Wikitravel:Bad jokes and other deleted nonsense/Mars
|Bad jokes and other deleted nonsense/Mars|
|Government||Mars United Planetary Government|
|Population||~18m (2181 est.)|
|Language||Working/Primary: English, Russian, Arabic, Japanese. All major Terran languages, many other languages. See Talk|
|Religion||Areophony (indigenous spirituality), All major religions plus most other religions.|
|Time Zone||MMT (Mean Martian Time) is synchronized with UTC on Earth, centered on Prime Meridian. Martian day is longer than Terran, kept in sync by the time slip.|
Mars is the fourth planet from the sun, and the first body other than Earth to be permanently settled. Mars has one of the most vibrant and thriving economies, peaceful stable society and government, highly diverse in almost every way, ranking high on all human development indices. Immigration to Mars is still high and likely to remain so, this has lead to a very diverse culture across the planet.
Mars, being a planet, is huge (about equal to all land area of Earth), and it is unrealistic to expect to see all of Mars in a short period of time. While being smaller than Earth, the features of the planet tend to dwarf parallels on Earth, with Olympus Mons far taller and larger than any mountain on Earth and the Valles Marinares system far larger than any canyons or mountain valleys on Earth. One of the first things Terrans will notice about Mars (especially if visiting a smaller body for the first time) is the gravity. The gravity on Mars is about 0.3G or about one third that on Earth. Even knowing this, experiencing less than 1G for the first time is quite an experience for all and sometimes even a bit disconcerting for some initially. However most get used to it rather quickly, only a few days at most, and many have commented that Martian G feels like the perfect G for humans, enough pull to keep things securely down, light enough to make movement easy (once one gets used to it). This lower gravity is the reason for the greater height in natives and part of the reason traveling to Earth can be so dangerous for natives. For Terrans planing to return shortly, many cities offer discounted or free gym access and/or weighted suits and boots to simulate a higher G on the body so as to ease their return to Earth; similar to the exoskeleton suits provided to native Martians (or natives of other lower gravity worlds) visiting Earth.
The Martian Dichotomy is the most prominent feature of the planet, with the northern hemisphere mostly below the datum (de facto sea level) and the southern above, with the exceptions of the Elysium bulge forming a small continent-island in the northern Vastitas Ocean and the Hellas Sea and Argyre basin in the south. Both Vastitas and Hellas are home to a number of Townships, self-sufficient free-floating settlements which sail around endlessly making use of and taking care of the water off which they live. Occasionally those small enough will travel from one body to the other via the Grand Canal.
The Tharsis Bulge is the other most prominent feature, being an area of land significantly higher in altitude than the rest of the planet, with the famous volcanos of the Tharsis Montes and Mount Olympus reaching out of the atmosphere even after reaching habitable levels at the lower altitudes. Thus much of the Tharsis region is still close to the aboriginal state of the planet (and thus where most Reds chose to live)
While a contentious issue throughout Martian history, with views varying from worry over lack of assimilation/integration, pushing out natives, to simply more people than the planet could support at the time, immigration to Mars has become a fairly easy and streamlined process. The antagonism toward immigration has largely died down with a culture of actively helping immigrants to settle in and adapt to Martian society, rather than let antagonism push immigrants to withdraw into themselves away from the larger Martian society. The Martian government establishes a quota for immigrants from Earth (planetary basis, not by nation), a figure which it readjusts each M year (Martian year, aprox 2 Earth year), based on estimates of current capacity minus estimates for indigenous population growth (Martian law encourages a policy of one child born to a couple or individual). In interest of keeping on good terms with Earth, Mars tries to keep the quota as open as possible.
Those planing to stay temporarily (non immigrant) apply within a separate quota, the basic process is the same, only different fees and categories. As there are many applying for both temporary and immigrant visas, the government chooses applicants largely by lottery till the quota for the M year is filled (if applying with a group such as a family, the whole group will be added once one application from the group is drawn, so being in a group increases ones chances). To keep from forming a waiting list, all applications are thrown out for the M year after the quotas are filled so those who don't make it thru must reapply for the next M year. If one has applied once before, that information is kept in a database to facilitate reapplication in the following year, the data will be automatically deleted if not reapplied over two concurrent M years. No fees are paid for applying, only if/when ones application is accepted.
