i was struck with inspiration
Sweet corn, grown with no pesticides or herbicides. My field is never tilled. I cover it with horse manure compost every fall, and I cover that with straw. When I weed it by hand, the weeds are left to decompose right in place as a mulch. Squash and beans grow alongside the corn, and everything is planted by hand.
It can be done. We don’t need Monsanto. We need human labor right there, side by side with the plants. We don’t need massive petroleum powered agriculture, we need people working small horticultural plots, gaining knowledge of their specific land and it’s needs. Our land needs to be enclosed by wild space, fecund and full of birds, and bats, and insects, and snakes, and turtles, and all of the other beings that make an ecosystem function.
We can make a desert of the earth in an attempt to get high yields of low quality crops so a few corporations can temporarily get great financial returns, or we can have people spend their days bringing their food into existence, getting in touch with their bio regions, and building healthy soil and ecosystems for generations to come.
It can be done.
While today may belong to the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, it’s important not to forget another important anniversary for NASA - the landing of the Viking 1 spacecraft on Mars!
On July 20th, 1976, the Viking 1 lander separated from the orbiter and touched down at Chryse Planitia, a flat lowland region in the northern hemisphere of Mars. Immediately following touchdown, the lander made history by taking and transmitting the first complete photograph taken from the surface of Mars. The image (http://goo.gl/6C5L6m) was of the Viking 1 lander’s foot as an indication of how far it had sunk into the Martian surface. Between itself and its companion, Viking 2, this historic photograph was just the first of more than 50,000 images taken from the Martian surface, as well as from orbit, and transmitted back to Earth.
What makes Viking 1 especially worth noting is that it was not only the first attempt by the United States at landing on Mars, but it was also the first spacecraft to successfully do so and perform its mission. While the Soviet Mars 3 mission was the first to achieve a soft landing of a spacecraft on Mars it stopped transmitting data 15 seconds after landing. During those few seconds of transmission, it sent the first partial photograph taken from the surface of Mars although nothing was identifiable in it.
During its operation on the Martian surface, Viking 1 became the record holder for longest Mars surface mission at 2307 days, until Mars Rover Opportunity took the record in 2010.
To read more about Viking 1:
I took a couple of hours out of my day to be on a panel for Young Author’s Day, an event put on by the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association. I was invited to join by John Lustig, who I feel very lucky to call my friend and mentor. We answered the usual questions about the writing process and how we broke into comics, but I was even more intrigued by the audience. Notice something about them?
Yeah. GIRLS. Very. Young. Girls.
So I asked THEM some questions. “How many of you read comics?”
All hands went up.
"How many of you want to make comics some day?"
Most of the hands went up.
Here’s where it really got interesting. “How many of you BUY comics?”
Only one hand raised. I asked her where she buys her comics. She said, “At the comic book store.”
"Do you have a comic book store you like going to?" I asked.
She hesitated. “It’s complicated.”
That’s 10 year-old speak for “I have to go there to get comics but the store makes me uncomfortable.” The rest of them read webcomics. None of them had heard of Comixology before, but they knew all about it by the time the panel was over. What comic would they like to see most? Minecraft. Only Steve needs to be a girl.
It was a fascinating experience, especially in the wake of this article detailing why girls in the 1980s (like me and one of the moms nodding eagerly in the audience) stopped buying comics for 20 years.
The future of comics is bright indeed.
This is absolutely wonderful.
Finally, a live action version I can support.