Rest easy, sleep well
6:35pm Friday 15 December 2006 by rudy

Rest easy, sleep well, my brothers.

Know the line has held, your job is done.
Rest easy, sleep well.
Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held.
Peace, peace, and farewell…

Washington Post
Wreaths Across America

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The farewell party
9:20pm Monday 20 November 2006 by rudy

I just think this deserves a read. It’s about Army Special Forces Captain Jeffrey Toczylowski, and his plans for getting his friends together after his death: Rounds of sadness and joy

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Pale Blue Dot
7:14pm Tuesday 3 October 2006 by rudy

See the pale blue dot in the photo below? It’s the little pale dot a little past halfway down the image, in the rightmost lighter colored stripe of sunlight that is in the right quarter of the picture. That is Earth as viewed in 1990 by the Voyager I spacecraft when it was 4 billion miles away.

On October 13, 1994, the late Carl Sagan with this picture delivered a public lecture at Cornell, excepted here:

We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity — in all this vastness — there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It’s been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

More information about this photo can be found in the wikipedia and space.com.

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