To keep as removed from Terran politics as possible, the Martian government primarily deals with Earth thru the UN. Mars keeps an Embassy near the UN headquarters (the only official Martian embassy on Earth) and the UN has an embassy (the Embassy of Earth) in Mangala with a consulate in Sheffield. Many Terran governments in working with the UN have established joint UN-Martian consulates in their capitals and other large cities to facilitate issues and services between Mars and the various Terran governments. All such consulates are connected directly to the embassy at the UN and under its direct jurisdiction, but in practice the Martian foreign office gives much of the work to the outer consulates to better cater to local laws customs issues and such and the Embassy focuses more on coordination of the consulates and larger issues between the planets as wholes.
As it deals with Earth at large (thru the UN) Mars accepts passports from all UN member states. It even recognizes and accepts those from non UN recognized nations on a case by case basis, which for the most part has been any nation which declared independence and has some level of independent organization from its parent nation (namely enough to issue passports). There has occasionally been some complaints as to some of the unrecognized nations accepted by Mars, there have yet to be any official statement or action taken on this (likely to keep their own relation with Mars open). There are also several unofficial Martian embassies around Earth which are not linked in any way to the Martian government. These are independently run by various groups who work to assist those wanting to go to Mars, coming from Mars, or simply want to better understand Mars. These have been referred to as Martian fan clubs to Terrestrial Martians (Terrans who are Martian in spirit)
Mars' primary gateway is the Martian Orbital Elevator, based in orbit at Clarke II and joins the ground socket in Sheffield at the base of Pavonis Mons
- Sheffield - Where most visitors arrive to the Martian surface via the Elevator. Early on the city grew fast in anticipation of the construction of the first elevator bringing a boom to the early Martian economy by escaping the gravity well and quickly replaced Burroughs as the largest and most important city. This is also where the Pavonis Constitutional Congress was held following the Second Martian Revolution and establishing Mars as separate and free from Earth.
- Mangala - The capital of the Martian government. It is named after the Indian name for Mars and its location was chosen to ensure that the city could support an economy and culture in its own right and not become a government town centered around and catering to the government officials as so many planed capitals of Terran nations.
- Acheron - Established as a scientific research base by Vlad Taneev. Despite being abandoned during the First revolution and the Martian Underground days, Acheron was renovated leading up to the Second Revolution and has a highly scientific culture. Regarded as the most advanced research center on the planet (some would say in the system) many of the planets top breakthroughs including the Longevity Treatment.
- Nicosia - The first tented city, the first be out from undergound or inside a crater and have the martian landscape as a horizon.
- Burroughs - The largest city before the first elevator brought a boom to Sheffield, and once known as the most beautiful city on Mars with dwellings built into mense. The city was flooded during the Second Revolution. The city was evacuated largely by foot to Lybia station with the use of face masks that filtered out CO2 while CO2 in the atmosphere was still just too high for open human breathing (this was the first time masks of these kinds were used). The city can still be viewed by diving expeditions and various coops have considered attempting to reestablish the city while underwater, the two main proposals being to dome the city and have it be a bubble underwatter, or to refit the structures to be water tight with tubes connecting them leaving water just on the otherside of windows and outward walls.
- Sabishii - Well known for its famous university during the Underground days and central to the Demimonde. The university had a large impact on those who would later be instrumental to the Second Revolution including Nirgal Ai. The university still stands and many still attend due to its cultural history and prestige, however it is no longer considered the center of Martian higher learning.
- Odessa - The primary port city on the Hellas Sea, viewed as the most cosmopolitan and (with the flooding of Burroughs) the most beautiful.
- Cairo - Another of the old settlements.
- Underhill - The site of the first settlement by the First Hundred. Small and not much changed from its early days as the first hundred soon left when other settlements were established, it still exists as an independent settlement and the locals prefer to leave it mostly as it was. The original "trailer park" is preserved as a historical monument, and the Arcade (Nadia's Arcade) is still in use and the center of town life.
- Southern lowlands and Underground - During and after the chaos of the First Revolution, many from the northern cities fled to the south to escape the chaos (and/or the transnats) including almost all of the First Hundred that wasn't killed during that time. Some settlements were out in the open while others were completely hidden from the outside world. Hiroko Ai founded the Underground in the early days of Underhill just before the second settlement was to be established. She and the rest of the "Lost Colony" first stayed in Noctis Labarinthys, and then moved down to the southern polar cap. They established a self sufficient settlement, Zygote (later relocated and named Gamete) and micro environment in a sealed hollow under the ice which acted as a domed city, open air with a lake and self contained ecosystem inside. Other settlements of the Underground (either fully hidden or connected to those hidden) includ: Christianopolis, New Vanuatu, Dorsa Brevia (of the Dorsa Brevia Confrence),Prometheus, Rumi, Vishniak, Overhangs among others. During the Second revolution the Underground came out of hiding.
