14 November 2005

Earth: The Blue Marble

One of most creative names I've come across this year; the Blue Marble. Considering what it's referring to, of course. Earth. Last night I watched a documentary on CNA about Global Dimming (not receiving enough heat and sunlight due to pollution). It's scary how we humans are polluting the air so much that it's affecting the climate. It is one thing that leads to another. Pollution leads to bad atmosphere which leads to toxic clouds that not only give us poisonous rain, but they're like 'giant mirrors' reflecting light back into space. Hence, global dimming. And about the hole-in-the-o-zone part, that's what we all know about - global warming. (argh!)

It was said that in about 50 years down the road, temperatures could rise by 5oC, and 50 years later that's gonna double. Glaciers will melt, cities flooded, cool places become warm, and warm places become inhabitable. I hope I don't live too long to see this happen because it seems like it's going to happen. Humans are making their own destruction, basically. And 'this is not a prediction, it's a warning'. Just as a reminder, we're the 3rd planet from the sun.

Anyway, it made me want to look at pictures of Earth.

Just two of the really nice shots. It's strange that it looks so perfectly round, and yet it's not a perfect sphere. I guess it's true that nothing is perfect after all. Close to perfection, maybe, but not exactly perfect. Beautiful, though. Very beautiful.

"The Earth is not a perfect sphere. The shape of the Earth surface is that of an oblate spheroid. It is flattened at the poles. The polar radius is about 25 km less than the equatorial radius. The oblateness is a consequence principally of the Earth's axial rotation."

But Earth having its own life just like every one of us, I wonder what's like to be around 4.5 billion years old. I found a picture of what Earth looks like at night too. View the larger version, it's interesting. You could see where the major cities are. It also tells you which places are blessed with electricity and which arent (save for deserts and places where no one lives in). If you can read this you're obviously lucky :)

From there I thought that I wanted to see what it's like to be on the summit of Mount Everest. Not anyone could just make it to the top and see the world from that point of view, but I had an idea of what it's like. Below is the panoramic view of what the world looks like from the top of Everest (taken by Roddy Mackenzie). It's not exactly new because it was taken back in 1989, but it's not what everyone gets to see everyday.

There's also a better version if you go to this page:
www.panoramas.dk/fullscreen2/full22.html (Quicktime Player required). Being more than 8km above sea level and very close to outer space. Priceless.

I'm just one of those people who holds nature real close to them and it's too bad looking at what we're doing to her over the centuries. It's just not a surprise to see her release her 'anger' once in awhile. I don't know how pollution will ever be reduced, or that the Earth won't turn into an overpopulated floodland 100 years from now (it's really not a long time, you know), or if we still have time to change the situation.
We're probably running out of time.


  1. Can I just tell you.. your last entry about all the stuff you've found lying around from your childhood totally cracked me up. When I saw that you had Brian McFadden's boarding pass, I laughed SO MUCH.

    That was such a great entry = P

    I'm taking an astronomy class right now and we're talking about the destruction of the earth. It's funny because the earth is 4.6 billion years old, but humans have only inhabited it 50,000 years. In 50,000 years (well, I say more around 500 years -- once humans started to become more modernized with technology) we've screwed this place up.

    Here in the US, they want to start digging for oil in Alaska -- land that's under US Law Protection. They want to break up a beautiful wilderness just for their own selfish needs. In a strange way, I equate them ripping up Alaska as rape.

    I can't really describe WHY I feel that, but I just do. It's just a disgusting feeling.

    Anyway, thanks for making me laugh before.

  2. Yeah.. those were the times. Haha. :P
    You're welcome.

    And I know what you mean. To me it seems like the destruction - the speed, rather - squares itself the more modernized we become. Perhaps there will be a way to develop without affecting earth so much. Seems so unreal but then who knows.