by | January 11, 2015

Image by Stuart Atkinson: is.gd/Nz5Fk3

Yesterday, John Wilkins tweeted a link to Stuart Atkinson’s blog post “Tribulation Conquered.” Atkinson’s blog, The Road To Endeavour is

dedicated to following the ongoing mission of the Mars Exploration Rover ‘Opportunity’ as she explores the rim of the giant martian crater ‘Endeavour’!

On January 11, Atkinson was jubilant:

She did it. Opportunity did it. She reached the top of Cape Tribulation, and is now looking down from the summit, with gorgeous views of the rim of Endeavour on the farside of the crater and of her tracks leading back down the hill to the great Merdiani Plain far below.

He is celebrating Opportunity’s success for two reasons:

on one level, that image represents Opportunity following in the footsteps of generations of brave explorers and mountaineers by planting her nation’s flag on the summit of the pea she has just conquered. . . .


But on another level, that image represents much, much more than a simple flag-raising. It shows defiance and the triumph of intellect and science over the forces of ignorance and fundamentalism. This is a very dangerous, dark time for the world, I think most people feel that. The news is full of pain, death and bloodshed every day, and it’s hard not to feel like we’re standing in the shadow of a great storm that’s advancing relentlessly towards us. But as hooded terrorists were mercilessly slaughtering people in France, and holding others hostage, spreading fear and despair, on another world, halfway across the solar system, a piece of a building destroyed by other terrorists was being proudly and defiantly held aloft by a robot, proof that these insane, mad dogs will never win. They want to plunge the world into a new Dark Age of fear, repression and ignorance, but when they look up at the sky on a clear night they’ll see the space station crossing the sky, a lantern of science and technology drifting through the heavens, and there’s nothing they can do about it. . . . For every bullet they fire in hatred a thousand computer keyboard keys are tapped by people dedicated to helping others and advancing science and knowledge, searching for a cure for cancer, or designing a faster computer, or teaching children how to read. For every hostage they kill, a million people turn away from them, look up at the sky, and dream of a future free of their beliefs and violence.

Thank you Stuart Atkinson for the opportunity to share your jubilance and optimism.

6 thoughts on “Optimism

  1. Sergei Bourachaga

    No media outlet should publish the cartoons, nor address the issue of Islamic violence in Western democracies, as a gesture of solidarity with the victims of religious hatred in Paris. The Muslim Terrorists who committed the Charlie Hebdo massacre were simply pious Muslims following the commands of Allah clearly revealed in the following verse:
    “We will put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers (Jews and Christians). They serve other Gods for whom no sanction has been revealed. Hell shall be their home; dismal indeed is the dwelling place of the evil-doers”. Koran 3:149
    Let us remember also that, the prophet of Islam designated by The Koran as “AL Insan Ul Kamel” (Arabic for the perfect human being) was not a believer in the values of free speech, thus he established the tradition of blasphemy in Islam, the death penalty for anyone who dares to challenge the shallowness of his warped personal views often attributed to Allah. To understand his intolerance for ridicule one has only to study the story of Asmaa Bint Marwan.
    She used to revile Islam, offend the prophet by composing Qasidas (Arabic for poetry) depicting him as a phony hypocrite. “When the apostle heard what she had said, he said, “Who will rid me of Marwan’s daughter?” Umayr b. Adiy al-Khatmi who was with him heard him, and that very night he went to her house and killed her. In the morning he came to the apostle and told him what he had done and he [Muhammad] said, “You have helped God and His apostle, O Umayr!” When he asked if he would have to bear any evil consequences the apostle said, “Two goats won’t butt their heads about her”, so Umayr went back to his people.
    The Life of Muhammad. A translation of Ishaq’s “Sirat Rasul Allah”, pgs. 675–676, A. Guillaume, Oxford University Press, 1955

    Our sincere apologies to all Canadian Muslims for blaming two pious/barbarian/blood thirsty Muslims for emulating the perfect human being-prophet Mohamad.

    Sergei Bourachaga

  2. billybob

    Who will rid me of this turbulente priest?

    I really get tired of assholes.

  3. Bubba Kincaid

    Place had gotten more cynical than a priest in a whorehouse.

    I guess I’ll mention it first sice it seems no one is in the mood and I doubt it’ll get mentioned in this den of vipers:

    Did anybody notice what’s going on in Paris with the rather historic and unprecedented march of a 100 or so international presidents and prime ministers (and kings) walking arms interlocked through the streets of Paris?

    I suspect we needed more of that from the beginning rather than what we’ve -been- doing.

  4. Bubba Kincaid

    These things move fast.

    Seems like the more important question now is not why didn’t the CBC post the Mohammed pictures, but why Obama and Harper were not there at the march of leaders.


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