- Stickney - Former. Built by Arkady Bogdanov in the crater of the same name during the early days to establish a way-station on Phobos before the elevator was proposed. Renowned for its unique design and way of making use of the microgravity of the moon. There was a circum-lunar train that ran at speeds to produce higer G to those staying there. The settlement was destroyed when the Phobos was destroyed durring the First revolution. Similar to the proposals for reestablishing Burroughs, some coops have looked into establishing a New Stickney on Pseudo-Phobos.
- Tharsis Bulge - The largest single feature of Mars (aside from the planetary dichotomy), a large mass of land uplifted to a much higer altitude than the rest of the planet. Due to its high altitude, the atmosphere is still very thin, close to aboriginal levels but with modern composition. Tharsis is home to many other proponent features.
- Olympus Mons - The largest mountain in the Sol system. It is so tall that its top is just out of the atmosphere, one can literally walk right out of the atmosphere (tho the hike can take several days) and the caldera (being disconnected) still holds aboriginal atmosphere. Likewise Olympus is a haven and sacred to Reds throughout Mars and among Red parallels on other worlds. A true symbol of the ancient.
- Tharsis Montes - A line of three volcanoes, north to south: Ascreas, Pavonis, Arcia. Tho smaller than Olympus, each is significantly larger than any montain on Earth.
- Valles Marineris - The largest canyon system in the solar system, wide enough to hose several settlements.
- Argyre Basin - One of the two large basins (the other being Hellas), this one was kept dry as part of the Grand Gesture to the Reds in an atempt to preserve some of the Martian environment in a natural state.
- Elysium - The second continent like bulge, significantly smaller and lower than Tharsis. With the flooding of Vastitas, Elysium became an island with Elysium Mons at its center.
- Townships - More than simple ships, the Townships of Mars are self-sufficient floating cities roaming the Vastitas and Hellas Seas (tho some cant quite make it through the Grand Canal connecting the two) and are legally the same as other ground based settlements tho with some modifications to their charters in keeping with their different nature.
- Caravans - While not settlements in that they move, the caravans of Mars are granted rights and recognition independently similar to land settlements and Townships, with some modifications to their charters to cater to their unique nature.
Due to the history (an continuing) of high and diverse imigration, every major Terran language is present as are many smaller languages and the prevelence of AI translators facilitates a highly multilingual society without the need of a lingua france. Due to the unique history and culture of Mars, English, Russian, Arabic, and Japanese have become the most promonent with most able to speak at least one. All official documentation is produced in at least these languages, and available in any other by request (mostly made available online by linguistic coops). Many words and phrases of these have entered the everyday lexicon of Martians in whichever language they speak, almost creating Martian varieties of many languages, at least colloquially. Many settlements have established local culturally quasi-official languages as a primary language for aesthetic or cultural reasons, but these are merely superficial making it the nominal default while still making sure to guarantee and promote citizens multilingual rights and resources. Many within cities (especially smaller ones) will learn a/the language of their city as a form of local pride, even while maintaining any other languages they may learn from family or friends for personal pride. Every Martian past early age is at least bilingual, many polyglots, being monoglot is a clear sign that one is foreign or new to Mars. Only a very few who dedicate their lives to a specific lifestyle or tradition will become monoilngual in practice, tho they still will be able to at least understand some other language even if they refuse to speak it. Some settlements attempted (and succeded)to revive some old Terran languages that were dying out or had died out due to cultural political and economic pressures, inculding some Amerindian and Australian Aboriginal languages (tho this practice has been more prominent in the asteroids).
With the population coming from imigrants from all over Earth, the food of Mars is quite diverse. As different populations come across relatively new foods, different foods come in and out of fassion in different areas. All this mixing of different cuisines with different cuisines at different times in different places has led to a great growth in both establishment of traditional cuisines and a large number of widely varied fusion attempts constantly combining and recombining into many new forms, some finding their way back to Earth being known as Martian. There has even been some movement to create indigenous Martian food with plants and animals bread for Mars.