Lookin’ Out My Back Door…

As any of my readers will know, I watch a lot of “edutainment” style TV, including, but certainly not limited to, The Science Channel and The National Geographic Channel. The thing is though, while the programming does actually teach me a thing or two from time to time, the real benefit I get from watching these programs lies both in the way they inspire me to further investigate their specific subject matter, and in the tangential, not directly related, thoughts I have while watching them as well. (The fact that I watch on a DVR equipped cable box is enormously helpful in that I can pause as long as I need when I want to follow one of those trains of thought or do a little quick internet searching.)

For example, The Science Channel’s incessant advertisement for the new season of How the Universe Works not only brings to mind all those fantastic visuals of seasons past, but, through their “homey” choice of musical accompaniment, also reminds me of things right here on Earth that I wish I’d taken more time to enjoy…

Things like our wonderful National Parks that I’ve always dreamed of visiting…

Did you know The National Park Service is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year? Open Culture’s Browse & Download 1,198 Free High Resolution Maps of U.S. National Parks post is a must read for National Parks fans, and it includes a link to the National Park Maps site as well, where I found this incredible image mapping all the National Parks in a single view…

Click image for larger view

Click image for larger view

Now my readers should also know that a title like “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” would inspire me to think of the big picture of Earth’s history as well, and to dwell a little (okay, A LOT) on some of the dire possibilities for Earth’s future too…

Which is why I was so happy to hear Elon Musk’s “I think the wise move is to make life multiplanetary while we can” statement – something I’ve said myself many times. But Mr. Musk isn’t just talking about spreading humanity to other planets to protect against possible future extinction, he’s pouring his billions into actually getting it done. With his company SpaceX already hard at work on making his Mars Colonization Event a reality, he has also collaborated with the folks at The National Geographic Channel to inspire us to get on-board with the epic mini-series Mars

The next episode of Mars airs tonight on The National Geographic Channel. I really loved the first two episodes and I highly recommend to series to everyone!

I STILL want ice water.

More from the Random Ravings volume

7 thoughts on “Lookin’ Out My Back Door…

  1. Yep, that 100th Anniversary has been a pretty big deal this year in our Rocky Mountain National Park, which I’ve often said is my favorite place in the world (despite the fact that I’ve seen very little of the world). I can’t tell on the map but if you have a national park anywhere within reach, you really should visit. It’s a calming, soul-deep experience.

    Musk is amazing, isn’t he? We’re so lucky to have him, a man who dreams big, and then goes after it. His Mars venture is so exciting (why isn’t NASA doing it?), and the Mars TV show is one of my favorites right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The closest one to where I am listed on that National Parks Maps site is the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which is located up near Cleveland. I was thinking about trying to talk my son into driving us there one day. To be honest though, the ones highest on my wish list are all west of here – including those in Colorado. My dream would trip be involve one of those real nice travel trailers, a route that hits as many parks as makes sense, and enough money to make it the trip of a lifetime! 🙂

      You know, as proud as I am of the things NASA has accomplished, I know that all the programs that actually got off the ground required a hard fight for funding and were only a small sample of the programs proposed. The fact is that NASA itself only exists because of the countless (underfunded) risks taken by “aeronautics freaks” of the past – and of course mostly political competition between the US and the USSR. I am more grateful than I can say that Elon Musk is not only willing to risk being thought of as “space freak” but is putting his own money towards it as well!


    • Thanks my friend. I deliberately limited my parks discussion to those in the U.S. because of: a) The Centennial and b) Let’s face it, those are the ones I’m most likely (as unlikely as that’s beginning to look) to visit. I do plan to investigate the parks services of other countries, just in case a box of money falls on me from heaven! 😉

      I think you’d really like the Mars series. I just hope it’s available where you are…


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