The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bright Lights and Nothingness

The most enjoyable experiences I had in the Navy were nights at sea. Especially cloudless and moonless nights. You are a thousand or more miles from the nearest bright lights and there is nothing to interfere with the incredible sky full of stars.

I know next to nothing about astronomy. About the only constellation I can recognize is the Big Dipper. I never really had an interest in that field, never learned much about constellations, never studied celestial navigation. I left that to others. My job in the Navy was concerned with sound propagation and things under the surface of the sea, others took care of figuring out where we were and how to get where we were ordered to go.

But the sky was amazing at night. Even as a child, back before light pollution became a major problem, I saw nothing like the night sky at sea. One could easily become lost in it. And I did. Often. I spent many nights topside, just sitting or lying on the deck and looking at the stars. You don't have to have knowledge of astronomy to be overwhelmed by the bejeweled beauty of such skies.

A full moon, reflecting the light of a blazing sun warming the other side of the planet would blot out the starlight in that section of the sky. Beautiful as such a sight is, I was always saddened that it diminished the effects of the tiny points of light that dotted the heavens.

You can climb high into the mountains or deep into the desert and almost experience the same thing. I have done both but it isn't the same. Perhaps it's the lack of the hum of the ship's engines and the hiss of the water cleaved by the bow. I don't know. I only know there is nothing, anywhere, that compares to being under that sky.

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