Thursday, April 23, 2009
Happy Earth Day to you! And Happy Earth Day to the Earth - 4.7 billion years young today, or 6,000 years for the creationists. Either way, pretty darned old. Earth Day was created by Gaylord Nelson in 1970, and was designed to inspire appreciation and awareness of our planet. I’ve been thinking about the Planet Earth a lot today, on many different levels.
First, the technological level. Several developments on this front today.
This morning I was emailing with the Googlers about how we’re going to include Stage 2 of my Pacific row in the Exploration layer of Google Earth. My postings from the ocean – blogs, photos, videos, and maybe even Tweets – will be geotagged so they are associated with the particular location where I sent them, as I wend my winding way across the Pacific.
Later today, Jim, my director of technology, emailed me to suggest adding a map to my website, using GeoVisitors, that will show the location of my website visitors. This sounds really cool. A Google Map would show a little marker for each visitor. I love this kind of technology – such as Twittervision, which shows who is doing what, and where – a fascinating insight into human activity around the world. Watching it makes me feel incredibly connected to this amazing, incredible species called humanity.
Which brings me to the emotional level. Filming Ian and Joel earlier this week as they worked on my boat’s electrics, it struck me as interesting that when we install certain kinds of electrical devices they have to be “earthed” – connected to an object that connects to the ground, so that excess energy is safely discharged. I wonder if human beings are the same – that we also have to be “earthed” in order to function properly without blowing up. We feel at our best when we are connected to Mother Nature and “grounded”.
And then there’s the macro level. Seeing all these images of the planet makes me feel a strong sense of its fragility. It looks so small – just one tiny globe spinning through a vast expanse of darkness.
So I’m going to mark this Earth Day by renewing my pledge to do all I can to reduce my own personal impact on the earth, and by writing this blog – today and every day as I cross the ocean this summer – to try to inspire others to do the same. It would be nice if we remember to cherish and respect the earth every day of the year. Our planet is our life support capsule, and the only one we’ve got. So let’s treat it with the love and respect that it deserves. Our lives depend on it.
And on a lighter note…
T-shirt seen today in Waikiki: “Keep the planet clean. It’s not Uranus.” ☺
Today our plans to move the boat to a building on Ala Moana Blvd fell through. Just not enough time to complete the paperwork and insurance arrangements. I would have been willing, but it takes two to tango.
So I am temporarily out of options. I really need a large, covered space, where I can lay out all my provisions and equipment, get it all organized, and then pack it on board. I have tried every avenue I can think of, so far without success. The team is on the case, but if anybody knows of such a space, please contact me via this website or on Facebook. Specific suggestions only, please!
Last night Ian, director of boatworks, reached the end of his stint in Hawaii and left to go back to the mainland. Thanks, Ian, for all your good work. We miss you already!
Huge thanks to Steve at International Paints, Bobby at Pacific Shipyards - and most of all @sistaliz for finding some blue antifoul paint for my bottom!
Roz Recommends: on Earth Day it seems appropriate to recommend one of my very favourite iPhone applications - Moonphase by Romanduck.com - "apps for the easily bemused". It shows sunrise and sunset, moonrise and moonset, moonphases, plus all kinds of cool celestial information. Favourite features: choice of full moon names including Native American, Colonial, English, Celtic or Wiccan - and "Werewolf Warning"!
[photo: "Earthrise" by William Anders, taken during the Apollo 8 mission in 1968.]