Wednesday, December 18, 2013

In The Spirit Of Space Exploration

Last Saturday at 8:11 a.m. EST on (Dec. 14, 2013), the Chinese landed a craft on the moon (pictured below courtesty of the Associated Press on their youtube presence). This craft with a remotely controlled rover is the first such craft to grace the moon's surface since 1976 when Russia had landed similarly.

Actual Raw Footage Of China's Moon Landing
Courtesy of the Associated Press.

Channel 4 News story of China's moon landing 
from the Channel 4 News youtube presence

There has been a lot of nay say in regard to their moon landing but I'd like to take a few moments to appreciate the gravity of their effort (pun intended) .

First of all it is an incredible feat for a nation to accomplish and there have only been two others that I am aware of that have accomplished it similarly.

Secondly this isn't really a victory for just one part of the world but really the whole world itself in the spirit of exploration. We are seeing the beginning of a new era where both national powers and business will be breaching the outer atmosphere of our planet and starting to populate the other reaches of our solar system. The Chinese landing is a wondrous thing as they help carry the torch of space travel with the likes of NASA, the ESA, the CSA and big business like Virgin Group and crowdsourcing start ups like Mars One for all of human kind.

I think that this is the start of "something wonderful" to borrow a quote from Stanley Kubrick's 2010: The Odyssey Continues and that instead of a sense of dread we should instead be happy to share a part of something bigger than ourselves and the beginnings of our Trek out to the stars.

The difference between this day and age and the space race of the late 1960s is one of social and media focus. In the days of the space race, there were generally fewer "eyes" for the public and most of the focus was centered around television stations such as CBS (Walter Cronkite seen below thanks to Jason Kottke on his youtube presence). This gave the nations taking part in this race, and perhaps the world a centralized view of what was going on.

Walter Cronkite coverage of the first moon landing 
courtesy of EnsingInRed on their youtube presence
Original footage courtesy of CBS and NASA

Walter Cronkite coverage of the first moon landing 
courtesy of Jason Kottke on his youtube presence
Original footage courtesy of CBS and NASA

In this day and age there are so many sources for information and so many different advances being made all over the place that it's difficult to get a sense of all of this contributing to some bigger picture. The international space station has at become the symbol for nations working together both technically and socially but our future needs to be inclusive of other nations that can make the investment for space research, commerce and travel.

That means remembering that the successes of other nations are a part of our whole and the story of humankind. When they need our help that we're there as much as when we need theirs.

My Inspiring Women's List Has Grown Substantially

My apologies to Annie Lennox (who has a nice seasons greeting up), Bjork and Heidi Klum, Katherine Heigl, Melissa DiMarcoShania TwainKaty Perry, Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare In Love is one of my top movies and no, I haven't an identity crisis within that movie's title role), Rachel McAdams (The Time Traveler's Wife and Sherlock Holmes amongst many other roles) and of course Celine DionKate WinsletAnn Druyan whom I unintentionally left out. When I started the list, I started it based upon film roles and it quickly expanded to other areas as I realized the influence of women from many different areas beyond the television and film.

My list of women inpirations for some of my stories such as A Ladies Perogative 1 & 2, Testament Of Time and Heroes Of Our Own has grown to include (in approximate chronological order) Amelia EarheartIngrid BergmanMae WestJudy GarlandJessica TandyShelly WintersRachael WelchJane FondaDiane KeatonCarol BurnettVampiraMary Tyler MooreAkiko WakabayashiNichelle Nichols, Queen Elizabeth IISally FieldMeryl StreepBette MidlerDolly PartonPersis KhambattaLily Tomlin, Gilda RadnerCarrie FisherSigourney WeaverTracy UlmanLinda HamiltonAnnie LennoxAnnette BeningSharon StoneIsabella RoselliniSusan SarandonMichele PfeifferCher, Celine DionKathy Bates, Diana, Princess Of WalesDrew BarrymoreMeg TilleyJulia RobertsSophia CoppolaMeg RyanMarisa TomeiOprah WinfreyAlyssa MilanoJulianne MooreSarah PolleyLucy LiuNicole KidmanMilla Jovovich, Bjork, Kate WinsletAngelina JolieCharlize TheronMichelle YeohCarrie-Anne MossHalle BerryEllen DeGeneresHeidi KlumFamke JannsenKelly HuKeira KnightlyRoberta BondarJennifer LopezSandra BullockJennifer GarnerRachel WeiszMichelle RodriguezAngela BassettPam GrierPamela Sue AndersonSarah Michelle GellarAnne HathawayMeagan FoxDita Von TeeseNoomi RapaceJennifer LawrenceAnna PaquinEmily WatsonKaty PerryYaya Han and iJustine, the women in my family and that I grew up with and many more that I've not mentioned.

Enjoy and have a great day.

Brian Joseph Johns
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