domingo, março 26, 2006


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Initially it is a thrill to see this picture - the earth lit up; a triumph of technology; from the macro to the micro - the means to light it and the means to present the image. There are some patterns to be seen - one that comes to mind is Tim Flannery's statistic that some large percentage of humankind live by the sea, an atavistic hearkening back to our evolutionary roots in the oceans. Other patterns too - dark Africa, lit northern hemisphere, and so forth.

If you download the picture and open it with a viewer you can zoom in surprisingly far, to smaller and smaller points of light.

So ... why light the earth at night? Security? Mostly false. Fear of darkness, fear of death? Ultimately no effect. Vanity and the associated greed, stupidity, show-off thoughtlessness? Mostly. Hubris!

Click to EnlargeHush, little baby, don't say a word,
Mama's going to buy you a mockingbird.
And if that mockingbird don't sing,
Mama's going to buy you a diamond ring.
And if that diamond ring turns brass,
Mama's going to buy you a looking glass.
And if that looking glass gets broke,
Mama's going to buy you a billy goat.

And if that billy goat won't pull,
Mama's going to buy you a cart and bull.
And if that cart and bull turn over,
Mama's going to buy you a dog named Rover.
And if that dog named Rover won't bark,
Mama's going to buy you a horse and cart.
And if that horse and cart fall down,
You're still the sweetest little baby in town.

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