|THE MUNCH REPORT||
WORDS FROM THE EDITOR !
Readers of The Munch Report,
you city dwellers, disco goers,
life-style gurus and moonwalkers,
and all others
currently with or without a midlife crisis,
welcome to its 7th edition.
I am pleased to see you back in ever increasing numbers, and I am grateful for your input and queries.
Unfortunately I am not
Miss Mills from 'The Sunday Times' ,
so I can not answer any of your totally irrelevant and mostly ludicrous questions
I received, such as :
What does a banker do for a living ?
Obviously there are some of you out there who seem to have a
grudge against bankers.
But please, relax folks,
they are just like anybody else:
greedy and anti-social.
So nothing to worry about.
Or take the other big question I had to put up with :
When will the NSA reveal Miss Merkel's hitherto unknown cake recipes ?
I have no answer to this either.
I mean tapping her phone to get
new leads on terrorism,
that's the way forward,
guys from the NSA, well done.
YES WE CAN
YES WE SCAN.
I am sure you will have experienced a major breakthrough in anti-terrorism operations
to save the USA from all evilI ,
I mean she is German after all ,
but her cake recipes ?
I have no clue !
So better to stay away from these tricky questions and concentrate on the more demanding mysteries in life, such as:
Why do people when they meet, say :
instead of hello, good morning, bonjour,
or what have you?
I mean , have you ever experienced that moment of utter disbelief, when in the middle of Moscow
two people from Bali say
to each other, probably afterwards kissing each other's cheeks with a dripping nose, as it is winter right now.
Do they know what it means,
where the word comes from ?
Of course it is italian, you ignoramus !
It is the most common form of greeting between the famous and those
who want to become famous,
the upper middle classes,
those who drink a macchiato,
and not a simple coffee with milk anymore, not even a cappuccino will do.
And of course its origin lies in
( ...here we go again....)
In the old days, Venetians were accustomed to greet in this way:
it means "I'm your servant, your slave"
(in Italian, "schiavo").
This is the pronounciation: s-ch-e-aa-v-o. So time after time it became "s-ciao" and finally "ciao".
to all bankers, politicians and bureaucrats,
please, please, please,
start to know what you are talking about,
and when you meet ordinary people,
I am your servant
It would make anybody's day
And if you want to kiss anyone,
then so much the better I guess.
And what has all of this got to do with
THE COSMIC OCEAN ?
this might come as a surprise :
ABSOLUTELY NOTHING !!!!
I wonder whether Columbus would have approved of this statement from de Saint-Exupery, or indeed whether he followed it in one of his speeches to those seamen he tried to convince to join him on a journey to new lands and oceans without knowing
the end of their adventures,
All of this in 1492,
his first "Trans-Atlantic"
But let's face it :
Most of what Columbus knew was already known centuries before.
Actually he based his thoughts and calculations exactly on this knowledge !
But Mankind ( womankind ? Did you ever meet a woman who likes sailing ? ) did not have the technology until his days, otherwise the "discovery" of other continents beyond the oceans would have happened much earlier.
There is almost an "explosion" of discoveries around and after the time of Columbus.
But the (theoretical ) discovery of the Earth, and its position in the Universe,
was basically all figured out around
In one of the few real wonders of the world, in the greatest Library the world has ever seen,
in Alexandria, Egypt,
a collection of Philosophers, Historians, Astronomers, Geographers and Mathematicians
contributed to the basics of our understanding of the World .
Names like Eratosthenes ( Math.) , Hiparchus (Astronomer), Euclid ( Geometry ),
Heron of Alexandria ( Engineering), Archimedes ( Mech.Eng.), Ptolomy ( Astrology), Hypatia ( Math. ) ,
just to name a few,
had it all worked out, believe me.
And yet, 700 years later, in the 4th century, the WORLD's KNOWLEDGE was destroyed ,so it is said,
in a moment of madness by a raging christian mob.
The Mediterranean World was famous for its seafaring capabilities.
The Phoenecians had already circumnavigated
Africa 400 years before Eratosthenes,
and many others criss-crossed the seas and
brought their knowledge back to Alexandria.
So a pattern , an understanding of the world developed,
that was put together in 'models' by these scientists.
And their work helped sea captains and others to understand the principles of navigation , and that with the help of
....the stars !
AND HERE IS THE CONNECTION TO THIS NEWSLETTER :
As Carl Sagan in his fantastic book "COSMOS" says,
"The stars are the friends of explorers,
then with seagoing ships on Earth, and now with spacefaring ships in the Sky."
And there are so many similarities between then and now, between our past and present:
During the time of Eratosthenes people started to venture. Seafarers reported that they were only stopped in their attempts to venture further out into the oceans by nothing else than "want of resolution and scarcity of provision".
First globes were made, with a quite accurate understanding of the Mediterranean, but the further away the more blurred the view became.
We today in our understanding of the Universe ( latin ) or the Cosmos (greek) are at a similar point.
The Cosmos is immense, some say even infinite.
And we have just started to put together the results of various unmanned spacecrafts
and their data transmissions and pictures.
In cosmic exploration we are in relation to previous eras roughly 500 years before the Phoenecians circumnavigated Africa.
Nothing more !!!!!!!!
The first step onto the moon by mankind:
( this time it was a man, Neil Armstrong in 1969 )
" A small step for Man, but a hugh leap for Mankind "
is nothing more what Sagan calls
' a dampen of the toe by stepping into the cosmic ocean.'
I have the picture in front of me :
Billion-Trillions of stars and planets like small islands in the
infinite space of the cosmos,
clustered together into insular archipelagos of galaxies ,
billions of them, colliding, expanding,
and seperated by black matter ,
floating in silence to the human ear.
Flying through the cosmos is like sailing our oceans :
THE SURFACE OF THE EARTH
THE SHORE OF THE COSMIC OCEAN .
What a beautiful language Sagan used.
But here is my point, to bring 1 and 1 together to make 3 , so to speak :
Ok , we need to wait for technology to explore the cosmos further. Fair enough.
We need some nutcase to travel to Mars on the condition of a 'one way ticket'.
Fine, good luck.
But what we really need at the right time in the right place is someone, Man or Woman,
who I would dub
"Columbus Skywalker" !
A person with a DREAM, yes, with knowledge, but with the dream to go out and explore on behalf of all of us.
And yes, may be we have to wait for one or two thousand more years for this.
But here is my point :
HOW CAN YOU DREAM OF THE STARS IF YOU CAN'T SEE THEM ( ANYMORE ).
What I mean is this :
When you live in metropolitan areas, do you still see the stars ?
Well, I tell you, in China you sit in pollution as thick as fog,
and elsewhere you have what scientists call
meaning with all the surrounding lights of a big city, you can't identify well anymore other light sources.
Here are some examples what you would see however if all of you would switch off the lights in your cities,
thanks to the french Photographer and Artist
Thierry Cohen, Villes Eteintes,Paris 2012:
Now, isn't the Milky Way awesome ?
And it is only our Galaxy. There are billions more !
THIS IS HOW YOU MAKE PEOPLE DREAM !!!
Folks, if you want to be Columbus Skywalker,
go into a dark place,
like on top of a mountain, or even better, take a sailing boat into the ocean,
and watch, be impressed, get excited,
and when you come back,
TELL US HOW YOU WOULD GET OUT THERE .
Your place in history would be secured !