View from my ride yesterday afternoon. Mt. Rainier and Lake Washington


'Hope Is a Powerful Weapon': previously unpublished Nelson Mandela prison letters - New York Times

    Remember that hope is a powerful weapon even when all else is lost.


The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture - Barack Obama

    Madiba teaches us that some principles really are universal, and the most important one is the principle that we are bound together by a common humanity, and that each individual has inherent dignity and worth.

    Madiba reminds us, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and, if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart.” Love comes more naturally to the human heart; let’s remember that truth. Let’s see it as our North Star, let’s be joyful in our struggle to make that truth manifest here on Earth, so that, in a hundred years from now, future generations will look back and say, “They kept the march going. That’s why we live under new banners of freedom.”


From Steep Trails by John Muir

    Thus, by forces seemingly antagonistic and destructive, Nature accomplishes her beneficent designs—now a flood of fire, now a flood of ice, now a flood of water; and again in the fullness of time an outburst of organic life—forest and garden, with all their wealth of fruit and flowers, the air stirred into one universal hum with rejoicing insects, a milky way of wings and petals, girdling the newborn mountain like a cloud, as if the vivifying sunbeams beating against its sides had broken into a foam of plant-bloom and bees.

    But with such grand displays as Nature is making here, how grand are her reservations, bestowed only upon those who devotedly seek them! Beneath the smooth and snowy surface the fountain fires are still aglow, to blaze forth afresh at their appointed times. The glaciers, looking so still and small at a distance, represented by the artist with a patch of white paint laid on by a single stroke of his brush, are still flowing onward, unhalting, with deep crystal currents, sculpturing the mountain with stern, resistless energy. How many caves and fountains that no eye has yet seen lie with all their fine furniture deep down in the darkness, and how many shy wild creatures are at home beneath the grateful lights and shadows of the woods, rejoicing in their fullness of perfect life!

    Standing on the edge of the Strawberry Meadows in the sun-days of summer, not a foot or feather or leaf seems to stir; and the grand, towering mountain with all its inhabitants appears in rest, calm as a star. Yet how profound is the energy ever in action, and how great is the multitude of claws and teeth, wings and eyes, wide awake and at work and shining! Going into the blessed wilderness, the blood of the plants throbbing beneath the life-giving sunshine seems to be heard and felt; plant growth goes on before our eyes, and every tree and bush and flower is seen as a hive of restless industry. The deeps of the sky are mottled with singing wings of every color and tone—clouds of brilliant chrysididae dancing and swirling in joyous rhythm, golden-barred vespidae, butterflies, grating cicadas and jolly rattling grasshoppers—fairly enameling the light, and shaking all the air into music. Happy fellows they are, every one of them, blowing tiny pipe and trumpet, plodding and prancing, at work or at play.

Looking to Space

Building the world's highest-resolution telescope - Ars Technica

    If Lowell Observatory’s Gerard van Belle gets his way, you’ll soon be watching an exoplanet cross the face of its star, hundreds of light-years from the Earth. He can’t show you that right now, but he should be able to when the new mirrors are installed at the Navy Precision Optical Interferometer in northern Arizona. They're arriving now and should soon start collecting starlight—and making it the highest-resolution optical telescope in the world.

To Space and Back Again

SpaceX successfully launches Telstar 19v atop the second Block 5 Falcon 9 launched, with a successful stage 1 recovery


The Freedom of The Moon

    I've tried the new moon tilted in the air

Above a hazy tree-and-farmhouse cluster

As you might try a jewel in your hair.

I've tried it fine with little breadth of luster,

Alone, or in one ornament combining

With one first-water start almost shining.

    I put it shining anywhere I please.

By walking slowly on some evening later,

I've pulled it from a crate of crooked trees,

And brought it over glossy water, greater,

And dropped it in, and seen the image wallow,

The color run, all sorts of wonder follow.

    -Robert Frost

posted by demure: 211 days ago