Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pull Away, Me Lads

I sure can make things complicated. I just wanted to share a story about a light sail with you and the next think I know I’m reading about Wales. Okay, first the light sail.

Setting Sail Into Space, Propelled by Sunshine

”About a year from now, if all goes well, a box about the size of a loaf of bread will pop out of a rocket some 500 miles above the Earth. There in the vacuum it will unfurl four triangular sails as shiny as moonlight and only barely more substantial. Then it will slowly rise on a sunbeam and move across the stars. “

I first read about light sails in a sci-fi book -- The Mote in God's Eye -- when I was a kid. (Great book, by the way.) To see them becoming real is exciting.

If you read the article, you’ll find out that it’s a private adventure. Sailing. Privateer. Now I’v got Roger McGuinn’s song in my head. It’s a disease I have. Say something (nearly anything) and it reminds me of a song. Just saying “Roger McGuinn” brings this song to mind. It’s not a party trick -- something to impress the crowd. It’s unbidden thoughts that have me humming a tune at inappropriate times. I hope you can see how this could get out of hand.

”Pull away me lads of the Cardiff Rose
And hoist the Jolly Roger “

Oh yeah, Cardiff is a town in Wales. A rose is just a rose. By any other name, just as sweet. Unless of course, you’re talking about a Compass Rose. Something pirates would find useful. Somebody make me stop.

Don Brown
November 10, 2009

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