick of Wrigley's Spearmint Gum.

By the way, how is this to be judged? What if David takes items A, B, and C, and realizes (only too late, of course) that he REALLY should have taken...oh, let's say...a book of matches and a single stick of Wrigley's Spearmint Gum?

Just askin'
Boothby171boothby171 on December 30th, 2009 05:39 am (UTC)
Re: What to take...
(that was me--Steve S.)
David D. Levinedavidlevine on December 30th, 2009 05:50 am (UTC)
Re: What to take...
Winner will be determined by a vote of the readers of this blog.
marshaldillonmarshaldillon on December 31st, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC)
Well, of course, a Tauntaun sleeping bag.

See it here: