Category Archives: Space

Trill of my Life – Or, how science fiction saves the world.

via Daily Prompt: Trill



Trilling? Well not quite, Nicole De Boer as Ezri Dax a Trill, as seen on Star Trek. And no I’m not a true Trekkie, but I did enjoy the show. In general I enjoy science fiction, it is another world, and yet it isn’t. All fiction is, in some way, related to real life, where it differs is that fiction can abstract, take licence, and allow fantasy. Fiction can be quite potent in confronting social justice issues. Take any of HG Wells’ works, Orwell’s 1984. Look at District 9, a movie that speaks to racism; Ursula LeGuin’s (who, sadly, died this week) The Dispossessed, a book about racial inequality; or Samuel Delaney’s Neveryon, a series about power, race, sexuality and aids, or Octavia’s Brood an edited collection by writers inspired by Octavia Butler, essays that speak to injustice and inequality. Star Trek was doing it very early with racial creations that confronted our constructs of race, it addressed class, wealth, inequality, power, race and sexuality.

Science fiction enables us to question our values, especially our inherited values, while enjoying being entertained, we are encouraged to look at difference, and to question power relationships, and to seek justice, in some cases restorative justice.

A basic musical Trill consists of a rapid alternation between two notes. A Star Trek Trill was a humanoid native to the planet Trill and who were inhabited by a symbiont, thus two lives in one body alternating. Science fiction enables us to trill inwardly, to look at different sides of an issue – of what might appear to be singular, but is in fact complex. Perhaps to trill is to possess a 20/20 vision in emotional intelligence?



Filed under community, nature, politics, Science, Space, Spirituality


via Daily Prompt: Atmospheric

IMG_2660 2.jpg

That white speck is a weather Balloon. The balloons are released at 8.30 a.m. every morning at the Giles Weather Station near Warakurna. I was there to see one released at Eucla in 2008 and now this one at Giles. The balloons carry instruments that record atmospheric, or barometric pressure, temperature, humidity, and wind speed. The data is sent back to the weather station and forms part of the weather data system across Australia for the Bureau of Meteorology  Simple and effificient.

Atmospheric pressure indicates types of weather. Low atmospheric pressure indicates cloudiness, wind, and rain


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Black Night

via Daily Prompt: Black


The darkness is pierced by the fibre optic light show in the Field of Lights at Uluru, it had shifted to a red glow in the sequence of colours.  Dawn will come and that greatest of stars, the sun, will replace the darkness completely. And the night is never completely black, there is always some light piercing the darkness from the vast reaches of the galaxy. I like to think of people like that, that there is some light, even in those we believe to be the worst people. Darkness cannot extinguish the light.


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Blue Streak

The, perhaps forgotten Blue Streak Rocket trials. See earlier post Genius:


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via Daily Prompt: Genius


When I got up close to this I could only think of The Robinson family and Dr. Smith, and the cry goes up “Warning, Warning, Warning!” Lost in Space began in 1965 on US TV, the item in the photo began life in 1964 as part of British/Australian exercise on behalf of the European Launcher Development Organisation (ELDO),  out of Woomera to test rockets.

This is the remnant of the first (de Havilland Propellers) Blue Streak Rocket launched at Woomera. Originally Blue Streak began life as an independent British program to develop an anti-nuclear missile. Some genius in Whitehall believed that a nuclear deterrent was needed to protect against Soviet threat. To cut a very long story short, the program was discontinued due to cost. It was then picked up between the British and several European countries in parnership with Australia, to be developed instead as a rocket base for launching missiles.

This remnant of the first was one of only ten trial rockets. The first failed and the last five also failed (echoes of Monty Python’s ‘The Holy Grail’ and the interchange between The King of the Swamp and his son Prince Herbert), so maybe not so genius afterall. The program was moved to French Guiana in South America for better positioning, but again, cost and design problems ended the project.

It’s been a long time since the last attempt to launch Blue streak in 1971. ELDO was then merged with the European Space Research Organisation to become the European Space Agency. Only this year it was announced that Australia was going to have its own Space Agency.

This remnant from 64 was only found in 1980, 50 kms south of Giles Weather Station, which is where it is now housed for all to see. I see it more as an abstract sculpture, that’s genius.



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Finite Planet: will Branson, Musk, Bezos, and Ashurbeyli save us?

via Daily Prompt: Finite


We have had renewables and manageable natural resources, but we have increased the finitude of nature by a total lack of management and through ignoring the need to plan renewables.

Occassionally  I come across wonderful facts such as the management of forests in some European countries dates back to the sixteenth century, where only small percentages of mature trees could be harvested annually, thereby protecting the resource for all of the environment and for all generations. But we seem to have subscribed to the capitalist notion of domination and utilization of nature. The truth is, what we have dug up, we can’t get back beyond some recycling.

I had a childs vision way back, that if we kept on digging up the earth then the earth’s surface would fold in on itself like a collapsing football with no air. Another was that Mars (and the other planets) were once lush places we had already exited because we had already wrecked them. But the truth is, we’re just constantly looking for a stop gap oasis.

And in the meantime sci-fi has picked up the theme.


Among several in the genre the movie Elysium is based around space stations as oases for the wealthy, those who can afford to get off the dying, choking earth, can live in hyper sealed luxury.

Sci-fi turned to reality with the Salyut, Almaz, and Skylab developments from 1971, Mir in 1986, the Inernational space Station from 1998, and more recently Tiangong from 2011. Then Branson, Musk, and Bezos have formed companies to launch satelites and then are hopping to launch space stations and to colonize Mars (also Mars One is a contender). More recently A private group headed by Ashurbeyli have been promoting the satelite/station Asgardia as a step to life beyond earth (but is yet content to be a free nation you can become a member of while still residing on earth).


In all the blurb by the billionnaires there is a constant refrain – we must explore and colonize space because if we stay here we will die. Problem is, we’re just transporting the problem into the future and future worlds. The other problem, it’s another capitalist ego venture which sounds to me like it could trend to Elysium like reality.

I believe space research is vital, but just imagine if we spent some that energy, intellect and money on redesigning our lives on earth. If we can’t sort out here we won’t achieve sustainable life elsewhere. And such projects, I believe, because of their nature, might sadly give licence to us not to care about the environment.



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