Saturday, July 18, 2015


20 July, Monday, will be an anniversary:
Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first humans on the Moon, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC. Armstrong became the first to step onto the lunar surface six hours later on July 21 at 02:56 UTC. Armstrong spent about two and a half hours outside the spacecraft, Aldrin slightly less, and together they collected 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar material for return to Earth. The third member of the mission, Michael Collins, piloted the command spacecraft alone in lunar orbit until Armstrong and Aldrin returned to it just under a day later for the trip back to Earth. (Wikipedia)

So, in remembering that iconic event, a couple of items relating to the Moon would be apt. First, from BBC website, 13 July 2015, by Richard Hollingham:

The new head of the European Space Agency has a plan – for humanity to build a ‘village on the Moon’. Richard Hollingham asks him why.

.....When I ask him about his intentions for Esa [European Space Agency], I expect a predictable and politically nuanced answer about the economic and social benefits of space or maybe the importance for science of exploring the unknown Universe. Instead, [Professor Johann-Dietrich] Woerner surprises me with a vision for a future of space exploration that is both ambitious and audacious.

“We should look to the future beyond the International Space Station,” he tells me. “We should look for a smaller spacecraft in low-Earth orbit for microgravity research and I propose a Moon village on the far side of the Moon.”

Yes, a village on the Moon.

Just the sort of daring vision that took Nasa from a standing start to the Moon in the 1960s, but today – possibly constrained by its political masters – the US space agency appears to be lacking ambition.
“A Moon village shouldn’t just mean some houses, a church and a town hall,” says Woerner. “This Moon village should mean partners from all over the world contributing to this community with robotic and astronaut missions and support communication satellites.....” Full article at link above.

Next a bit about a movie I've mentioned before:

MOON - the movie
The 2009 indie sci-fi film Moon was co-written and directed by Duncan Jones (son of David Bowie).

The movie has echoes of 2001 A Space Odyssey, and a few other science fiction movies of the 1970s and '80s. It's difficult to describe the storyline without giving too much away. The general scenario is this:

At an undisclosed period in the future the world's energy problems have been solved. Sufficient energy is being produced by fusion reactors using helium-3 as fuel. Helium-3 is plentiful on the surface of the Moon. A corporation has set up shop on the far side of the Moon, collecting helium-3 from surface dust, using automated harvesters, then sending it back to Earth.

A lone human operative is necessary to collect the containers of helium-3, to put them in transit. Sam Bell, played with consummate skill by Sam Rockwell, is such an operative. As the movie opens he is working the last few weeks of a 3-year stint. He will have needed similar character traits to those of old-time lighthouse-keepers to withstand the lonely years.

In the base station, all-white environment, very reminiscent of the backdrops in 2001, Sam's only companion is a robot called GERTY, with the voice of Kevin Spacey. More echoes of 2001 and HAL. GERTY is a deal more friendly-seeming than HAL ever was, but it's left to the audience to decide whether this is simply another tool of manipulation used by the corporation. Sam receives regular video messages from his wife and young daughter, who wait for his return to Earth.

On one of his trips onto the Moon's surface to collect a filled cannister, while feeling unwell, he accidentally crashes his buggy into the harvester and passes out. When he recovers consciousness he's back at the base with GERTY tending him, telling him he has sustained a head injury.

To take the storyline beyond this point would involve giving away too much. Should a passing reader wish to know the rest it's available elsewhere on line via a click of the fingers on Google search box.

Sufficient to say that the movie becomes far more thought-provoking than one could possibly imagine from what I've revealed. The ending is satisfying. But you need to be quick to catch (what we heard as) the most subtle element of it.

What I got from Moon, along with an enjoyable evening's viewing, isn't mentioned in any review I've seen: the frightening level of power held by "the corporation" at that point in the future. Perhaps Duncan Jones didn't have this particular point in mind when writing the story, back in the UK some years ago. Here in the USA, now, warning signals were flashing, for me. Give a corporation an inch and they'll take a yard. They already have taken several yards and miles here in the USA! Life sometimes imitates art.


Sonny G said...

as for giving an inch and taking a mile, I've never met a single individual who doesn't go that so how can we expect anymore from corps. or governments..

glad you enjoyed the movie.

mike said...

Until we learn to live with nature and in harmony with our Earth, I'd just as soon leave the Moon out of the picture. Humans are better characterized as a viral disease, so why spread the contagion? Somehow or other I accept that humans are part of the Earth's evolution, but that doesn't mean we will have a permanent assignment here. We can't be trusted...LOL.

