Join me while I explore our homeworld.


    On my way to Utah to see the Mars Desert Research Station, I took a side trip north to Hot Springs, South Dakota to see the mammoth site.

     A bulldozer was clearing land for a construction site when a mammoth bone was uncovered. Archaeologists were called and they discovered a bonanza that has resulted in 53 mammoths to date as well as short-faced bears and the bones of many other animals.

     A museum was built directly over what turned out to be where a sinkhole had been thousands of years ago. Animals fell in and never escaped, starving to death or drowning in the pool of water that collected at the bottom. You can find out more about this museum and the people who work there by going to their website at www.mammothsite.com. While you are there, go to the newsletter section and you'll find a picture of me at the very bottom, just after Aaron Tippon. He was there to make a movie segment a few weeks before I visited.

     Here are a few pictures of when I was there.

Rick (that's me) in front of the assembled skeleton of a mammoth, Sinbad. A full sized mammoth skeleton replica, exhibited in the Visitor's Center of the Mammoth Site.

If you want to see more of these extraordinary beasts go to www.mammothsite.com/exhibits.html.

Sinbad, mammoth skeleton replica.
Mammoth pit dig behind Rick

Me (Rick) in front of the sinkhole, mammoth pit dig.
I waited till most of the people in my tour group had left the area and noticed a woman taking pictures. I offered to take a picture of her in front of the dig if she would take a picture of me. She replied, "You don't have to take a picture of me, I work here. I'm taking pictures for our web site, but I'll take a picture for you."

I'd like to thank Kathy Anderson for taking this picture for me.

If you want to here more about sinkholes go to this link: www.mammothsite.com/geology.html

Malon and Kathy Anderson in the bone vault room. This is where most of the bones are kept both before and after their passage through the preparation room. Notice the book that Kathy is holding? I gave them a copy of Universal Magic for their open friendship and the time they spent with me.

Malon & Kathy Anderson
Bone preparation room.

That's me in the bone preparation room. When bones are retrieved from the mammoth dig, they are brought here, to be further cleaned and treated for extended preservation. I was given a special tour of the room by Kathy's husband, Malon Anderson, who also makes resin replicas of the bones found to be used for display and school lectures so the real bones are not endangered through constant use and exposure to the elements and excessive handling.

Malon said he gives those special tours to at least one person each day from the visitors who pass through the mammoth dig.

If you're interested in visiting The Mammoth Site go to this page, www.mammothsite.com/location.html.
When you arrive, just scroll to the bottom of the page for the map.

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In the January '03 issue of Astronomy (www.astronomy.com) magazine there is an article about the Mars Society's Desert Research Station in Hanksville, Utah. The Mars Society, without any help from government funding, has used private donations to build a replica of a Mars habitat in the desert of Utah.

If you decide to make a trip to Utah to visit the Mars Society Desert Research Station, don't expect them to invite you in to visit. These are serious scientists who are conducting a serious experiment. When they are in residence at the station, they are in as real a simulation of their experiment as possible. They live inside the habitat for the entire time and when they do come out, it is through the back door, that is in a design of an airlock. They dress in full environmental suits, enter the airlock, and cycle the doors as if the outside is the atmosphere of Mars. Except during emergencies where they may break simulation, they stay suited the entire time they are outside, while performing geological and atmospheric experiments as if they are on Mars.
First view of Research Station

My first view of the Mars Society Desert Research Station.

If you'd like more spec you can look at the actual MDRS Hab Operations Manual at the links below.

www.marssociety.org/MDRS/docs/OpsManR7.pdf
or
www.marssociety.org/MDRS/docs/OpsManR7.doc

The Mars Society Desert Research Station with the Musk Mars Observatory to the left. The generators are hidden from view behind the Station.

(Look at the size comparison of my car and the MDRS.)

Statoin w/ Observatory to left.
Rick sitting against Obseratory.
Me in front of the Musk Mars Observatory. More links to check out the Observatory.
www.marssociety.org/mdrs/musk/msimages.asp
www.marssociety.org/mdrs/musk/msobs01.asp

That's me in front of the Mars Society Desert Research Station. Nobody was home because, who wants to be locked up in an enclosed cylinder in 100 plus degree summer weather with minimum funds to provide air conditioning.

If you would like to view more information about Mars go to: www.celestron.com/mars/index.htm

Mars Station
Goblin State Park
After leaving Hanksville, I stopped at Goblin State Park, where the rock monster scene for Galaxy Quest was filmed. I didn't see any cute, toothy aliens or a rock monster. I also left three copies of my novels for the park rangers to read when they get bored.

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The Hollywood Theater was the location of the 2003, H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival (www.hplfilmfestival.com).

The Festival is dedicated to the writings of H. P. Lovecraft and is the creation and inspiration of Andrew Migliore. Dedicated to the artistic attempts of amateur filmmakers, Andrew's film festival draws entries from coast to coast, Oregon to New York, and even as far away as Italy. For this years filmfest, I was a special guest of my nephew, Craig Mullins, whose website www.unfilmable.com is a favorite of all H. P. Lovecraft aficionados. You'll find a link to his website somewhere around mine.

I've read a few stories by H. P. Lovecraft over the years, but I never really appreciated his following till I attended this year's festival. There were five minute short films in both animated and 'real life' form, as well as full length features also in 'real' and animated format. Some were adaptations of Lovecraft stories while others were dedicated to staying true to the very short stories that were as close to what Lovecraft penned as possible.

The following are just a few of the pictures I took on the four days of the festival. There are more on www.unfilmable.com and more still will be posted here over the next few days/weeks.
The Hollywood Theatre is located at 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland, OR 97212. (www.hollywoodtheatre.org) There is a main screen on the ground floor and two smaller screens on the upper floor. All three screens were busy for most of three of the four days of the festival.
Hollywood Theatre Portland  OR

Rick & Craig in front of Hollywood Theatre
Rick and his nephew Craig are shown in front of the poster for the film Beyond Re-Animator. It was written by José Manuel Gómez, and is inspired by the H. P. Lovecraft story, Herbert West: Re-Animator. The sequel to Re-Animator and Bride of Re-Animator was directed by Brian Yuzna. If you can see the uncut version, don't miss the end of the movie where the rat battles the, well, the secret opponent. You've got to see it! I laughed till I almost choked!
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