Tag Archives: space travel

Yes, but I’m an atheist, thanks

On Sunday 20th July 1969, Buzz Aldrin invited the listening world

“I would like to request a few moments of silence … and to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours, and to give thanks in his or her own way.”

He had received communion bread and wine from Webster Presbyterian Church near Houston, which still celebrates Lunar Communion Sunday every July, and a year later Aldrin wrote:

“I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup. It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements.”

A few moments later Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were to step out of the module on to the surface of another world for the first time. Aldrin added, later, reflecting on his action:

“Perhaps, if I had it to do over again, I would not choose to celebrate communion. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under LGBT Equality, Religion

Leith Library: 80 years of bookish joy

As far as I can remember, I always loved libraries, from the time when I had two blue pre-school library tickets and my mum would take me to the children’s library downstairs at George IV Bridge.

Leith Library Open Day

In an age where there is more and more (and more) information available, we need people with the skills to sift the nuggets from the noise. Librarians will probably need to rebrand themselves. They will be managers of information, searchers for fact. I’ve put some time into coming up with more fun names and my favourite so far is Information Ninja.

In my teenage years, lurking in Newington Library on Saturday mornings, I used to have silent fantasies of the building taking off for Mars with just me and all the books. All the books. Food? Water? Oxygen? All the books.
Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Books, of Edinburgh, Other stuff on the Internet I like, Photographs

Why devomax doesn’t work

Would I vote for independence? I don’t know. (Fortunately, I don’t have to make up my mind till autumn 2014.) Whichever way the vote goes then – for independence or for the status quo, devolution within the UK – the future is clear.

The Scottish Parliament was based on the work done by the Scottish Constitutional Convention, and two years of solid legislative work in Westminster by Donald Dewar and other Scottish Labour MPs. Though Tony Blair was apt to pat himself on the back for it, his main contribution appears to have been a rather grubby deal carving up what would be Scotland’s territorial waters to give a claim on the oil to the rest of the UK, and removing Scotland’s right to space travel. (Dammit.)

I don’t think there should be a devomax option in the independence ballot for two reasons.
Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Elections, Scottish Politics