Readers write: “Mars or bust” comic

Jacob Turcotte/Staff

Mars and childhood memory

I found that reading “Mars or bust: A comic” in the Oct. 14 Monitor Weekly was far more interesting than reading an article about colonizing the planet for two simple reasons. 

First, it brought me back to my childhood in Colombia. I used to sit down next to my grandpa and my dad in the living room while they were reading the newspaper and look at all the comics that they set aside. Second, the comic is interactive for people who don’t enjoy reading a lot. It’s very short with a lot of content and great ideas on how to approach the Red Planet. I liked the ideas and it was very easy for me to understand.

Why We Wrote This

Letters to the editor for the Nov. 11, 2019 weekly magazine.

Thank you so much for sharing this great comic. I actually got interested in reading it properly and understanding it all. 

Daniel Gomez
Elsah, Illinois

Feasibility of terraforming

Looking at the big picture, a large-scale colonization of Mars would obviously be very expensive and time-consuming. And colonizing Mars would not be as good a use of resources as taking steps to have a platform built for space colonization closer to Earth. 

In one terraforming approach that the Monitor reported on in “Mars or bust: A comic,” Mars is bombarded with asteroids containing gases that are close to Earth’s atmosphere. I asked a Northwestern student about this, and he launched with enormous excitement into a conversation on how Mars colonization is one of his career goals.

Chuck Johnson
Wilmette, Illinois

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.