Showing posts with label awe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label awe. Show all posts

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Space, Voyager's Frontier

By Douglas Clark

Unless you’ve been hiding under an asteroid lately, you probably read or heard that Voyager 1, the venerable space probe sent out by NASA in 1977, has ‘officially’ left the solar system. Now let me start off by saying I’m a space nut. I love Astronomy, mapping the stars, learning about the Universe and every strange and amazing thing in it. As a kid I watched TV shows like Star Trek, Buck Rodgers, Battlestar Galactica, and Lost in Space reruns enjoying every minute of it. Also, secretly wishing everything in those shows could happen or were possible. As I got older, I realized watching those shows expanded my imagination and creative horizons. They taught me that just because something isn’t possible today, doesn’t mean it can’t come true in the future. I always look to the future with a strong sense of wonder and hope. To me, the future represents a time where things are better, problems are solved, and knowledge is gained, accomplishments earned, and there’s some pretty kick ass Sci-Fi technology to scoot us around the cosmos.

Okay, so let’s get back to Voyager. It’s a space probe about the size of a small car and it’s all alone in the vastness of outer space, just on the edge of what we might call our neighborhood. From NASA’s most recent report, it’s about 11 billion miles away. A stone’s throw in galactic terms, but to us humans that’s more distance than any other manmade object has ever traveled. Now Voyager 2 is only a few billion miles behind, but still. The thought of that little craft, a fragile mechanical messenger, flying through space to a fate unknown is mesmerizing. Think of it. I’ve imagined hitching a ride on that craft and experiencing a bit of its journey. Putting aside for a moment the logistics of actually floating along with the thing, just to experience for a brief second the wonders that craft will endure is truly breathtaking.

The Earth is our home and yet, nature finds a way to erase evidence of our existence. Though we may try to fight it off, erosion is inevitable. But, in the distant future, thousands of years after our civilization has morphed and changed into something wholly unrecognizable, or vanished completely from this world, Voyager will still be journeying out among the stars. Barring any strange or freak occurrence like a collision with some rogue asteroid or something, it will persist. Our legacy to the universe, our infinitesimally small yet distinct contribution proving that we existed will continue on to points unknown. If that’s not enough to inspire a bit of awe and wonder in your mind, you might want to check your pulse. For me, it’s fascinating without end, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thanks for reading.
 Questions and comments are welcome.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.

Achievement can be considered the pinnacle of effort.  That which you have strived for, worked for, endured much, promised little and sacrificed to accomplish all becomes secondary to the pride and joy that comes with Achievement.  You’ve done it!  All feats, great and small bring with them a sense of satisfaction.  Once you’ve experienced that sense of wonder and awe at your own abilities you will finally understand what it means to be self-reliant, resilient, and persistent.  Picking a goal and powering through what life gives you to accomplish that goal has no substitute. 

Once you have reached that level of accomplishment and know what it takes to get there, you must push yourself even further.  You may have heard the old cliché “don’t rest on your laurels.”  Well basically that means you need to keep challenging yourself.  If you don’t, your achievement will fade.  I believe a fundamental goal in life should be to continually strive and push yourself to achieve ever greater accomplishments.  I can tell you personally, after 4 years, I’ve finally finished my Master’s degree.  I just received my diploma in the mail and it is now hanging on my office wall.  It means a lot to me, because I went through a lot, professionally and personally while trying to achieve that goal of getting my degree.  Now that I’m finished, I’m thinking of what my next challenge should be. 

Sir Edmund Hillary’s quote is quite apt, at least for me, but at the same time, I’m reminded of that little ditty we’d sing when we were kids “…The bear went over the mountain, the bear went over the mountain, the bear went over the mountain… to see what he could see.  He saw another mountain, he saw another mountain, he saw another mountain, so guess what he did.  The bear went over the mountain…”  Life is full of mountains.  Go climb them, and conquer!

Mountains with cloud cover

Understanding Pandemics

By Doug Clark Head Writer -  The Inspiration Engine With all that is going on with Covid 19, I thought it would be a good idea to help ...