Finding Inspiration in the Stars

November 15, 2016 3:40pm
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It started out with just a random suggested video to watch during lunch – this one was about Commander Chris Hadfield returning to Earth after living on the International Space Station, talking about his reacclimation and all of the great creative things that he did to help “sell space” to a curious public during his stay…

From there I was pointed to this related video about fellow astronaut/cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko from Russia, who most recently spent a full year on the ISS to study the effects of space on the body with the thought of travel to Mars in our not-so-distant future…

…and I think what I loved about watching both of these videos back to back is that they’re really a great reminder of how space exploration brings us together, from listening to the passion that both of these men share in talking about their work as well as the things that they each missed back on Earth while they were away.

Even something as simple as the need for subtitles were a positive reminder because in a way they’re proof that despite Kornienko clearly speaking Russian throughout the interview, that passion and humanity still shines through that he’s talking about returning to Earth and its natural features that he loves.

There’s also a couple of scenes of all the astronauts together on the ISS and they’re always smiling and waving and working together towards a common goal. It just seems like if they can come together for the greater cause of science to transcend boundaries up there, we should be able to figure it out back down here on Earth, too. 😉

movie thoughts … The Martian

January 3, 2016 1:06pm
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martianBest movie I’ve watched so far this year – hands down!

Ok, in all seriousness, it’s probably the best movie from last year that I’ve watched, too.

In fact, I’ve had this thing sitting here for a couple of weeks but we never felt like we were really in the mood for it I think because we thought it was more of a serious movie like Interstellar (which sucked), but as it turns out, The Martian was very much the opposite of Interstellar because it was fun, it featured science that actually sounded like it made sense, and Matt Damon didn’t end up being kind of a dick hole at the end, either! 😛

I mean, it’s no secret that Matt Damon is who really sold this movie because he’s the one who was on screen 80% of the time and his delivery was spot-on – they really did a good job of making a character with the desperation to live who never gave up. It’s why his monologue to close the movie out sent shivers down your spine – because you literally just watched this guy live every word he was preaching to the next class of astronauts going to Mars…

“At some point, everything’s gonna go south on you and you’re going to say, this is it. This is how I end. Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That’s all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem and you solve the next one, and then the next. And If you solve enough problems, you get to come home.”

I especially loved the humor that he interjected into what otherwise could’ve been a pretty depressing tale of being stranded 140 million miles from home. “The greatest botanist on this planet” … “space pirate” … “I’d get to fly around like Iron Man” – he just had some fantastic dialog that helped really turn an otherwise dreary situation into something much more anxiously motivated because just as I was curious to see what he’d do next, I was equally terrified each time something would go wrong because really, how many things can go wrong while you’re stranded on another planet?!

Turns out a lot of things can go wrong, but in the face of disaster you just need to keep going.

It was a sweet movie and I can see myself watching bits and pieces of this one a bunch in the future. $200 billion to rescue Matt Damon from Mars? I think we got ourselves bargain this time!

Nothing’s Gonna Change My World

April 29, 2015 8:06pm
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I just discovered last night that this song that I’ve heard bits and pieces of over the years is actually a song by The Beatles, and though I’m by no means their biggest fan, I can’t help but find the lyrics to this particular one to be like poetry…

Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup,
They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe.
Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my opened mind,
Possessing and caressing me…
Jai Guru Deva OM

Interesting to read that the background of the song is very spiritual, and I thought that the words went quite well with this particular YouTube video featuring imagery of the stars around our own universe, too. 🙂

[Edit: I had to swap out the video because it got flagged as only available in the UK and the imagery in this new one is a bit … different!]

Fun with Christopher – Space Oddity

April 29, 2015 2:03am
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I remember having this idea a couple of years ago that it might be kind of cool once I had a kid to setup a website of all the neat things that we explore online together … may have to revisit that one after the fun we had this evening…

Anyways, this song came up because I had The Secret Life of Walter Mitty on in the background and after it cut out (just before Walter accidentally dives into the ocean!), I thought it might be fun to show him the original … or at least, the original as uniquely performed by the Commander of the International Space Station IN SPACE!!!

I know that at one year old he doesn’t really get space or weightlessness or the thought of everything mankind has ever known existing on that blue marble floating below the ISS, but he will. I suppose that’s the fun part! 😉

Space Oddity, Revisited

May 13, 2013 3:19pm
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ISS Commander Chris Hadfield comes back home to Earth today, but not before sending us one last song from space … quite the fitting finale!

Note that he re-wrote some the lyrics to better fit with his journey, not to mention the entire last verse to give the tune a little HAPPIER ending… 😀

BTW, here’s a great article from The Guardian chronicling Chris’ last five months aboard the ISS and the impact he’s made with everything he’s shared online from that unique view above the world. Here’s to hoping this is a trend that continues with the next astronauts to take his place!

Holy mother of god, the sky is on fire…

February 15, 2013 4:08pm
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This is pretty wild.

I haven’t read much of the news about this meteor crash over in Russia yesterday, except that it sounds like it injured a lot of people, but how any of these drivers didn’t just swerve off the road like the world is coming to an end is beyond me!

I mean, seriously – when the sky is ON FIRE, I’m pretty sure it’s socially acceptable to crap your pants no matter what you happen to be doing at the time.  😯

I think  we can go ahead and add this to the list of 101 awesome things that Chris Hadfield has done in space recently – here we see the ISS Commander performing a song that he co-wrote with the Barenaked Ladies … catchy tune, and just plain cool  to think that they collaborated on the song while Chris was orbiting the Earth on the ISS!!!

Here are a couple of other great articles about the making of the song – these are the kinds of things that get people excited about the next generation of space exploration. 🙂

Chris Hadfield Answers More Questions From Space!

February 7, 2013 11:44pm
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Just another video from space … Chris Hadfield … being awesome … answering questions for school kids … from space!

Seriously, I could sit and watch these videos all night – any other links I should be checking out???

Fingernails! In!! Space!!!

January 21, 2013 2:32pm
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Be sure to follow this guy on Twitter, too – the future only knows what kinds of other strange and wonderful things he’s yet to teach us during his current stay aboard the International Space Station! 🙂

Touring the International Space Station!

January 8, 2013 11:26pm
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I’m sure we’ve all seen videos touring the ISS before, but this one is 25 minutes long and shows off the incredible views and the astronaut bathroom and it’s just really cool so watch it already, okay?!


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