Category Archives: Space

The Bigger Picture

 

This video “Cosmic Eye” has been around for a few years, I really like it. The combination of one person in perspective with the universe is stunning, and then to zoom in to the person and then the internal body is equally stunning. It tells a story about the vast expanding universe, while reminding us of the intricacies of the make up of the universe. Macro to micro.

Looking at it reminds me that I am, in one sense, one with the universe, while in another sense I am encouraged that I am not insignificant. If you’ve ever had one of those days where you’ve felt you’re not worth much, or you think what’s the point of life, or if you’ve compared yourself as puny, tiny, in comparison with the complex universe and consider yourself insignicant, then this video, simple as it is, is a reminder that you are not insignificant at all. You are part of the complex relationships that constitute life, and are a microcosm of the universe. This video reminds me that I’m a part of the web of life and therefore I have something to contribute.

The wonder of the journey of life is to discover what it is that we can contribute. I like this quote from Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Thurman reminds us that it’s not about getting it right or making a straight path in life, it’s about discovering the inner passions and seeking to find expression in the every day. It’s about you being you, just that, and finding your part in the universe.

None of us are insignificant, all of us have something inside to bring to life.

galaxies beyond
black holes abound there
my love is enough

©Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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Filed under astronomy, Haiku, life, mindfulness, nature, quote, Space

Daily Prompt: Fret

via Daily Prompt: Fret

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As bricks and mortar age they fret, or wear away. The photo shows Balladonia Station homestead (c. 2007 © P. V. Cannon) on the Eyre Highway, east of Norseman. It is a conglomerate of 1890s to 1930s construction, but even the 1930s parts are showing their age, the mortar between the bricks has been fretting and someone has made a hasty repair to prevent the bricks falling away. The stone and bricks are also fretting.

The owner was in process of repairs, but it would be an enourmous task and very costly (distance from any city would mean high transport costs). We were fortunate that day as the manager was home and showed us around and gave us quite a bit of the history of Balladonia. One snippet was that Balladonia was part of the crash site for Skylab in 1979 when it re-entered earth’s atmosphere (the local roadhouse has memorabilia pieces from the Skylab on display). A lot of history has passed through this place.

Buildings tend to fret on the outside earlier due to exposure to the elements of weather. We tend to fret on the inside ealier because, unless we take care, we are exposed to the ravages of hurt, grief, anger, worry, anxiety … which, while normal life experiences, can become embedded and drive us, wear us down, drag us low.

We really need good boundaries, supportive relationships and conversation with deep empathic listening, even having accountability partners who hold us to account on our issues. An ability to reflect, journal and meditate can be a wonderful help. Reality is perception, but comfort and solace is human friendship, the very best antidote to fretting. The old saying, prevention is better than cure, rings true, though it’s never too late to make repairs.

The Roman poet Aulus Persius Flaccus (34 – 62 CE) wrote: “We consume our tomorrows fretting about our yesterdays.”

Living in the present moment is one of the few ways of not being consumed by our yesterdays or even our tomorrows. Maintaining perspective is another. That’s why we need others around us, they can help to keep us grounded and true to ourselves.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Glimmer

via Daily Prompt: Glimmer

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(Image: hdwalpapers2013.com)

I love the night sky, the glimmer of light, those stars, planets, refracting the sun’s light for vast distances we call light years. As a child I wanted to go out there and see how it all fitted together, and to see if there was life out there in some form. Space always captivates me, it is, as Captain Kirk said: “Space, the new frontier.” And with an ever expanding universe, there will be an ever growing new frontier, and one we cannot consume.

There is always a divide over space exploration, those who criticize it, for a variety of reasons, and those who support it. Constructive criticism is worth hearing, but that which is borne out of ignorance or fear is not. Fear closes us down, shuts off our creativity, our capacity to dream and think big. It’s easier to be negative than positive, but it is positive energy that will help us, negativity will be our death.

On a tangent here check out, and thanks to Skirmishes With Reality, Jaron Lanier on How We Need To Remake The Internet, where he talks about how negativity is destructive: www.ted.com/talks/jaron_lanier_how_we_need_to_remake_the_internet

Martin Luther king Jnr. said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” No wonder that the great spiritual guides of the past all made that connection in a variety of ways, because as you say that quote it it seems logical.

As with light, so with love, love is a glimmer of hope, and a more down to earth hope. Like light, like the universe, love is a positive and ever expanding energy. When we become love in all its forms for others, we become glimmers of hope. Together we can dispel the darkness that haunts our world, our communities, our homes, and our selves. We can be that energy where we are. Love is a new frontier, lets explore that.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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Filed under astronomy, environment, life, mindfulness, nature, Science, Space, Spirituality

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

via Daily Prompt: Trill

 

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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?

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Atmospheric

via Daily Prompt: Atmospheric

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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

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Black Night

via Daily Prompt: Black

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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.

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Blue Streak

The, perhaps forgotten Blue Streak Rocket trials. See earlier post Genius: https://pvcann.com/2017/10/06/genius/

 

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Genius

via Daily Prompt: Genius

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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.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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

via Daily Prompt: Finite

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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.

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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).

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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.

Paul

pvcann.com

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