Friday, 23 October 2009

American Poem

I AM the people—the mob—the crowd—the mass.

Do you know that all the great work of this world is
done through me?
I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the
world's food & clothes.
I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons
come from me & the Lincolns. They die. &
then I send forth more Napoleons & Lincolns.

I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand
for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me.
I forget. The best of me is sucked out & wasted.
I forget. Everything but Death comes to me &
makes me work & give up what I have. & I forget.
Sometimes I growl, shake myself & spatter a few red
drops for history to remember. Then — I forget.

When I, the people, learn to remember, when I, the People
use the lessons of yesterday & no longer forget
who robbed me last year, who played me for
a fool — then there will be no speaker in all the world
say the name: "The People", with any fleck of a
sneer in his voice or any far off smile of derision.

The mob—The crowd—The mass—will arrive then.

              – Carl Sandburg

Saturday, 3 October 2009

So, it's Rio for 2016 Olympics

When the human world & its damage to itself & its planet gets too much, sometimes looking at a bigger picture can distract us from our distress & despair. (NB: Need better, official links for these two.)
Mysterious Mercury reveals more surface secrets to Messenger spacecraft
The Messenger team were hoping to take close-up pictures of other features glimpsed during the first two fly-bys, but an unexpected signal loss just four minutes before making the closest approach meant the craft went into safety mode. When returned to operational mode, it reported all systems were functioning normally again. [Conspiracy theorists will love that.]
Messenger will now enter into orbit in 2011 after it used the planet's gravity during the latest fly-by to help slow it down … Before the current Messenger mission only 45 per cent of the planet's surface had ever been glimpsed, using the Mariner crafts in the 1970s.
Now after three flybys in 2008 and 2009, around 95 per cent of the surface has been imaged. Only a few small sections around the poles have yet to be covered.
The team are hoping to answer six key questions about Mercury: Why is it so dense? What is its geological history? How does its magnetic field work? What is the structure of its core? What are the unusual materials at the poles? What volatile materials are there?

Turbulent Milky Way revealed in new light using British space camera
An image of a Milky Way region in the constellation of the Southern Cross has been constructed from individual SPIRE (UK-led camera) and PACS images in the European Herschel Space Observatory. It shows 'a very turbulent process', constantly forging new generations of stars. … Herschel, which launched in May, was designed to view the universe at far infrared wavelengths and carries the largest telescope ever flown into space … providing astronomers with information about how much material there is, its mass, temperature and composition, and whether or not some of it is collapsing to form new stars. The two instruments have imaged an area around 16 times as big as the size of the moon as seen from earth. … Large areas of the milky way will be systematically surveyed by Herschel in this manner, helping astronomers to unravel the mysteries of star formation.
OTOH, this world is the only one we know of that has mind, thought, feeling, art & created beauty, or the capability of appreciating any of the natural beauty we find.

Extraordinary Origami (there's a tiger) news/ worldnews/ article-1217194/ Origami-master-Sipho-Mabona-art-creating-paper-butterfly.html OR
Which can be another thing adding to the despair, when contemplating what damage we're wreaking, despite so many people trying to stop it.

Another comfort is cats:
Duststorm Boo ("one angry orange kitty!") photos/ velvetink/ 3946361231/

On Mount Olympuss serge_lj/ pic/ 0007ss5x/ g1

Agatha on desktop serge_lj/ pic/ 0005fth6/ g1

Cats Learning to Swim (somewhat dodgy) watch?v=tu6fVdAFGSI

i are cute kitten watch?v=_ZSbC09qgLI

Sharing a bath with Woody watch?v=sGrQV23TTUY

Cat Shower 2 (Woody Style) watch?v=8KswnjMa-MQ

From envy of the shelf-room of Neil Gaiman, seen at Gaiman's Bookshelf Details, at Ron Brinkmann's blog, Shelfari, we go all gooey seeing his cat posing there