Thought for the day

"We're so self-important. So arrogant. Everybody's going to save something now. Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save the snails. And the supreme arrogance? Save the planet! Are these people kidding? Save the planet? We don't even know how to take care of ourselves; we haven't learned how to care for one another. We're gonna save the fuckin' planet? . . . And, by the way, there's nothing wrong with the planet in the first place. The planet is fine. The people are fucked! Compared with the people, the planet is doin' great. It's been here over four billion years . . . The planet isn't goin' anywhere, folks. We are! We're goin' away. Pack your shit, we're goin' away. And we won't leave much of a trace. Thank God for that. Nothing left. Maybe a little Styrofoam. The planet will be here, and we'll be gone. Another failed mutation; another closed-end biological mistake." -- George Carlin

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon, ushering in a new era on space exploration. We are often subjected to the standard shots taken by Buzz Aldrin of the gray, rocky surface, with some faceless spacemen standing still and posing. That's why this picture, which is rarely seen, is such an immaculate piece of history.

 

The form of pure joy, accomplishment, and disbelief is a testament to what mankind can achieve. Aldrin snapped this shot of a teary-eyed Armstrong, moments after returning to the spacecraft and removing his helmet.

 

His ecstasy is evident; This is a man's face so astonishing that he can only smile and cry. Armstrong would later describe his emotional state as "happy, ecstatic and extremely surprised that we succeeded"—and we see it right here.

 

"It suddenly dawned on me that, that little pea, beautiful and blue, was the earth. I put my thumb up and closed one eye, and my thumb wiped out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I didn't feel like a giant. Felt very, very small".

 

2:56 UTC On July 21, 1969, Armstrong set the first human foot on another world. With more than half a billion people watching on television, he climbed down the ladder and declared: "It's one small step for one man, one big leap for mankind".