Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Today I was going to send you over to an asteroid launcher because hey, tweaking the universe’s nose is fun, right? 

Asteroid Launcher

But no, it turns out that once you start lobbing asteroids at the planet, as in Earth, our unique and very populated home, it all gets a bit terrifying.*

Also, despite our successes earlier this year, humanity hasn’t quite figured out the whole “killer asteroid” thing.

In NASA Simulation, Humankind Dismally Failed to Save Earth From Killer Asteroid

Hmm. Maybe Captain Kirk has a bit of planetary encouragement for us?

Last year, at the age of 90, I had a life-changing experience. I went to space, after decades of playing a science-fiction character who was exploring the universe and building connections with many diverse life forms and cultures. I thought I would experience a similar feeling: a feeling of deep connection with the immensity around us, a deep call for endless exploration. A call to indeed boldly go where no one had gone before.

I was absolutely wrong.

— My trip to space made me realise we have only one Earth – it must live long and prosper | William Shatner | The Guardian

No, that’s disturbing too. Surely, there must be something we can do to get the world on the right track.

Time for some hopepunk.

What Are Hopepunk Books, And Where Should I Get Started?

Coined by author Alexandra Rowland in 2017, the term hopepunk was created to be the anthesis of the grimdark genre. Instead of everything being sad and impossible, Alexandra was looking for books that were actually happy….

At its core, hopepunk is just about leaving the reader with hope for the future. Bad things can happen along the way, but they aren’t bad forever.

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Finally, because it’s awesome and at this point I think we can all use more positive thinking, The Amaterasu Railway Now Runs on Leftover Tonkotsu Ramen Broth.


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* For example, an asteroid hitting Lebanon, Kansas, the more or less geographic center of the continental US, would do significant damage via direct impact, shock waves, wind and earthquake. An asteroid hitting Chicago would be incomprehensibly catastrophic.

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Photo by Charles Forerunner on Unsplash

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It’s December and starting to feel like the holidays; I am behind on presents, and the tree we’ve had up since before Covid is finally seasonal again, so situation normal. I’m also planning my end-of-year donations, to food banks, animal welfare groups, medical and other help for those who need it, and more.

We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light a candle that can guide us through the darkness to a safe and sure future.

— John F. Kennedy

This video of the Children’s Choir of Ukraine is helping me get into the holiday spirit.

They also gave another performance in Grand Central: Ambassador Bridget A. Brink on Twitter: “Light amid darkness…

For more on the choir and the Ukrainian origins of the song itself, check out this article.

100 years ago, ‘Carol of the Bells’ came to America — from Ukraine : NPR

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Photo by Rob Wicks on Unsplash

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“We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it as not as dreadful as it appears, discovering that we have the strength to stare it down.”

― Eleanor Roosevelt

Next thing you know, you’ll be ready.

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Photo by ANIRUDH on Unsplash

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Today has been all about dealing with tech issues. Along those lines:

Watch an egg fall from near space...

A former NASA engineer and now-YouTuber has created a viral sensation with a video documenting efforts to send an egg to near space to test if it cracks up on landing.

Because sure, why not?

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Photo by 青 晨 on Unsplash

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Tomorrow is December first, I’m feeling a bit wistful, and it’s raining. I’m not big on shoveling but I can’t help thinking that snow would be much more fun.

So, a haiku.

November passes.
Leaves cling to branches despite
Rain that should be snow.

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Photo by Rhendi Rukmana on Unsplash

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Explore the wondrous interconnectivity of life with this interactive graphic:

OneZoom Tree of Life Explorer

An interactive map of the evolutionary links between all living things known to science. Discover your favourites, see which species are under threat, and be amazed by the diversity of life on earth.

How small the selection we have today, and how precious.

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Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

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To supplement my previous post on the progress we’ve made imaging the far side of the Moon, here are a number of snapshots from the Artemis I Orion flyby.

See the Far Side of the Moon: Incredibly Detailed Pictures From Artemis I Orion Close Lunar Flyby

I’m pretty sure I see a forest. Or possibly Bigfoot’s footprints. 

And it definitely looks like cheese.

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Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

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I am working on story edits today and found myself needing to look up a lunar technicality. Next thing I know, I was reading a detailed account of the first lunar spacewalk at Tranquillity Base. I thought you might enjoy it too.

Wide Awake on the Sea of Tranquillity | NASA

July 20, 1969: The day began on the farside of the Moon. Armstrong, Aldrin and crewmate Mike Collins flew their spaceship 60 miles above the cratered wasteland. No one on Earth can see the Moon’s farside. Even today it remains a land of considerable mystery, but the astronauts had no time for sight-seeing. Collins pressed a button, activating a set of springs, and the spaceship split in two. The half named Columbia, with Collins on board, would remain in orbit. The other half, the Eagle, spiraled over the horizon toward the Sea of Tranquillity.

“You are Go for powered descent,” Houston radioed…

This also got me thinking about the farside of the moon. We’ve learned a lot about it since these images in 1959:

First Photo of the Lunar Farside – Moon: NASA Science 

Check out the image comparison a few paragraphs in. Or heck, here’s my version:

Image credit: NASA

And since we’re talking about the moon, let’s wrap with an update from Artemis:

NASA to Share Artemis I Update with Orion at Farthest Point from Earth | NASA

Orion entered a distant lunar orbit on at 4:52 p.m. EST Friday, Nov. 25, where the spacecraft will remain for about a week to test systems in a deep space environment about 40,000 miles above the lunar surface before beginning the journey back to Earth. 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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This is fun: NPR just came out with an interactive, cross-genre list of over four hundred books they recommend from 2022.

Books We Love : NPR

Whatever you’re into, you’ll likely find it here. The list includes everything from science fiction to science writing, to biographies to kids’ books to poetry, cookbooks, humor, history, sports, music and more.

I’ve read some of these books but not most, by any means, even in my preferred genres. The site also includes recommendations from the past decade, for a total of more than 3200 options. Just in case you make it through this year’s list!

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Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

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The Artemis moon mission is now underway, which means fun updates like this video flyby of the Moon.

… NASA’s Orion spacecraft performs a close approach of the lunar surface on its way to a distant retrograde orbit, a highly stable orbit thousands of miles beyond the Moon. During the Artemis I flight test, launched on Nov. 16, Orion will travel 280,000 miles (450,000 km) from Earth and 40,000 miles (64,000 km) beyond the far side of the Moon, carrying science and technology payloads to expand our understanding of lunar science, technology developments, and deep space radiation.

— Artemis I Close Flyby of the Moon – YouTube

Check out Orion’s location with the Artemis Real-time Orbit Website: NASA: Artemis I.

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Photo by Hebert Santos

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