Monday, June 29, 2015
And boy, is "admirable" getting hard to find these days. But I felt particularly motivated to find something today- in view of the world-wide litanies of awfulness, and imminent awfulness.
There is something underway right this minute (8:48 AM US Central Daylight Time) that I believe we can all find admirable. Quixotic, to be sure- but all the humans involved in this effort seem to be motivated not by greed or self-inflation; but by the pure desire to - move forward.
Ok, we don't want to get into "what is really forward?"; let's just enjoy the moment here.
One man in an astonishingly fragile machine is flying, at this moment, between Japan and Hawaii. Slowly. The trip is expected to require 120 hours. And he is "past the point of no return" now.
The Solar Impulse craft is 100% solar powered, and keeps flying at night using electricity stored in batteries during the day. To me, this is somewhat more daring than Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic ocean, using a single gasoline engine powered plane- that kind of powered flight had far more years of development than this matchsticks and plastic wrap and flashlight batteries gizmo.
Ok, it's a lot more sophisticated than that. :-) But still - these folks, and this pilot, are sticking their necks way, way out.
Whimsical? Quixotic? Absolutely. But also one of the good things about humans; we can sometimes poke at the Universe a bit, looking to find our more than we knew; even if it means risking our necks.
And, boy, am I grateful to see it.
Looking for an update- nope, it is SO not in the news. It took me a little internet digging; but; there is a website that gives current information during the flight: Follow The Flight.
I think they definitely need a couple communications/advertising nerds to help with the web info (in the few minutes I've looked) - but; it's there.