WHERE IT ALL STARTED - 11.27.2021
November 27, 2021
Good Saturday morning. I'm author Richard V. Rupp, writing from Burbank, California. Welcome to RUPP'S NOTES/FBI SPECIAL AGENT HARTMAN SERIES posts.
Finally, we are enjoying some beautiful fall weather here in Burbank.
It was good to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade back in its glory and full football stadiums after the limited, pandemic-altered celebrations last year. Costumed handlers returned to walk giant balloons. High school and college marching bands from all over the country, prohibited in the previous year, were back in full swing. But, evidence of COVID-19 was still in full view as the workers and volunteers were required to wear masks and be vaccinated.
I'm beginning to think the "new normal" is called COVID-19. We are nearly two years into the pandemic, and there are no signs it is going away.
On Friday, the financial markets worldwide went reeling when scientists in South Africa announced a new variant called "Omicron." I'm getting the feeling this is the way things are going to be for quite some time.
The COVID pandemic has taken over control of just about everything we do in this world of ours. Think about the impact it has had on your freedom (i.e., masks, going out, traveling, visiting family), the workforce, global supply chain, politics, and yes, it has contributed to the expansion of tribalism, which can lead to conflict.
What did we hear on "Black Friday?" Following an emergency meeting, the World Health Organization announced that they had identified Omicron as a COVID-19 variant of concern, a label applied when a particular strain is especially virulent, transmissible, or able to defeat public health measures. Defeat public health measures? WOW! That scares me.
Yes, we live on a fragile planet called "Earth.". And our Earth is getting more fragile every day. That's what got me started in writing my novel SKYWARD. In my mind, the only way to help repair the Earth and ensure the continuation of humankind is to colonize space, with the ultimate objective of finding other "Earth's."
While working on SKYWARD, I wondered why this planet of ours was named "Earth." Here's what I found out as I ate turkey leftovers.
Linguists tell us that the word "earth" has roots in the Germanic language and evolved to Old English in about 1150. In Old English, the term "eorþe" had multiple meanings like "soil," "dirt," "ground," "dry land," and "country." In the German that's spoken today, "Erde" is the word used for the name of our home planet, but it can also be used to refer to dirt and soil.
The term "Earth" has relatives in some other languages, too. For example, there's the Old Saxon "ertha," the Old Frisian "erthe," and the Dutch word "aarde." All of which likely descend from the Germanic term.
According to the UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD STYLE GUIDE, the word "Earth" should be capitalized when one is "referring to the name of the planet but not when referring to the ground/soil, etc."
Getting down to Earth about my novel SKYWARD, there is no question the establishment of a base on Earth's Moon has been thought of by many people before me. Here's part of an article from the HOWSTUFFWORKS website by Robert Lamb titled "How soon will we be able to create a moon base?"
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. . .the benefits of a lunar colony would be many. A moon base would serve as the first step toward ensuring the long-term survival of the human race -- toward exploring and colonizing farther reaches of the universe. It would provide a foothold from which to improve our spaceflight technology, explore the lunar surface and expand our scientific understanding.
Furthermore, the advent of lunar industry could provide increased energy production from, say, mining helium-3 or collecting solar energy and efficient spacecraft construction, as well as serving as both an economic boost and a unifying venture for the whole of humanity. (On the other hand, the moon's resources could always supply another excuse for nations to argue with one another.)
Industry, economics, and the unification of the human race are all great reasons to set up camp on the moon. Yet, none of them has propelled the construction of a permanent operation, such as the U.S. Army's 1959 plans for a lunar military outpost or the former Soviet Union's proposed DLB Lunar Base plans in 1962 (and both of those had the additional fuel of Cold War nationalism). More recently, NASA's scaled-back 2006 plans for crude lunar "camping" shelters obviously didn't come to fruition either.
The holdup comes down to two factors: technology and will.
. . .Such advancements, however, still require a great deal of effort, which means they require significant financial support. For private industries, this necessity requires the potential for short- or long-term profit. Government space programs require significant political support and, most often, the underlying support of the country's population.
. . .Reaching the moon is arguably one of humanity's greatest achievements and thus far the pinnacle of our travels into the mysteries of space. Time will tell exactly when and how we muster the willpower and develop the technology to surpass it.
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In SKYWARD, I get a Moon colony started and then introduce all the human problems encountered. There ends up being quite a cast of characters.
Until next time.
Richard V. Rupp, Author
Website – www.richardvrupp.com
Email – email@example.com
Copyright©2021 by Richard V. Rupp