Friday, September 21, 2007

News from Venus

Today is Friday, 21 September 2007.

Long after megalomaniacs such as W. Bush and Osama bin Laden, Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao, and their necessary accomplices, the masses of pointlessly over-consuming callous First Worlders, have accomplished their dreams of grinding the human and animal populations of Earth into dust, and are forgotten, the planets will continue their crisscross dances in the sky.

I was put in vivid mind of this by the circumstance that Venus, as the Morning Star, is currently situated in its orbit such that it currently shines as brightly as it ever does. Look to the eastern sky beginning, say, two hours before sunrise, and you’ll see what I mean. (Binoculars should enable one to discern a crescent shape.)

You are looking at an object more than 26,000,000 miles distant.

To see the relative position of Earth and Venus, visit Solar System Live at

This site is a marvelous resource, featuring an interactive orrery. You may recall the mechanical version of the orrery from science classes: a tabletop model of the Solar System, operated by a crank and gears, showing the movement of the planets around the Sun. The site has many other astronomical treats as well.

In 1914, H.G. Wells published The World Set Free, a novel about a cataclysmic global war between all the Great Powers. Based on his extrapolations from the atomic physics of his time, he speculates on an atomic bomb:

“Certainly it seems now that nothing could have been more obvious to the people of the earlier twentieth century than the rapidity with which war was becoming impossible. And as certainly they did not see it. They did not see it until the atomic bomb burst in their fumbling hands. Yet the broad facts must have glared on any intelligent mind.

All through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the amount of energy that men were able to command was continuously increasing. Applied to warfare that meant that the power of inflict a blow, the power to destroy, was continually increasing. There was no increase whatever in the ability to escape.

Every sort of passive defence, armour, fortifications, and so forth, was being out-mastered by this tremendous increase on the destructive side. Destruction was becoming so facile that any little body of malcontents could use it; it was revolutionizing the problems of police and internal rule.

Before the last war began it was a matter of common knowledge that a man could carry about in a handbag an amount of latent energy sufficient to wreck half a city.

These facts were before the minds of everybody; the children in the streets knew them. And yet the world still, as the Americans used to phrase it, “fooled around” with the paraphernalia and pretensions of war.”

The heavens at night are so beautiful. When will humanity revolt, and cease making a hell of Earth?


Anonymous Stella D. said...

Humanity will learn or we will destroy ourselves. My great hope is the former.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Lily R. said...

It seems to me I've heard that men are from Mars, women are from Venus.

Mars is the God of War.
Venus is the Goddess of Love.

When are you Martians going to start listening to us?

Make love, not war.

Peace, my brothers.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Hari said...

An intriguing book just came out:

"The World Without Us"

Here is an article about it:

A return to ecological balance.

5:09 PM  
Anonymous earthboundmisfit said...

I've often thought that Earth would've been much happier if it had been "given" (for lack of a better term) to the whales, dolphins and elephants to steward...

(Woops. The kitty who's watching over my shoulder here just informed me that the Earth should belong to CATDOM...) :)

Great MoB, HH - enjoyed the Solar System Live site, too. Happy Equinox Sunday at 5:51 A.M, everyone!

2:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home