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By Scott Sullivan


Life on Mars

Italian researchers think signs of water under Mars’ south pole suggest life may exist on the red planet named for the old Roman god of war.

This is the best news since the 1960s sitcom “My Favorite Martian” starred Ray Walton as Martin, who’d crashed his spacecraft outside Los Angeles. He tried to blend with alleged earthlings there while fixing his ship to head home as soon as possible.

Uncle Martin, as his roommate Tim O’Hara (Bill Bixby) called him, could turn invisible, read minds, levitate objects by moving his finger and freeze people, among other skills public schools don’t teach us. Thank God Betsy DeVos hopes through vouchers to turn our children into billionaire aliens like her.

Italy has turned out scientists such as Fermi, Galileo and Marconi. When I traveled there 30 years ago, Eurail ran at 5-minute intervals depending on railworkers’ contract negotiations. Nothing like Verona viewed stop-and-go through a train car window.

Finally we reached nearby Germany. Thought Pullman and Saugatuck were different?

Italian scientists think the orbiting Mars Curiosity platform has found liquid water there that could support life as we know it on our planet. We can debate whether that’s a positive.

The platform to date has found only signs of subsurface ice. But based on radar waves that have bounced back to Curiosity, researchers think there may also be a lake under the pole some 12 miles in diameter.

Grab your beach towel, drop a few billion for travel to Mars and save on parking fees Saugatuck charges at Oval Beach.


Brian Wilson became far out dropping acid while with The Beach Boys. He not only didn’t surf, he was scared of water, writing songs in a sandbox he placed in his Hollywood Hills mansion.

Think Uncle Martin was odd? Picture us sending Wilson to other planets. Or another alien crashing near LA. asking Beach Boy Mike Love, “Take me to your leader,” and meeting Brian warbling “Good Vibrations” while a tuner cleaned the sand from his grand piano.

Water is needed for life, Wilson’s ears regardless. If its liquid form exists on Mars, primitive organisms and/or Michael Phelps may be swimming in it.

If it can be shown two planets in a single solar system harbor life, there could be far-reaching implications for abundant life everywhere in the universe, scientists say. Well, some of them …


I love Italy. The passion and spontaneity of so many folks I met there — not to mention food, art and history — make me hope its researchers are right.

German scientists? Ach! To suggest they might be more reticent and precise paints with too broad a brush. Maybe every five minutes they too, given new data bounced back to Curiosity, might change their predictions.


In my 20s I wrote a series about “The Alien” who kept looking for intelligent life on Earth. “The search goes on” each installment ended.

Now I’m not sure we know what intelligence is. The one indisputable source I can think of, Wikipedia, calls it “the ability to perceive or infer information and retain it as knowledge to be applied towards adaptive behaviors within an environment or context.”

With more information today than ever, why have we applied it to elect Donald Trump as president?

My theory — as neither a German, Italian or scientist, hence it can’t be disputed — is he’s a genius who gets that few people like complexity. What we lust for are simple binaries. Either it’s “good” or “bad” … “real,” fake,” “really fake” and such.


Radar wave vibrations are giving the likes of Trump excitations. Finding protozoa on Mars could launch him and tomorrow’s troglodytes to grow their political bases and rule the cosmos, a move long due.