As I often comment, corporations are not a species of their own...they are abstract creations of humans. It intrigues me that these conglomerates are representative of our shadow nature, exhibiting traits unbecoming if assigned to any one individual, but considered desirable should an individual desire to join by employment or investment. The same can be said of governments as representatives of we the people, but become controllers and destroyers of individual rights.

And speaking of corporations and government as destroyers, there is a bill, HR 1599, “The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act”, that I hope anyone reading this will write to the congressional representative(s) and encourage a NO vote. It's a disgusting Monsanto-esque type of proposed legislation.

There is another bill, HR 913, "Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act" that counters HR 1599. Please encourage a YES vote.

You can "sign" a request for HR 913 "Yes vote" and in the "Personalize your message" section delete the provided text and request a NO vote on HR 1599:

mike (again) said...

Information on HR 1599:

This link has petition for NO vote HR 1599:

mike (again) said...

Re - Trashing the Moon. We've only been in space about six decades and already we've trashed the orbital surrounding the Earth. We have the giant, great Pacific and Atlantic garbage patches of floating trash in our oceans, so as above, so below.

"Indeed, a canopy of trash envelops our planet. Orbiting swarms of junk careen into each other like billiard balls, creating unpredictable sprays of debris, which in turn meld with other space garbage to weave a moving net around the atmosphere.

All told, there may be millions of pieces of man-made debris in orbit. Nobody knows how much. Tracking network monitors about 18,000 of the largest objects, issuing warnings whenever one of them passes too near a spacecraft or satellite."

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ I doubt we're all alike in this, but perhaps human nature does skew slightly in that direction.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Hmmm are we all in cynical mood this mornin' then! ;-)

I've signed the petition, mike - thanks for the links.

Progress and history will go where the strongest wish to take it, I guess. We lesser mortals are but onlookers.

My own thoughts about man/humanity moving out from Earth is that, if there's anything at all in astrology, after a generation, maybe two, certain changes would take place in man's nature/DNA due to his then different position in the universe. Maybe subtle changes, depending on distance and exact location, but could be enough for improvement (or making things worse?) The adventure of man will continue, one way or another - at least for a while - though it'll be a mere blip in universe's entire time span I guess.

LB said...

My husband and I loved the movie, "Moon", Twilight. Think I must've commented on it before.

I agree with Sonny and mike about humans and our personal and collective shadows. It's so easy to get swept up in the collective wave (of whatever) without acknowledging the role we play as individuals.

It's relatively easy to find demons or heroes (which are rarely either) out there, not so easy to *consciously* identify and deal with some of those same propensities/qualities within ourselves. Denial makes it hard to see things clearly.

Doesn't mean we shouldn't speak out against wrongdoing or injustice. It does mean we need to check ourselves first, to make certain we're not part of the problem ~ or the solution!

Right now I'm reading a few different books on shadow; it's such a deep and complex subject. I think a lot of people misinterpret or misuse Jung's original ideas, thinking that to 'own our shadow' means to proudly act out our lower natures. Interesting too, how each author offers a different perspective on Jung's original ideas. Some I appreciate more than others.

I watched a great documentary recently (on Link TV) about our relationship to the environment. Wish I could find the quote, it was something along the lines of how rather than treating earth as our home, most of us act as if we're visitors from another planet here to use up resources then leave.

Much as I love my modern conveniences, I sometimes try to imagine life without them and what that would mean. These past few years, we've tried to implement small changes, though I admit I'm part of the problem too. I walk most places, but we still own a car. That's a big one that's tough to get around considering the way our communities are laid out, but I'm willing. I feel for young people and the challenges they'll face here on earth.

mike (again) said...

I usually wear my curmudgeon hat with pessimistic ear flaps...LOL.

Earth has an unfathomable number of living creatures. ONE human body is thought to have 100,000,000,000,000 (10^14 or one hundred trillion) bacteria on and in it! In comparison, the human, global population is thought to be between 7 and 8 billion (10^9) in 2015. It's thought that there are 8.7 million SPECIES on Earth.

If you ask me, I'd say that it's the DNA itself that is important, not particularly the packaging. We humans relish in the belief that we are special and the chosen ones to have dominion over the Earth, but disappointment often accompanies self-appointed aggrandizement.

mike (again) said...

