Mars and Buddhists and That.

It’s February. And it’s raining cats, goats, and paper cranes. It’s been a while since my last post, so I wanted to give a quick update. Since the last post happened, I’ve taken and passed my written exams for my Ph.D. (hooray!) and finished putting together my dissertation. I’ll be defending in less than 2 weeks, — exciting times!

I’ve also been reading. I grabbed this from Bombshell Comics’ (formerly Comics’n’Stuff) bargain bin over Christmas break because the cover was just too cool to pass up:

first issue of Wheatley and Hempel's "Mars"

first issue of Wheatley and Hempel’s “Mars”

I did a little research and found that the whole series (it didn’t run very long, 12 issues) was re-issued as a paperback a few years ago, so I got a copy of that to see if the rest lived up to what the first issue promised. It kinda did. The story’s interesting and the art is fun, but there’s (for me) a sort of disconnect between issue 7 and 8. Like there’s an issue missing? Anyway.

The story is this: a small group of specially chosen people gets sent to get Mars ready for colonization. The plan is to initiate terraforming, and then hibernate until Mars is habitable. Just after the ship leaves Earth, however, something happens and all contact with home is lost.

The central character here is Morgana Trace, (brilliant) daughter of a scientist. Having lost her ability to walk trying to save her father, she’s focused all her energies on furthering his work regarding brain/computer connectivity. Her breakthrough is part of what makes the mission possible in the first place.

When she wakes from hibernation, she’s the only one left on the ship, everyone else seems to have gone down to (now livable) Mars. She’s determined to find out what happened, and why she got left behind. Turns out Mars isn’t just home to vegetation and her crew mates. Something bigger, more powerful has taken up residence, too.

I’ve also started reading The Essence of Buddhism — An Introduction to Its Philosophy and Practice by Traleg Kyabgon.

I had a vague idea of what Buddhism stands for, but have wanted to understand it better for some time now, and a few months ago, I got a hold of a free review copy of this one. I’ve been looking forward to reading it!

The book is well-written: clear and accessible, with a sensible structure. It starts with the basics of Tibetan Buddhism in general before moving on to more specific things, i.e. the ideas of Kagyu (=”oral lineage”) Buddhism.

Working on the dissertation has kept me from getting very far in this book, but now that my work is on the committee’s desks,  I can go back to reading for a couple of days. I’ll post on this one in more detail when I’ve finished (or nearly finished) it.

Before I leave, have a cat. Seeing how much time I spent trying to figure out how to format page numbers differently for different parts of the same document in Word (which I don’t use — I’m a Pages person normally), this seems appropriate:


About annette.c.boehm

words escape me.

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