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Manifest Destiny, Lunar Style

It’s called the New New World of the 21st century. The Moon. That glowing white sphere in the night sky and all her virgin bounty, upon and within, will very soon become what was in the 14th and 15th centuries to the European and Asian naval empires of the time, the newest treasures of extreme profits awaiting today’s space-voyaging mega-corporations, their Boards of Directors and/or private owners and businesses, hunting with little to no restrictions… untapped, untold riches for the taking.

Fifty years after humans first set foot on the Moon, scientific discoveries within the last 3-8 years have fueled excitement to go back, particularly commercial fervor for private businesses to go to the lunar surface—this time, perhaps, to stay and mine profitable minerals and their byproducts. This therefore, for the sake of advancing humankind’s progress of interplanetary travel from Earth.

What has really stoked the flames for immediate lunar commercialization? Water.

But life’s necessary H2O isn’t the only precious treasure up there. The Moon has Helium-3, titanium in highly concentrated form, titanium ore (ilmenite), platinum group metals such as palladium, osmium, iridium, and of course platinum, as well as other rare Earth metals, including the big one: gold. Need we say anymore? Step right up, our next explorers, Lunar 49’ers, to blastoff and begin the Great Moon Rush! Que song

The New New World and History’s Lessons
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When Europeans, and to an extent Asians, discovered the North and South American continents back in the 14th – 15th centuries, what was on their agenda? Why did they arrive? Why did they stay? Why did some return to their native lands? Had everyone benefited? Had everything benefited from the Age of Colonization like the ecosystems and animals? Does there always have to be the human behavior of take, take, take? Suck out, suck out, suck out until all value is zero… of whatever remains!? Will the Moon remain?

One of the corporations almost ready to launch to the Moon is called Moon Express. They are “Redefining Possible“! Their mission is to return “…to the Moon and unlock its mysteries and resources for the benefit of humanity. That sounds noble. I’m quiet sure the naval fleets and explorers of the 14th-15th centuries during the Age of Discovery promoted the exact same message, at least from their kings and queens. Moon Express calls the Lunar treasure chest the 8th Continent. The resources awaiting humanity are, they explain…

Like the Earth, the Moon has been enriched with vast resources through billions of years of asteroid bombardment. Unlike the Earth, these resources are largely on or near the lunar surface, relatively accessible. We are blazing a trail to the Moon to seek and harvest these resources to support a new space renaissance, where economic trade between countries will eventually become trade between worlds.

As a seasoned traveler myself, the unavoidable question at any crossroads of exploration, discovery, and the business of profitable resources at any time in history is this:  can we trust humanity and its leaders to do what is best for all of humanity AND the silent giver, the Mother of More Life or Profits? 

According to Moon Express co-founder and chairman Naveen Jain, Moon Express now has all the capital it needs to land its small robotic spacecraft on the surface of the moon in November or December of 2017. Obviously this did not happen. But the company’s goal is twofold: 1) mine the moon for valuable resources, such as Helium-3, gold, platinum group metals, rare earth metals and water; and 2) help researchers develop human space colonies for future generations. Simple, right?

Maybe not. How well have humans and humanity managed and regulated survival, the greater good for the greatest number, and the treatment of this life-giving planet over the last millenia or even the last century or two?

What are the long-term plans and condition of the Moon now that we will have two planets feeding us and our machines? With so much of Earth’s current ecosystems—e.g. high & low tides—to some degree reliant on the Moon—and some of those ecosystems now so fragile due to human activity and over-industrialization—is there a real danger/risk? In the future could OVER-MINING or unregulated, unfettered industrial consumption cause further damage or exacerbation to our lunar-dependent Earth systems? Consider the environmental and human impacts of our modern strip-mining or surface-mining and dredging.

And then there’s the fact that the Moon has countless craters! New ones about every 5 to 50-years. Now WHY are there craters all over the lunar surface? Does that pose a danger to Lunar-tics? 😉

Ponder this. The Moon is only 1/8th of Earth’s mass. It’s gravity is 1/6th of Earth’s. Is that 1/8th mass beneficial or dangerous to our planet and species? With aggressive, unregulated mining of materials, what will change about the Moon after one or two decades of building our lunar-space creations and putting them into orbit—or somewhere else other than the Moon? When does the Moon’s mass/gravity begin to significantly shift? How would it shift? What effect(s) would that have on Earth?

Losing our Moon or disfiguring it so drastically that it is clearly changed and changing things here on Earth may not have been a question 10-50 years ago, but it should be now. We have always known that our Sun will eventually turn into a Red Giant star and consume or utterly vaporize Earth and the Moon anyway, so take solace in that.

However, we have also always known that the Moon’s orbit is slowly moving away from Earth, by about 4-centimeters per year. A very small unnoticeable amount to 3 or 8 generations of humans. But to 100 generation descendants? Two hundred? Those are unavoidable consequences. Now, presented with the possibility of mining the Moon of all her resources—or to say, all her mass-causing gravity—with little to no forethought of that effect, do we need to concern ourselves NOT of our Sun becoming a Red Giant, but with humanity changing the Moon’s effect/benefit onto Earth? What will 30 or 50 years of aggressive mining and removal of lunar material do to the metaphorical rows and rows of gravity dominoes?

