Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The final frontier(s)...

If I had my way, I would be a professional student. Regular careers do not much interest me, but finding out things I did not know before absolutely fascinates me. I'm talking "newborn first figuring out she has a hand" or "seven year-old at her first magic show" kind of hooked.

For most of history, people have had the same type of fascination with outer space. To this day, the idea there might be real little green men out there or that we could colonize the moon still holds people in thrall. But for astronaut Randolph Bresnik it was what was on earth that held his attention. On his first-ever space mission, Bresnik floated 220 miles above the earth as his daughter, Abigail Mae, made her first appearance on it. It is just the second time in NASA history an astronaut in space has welcomed a child to his family while in orbit, according to the Boston Globe.

After humans "conquered" space, we have turned our attention to the oceans. Now being called the "real" final frontier, divers/researchers/treasure-hunters/James Cameron have only just begun to plumb the depths of the sea. Just last night I was watching the tail end of a show on the History Channel about ancient cities found on the bottom of the ocean floor, complete with building remnants and cobblestones. MSNBC reported on the over 5500 new species found in the ocean recently. Long thought to be barren, the deep sea (depths of 3,280 feet) now appears to be teeming with creatures straight out of a Salvador Dali painting.

The United Nations women who have reached new frontiers through their own hard work. India has deployed an all-female police unit to serve with the UN security force in Liberia. There they teach the local women self-defense and computer skills. India is the first country to send such a unit to a UN peacekeeping mission.

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