Building blocks of life are not life or even really close, but they are hopeful signs.  NASA has announced that the Curiosity rover has found signs of the building blocks of life, as we know it, on Mars.   

These building blocks are common throughout the cosmos.  Even in interstellar clouds.  To have life, as we know it, requires liquid water.  Remember the signs of liquid water found on Mars back in 2011? Since then it has been convincingly argued that they may have just be flows of fine sand grains without water being involved at all.  Further study continues.  

While there is strong evidence of water in the past on Mars, and I’d bet my pension on the discovery of at least microfossils on Mars, current day life anywhere near the surface is unlikely. 

In astrophysics and astrobiology there is a simple saying where there is (liquid) water there is life. Right now Mars is a global desert.   At least above the surface. 


Miscellaneous News:
Here are a few items those who follow this blog may find interesting. 
The union which represents Adjunct Faculty, Librarians, and Vocational lecturers at City Colleges of Chicago, has inked a contract deal.  It raises our salary to about $3000 per course.  Before that deal I had students, who made more than me working full time at Burger King.   As part of a four person negotiating team I had a hand in closing a deal of Chicago wide consequence. 

The research I have conducted lately of quantum gravity… “relativization” of quantum field theory has reached a puzzling plateau.  I am working on a result which may show that the anthropic principle is inevitable.  That even when one has a mathematical equation, a differential equation, for choosing our universe out of all the possible ones a theory of everything could describe, the choice of boundary and/or initial conditions can only be done on anthropic terms.   It is very hard to prove that there is no way out of this principle since it is possible some new form of math could do away with it. 

On a very personal note, I will be going post op in the 4th week of July 2018.   If only it was this easy.  In reality it will be a painful rite of passage (Search and you can find numerous videos on the pain) for which I have prepared mentally and physically for years after deep thought.   I can personally attest to the pain of having electrolysis in the personal region.