And without the Moon, or its perfect pull right now, Earth’s varying axis/tilt would be more severe, and climate effects would be a lot more severe than they’re already becoming! Does the Moon deserve a lot more respect and awe than we presently give her (and Earth actually) and less What can you give me right now for as cheap as possible or completely free!?

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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Sometimes, All I Need

Is to move. Dance.

As this body was meant to do.

Escape.

Float away with Earth’s rhythm.

Lost. Found.

And should I meet you in the center,

When she gives, and gives more

We shall meet inside Her pulse…

And know

This is where I began,

We began.

Where I learn.

Where you learn.

Where I met you

And you, and you, and you.

And you me.

Here, there, now… gone.

Sometimes to return,

Other times…

Where I grow

Where I hurt?

Where I thrive

Where you thrive!

Where I die

Where we will die

In peace, content, smiling,

Because I moved, I danced,

With you.

I experienced

You experienced

In the Book of Time

Every single moment

Of this singular place

In step, in rhythm.

Alive, so alive.

Ah, this is it. I belong here, now.

THIS is a life well lived.

This was a life well lived.

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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This work by Professor Taboo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.professortaboo.com/contact-me/.

The Whereabouts

When I was a small boy and with my family visiting Dad’s family in Galveston and Brazoria Counties, Texas, we always made a stop by my great grandmother at her rural small farmhouse for a full day, perhaps even late into the night if other aunts, uncles, and cousins would come by as well. They were fun times; lifetime memories. If all of us 12-20 cousins were also there, the time together was a circus complete with clowns of capers and their pranks. At grandma Konzack’s there were endless things to do, tinker with, play, and generally find as much mischief as possible.

My great grandmother Konzack had about 25-30 acres of land with 4-6 heads of cattle, a big hay-barn, and chicken coup near her 1900’s self-built, five bedroom antebellum home. She always had 2-4 dogs around, watch-dogs more less that were never allowed inside the house. They were somehow responsible for keeping guard of the house and policing wanted and unwanted animals outside during the night. Hours would fly by, but before we would leave, grandma Konzack would always pack us up with the family beef from her deep-freezer and literally the freshest eggs from her busy hens. She and my Dad always had strange, peculiar stories about the goings on with that hen-house. This is one of them… well, a version of one with my own allegorical twist. 😉

But first some quick background. Without going into a long revisit of my family heritage, suffice to say that many/most of my paternal ancestors were of Franco-German-Swiss heritage of Freethinking families. In other words, they often marched to their own beat not blindly following mainstream religion and yet without denying their strong convictions of family and civil service to community in the spirit of individual American freedom and liberty within the confines of our U.S. Constitution. This made many of my paternal family minorities in Texas given most Texans were Southern Baptists, Catholics, or Conservative mainline Protestants, or to say it diplomatically… all equally excitable. She was surrounded on three property-lines by Southern Baptists and Evangelical Protestants where over the years there developed a cordially silent, unspoken, public smiles of tolerance for each other. That’s how folks did it in 1940, 50, and 60’s rural America.

This is my allegorical tale called The Whereabouts.

∼ ∼ ∼ § ∼ ∼ ∼

Grandma Konzack had several hens in her coop, but six of them were very special, particularly reliable and productive hens. Their Latin names were Curiositas, Contradictio, Testimonium, Scrutinio, Aequalitatem, and the best egg producer Didicit. She was the queen over all other hens. The chicken coop had six levels on one wall and six more on the opposite wall. In a way, the eggs from grandma Konzack’s hen-house were, numerically speaking, the 666 hens with 666 eggs! 😈 I tell you, they were the most delicious eggs you’d ever have the privilege of putting in your mouth!

Curiositas was probably one of the most elusive hens to keep track of at any given time, even with the door to the hen-house closed and locked did not mean she would be happily content inside her specific nest box! If she had half a chance to to get out and explore, near or far didn’t matter, then she was GONE before you could say Whoa Nellie. However, Curiositas became one of the smartest, wittiest hens. She learned fast the most efficient methods of escape, hiding, and the most ideal locations on Grandma’s property to perch and watch everything below. She also learned equally as fast all the worst methods of the same.

One day she was never seen again. Vanished.

Contradictio was THE HEN that could challenge the patience of any wise owl and the cunning of the feline Margay. If you thought you’d anticipate where Contradictio would be or would behave, 9-times out of 10 you’d be wrong. What was MORE astonishing was that she could anticipate your behavior practically every single time. She could unravel your tricks or dishonesty before or by the count of five.

One day she was never seen again. Gone.

