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the anticraft > blog
Jul 18, 2009
Where were YOU 40 years ago today?
I'm an unrepentant geek. That should come as no surprise to any of you. I am probably not alone. These are all good things.
Today is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, an event so impossible and improbable and incredible it is believed by many to be mankind's greatest achievement.
Likewise, because of said impossiblity, improbability, and unbelieveability, it is believed by many on the fringe to have been mankind's (and by "mankind" I mean "Hollywood") most celebrated hoax.
In this possibly singular instance, I am not among the fringe. Though I really like the tv show.
Are you old enough to remember? I'm not. I was just over a year old. It happened sometime after midnight, and my parents woke me up to prop me up in front of the tv (b&w, no remote) so years later I could say I watched the first steps humans took on the moon. There are black and white photos of the tv showing this momentous event (no VCRs or DVRs). I have friends with the same photos, and I have friends who vividly remember the event. One friend can name EVERY astronaut from every Apollo mission, in order, and tonight that friend is having an Apollo party to celebrate the awesomeness of this anniversary. BONUS: (if the weather's clear) a bit after 10pm we'll even get a chance to watch the International Space Station pass overhead.
The mind boggles at the accomplishments we puny humans can reach (footprints on the moon!!!!), especially from my perspective of celebrating ancient handcrafts (drop spindle, frame loom, knotless netting).
So here's where art and science meet.
Alan Bean, an astronaut from the Apollo 14 mission, is now an exhibiting artist. He even found a way to incorporate moon dust into his paintings: he cut apart the patches from his spacesuit and paints them into his works. Works which are really quite awesome. See some HERE. (To help you appreciate the "oooh" factor, moon dust and moon rocks are the most controlled substance in the world.)
I find it inspiring that one so easily assumed to be from a very right-brained (analytical, mathematic) perspective is in fact eloquently left-brained (artistic, lyrical, symbolic). Many of his portraits of the moon use a lot of color, where in reality there is just a dizzying array of grays. It's an elegant interpretation of our nearest neighbor.
I'm always inspired by the impossible, improbable, and the arcane.
Consider how few people have had the opportunity to walk on the surface of another extra-Earth object, and consider how many more (though relative to the world's population, still very few) have been in/are currently in low earth orbit on one of the various space stations (there were 5 successful space stations, several more attempted and planned).
Are you like me: would you like to have been one of those chosen few?
Oh, just go look at Bean's paintings. And then grab a telescope or binoculars and gaze at the next clear night sky. It is vast, profound, and infinitely (pun intended) inspiring.
HERE'S Sternlab's unbelieveably great use of conductive thread used in embroidery. Consider the possibilities!!
If you're not inspired, please check your pulse.
always looking up,