Monthly Archives: May 2013

A Mission to Mars-Primary Hazard

For today’s blog I am going to put on my Science Fiction writer hat. I am in the middle of writing the third book in my “SETI Anthology”, so maybe it’s appropriate.

I just listened to a News Telecon from NASA, audio only with graphics, about the Mars Curiosity Rover radiation findings on its transit from Earth to Mars. The MSL was launched on November 26, 2011. Findings from the Radiation Assessment Detector located on top of the spacecraft but underneath the protective shroud as it journeyed to the Red Planet, were a bit unsettling.

The Radiation Assessment Detector for the Mars Science Laboratory monitors high-energy atomic and subatomic particles from the sun.

The three scientific investigators on heard in todays audio Teleconference spoke in somewhat arcane and scientific terms about the findings with an occasional break into understandable language that came up with the following conclusions: Radiation  bombarding the astronauts inside a space vehicle on its way to Mars would be dangerous, high and could cause cancer and death. Well, there goes the manned mission to Mars. However, new spacecraft design, not yet complete, with a surrounding jacket of water included around the outer layers of protection for the space vehicle, could mitigate that danger. Theory being, water, which contains large amounts of hydrogen, is a wonderful insulator against radiation. Layers of other shielding beneath that plus food storage, also containing water, could then make the trip to the fourth planet from the Sun, feasible.

The transit radiation danger to astronauts on their way to Mars is not a new revelation. Scientists have known about it for some time. What the RAD device has done is provide additional in-transit and hard data that this danger does exist.  Once on Mars, the radiation is less because the planet blocks radiation to a certain percentage. But there is no Van Allen Radiation belt that protects the red planet like we have here on Earth.

I guess my point here is that there is a long way to go before these challenges to a Mars Mission are overcome. You have, of course, everything else that could happen…illness or injury to astronauts in transit, micrometeorites, equipment malfunction (toilet stops up?), sudden emotional stress or insanity, love triangles and on and on.  These guys and gals will be locked up in a bus-sized space vehicle for six months. Lotsa research and testing going on now to accomplish the task, but we are still not there.

Now if someone could crack the propulsion limitations so we could travel faster and get there sooner, then many of these issues go away. You travel there in 30-60 days, let’s say. You land and there is a treasure trove of pre-positioned supplies sent earlier in the mission and waiting for you. It is possible; it’s just a matter of figuring it out.

But there’s not much you can say when an astronaut suddenly looks up from his freeze dried tuna fish casserole and says…”Are we there yet?” Not quite. We have a ways to go.

Write Your Own Book, Make Some Cash

In the Introduction to my new book I wrote the following:

I saw a YouTube video not too long ago that featured a video clip from the Dick Cavett Show. Incidentally, this talk-interview show was taped at an adjunct ABC Studio at 1313 Vine Street where I used to work for a while during my long career at ABC-TV.

Dick was interviewing Truman Capote. He asked Capote if good writing could be taught. Capote did not hesitate. “No,” he replied. “It can’t be taught, either you can write or you can’t.”

Not so, I say. Yeah, if you are writing like Truman Capote you can’t teach that gift from God. It is born skill that some people have. Many have that skill and don’t work to develop it. Some, like Capote, recognize they have that skill and work and work and work at it. They hone their craft. They increase their vocabulary. They create a style. But there is no reason why you can’t rise to some level of competence and skill.”

And I believe that. I also believe that you can write a 25 or 35 or 50 page book about your passion, hobby or knowledge in some specific area. Whether it is baking a cake, knitting, photography, raising a newborn baby or painting a picture, you can write about it. Remember the old 50’s TV series, “Learn How to Draw with Jon Nagy.” Uh oh, I just dated myself. That’s what I’m talking about, except it’s about writing an eBook and not painting.

There are others out there in the world who are trying to develop that skill of cooking, want to know how to make tons of money, or whatever skill they want to develop that could be your potential audience. People want to know what you know and how you do what you do. The easiest way to teach them is to write an eBook. Write an eBook on a subject that many many many people are clamoring to learn about. It could be fun and you could make some money. Now I have your attention.

I wrote “Write & Publish Your Ebook-10 Steps to Success” to help you develop some simple skills that could lead you to a completed eBook posted on Kindle, Nook, KOBO, iBooks and to success.

I just published this “How To” book on Amazon Kindle, Barnes&Noble Nook, and KOBO Books…coming soon to the Apple iBooks store. The easiest way to get direct links, to read the book description, and download the book, selling for $2.99, is to go to my website, Check it out…tnx, till next time.





Dewey, Cheetum and Howe…the famous law firm that Johnny Carson used to joke about. Johnny who? Okay, for the younger crowd…he was the host of the Tonight Show, on the almost now defunct NBC Network.  He was host before Jay Leno, who was host after Conan O’Brien, who was host after Jay Leno, who was host after Johnny Carson. Ya with me? I don’t know if I’m with me….anyway.

The fictional law firm of Dewey, Cheetum and Howe tried to live up to its firm name. That reminds me of…how’s that for a segue…the plethora, the horde, the extreme number of marketing-type-people on YouTube and on the blogosphere and with dozens of websites who are making money by telling you how to make money…on the internet or YouTube or with your website or Pinterest or Facebook news feed, you get the idea. Besides all of the backlink, SEO and other promotional tricks, I have noticed that they keep preaching…”…write exciting content that people want to read…” Yeah, and that is what? What content? And that’s the question they never answer specifically.  That and how to write that content

Okay, well, I will answer that for you. Write what you know, write what you love. Simple. It’s a basic tenant taught by every script doctor, English professor, and successful writer, writing big 100,000 word novels or columnist writing columns distributed through the web or syndicated to 500 newspapers.

Do you have a skill, a hobby, a love of something, an interest, a curiosity? You must be good at something. You must have been trained to do something. Perhaps you have a vivid imagination. Can you sit at the dinner table and weave a good yarn?

That is the overriding foundation for being able to tell a good non-fiction story, explain clearly a skill or give decent advice on “How To” fix or accomplish some goal in life. If you can do that then you can write it down into a blog, or better yet into a book. It doesn’t have to be a long book but it has to be something someone can learn from or find enjoyment with as they read. Therefore, you can sell an ebook on Amazon Kindle, Barnes&Noble Nook, KOBO Books or iBooks. You can do this.

That is what I am doing, both non-fiction and fiction. My non-fiction books are my interests, my fiction books spring from my vivid and sometimes wild imagination.

Now for the Net-Net as I used to say in my creepy corporate management past. I can tell you how I have come to post up and sell over 20 books on those ebook sellers. I have been writing for a long time and I have learned a great deal about how to write. The question is how I should pass this information along to you. What I am considering is to drop a few pearls of wisdom here on this blog, then package the rest into an ebook and post it up on Kindle, Kobo, iBooks and Nook.

My question to you is…DO YOU WANT ME TOO? If you say no, you won’t hurt my feelings. If you say yes, well then I will deliver for you both here in my blog and in an ebook.

Tell me what you think about all of this. Comment below or go to www.frederickfichman.comand fill out the Contact box.