Testimonium on the other hand was a very friendly, gregarious hen. She always wanted to a part of or in the center of the day’s action. Testimonium also had a very nosy streak always getting in your way or face seeing up close what you were doing. If there was ever any sort of unscrupulous behavior taking place in the hen-house or outside nearby she would know firsthand EVERYTHING that took place! The quintessential court room witness of poultry!

One day she was gone, never seen again. Egg dishes are showing up less and less on the kitchen table!

Scrutinio was the single no-nonsense hen. You messed with or changed her nest-box even the slightest, she would know and immediately return it to her standards. In fact, change the daily routine in the smallest of ways and she was going to go all rooster on your ankles or hands! You could not slip anything past her scrutinizing eyes and high standards. Nothing!

And then one day she too was gone. Never to be seen again. Now there seems to be a pattern going on, right?

Aequalitatem was undoubtedly the protectorate hen of all hens. She would not stand for any mistreatment of hen-femininity! If two hens wanted to sleep together in the same nest box, then as far as Aequalitatem was concerned it was no one’s business what two adult hens wanted to do in the privacy of their nest box. Her motto? If no chickens were being harmed in the acts of amore, consenting hens can do whatever THA F*CK their pretty feathers wanna do. Period! Yes, she was the Joan of Arc of bold hen-ness.

Then one morning she too had disappeared. This was now very serious. Only our honorable, most wise and intelligent Queen hen remained…

Didicit was the Queen for many reasons, but the one best reason was her wisdom and that she had come to us from Oxford, England. She had been a favorite hen of a number of Nobel Prize winning professors at Oxford University and had traveled the world with them as their lucky feathered Madame. It was reasonably rumored that she understood no less than five different languages! Many an avian university department requested her services for various scientific studies. Didicit’s eggs were never bothered for obvious reasons. Two of her chicks had thankfully survived.

When she had gone missing grandma Konzack was infuriated. She went to her three neighbors trying to determine if they had noticed any bizarre activity the last week or so. After chatting politely with all three neighbors, both Southern Baptist families and the Evangelical family, grandma noticed that all three families had the exact same painting on their living room walls (seen below).

living room painting

Grandma Konzack asked her friendly neighbor about the familiar painting on the wall. They replied Oh, we are big animal lovers, in particular foxes. Curious, she asked why that particular animal. They are remarkably stealthy, cunning canine carnivores. They keep all the unwanted trashy, disease-carrying animals away.” they answered with a sly grin. Grandma Konzack couldn’t resist and retorted back:

Yes, but they are not particularly honorable carnivores are they… sneaking up on their prey and always hiding, always fleeing scared of the slightest trouble. No wonder the British had so many fox hunts with their hounds!

Not amused her neighbors responded in a snide tone Well that may or may not be true, but it’s always the end that justifies the means. If your survival depends on eliminating enemies with dishonorable stealth, then it deserves our favor. Grandma was not particularly surprised by the logic. She had been around these type folks most of her life. It was why she enjoyed the company of others who enjoy life to the fullest. I’ll be on my way she said. If you do notice anything out of the ordinaryshe politely explained, please let me know would you?” Their response was even more strange than their previous:

We do not know the whereabouts of your fancy, expensive hens Mrs. Konzack. The husband continued, Perhaps they’ve simply runaway or perhaps tried and failed to cross the road. His wife chuckled under her breath. Then, to show his “Christian politeness” he asked grandma:

We are having a weekend prayer-n-fellowship meal down at the church tomorrow afternoon if you’d like to attend. Do you know the whereabouts of our Fellowship Center? We’re having all sorts of goodies as long as the eye can see and the bellies can pack, including baskets of fried chicken!

Thanks but no thanks grandma replied quickly. And yes, I know where the Fellowship Center is located Knowing her welcome would not last much longer, she smiled in reciprocated charm and said:

No one can miss it because it is as monstrous and gaudy as the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and as she opened the door to exit said in closing:

But nowhere near as beautiful, as naturally human, or as meaningful as The Temples of Khajuraho (see above video). But I am guessing you’ve never been outside Brazoria County, much less out of the United States have you? If you can put your bibles down for a day or find a quite spot other than your church sanctuary, read Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad for an enlightening, delightful life-lesson of what it means to be truly human.

My grandma Konzack was a wonderful woman with a sharp, witty sense of humor. One would learn fairly soon too she did not appreciate any type of elitism from anyone, not the President, not the Queen of Britain, and damn sure not from any kuntry folk from rural Texas. She’s the one who taught me the meaning of Right, but everyone sits on the pot the same for the same reason. There were some other juicy tidbits she’d add, but I’ll skip those so not to offend the sensitive or faint-hearted. She was a tough, tough woman, but full of so much life!

I do miss my Grandma Konzack.

To my readers: Tell me in comments below what my allegorical story says to you. What happens to the Hen House and the future of flocks when the best hens (and their egg producing/teaching abilities) are silenced.

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Live Well — Laugh Often — Love Much — Learn Always

Creative Commons License
This work by Professor Taboo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.professortaboo.com/contact-me/.