The School of Athens

The School of Athens
The School of Athens by Raphael (click on picture to view short documentary from Columbia University)

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Sand between the toes

Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.

Something to contemplate as we wade through today's 'important' issues.

There are more stars in the Universe than there are grains of sand on all the beaches of all the world; and there are more atoms in one grain of sand than there are stars in the Universe.








Monday, 25 August 2014

Vale Sir Richard Attenborough

Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.

Today we hear of the sad news of the passing of Sir Richard Attenborough.

As a tribute, I thought you might appreciate listening to the stirring theme music (by Elmer Bernstein) from one of his finest films "The Great Escape" here


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Laughter is the best medicine

Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.

Today, August 19, marks 37 years since the passing of Groucho Marx. He was 86.


The Marx Brothers produced some of the funniest films of all time.

Many times I ventured with my family on a Saturday evening in the 1970's to the Academy Twin Theatre in Paddington, Sydney, to view these gems.

Every time I watch one of these films now, I can hear my late father roaring with laughter. Memories I shall always treasure.

Here's a classic Groucho quote from Horse Feathers: "Well, I thought my razor was dull until I heard his speech. And that reminds me of a story that's so dirty I'm ashamed to think of it myself." 

Here's one of their greatest scenes: The Crowded Cabin Room from A Night At The Opera watch here

I've also attached below movie posters from all their films in chronological order. 

Who can view these and not feel good?














Friday, 15 August 2014

Run silent, run deep

Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.

With the passing of Lauren Bacall, no doubt you would've seen one of the many wonderful tributes that have followed. Each of which would've made mention of her alluring, sultry gaze.


In that vein, I thought you might find these photographs of stars of the much earlier silent era of interest.

To me they had a very deep, yet raw look. Perhaps that's because they had to communicate a great deal with their eyes.

See what you think
Gloria Swanson 


Mary Pickford 


Clara Bow


Theda Bara


Louise Brooks


Lillian Gish

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Could you imagine?

Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.

The Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan.


Could you imagine if every child, in every school, in every nation on the Earth learnt these words?

Could you imagine if every house, in every nation, on every continent on the Earth had these words displayed on a wall?

Could you imagine if this perspective were constantly at the forefront of our minds, what the possibilities for humanity would be?

These words (see below) from Carl Sagan's book Pale Blue Dot were inspired by this image taken, at Sagan's suggestion, by Voyager 1 on February 14, 1990. As the spacecraft left our planetary neighbourhood for the fringes of the solar system, engineers turned it around for one last look at its home planet. Voyager 1 was about 6.4 billion kilometers (4 billion miles) away, and approximately 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane, when it captured this portrait of our world. Caught in the centre of scattered light rays (a result of taking the picture so close to the Sun), Earth appears as a tiny point of light, a crescent only 0.12 pixel in size. [The Planetary Society]

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994
 More recent photos of the Earth from space: on the left from Saturn, and on the right from Mercury.


Monday, 4 August 2014

Little rays of sunshine

Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.

Considering all the darkness in the news currently, perhaps it's time for a few rays of sunshine to help warm the spirit and nourish the soul.

To accompany these wonderful photographs below I thought you might enjoy listening to this iconic song from 1970 by the Australian band Axiom:


"A Little Ray of Sunshine" View YouTube clip here:


















Thursday, 31 July 2014

Injustice anywhere.....

Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.

Would it not be of immeasurable benefit to humanity if this quote from the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were as indelibly engraved in our minds as it is on this wall?





Blog Archive

Our home

Our home
Earthrise over the moon (click on picture to view film)

The pale blue dot

The pale blue dot
Earth viewed from Saturn (click on picture to view film clip)

Our neighbourhood

Our neighbourhood
The Solar System (click on picture to view film)

Our Home Galaxy

Our Home Galaxy
The Milky Way (click on picture to view film)

A sister galaxy

A sister galaxy
Andromeda (click on picture to view film)

Another sister galaxy

Another sister galaxy
Triangulum (click on picture to view short film clip)

The Local Group of Galaxies

The Local Group of Galaxies
Our Galactic Neighbourhood (click on picture to view film clip).

Our farthest view of the Universe

Our farthest view of the Universe
Hubble's farthest view (click on picture to view film clip)

The virgo super cluster of galaxies

The virgo super cluster of galaxies
Galaxies within 100 million light years (click on picture to view film clip)

Galaxies within 1 billion light years

Galaxies within 1 billion light years

Universe

Universe