Friday, March 13, 2015

Look Ma, No Hands!

4 comments:

Freedomnow said...

I was to young to appreciate the landing on the moon. Missed out on that...

-FJ said...

That video represented 10 years of my life on the launch pad. :)

-FJ said...

...and I watched the moon landing on a B&W 12 inch screen in Caracas when I was 12.

FreeThinke said...

Because I am an ordinary mortal, I have often asked myself why we human beings have what-often-seems a demented urge to pursue dangerous, impossibly difficult feats such as this, when there is still so much important-if-more-mundane work that needs to be done right here on earth?

George Mallory came as close as anyone could to explaining it, I suppose. When asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest? He famously answered, "Because it's there."

Mallory lost his life at age thirty-eight during his third attempt to scale that formidable peak in 1924. His body was not found until 1999. Whether he reached the top or not remains unknown.

Was Mallory insane, or was he an uncommon, questing visionary -- in a class with Marco Polo, Columbus, Magellan, the Pilgrims who landed by mistake at "Plimouth" in 1620, the Founding Fathers, Lewis and Clarke, the Wright Brothers, Edison, Shackleford and others who succeeded in transcending and expanding human limitations? Apparently Mallory's ultimately failed ambition was more important to him than his life, but I don't think this means he was insane. He was merely extraordinary, instead.

Men such as these have, I believe, much in common with the fictional Don Quixote, but we owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude all the same.

That the world will be better for this
That one man torn and covered with scars
Once strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable stars.