Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Two things worth seeing

Thing Worth Seeing #1:
So we all know by now I'm an astronomy geek and I love the APOD (Astronomy Picture of the Day). I think my love of this stuff really came from when I taught Outdoor Education and my favorite night class to teach was the astronomy. How could you NOT get into it being up in the mountains and having ALL of the night sky to see with NO light pollution? It was brilliant.

So today's APOD is photo taken from Kahta, Turkey at Mount Nemrut. You can see Orion in the sky (a winter constellation, in case you were wondering why you never see it in the summer sky, unless of course you live in the Southern Hemisphere, where it's different; oh and if you ever want a sky map go visit www.skymaps.com). I just think this photo is really cool. (you can click on the APOD link to see a bigger picture)

Explanation: What's that in front of Orion? Forty kilometers north of Kahta, Turkey, lies Mount Nemrut, a mountain adorned with the fragments of vast statues built over 2000 years ago. The stone sculptures once stood nearly 10 meters high and depicted lions, eagles, various ancient gods, and King Antiochus I Theos, who ruled Commagene from 86 BC to 38 BC. Ruins of the bodies of several sitting figures are visible on the hill above, illuminated by moonlight. Zeus' head can be found near the above image's center, while the king's head is seen next closest to the horizon. Visible far in the distance in this image, taken three months ago, is the familiar constellation of Orion. The red patch just below Orion's belt is the Orion Nebula, while the bright star to the left of Orion is Sirius. On the far left, a red and brightening horizon announces that the Sun is beginning to rise.

Thing Worth Seeing #2:
The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard. I will be honest here: this is seriously one of the best 20 minutes I have ever spent on the internet.

From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

Here's a quick trailer for you to check out. But instead of watching this one minute trailer, GO NOW AND WATCH THE FULL MOVIE AND SPREAD THE WORD!

I really believe we have the power to do something about this process and we can be the agents of change not only for our society, but for the world. But we have to care about it. And we have to be willing to change our ways.

I'll get off my soapbox now, thanks for listening. :)


Yaktrax said...

Hi Sarah,

So this has nothing to do with the beautiful photo of Orion, but I saw that a few days ago you commented on DC Runner's blog about his Sof Sole product review. I am the person who sent him those items, and if you are interested in your own review, simply email me your shoe size and address and I'll be sure to send some your way.

email: yaktrax.experience@gmail.com

Happy trails,

Maggs said...

That is a great video... I saw it last year and it motivated me to reduce what I use drastically. It was the inspiration behind my NY resolution to not buy bottled water this year and to make my own yogurt and other things that require packaging. I had forgotten about the video though. Thanks!

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

Love the Story of Stuff! I show it to anyone who makes the mistake of being in my house for more than 5 minutes.

Love the photo too - those faded statues are epic.

rocketpants said...

I will have to look the video up...but that little trailer validates my disdain of the TV and my general boycott of most of it. The commercials will get us all in the end!

Love the picture of the sky.

Benson said...

The Story of Stuff validates many of my opinions, thought process and actions. Thank you so much for bringing that to my attention. I loved it and I will spread the word as well.

Great pics of the sky and that bike ride looked spectacular.

You're on my GOOD list.

Greg Remaly said...

great picture - Orion is my favorite constellation.

the video is very well-done - i feel like I do a reasonably good job of not "buying into" the culture of consumerism, and I'm glad that a lot of my major purchases are second-hand - car, tv, probably laptop too. they work so well, and the environment is better off because of people buying used stuff instead of new. "second-hand" or "used" doesn't have to be pejorative - it's just all the commercials and ads talking.

i can do better though.

Rainmaker said...

Stuff? So wait... does buying on the internets count? No? Good...just checking.

Hope you're enjoying your holidays.