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Thursday, 13 November 2014

Philandering Moon (We Are Not a Virus)


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Honey! It's #Moon! ;) #awesome wt @angkasamalaysia @dihashnatt @nickyzulu: image via esmider @EsmiderZ, 13 November 2013

but if a tear falls in the rain forest
is it audible on the philae lander
Now, as you awaken
a few drops of rain fall then a few more
I give thanks to every cycle of the moon
heaven sleeps in the other room
under a white blanket early frost fitful cats
the drumbeat of everything around us
including the plants and trees
who give to us in the deeps
where there is more and more gravity

It’s me… landing on a comet & feeling good! MT @ESA_Rosetta: I see you too! #CometLanding: image via Philae Lander @Philae2014, 13 November 2014

'I am an #Ebola survivor, this is my story’ -- meet Juliana from Kenema, #SierraLeone: image via World Food Programme @WFP, 12 November 2014

Scientists celebrate in the observation centre of the French space agency in Toulouse as they receive information that Philae has landed on the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet: photo by Remy Gabalda / AFP via The Guardian, 13 November 2014

'It feels like the whole country is in quarantine'. Our #SierraLeone Director on #Ebola crisis: image via Amnesty UK @AmnestyUK, 7 November 2014

This picture released by the European Space Agency ESA was taken by the ROLIS instrument on Rosetta’s Philae lander during its descent from a distance of approximately 3 km from 2.5-mile-wide 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet: photo by AP, 13 November 2014

#Ebola surging in #SierraLeone amid lack of treatment centres: UN: image via ST Foreign Desk @STForeignDesk, 6 November 2014

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Remember this out-of-this-world #selfie? CIVA will also take a pic of @ESA_Rosetta as we separate #cometlanding #67p
: image via Philae Lander @Philae2014, 13 November 2014

TT @reformanacionalTeachers burn cars at #Guerrero Congress #YaMeCansé #AyotzinapaSomosTodos: image via Revolution News @NewsRevo,12 November 2014

Journalists wait at the European Space Agency operation centre
: photo by Remy Gabalda / AFP via The Guardian, 13 November 2014

#Mexico: Protesters Decry Years of Impunity After Apparent Massacre of 43 Students: image via Saulo Corona @SauloCorona, 10 November 2014

Scientists work at the Toulouse space centre: photo by Remy Gabalda / AFP via The Guardian, 13 November 2014

#SierraLeone footballer John Kamara declares to the world: "We are West Africans. We are not a virus." #EbolaOutbreak: image via Live From Mogadishu @Daudoo, 6 November 2014

Scientists look at the first picture transmitted by Philae
: photo by Remy Gabalda / AFP via The Guardian, 13 November 2014

Via @David ThomsonWV safe and dignified burials as health workers and community unite to pay respects #SierraLeone: image via SL Ebola recruitment @fightebolasl, 13 November 2014

The Rosetta mission spent much of the second half of October orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at less than six miles (10km) from its surface. This previously unpublished image, taken by Rosetta’s navigation camera, shows its dramatic terrain
: photo by ESA / Rosetta / NAVCAM, 13 November 2014

#EbolaCrisis means schools in #SierraLeone are closed. We're helping to reach children like Mada with radio education: image via Concern UK @ConcernVoices, 12 November 2014

Children look at a model of Philae in Toulouse: photo by Remy Gabalda / AFP via The Guardian, 13 November 2014

Empty desks. An entire country of children out of school. Ebola takes more than lives in #SierraLeone: image via Rachel Unkovic @Civoknu, 8 November 2014

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So beautiful: The Earth, taken during our last Earth swing-by in 2009 with the OSIRIS camera: image via Philae Lander @Philae2014, 19 March November 2014
#Ebola Kailahun #SierraLeone Often exhausted staff must be guided step by step during the undressing process ©MSF: image via Stefano Zannini @StefZannini, 11 November 2014

