Friday, July 17, 2009

One small step

Well it has been 40 years since mankind, within the setting of a cold war , set off for the moon.
I remember being woken when the landing took place, being told that history was being made.
Sleepily I watched those first steps and went back to bed. It wasn't through lack of interest, though through lack of age.
It seems that I wasn't the only one( at the time) with a lack of interest in space travel.

"Everything we do ought to really be tied in to getting on to the moon ahead of the Russians [...] otherwise we shouldn't be spending that kind of money, because I'm not interested in space [...] The only justification for [the cost] is because we hope to beat [the USSR] to demonstrate that instead of being behind by a couple of years, by God, we passed them." said John F Kennedy to James E Webb ( head of NASA at the time). source

Many projects were proposed to prove American superiority over the Russians and going to the moon was chosen.
An alternative idea for the funds was to apply massive irrigation projects to the third world.

Dont get me wrong.
Many amazing discoveries and applications we use today have come from that program.
Those programs should be taken to the next step. It's just so expensive.
The costs should be shared, among all nations, along with the benefits.
I propose the time has come for a world space organization.
This, of course, requires a previously unknown degree of international cooperation which may spill over into the environmental field of play on good old mother earth as some big projects, with big scientific/material rewards, are completed.
Rewarded cooperation breeds a more stable future together.

The push into space is, I believe, an intergral piece of the puzzle we need to solve if we are to pull ourselves together as a species so as to maintain a healthy environment here at home.

Are we grown up enough to stop trying to beat each other to the toys in this little blue/green nursery of ours?

Or is this the case?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Birds of Prey

As winter deepens I have seen more birds of prey keeping an eye open for an easy meal.
While fishing the other day, I saw not less than six White Bellied Sea Eagles in a group (flock?) diving for Salmon off the beach.
Smaller birds, such as this Nankeen Kestrel have been keeping an eye in the surrounding fields for mice.

This Black Shouldered Kite was very tolerant of me, allowing a number of shots to be taken.

Eventually it took flight.
I was a little slower than it, unfortunately, though I have included this shot as I feel it conveys some of the power of these small hunters.

I look forward to further chances to improve this shot soon.
A good site to view details of Australian birds of prey is here