So What's Occupied Mars?

Mars comic
Figure taken from OregonLive

Occupied Mars was started out of a frustration with not finding enough articles online that dealt solely with the journey, exploration, and literaure of our neighboring Red Planet. I have taken a fascination with Mars over the past two years, watching any shows or movies and reading tons of books that dealt with the subject. I wanted to contribute initially to helping the world get to Mars, so with my experience in buidling robots, collaborated with a team to work on the Mars Ice House Project, focusing on the building the robots that make the habitat on Mars. NASA awarded Mars Ice House the 1st Place in the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, helping me make my first wish in contributing towards the journey there. But, it wasn't enough. There is a need for more Mars themed blogs and resources that talk about the red planet, and that's what I set out to build with this blog.

This blog will not in any way feature any advertisements on the left side whatsoever. I hate ads so much, both from a website design and from a tech junkie perspective who believes in having AdBlock installed on every computer. This will be solely a nonprofit endeavour.

Now that I got this out of the way, I want to talk about what will be featured on this website. Being a full time engineer, I'll try to the best of my ability to write at least two posts a month dealing with Mars (although I feel like I'm gonna fuck up and resort to just one blog post a month, but hey, let a man be ambitious here). I want to talk about news relating to Mars, such as SpaceX and NASA's efforts, as well as any technology and space related news and scientific studies that deal with Mars. But, my other passion and reason for making this website is also to talk about Mars literature, most likely novels from ages ago till the present that cover the topic of Mars. Any movies or shows I will review that are space themed will be biased towards how Mars is portrayed in the picture, not by the overall quality of the show or film. Having said that, I'll be the first to admit if a show or film is crap, Mars themes notwithstanding.

So now that you get the gist of it, forgive me if the site acts weird sometimes for any reason, I'm developing it all on my own (well, using Jekyll also, for all you inspect-source-code-checkers).

So Who the Hell Am I?

If you've made it this far in reading the entire about me page, then congratulations, you are a Mars afficiando, and a poor sucker who's trying to filter through a lot of bullshit to get whatever you're looking for. So, my name is Yaz Khoury, a former robotics engineer (I don't like using the word former, as robotics and Artificial Intelligence has always been my calling) who's now working as a Software Engineer in Manhattan during the day, while escaping to Williamsburg as fast as I can when I want to wash Manhattan off me. I've worked on four robotics projects and one Artificial Intelligence project. One project is a reconfigurable room building robot network called DOM, while the other is Mars Ice House, which won the First Place in NASA's 3D Printed Habitat challenge. Other robots were bipedal voice-commanded version called Gump and a sumo-bot that battled in a competition. So overall, what I'm trying to tell you dear readers is that I know about robots, well, at least more than most non-robotic people (don't try spending too much time with robotic engineers, they're an arrogant bunch, and overall douchebags). I guess I got hooked on robotics after building my first one from scratch and watching it adapt to its environment and move around. It almost gave me the feeling of building a living thing from scratch. People close to me often called my personality a "God Complex", but I honestly I was too busy coding to care about their psuedo-pschoanalysis.

Robotic Laws
Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics gone wrong courtesy of Geekology

Anyways, so now that you're done reading this unedited About Me page, I hope you are satisfied enough to check out my blog more often. Honestly, I don't want to be that type of person, but if you subscribe, I'll send you an e-mail only when a new article comes out (not including the traditional Thank You e-mail for you subscribing). Enjoy Occupied Mars!