Alana Massey wonders if our Mars dreams have become a bit childish. / Captain Moebius
The Baffler,  October 1, 2015

Daily Bafflements

Alana Massey wonders if our Mars dreams have become a bit childish. / Captain Moebius
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• Our friends at Pacific Standard question the ethics of sending manned missions to Mars. In light of our responsibility for climate change, “our tendency to plunder frontiers to destruction,” and our historical callousness toward the folks we send hurtling into space, Alana Massey writes, “we must consider the possibility that going to Mars is just as much an act of grief in denial as an act of triumph in achievement.”

• Over at Guernica, our own Ann Neumann has a piece on Texas’s DIY execution drugs. “Good execution drugs are increasingly hard to come by,” Neumann writes,

putting wardens tasked with capital punishment in a hard place. Enterprising wardens in the state of Texas have taken the matter into their own hands by formulating the execution drugs themselves, complete with Department of Criminal Justice labels, a lawsuit on behalf of a death row inmate, Richard Glossip, has charged.

Glossip, scheduled to be put to death in Oklahoma, has just been granted a stay of execution by the governor while that state’s lethal-injection drugs are investigated. Last year, Jim Newell covered another lethal injection scandal on the Baffler blog, noting that those darn Millennials are driving popular support for the death penalty further and further down.

• Today in billionaires: Elon Musk may get to space more quickly than he delivers Tesla’s long-promised (and entirely terrestrial) Model X SUV, which Venture Beat is calling a “marketing and PR disaster” after only six of the cars materialized—far lower than the demand. Some thwarted customers had ordered their Model Xes three years ago. Don’t fear for Musk, though: one of the few cars that does exist has found a home in the CEO’s driveway.

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Further Reading

 June 22

For the Atlantic, actual political agency, it seems, is a lesser virtue than the civic jolt proffered by a “mediating function.”