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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Blog 110 Philae lander & me!

The little Philae lander metal thingy that hurtled through space so spectacularly from Rosetta, has something in common with me – or I with it. Our similarity, our resemblance, our parallel experience brings me out in goose bumps; it’s just lovely because I am so ridiculously INTERESTED and impressed. Considering how little I actually understand about anything that is going on out there on scruffy little comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko – it’s a miracle.


As I have told the children who ask me how long it took to write Casey and the Surfmen – it took a decade to get from a first draft of the first half of Casey to the version I now have available for download on the internet. And really – 67P/CG may be an achievement for the ESA but if you’ve read blog 53 I suffer from PANTS (persistent aversion to new technology syndrome) – you will know that successfully doing anything with the internet is nothing short of a marvel pour moi.

Also – my granny is short of one leg – just like the little Philae probe. Unlike Philae she would never ever be foolish enough or self deprecating enough to land in the shade on 67P/CG. She would always land right side up in the sun and be the centre of attention. And there is no sign of her batteries running out.

And yes – I am going to continue shamelessly to find ways of shoe-horning Casey and the Surfmen into the limelight. After 10 years it needs showing off.

Where we are different is that the splendid little metal thingy has travelled billions of miles across the galaxy to search in infinity for answers to where our world began. Casey deals with the more pressing problem of  what the hell are we all going to do if we don’t look after the planet we are precariously perched on at present.

I would not be crass enough in this time of celebration at – what is undoubtedly an outstanding achievement – to ask how/why we can do the equivalent – as one scientist put it – of “landing a fly on a bullet” (crusty the comet is moving at 35,000 MPH or there abouts, depending on which report you read – and to get on her back after 4 billion miles of space travel is truly mind-boggling). How and why can we do this and not feed people? How and why can we do this and not get out of the habit of killing civilians? How and why can we do this and not make sure everyone can read – be warm – feel safe?

Are those questions too big? Is the world too small? Are we too stupid?
I don’t think so

So what is the problem?

Philae lander may or may not answer questions about where the earth came from and how life got started but who is going to sort out why we can’t behave ourselves with a bit more humanity?

So this is Casey

and thanks to everyone who viewed and ‘liked’ the 2011 recording put up by poetry pal Steve

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