Rosetta's lander Philae is safely on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as these first two CIVA images confirm. One of the lander’s three feet can be seen in the foreground: photo by CIVA/Philae/Rosetta/ESA via The Guardian, 13 November 2014

Protective suits are left out to dry after an Ebola training session held by the Spanish Red Cross in Madrid. Doctors, nurses and engineers are being trained to fight the virus at a mock field hospital resembling the organisation’s Ebola treatment centre in Kenema, Sierra Leone: photo by Susana Vera/Reuters via The Guardian, 1 November 2014

This image, taken with the lander’s CIVA-P imaging system shortly after release, captures one of Rosetta’s 14 metre-long solar arrays
: photo by DLR/ROLIS/Philae/Rosetta/ESA via The Guardian, 13 November 2014

#Ebola Crisis: Fear and anxiety in Sierra Leone as situation worsens says @SavetheChildren: image via SBS News @SBS News, 1 November 2014

Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera captured this parting shot of the Philae lander after separation:
photo by CIVA/Philae/Rosetta/ESA via The Guardian, 13 November 2014


Hazen said...

Tom, the way you alternate between “there” and “here” in the pictures is quite effective — to show the nightmarish realities and the frothy distractions from same, including sciencey space probes and Taylor Swiftian marketing crises. “The drumbeat of everything around us” could be enough here on this beautiful earth. We choose instead to spend billions of dollars chasing after a tiny mud ball in space, insisting that the data hauled up will help us to understand life better; clearly we’ve hardly understood things at all. Another case of misplaced priorities.

TC said...


Oddly enough, the caption on that fifth-from-bottom shot of the lander engaging the rock hulk has undergone a sea change over the past twelve hours or so: from the elation of "safely landing" to -- in the more sober light of the morning's fresh data showing the ridiculous gizmo had hit, bounced, floated a bit, and then come back down not in the projected landing zone but in an area that had been previously rejected as a landing site --- something like "stuck precariously in a gaping hole, wedged beneath a small cliff". With one of its legs bent uncomfortably in a fashion less suggestive of futuristic ESA space engineering than of Mathew Brady's shots of grotesque Civil War battlefield injuries. I mean, what would Buck Rogers do? (Well, I suppose he wouldn't even be there: no room for pilots on these missions.)

So, what with a heroically maimed limb, it now appears the gizmo is in a position and location that will not permit the drilling for comet core samples.

Those were the core samples that were the whole object of the ten year boondoggle. They were to give us a map of how life began.

Instead we're seeing yet another map of blind mutant human tech hubris swatting itself on the back while falling on its face. Pop those corks, captain!

Alas Taylor Swift was assailed by dark forces at the last minute (well, in those most tenuous hours on the lander, just after the last minute), and gave way to a glob of space junk.

manik sharma said...

The G20 summit is costing an estimated $500 mill. They should perhaps meet over those empty desks in the picture. The decisions will be swift and thrust with an honesty that can only be precipitated by fear. The space junk or and Taylor Swift can have the staring contest. The sad part is, half the world would be willing to watch that crap. I'd rather play golf, hah !

TC said...


If that were golf and not a billionioid venture capital buccaroo techie video game adventure, that drive of theirs, which not only missed the green, but missed the course, by a km or so, because the harpoon hooks didn't engage (the analytics on the surface texture kept coming up strange in the computer models, but after an entire decade, time is money, it was too late to stop now), and the contraption ended up not just in a water hole, no actually that would have been preferable, but in a deep bunker beneath an overhanging cliff ledge where the sun does not shine (evidently the 3-d projector was down), so that the solar batteries cannot be recharged, so that the whole bamboozle is going to have to be decorated with honours by history even as it rusts away there, uselessly, in outer space, perhaps having a flickering resurgence of power intermittently, and picking up signals from the dead planet whence it came, one fears it might well go down as a dark, or at least somewhat shaded moment in the storied annals of the links.