17.07.2009 09:00 - T Minus 2 Days and Counting, Part 3:Moon Landing Flashmob
On 21st July 1969, a man set foot on the Moon. This was done in an age before home computers, CDs and portable telephones, with a space ship so pared down that parts of it were little more than tin foil. Transistor technology was expensive and not yet totally reliable, and valves still abounded. The entire computing power brought to bear on the Apollo project is dwarfed by the average MP3 player - and if you think that the Apollo system was quaint and outdated, you should see what the Russians were thinking of using to land on the moon.
The point is this : We are about to enter the second decade of the 21st Century, and it seems we've lost something. We've gone for the safe option. We won't go anywhere unless we can be reassured of our safety, and we won't do anything unless we can be assured of profit. Despite the fact that we have at our disposal technologies that would have made Apollo engineers green with envy, we're not doing anything with it. Yet in the 1960's, with 1960's technology, they made it to the moon and back and not once, not twice, but six times. This may be the single greatest achievement ever, to travel out of our safe little envelope to set foot on another world : a shining monument to what we can do when we put our minds to it, yet since then, we've turned inward and become complacent. Some even believe that the whole thing was just a hoax (a viewpoint which is easily refuted if you read round the subject).
It is now FORTY years since twelve men walked on the moon. Only ten of them are still with us. In the years to come, this unique perspective will be eroded as they age and die.
Therefore, I am asking this of you : If you are in Cologne, on the 21st of July 2009, please convene at the Schmitz Säule at 6pm (18:00MEZ). Bring a "Teelicht" (small candle in metal holder used for warming teapots) and something to light it, and take five minutes of your day to remember what can really be accomplished when we all work together.
Please pass this on to anyone and everyone. Twitter it, blog it and pass it round. Perhaps we can show some belief in ourselves.
(Note : If you don't know Cologne, the Schmitz Säule commemorates the moon landing, and can be found in the Altstadt, near the statues of Tunnes and Schaal. The nearest church is Groß Sankt Martin. Parking can be found nearby in Heumarkt. The nearest bahn stations are The Hauptbahnhof on the other side of the Cathedral, and in Heumarkt.
Please use "Teelichter" rather than normal candles, because we don't want to make a mess with all the wax)