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The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. - Author Unknown

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.

— Author Unknown

Brief History of Hubble Space Telescope - undergoing final maintenance-and-repair mission before retiring in 2014

Hubble lifts off on board Discovery in 1990

(quote)

The $1.5 billion Hubble rocketed to space aboard the space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990. It's named after Edwin Hubble, a pioneering American astronomer who furthered our understanding of other galaxies and demonstrated that the universe is continually expanding.

primary mirror, the Hubble Telescope

The Hubble's primary mirror, nearly eight feet across. A flaw in the mirror was discovered after the Hubble was in space; thanks to miscalibrated equipment, its glass had been ground slightly too finely at the edges. Though the imperfection measured just one-fiftieth of the thickness of a piece of paper, it distorted the Hubble's images. Astronauts fixed the problem in 1993.

Hubble Telescope orbits at a speed of five miles per second, 353 miles above Earth

About the size of a large school bus, the Hubble orbits at a speed of five miles per second, 353 miles above Earth. At that velocity it can cross the United States in about 10 minutes and circle the globe in an hour and a half.

Hubble Deep Field - our most detailed view of the universe  read more »

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take..John Burroughs

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.

— John Burroughs

"Mutual fear brings Peace,/Till selfish loves increase;/Then Cruelty knits a snare,/& spreads his baits with care"

The Human Abstract

Pity would be no more
If we did not make somebody poor,
And Mercy no more could be
If all were as happy as we.

And mutual fear brings Peace,
Till the selfish loves increase;
Then Cruelty knits a snare,
And spreads his baits with care.

He sits down with holy fears,
And waters the ground with tears;
Then Humility takes its root
Underneath his foot.

Soon spreads the dismal shade
Of Mystery over his head,
And the caterpillar and fly
Feed on the Mystery.

And it bears the fruit of Deceit,
Ruddy and sweet to eat,
And the raven his nest has made
In its thickest shade.

The gods of the earth and sea
Sought through nature to find this tree,
But their search was all in vain:
There grows one in the human Brain.

— William Blake

Antarctic ice shelves (some intact for 10k yrs) loss may shift axis of Earth. Wilkins Ice Shelf diminished by 30%

the Wilkins Ice Shelf has been cracking in new places recently and images released by the European Space Agency show that it will probably very soon break off entirely. A 62 square mile piece broke off in May 2008

(quote)

The Wilkins Ice Shelf has been cracking in new places recently and images released by the European Space Agency show that it will probably very soon break off entirely. A 62 square mile piece broke off in May 2008.

Angelika Humbert of Muenster University stated, “During the last year the ice shelf has lost about 1800 square kilometers (694 square miles), or about 14 percent of its size.” The Wilkins Ice Shelf is currently about the size of Jamaica, though it has already been diminished by about 30 percent.

A seal swims by icebergs off the British Antarctic Survey's Rothera base January 23, 2009. Companies are getting more interested in research into Antarctic life, which has yielded patents helping everything from medicines to ice cream production even though a 47-nation treaty says all science should be made freely available  read more »

Arctic tragically losing ice, losing peace: Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia, US all claim a piece of Arctic circle

North Pole ice extent and natural resource deposits

(quote)

Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States are all laying claim to a piece of the Arctic circle, hoping to be able to cash in on the vast natural energy resources believed to lie beneath. Each season the ice gets thinner, and the prospects of riches grows. Russia goes one step further - plans for dedicated Arctic military presence intensifies dispute with Canada.

contested borders

(unquote)

Original Source: Globe and Mail

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