BTW - I just read your comment, LB, and you mentioned LinkTV. I subscribed via Roku and it is shown as a channel on my selections. When I select LinkTV, it opens, and each selection is labeled, but when I click on a selection, I'm taken out of LinkTV. I'll have to email LinkTV to see if they have a solution.

Twilight said...

LB & mike ~ When I get to feeling cynical and negative about The People, our failings, which are many, I reach to the shelf below my computer and pull out Carl Sandburg's "The People, Yes", a battered 1936, 2nd printing. I open it at any point and find something to lift spirits.

To save too much copy typing I found something from it I I can copy/paste - these are, actually, the last lines in the book:

The people is a tragic and comic two-face: hero and hoodlum:
phantom and gorilla twisting to moan with a gargoyle mouth:
"They buy me and sell's a game...sometime I'll
break loose..."

Once having marched
Over the margins of animal necessity,
Over the grim line of sheer subsistence
Then man came
To the deeper rituals of his bones,
To the lights lighter than any bones,
To the time for thinking things over,
To the dance, the song, the story,
Or the hours given over to dreaming,
Once having so marched.

Between the finite limitations of the five senses
and the endless yearnings of man for the beyond
the people hold to the humdrum bidding of work and food
while reaching out when it comes their way
for lights beyond the prison of the five senses,
for keepsakes lasting beyond any hunger or death.
This reaching is alive.
The panderers and liars have violated and smutted it.
Yet this reaching is alive yet
for lights and keepsakes.

The people know the salt of the sea
and the strength of the winds
lashing the corners of the earth.
The people take the earth
as a tomb of rest and a cradle of hope.
Who else speaks for the Family of Man?
They are in tune and step
with constellations of universal law.
The people is a polychrome,
a spectrum and a prism
held in a moving monolith,
a console organ of changing themes,
a clavilux of color poems
wherein the sea offers fog
and the fog moves off in rain
and the labrador sunset shortens
to a nocturne of clear stars
serene over the shot spray
of northern lights.

The steel mill sky is alive.
The fire breaks white and zigzag
shot on a gun-metal gloaming.
Man is a long time coming.
Man will yet win.
Brother may yet line up with brother:

This old anvil laughs at many broken hammers.
There are men who can't be bought.
The fireborn are at home in fire.
The stars make no noise,
You can't hinder the wind from blowing.
Time is a great teacher.
Who can live without hope?

In the darkness with a great bundle of grief
the people march.
In the night, and overhead a shovel of stars for keeps, the people
"Where to? what next?"

LB said...

mike ~ Sounds frustrating, wish I could help. Hope you're able to figure it out ~ I think you'll enjoy their programming, *especially* some of the documentaries.


Twilight ~ What a poem. Think I'll need to read it a few times to take in its fuller meaning. As far hope and its relationship to the darker sides of our natures, Jung also pointed out there's 'gold in the shadows'.

I can always find something to be grateful for, without denying the darker truths about myself, the world or people in it. Therein lies the paradox.:)

“Contradiction brings the crushing burden of meaninglessness. One can endure any suffering if it has meaning; but meaninglessness is unbearable. Contradiction is barren and destructive, yet paradox is creative. It is a powerful embracing of reality.

"To suffer one’s confusion is the first step in healing. Then the pain of contradiction is transformed into the mystery of paradox."

"We hate paradox since it is so painful getting there, but it is a very direct experience of a reality beyond our usual frame of reference and yields some of the greatest insights. It forces us beyond ourselves and destroys naïve and inadequate adaptions."

– From the book, "Owning Your Own Shadow" by Robert Johnson

Anonymous said...

I watched every space mission that I could, from early Gemini onward ...

I find it interesting that ... of the 12 moon-walkers ...
- All were from the 30's - except big Al (1923) - 6 were from 1930 proper.
- 5 Horses! 3 Boars, 2 Monkeys, a Snake and a Dog.

"Mercury, that's a good name."
"Geminee, well that's ok ... now there are two in the spacecraft."
"Apollo ... and they're going where??"
"Ohh ... they are not that smart after all!"

... (A terrible thing to realize when you're a kid)

This Pluto stuff is neat, but it's not the same ... alas.


Twilight said...

Anon/kidd ~ Uranus in Aries in the 1930s, until 1936, was an ingredient in some of their natal charts then. We're back in that cycle now, so maybe those being born in the current Uranus in Aries cycle will mature into the equivalent of the 1960s astronauts, to do things even more wondrous. :-)

Current Pluto stuff is less "hands-on" and exciting, but still amazing to me.