Monday, May 13, 2013

space Canuck

Since I don't watch television or use social media, it's entirely possible I'm alone in not having heard much about Space Commander Hadfield until today when I read he'll be returning to Earth this evening after a five month stint in command of the International Space Station. Apparently he's been very active in sharing fabulous photographs as well as video presentations of experiments suggested by children. He's also become a star on twitter, facebook and a few others mostly due to the earthbound technical expertise of his two mid-20s sons. He's great - kind of like a strange cross between Ned Flanders, David Attenborough and Leonard Cohen - but in space. Of course, he's also pretty funny so perhaps I should add Rick Mercer's name to the list.

One of the best traits of Canada (currently in great danger under the leadership of Stephen Harper) has been the 'oneness' with which it sees the world. I was thrilled to see this video of him playing and singing David Bowie's iconic 'Space Oddity'. You've probably already seen it but just in case here it is again:

the picture above is of the Mississippi Delta



Lisa Golden said...


I cannot tell you how this post made my day. Your description of Space Commander Hadfield is perfection itself.

marja-leena said...

I've noticed all the stuff about this in the media, but actually seeing and listening to this video moved me deeply. Am I already feeling so blasé (even critical) about space exploration that I cannot experience the wonder? This certainly woke me up. Thanks, Susan, for the moments of awe. Cool that he is Canadian, too.

Sean Jeating said...

Outing myself: I had neither heard of him; until yesterday when he made it in the news here, too.
The news that the Supreme Court unanimously had solidarised with the criminal bastards of Monsanto reached me one day later.
I have a dream: One day neither the politicians nor the journalists on their payroll, nor their unscrupulous lawyers nor even their ruthless privat armies will save them. One day their utterly mighty and rich beneficiaries will have nothing to eat but their fucking certificates, their patents and stocks.
Perhaps though, if mankind is lucky, they will already have been sent to hell. After all, in God they trust.
End of the rant.
Do I feel better now?
Well, not really.
But after all, I spake out.

susan said...

I can't tell you how glad I am you said that. You made me smile.

susan said...

I must admit it was with a certain amount of skepticism that I pressed the play button on this video. Then I had exactly the same reaction you did. Even if we feel as if we can't effect any change in things as they are Chris Hadfield has offered a good example. You do that too.

susan said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one off on the sidelines. It's good we both caught this.
As far as your rant is concerned I agree with you completely. Most of those who are obscenely rich are nothing more than thieves.
I wish you felt better.
Me too.

Sean Jeating said...

Ha, my dear Susan, first of all sorry that I did not stop myself, and then thank you for taking my rant with a lenient smile.
It was a very spontaneous one. So spontaneous that I forgot to mention how much I enjoyed both Hadfield's idea and its realisation, the perfomance.

Anyway, as I am at it. It's hard to understand that a majority of the Canadians voters would once again have voted for that ridiculous but unscrupulous and thus dangerous puppet,
Stephen Harper.
Ah, better to stop. Don't know what's happened to me tonight. I have become such a calm contemporary in the past years, seeking to find the status of calm serenity – and vice versa, the status of serene calmness – but perhaps I do have ultimately realised that the older I get the less time I have for diplomacy.
The peace of the night. : )

susan said...

Hi again Sean,

No worries at all. I was delighted to read your views and could probably match them point by point. Considering my usual (if anything is usual here) blogging output you'd be unlikely to guess just how cynical I've become about those who've grabbed the throttle and ordered their minions to pile on the steam despite the fact they'll soon run out of track. I like to paint lighthearted pictures and make small things as a way to keep calm. Hah. Sometimes I wonder how angst filled was the life of Beatrix Potter?

Stephen Harper's re-election came as a shock to me and many more. Their actual percentage in Parliament is 37% - not anything like a majority but they've taken control of a divided House and rule by fiat. They don't play fair either.

Thanks for the link to your post of last year. The story here is that a now disgraced Conservative apparatchik plagiarized Howard's speech but I think you're right to ask who wrote it.

I'm glad you enjoyed Chris Hadfield's music video. No matter how old and non-diplomatic we become there must always be some room left over to appreciate awe and wonder.

Peace of the morning to you :)

gfid said...

I heard him live from space on Q radio, CBC, w Jian Ghomeshi as I drove to or fro MH. Mucho coolo!

Randal Graves said...

Oh I get it, taking pictures of American property, I knew we couldn't trust Canada.

susan said...

I was very delighted to find this. Maybe I should tune in more but I've become habituated to an ambient sound environment :)

susan said...

Our fearsome PM probably has plans for more tar sands pipelines but I'm guessing Hadfield won't play along.

Murr Brewster said...

I was going to say something about our astronaut friend (how do they survive the Launch Diarrhea?) but I wanted instead to thank you for these words: "those who've grabbed the throttle and ordered their minions to pile on the steam despite the fact they'll soon run out of track." You're singing my song, sister.

linda said...

you always come up with the best vids! what a fabulous photo! cant get this working so XOX for now!

linda said...

maybe try again... I like the feeling of aggravation. fun little video. every time I see earth from up there, especially the city lights, I'm struck by her beauty..... seems this generated a bit of political angst too. :)

don't ya love it all? I agree with you on the ambient sounds of silence. xxx

susan said...

Hi Murr, I'm glad you liked it. I can't tell you how I regret not having found your blog before I left Portland. We're on the same page about a number of issues.

susan said...

The videos come from my peripatetic surfing habits. You wouldn't believe some of the stuff I find fascinating enough to lose myself in for days.

I'm also pretty ticked about having found a good friend of Carl Rove running the country. Around here the gang is known as the Oilbertans - or maybe I owe that term to Gfid :)

Yeah, I used to listen to a lot of music all the time but except for in the car (at lower speeds because our soft top car is too noisy on the highways) and rare occasions here (when something old and special has been found - hurray for free downloads) I mostly listen to whatever is happening. I'm not choosy.

okjimm said...

Why would they put a Canadian UP into Space? Sheesh, Canada has all sorts of Space up North. How much Space does one country need, anyways!? Boy, those Canadians.... what will they do next? Probably make coins with the picture of some other nations Queen on 'em.....ya, I'll bet they will do that!

susan said...

I think he was up there scouting out space that's actually kind of warm and sunny compared to what we get on average around here. Yep, loonies, toonies, quarters, dimes and nickels all have the queen but not pennies. Pennies were declared defunct this year. What a place. I think there's 20 sq miles for each Canuck. Why do I still hear the neighbors parties?

gfid said...

my scottish born ex husband would agree with you.... how much space does one person need?...... the first time he watched me plant potatoes... tuck one in & cover it, take a step, tuck in the next, take a stride, plant another..... etc..... he stalked off in a huff snarling, "you Canadians! you've got so much space you think you can waste it!" where he came from spuds are planted mere inches apart and hilled as rows, not in their own separate little mountains. it bears mentioning that he now owns something like 20 sections of farmland .... about 20 square miles .... which he farms with hulking behemoths of mechanical monsters.... talk about wasting land.....

susan said...

Before we left BC a friend went to work for a Texan who'd given up his own huge ranch to buy a parcel of land in the interior not dissimilar in size to the one you describe your ex owning. Combines, small aircraft and helicopters seem to be the farming tools of today. It's a sad waste indeed.