Our Inner Pagan


I don’t care who you are or what beliefs get you through the day, something about the summer solstice commands our inner Pagan. I’m not making this up. Imperceptible tendrils of ancient ceremony take root as solstice approaches.Everywhere I look, the subtle blush of anticipation betray the otherwise oblivious. Nature is a determined master.

Call me crazy, it doesn’t matter.Summer solstice plucks primordial, Go ahead – dance, sing, howl at the moon. Let your inner Pagan breathe. Happy solstice.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solstice

http://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-summer-summer-solstice

New Horizons Teaser


On July 14, 2015 the National Space Society (NSS) probe New Horizons will arrive within 12,500 kilometers of Pluto. Launched 9 years and 5 billion kilometers ago, New Horizons is days away from capturing first ever close-ups of Pluto. This week the NSS released  a “teaser” video to celebrate Horizon’s “close encounter”. Watch and wonder.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/newhorizons/main/index.html

 

UrtheCast


Move over Google Maps satellite view – today,  Vancouver based UrtheCast arrived.

Last year UrtheCast Corp. partnered with NASA – a deal allowing commercial HD cameras elbow room on the ISS. Look at it this way – linked below, a short article to ponder.

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/technology/Vancouver+company+UrtheCast+will+delivering+video/9442020/story.html

Stay with me – UrtheCast is so much more. Yesterday, June 17, 2015 releasing their first HD colour video from space, with the mission statement quoted below.

“Today, we are continuing our advancement towards democratizing the Earth Observation industry, making timely Earth video and imagery from space accessible to everyone,” explained Scott Larson, UrtheCast Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. “With the ultimate goal of connecting the planet and highlighting what unites us all, we’re revealing a perspective of Earth from space that was previously reserved for a small few. By opening up our API to the web development community, we’re providing collaboration tools that will help people monitor, protect, and benefit our world and will lead to the democratization of Earth observation imagery”

The final link is to UrtheCast’s website. Don’t take my word for it – immerse yourself in UrtheCast.

https://www.urthecast.com/

America Trumped


Over the years, Donald Trump’s blustery threats to enter politics played out as self centered promotion. Not to be taken seriously,  a pompous presence at the helm of his contrived “boardroom” reality TV program, Trump fancies himself a big man, a “tycoon” capable of turning America around. Today Trump made it official – seeking nomination for Republican presidential candidate in 2016. His slogan – “make America great again”.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/06/16/donald-trump-to-announce-his-presidential-plans-today/

Stopping laughter long enough to scrape my brain off the wall,  facilitated  focus necessary to ponder Trump. Let me begin with a few quotes from Trump…

“I’m really rich,” Trump said while waving a financial statement that showed his net worth at nearly $9 billion. “And that’s not bragging. That’s the kind of mindset you need.”

“Politicians are all talk and no action,” said the first-time candidate. “We have losers. We have people who are morally corrupt. We have people who are taking the country down the drain.”

“This is going to be an election, in my opinion, based on competence,” Trump said. “The American Dream is dead. And if elected president, I will make it bigger and stronger than ever.”

Toss in a “foolproof plan” to defeat Islamic terrorists, punctuated with refusal to divulge details because “I don’t want the enemy to know what I’m doing.”, and the balls to talk about his golf courses during his announcement – “I have the best courses in the world,” Trump said, in an aside offering to host Obama at one of them.

The man is an egotistical numskull – one I’ve just decided doesn’t merit a ponder. That said, I urge everyone to link below – learn how many times this self proclaimed savior of the American way of life declared bankruptcy.

http://www.mademan.com/mm/how-many-times-has-donald-trump-filed-bankruptcy.html

Parallax World


Parallax is “a displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight”. Enter Parallax World – a news site with far greater aspirations than delivering bipartisan news. Parallax World strives to become the news source that “gives news readers no excuse for being blindly partisan”.

Launched in January, Parallax World’s 9 staff members currently publish one story a day. Stories focused on domestic/international politics and relations, business and the environment. To be published, stories meet strict criteria –

“1) The nuance provided will make better voters or global citizens, 2) Whether it impacts a large audience, 3) Whether the topic is better covered by the Parallax format.”

“Format” is the Parallax key – readers are able to toggle back and forth between three different perspectives on every story. Linked below, a Parallax World story on climate strategies.

http://parallaxworld.com/industry-backed-climate-policies-draw-skepticism/

Co-founder Sean Daley said –

“Our core goal is different. Parallax World…is less concerned with understanding how various news agencies cover a story, but rather is focused on how decision makers act and perceive those events. We want to know how President Obama, Speaker of House Boehner, or Senator Ted Cruz differ in their views,”

Ponder Parallax World – perspective is everything.

http://parallaxworld.com/

Pondering Neil deGrasse Tyson


Neil deGrasse Tyson has to be my favorite astrophysicist. Had I traveled Tyson’s path, (bachelor degree in physics from Harvard, master’s degree in astronomy from University of Texas, and doctorate in astrophysics from Columbia ) I too would dedicate my life to making science accessible. Tyson embodies joy, enthusiasm and purpose – his undeniable presence worthy of the National Academy of Science 2015 Public Welfare Medal for “his extraordinary role in exciting the public about the wonders of science”.

Anyone who watches PBS or the Discovery channel likely recognize Tyson – host of last year’s revamp of Carl Sagan series Cosmos, the PBS NOVA series ScienceNow, or his podcast turned television series, Star Talk.

Ponder a few video clips of Tyson – straight talking, unapologetic snippets from a man I admire.