Saturday, April 21, 2007

How's It Lookin' All The Way Up There?

I stumbled upon this article this morning. I love looking over articles and pictures which reflect on Earth itself. Always rather humbling and awe-inspiring. You think we as "the human race" have come so far in some ways, but we're oh so backwards..

I'm always in awe of the beauty of this planet from space. The depictions in science fiction.. the depictions in science fact.. We think this planet is so huge in many ways, but in even more - its oh, so small. I remember the very first time I got to see live television footage of Earth from the International Space Station in HD. It was quite an emotional moment quickly subdued by the reality that we, the human race, don't always know how to take care of it and its inhabitants.

I'm no saint at fully appreciating and caring for the planet, who is these days. I'll confess that when I'm at my worst I've been guilty of littering. We're all individuals with working brains you know.. we're all capable of making our choices and taking control of our habits. And there are things I probably should be doing different anyway, like resume a persistent reminder about this "little thing" called littering..

I can't reflect on the article without interjecting some Star Trek references, too.. :) Some of the many lessons I've learned from it are about appreciating the Earth itself. About casting aside greed, petty differences and petty geographical borders and working towards improving the common good for all.. but I digress..

Two of their movies show the same appreciation for the planet that this article expresses. In Star Trek: The Motion Picture is a moment where Captain Kirk and company leave Earth's orbit and he asks for a rear view of their departure. Its a wonderful moment. Then there's Star Trek: First Contact, where the very first "warp drive" ship blasts off from Earth. The ship distances itself at the speed of light.. it pauses, turns around.. and peeks into the vastness of space in the direction of a rather ordinary-looking yet beautiful blue and white speck. The drive's inventor, piloting the ship, gasps: "its so SMALL."

How true.

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