Moon Fungus and Border Wall Update

Grind for January 28th
“People say you favor assassination, what do you think war is? Except that it’s assassination on a much larger scale, a much more horrific scale.”
– John Bolton

Out Of This World

The Headline

The first off-world colonists could live inside giant mushrooms

The Grind

As mankind moves closer to the colonization of other planets, scientists at NASA have proposed using mycelia fungus to grow buildings and furniture.

Mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus that appears as a mass of branching, thread-like strands. When treated with heat, mycelium forms a brick-like material with a higher bend strength than reinforced concrete and a higher compression strength than wood.

Mycelium is fire retardant, an effective insulator, and can repair itself if provided with water and nutrients.

The Details

The plan is to send mycelium to the Moon or Mars in a dormant state, grow and treat the fungus there, and use it to build structures.

If it works, the “mush-ROOMS” would significantly reduce the amount of materials and machinery needed for construction. NASA is already conducting tests to determine how the fungus would respond to Martian soil.

“Right now, traditional habitat designs for Mars are like a turtle – carrying our homes with us on our backs – a reliable plan, but with huge energy costs,” says NASA researcher Lynn Rothschild. “Instead, we can harness mycelia to grow these habitats ourselves when we get there.”

Another version of the mush-ROOM incorporates a protective layer of water ice to protect habitants from radiation and utilizes the photosynthesizing microbes inside the mycelium to produce oxygen.

“Ultimately, the project envisions a future where human explorers can bring a compact habitat built out of a lightweight material with dormant fungi that will last on long journeys to places like Mars,” explained one NASA official. “Upon arrival, by unfolding that basic structure and simply adding water, the fungi will be able to grow around that framework into a fully functional human habitat – all while being safely contained within the habitat to avoid contaminating the Martian environment.”

Breaking Records

The Headline

Trump’s border wall is the most expensive wall of its kind

The Grind

At nearly $20 million per mile, President Trump’s 576-mile border wall is expected to cost more than $11 billion – more than any other wall under construction in the world.

Coming in second place is Israel’s border wall on the West Bank, which costs between $1 million and $5 million per mile.

The Details

Trump’s existing border wall projects, which include 650 miles of barrier erected under Presidents GW Bush and Obama, will span roughly 75% of the US-Mexico border when completed.

The US-Mexico border is 1,954 miles long.

“You’re going to have a wall like no other. It’s going to be a powerful, terrific wall,” said Trump during a rally in Milwaukee. “A very big and very powerful border wall is going up at record speed, and we are fully financed now, isn’t that nice?”

The newest sections of the border wall feature:

— 30-foot-high steel bollards topped with “anti-climbing plates”

— Security cameras

— Floodlights

— Graveled enforcement zones 150-feet wide

— Electronic gates

— All-weather access roads

In February 2019, after several failed attempts to obtain funding from Congress, Trump declared a national emergency at the southern border that allowed the diversion of billions of dollars that had been appropriated for military construction.

CBP has also tapped the Treasury Forfeiture Fund, which contains money seized in criminal investigations.

Despite all the money spent, the Administration has built just 101 miles of replacement or secondary walls and just one mile of brand new barrier.

Key impediments to progress include seepage issues near the Rio Grande and private land ownership.

“Where you have private property and the government has to go through the courts to get that property, it takes a lot longer and it drives the cost up because you havE to pay for that land,” says wall opponent Scott Nicol. “You have to send DOJ lawyers in to get that land.”

Did you know… Most dreams last only 5 to 20 minutes.