Saturday, September 09, 2006

Dollars in the heavens

On the plane on the way back to Hong Kong the pilot remarked that it was a beautiful night for flying. I lifted the plastic shutter to look out of the window and saw the most amazing vista. The sky was perfectly still. There was pale blue light above and dark blue below, and a seam of pink on the horizon, and narrow threads of white cloud here and there, and above it all hung the moon, glowing perfectly white and perfectly full. For a moment I felt disorientated, as though we could have been flying upside down (as John F. Kennedy Jr reportedly did). The sky gradually began to turn deep blue and for a while I watched the moon glow almost unbearably brightly until finally it was covered by cloud.

I'd just been watching "An Inconvenient Truth", which is genuinely scary. I couldn't see a sky like that without wondering if there's something strange and unusual going on as a result of the hammering we give the planet. Amongst moments of levity in the film, and there are a few of them, though mostly in an ironic vein, there's a clip of George Bush Sr's surreal, yet sincere, declaration that "if these environmentalists get their way, we'll be up to our necks in owls".

Meanwhile, on a completely different planet, the University of Utah has been told by the Utah Supreme Court that it can't ban guns from the campus.

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