things that are awesome right now and then
Voyager space craft
I have never seen anything like this. Actually, I didn’t know it existed until five years ago when I was watching a Nova documentary. I changed the channel and I heard this song, it captivated me, everything about the visual and the song playing, it was a lone little space craft on the outer edges of our solar system and it was playing a song called “Dark Was the Night” by Blind Willie Johnson. I recognized the singer immediately from the days my father would play him, but I never heard this song. it was perfect. In the darkness of space, right around Pluto this song was playing.
Nova went on to talk about this space vessel, that it was holding this thing called “the golden record” that contended images and songs from earth. It was launched in September 1977. In August 2012 it became the first man made object to enter Interstellar space. I don’t even know what that means. Interstellar space is apparently the place where the sun’s constant flow of material and magnetic field stop affecting its surroundings. It marks the end of a region created by our sun that is called the heliosphere, which is way past Pluto. So out there in past the vast reach of our sun is a man made object with a golden record playing songs that will never be heard like messages in a bottle.
For some reason Bach and Beethoven had top billing on the playlist. It would have been better if they had something from the perhaps the Beetles, I don’t know. Maybe in 1976 when NASA was considering songs they decided to pass on Elton John, Wings, Diana Ross, The Eagles, KC and the Sunshine Band… the following year we when it was launched we started to see the outbreak of Disco, Bee Gees, Gibbs and all that junk so maybe they were better at predicting bullshit and not letting in to “the true recordings of humans” so the classical was a good choice. But fuck 2001 Space Odyssey came out in 1968… the best fucking song they could have put on there was with out a doubt, “Also sprach Zarathustra” a little Wagner as cosmic sarcasm. There were some other songs too, or what ever you will call them. let’s take a look
• Zaire, Pygmy girls’ initiation song
• Senegal percussion
• Navajo Indians, Night Chant
• Solomon Islands, Panpipes
Way to be almost be “not so racist” but the more I considered it, the more I realized it was a sign of the times. They wanted to show the diversity of earth, there were way more songs picked and there were way more images picked, but when NASA chose a picture of a woman on earth breast-feeding, (if you wanted to relay a message of how our children were born, how they relations where important, and how we developed this might be one of the most powerful messages you could capture) but religious groups spoke out, “NASA wants to send pictures of smut out into space” smut, that is funny. I really don’t think there was a time I looked at my wife breastfeeding my sons and thought. “it’s on tonight” but these were the times and thank god that Blind Willy Johnson “Dark Was the Night” made it on this “playlist”
We are in inter-fucking-stellar-space. Think about that. So here is my next question? How the fuck is that thing still going and how is it still sending messages, and how long does it take to get to earth since, it takes around 6 hours at the speed of light to get from Pluto to the sun. so from earth that has to be like 5.5 hours and this thing is way past that. How do I have a cell phone that doesn’t last 6 hours and we have a space craft sending messages from interstellar space? It is not like they are getting “solar power” or “solar wind” because it is way past that point.
People are smart, in 1977 there were a lot of smart people just doing shit and not really listening to the Disco, they had bigger things on their mind… and this alone gives me hope today.