Lights and Good Night

Well finals are over, and I guess I’m slightly behind on pushing out entries over the past week or so. It’s a little bit hard to find time to work on the creative juices while also maintaining time and energy to devote to one’s studies over the mad stretch of finals for the semester. I gotta say, this was one of the more bittersweet endings to a quarter/semester, in that it’s always great to be done with something, but there was the added sadness to the fact that the fun and good times shared by my classmates/lab partners through our regular mundane schedules of class lecture and lab sessions and the breaks in between are over. Adding to this melancholy feeling is that, now that I’m done w/ the Fall semester at Mt. SAC, I’m likely headed over to PCC for Spring 2013 . I really enjoyed Mt. SAC, from the drive to/from campus, to the buildings/layout of campus, to the professors and classrooms, the subject material, and of course, the peeps. So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night.

One item that did catch my attention over my absence from blogging was the images published by NASA of Earth at Night. I’m gonna link to the WSJ b/c that’s where I first saw this posted, but obviously the NASA website has these images as well, as do a million other sites out there. This caught my attention because of both the artistic beauty that often underlies the realm of photography as well as the symbolism that one can conjure up while viewing far off and abstract images. Specifically for myself, it made me reminisce of those certain flights at night were the aircraft flies over a city at such an altitude where one can make out the glimmering city lights, and as you’re traveling several thousand feet up in the air at a speed of several hundred miles per hour, you can watch the bundle of lights slowly draw near to you in the distance, almost like a lighthouse calling out to a ship at sea, only to have it fade away behind you as you continue  off into the night.

Look at this photograph. (Tangent: lyrics from Nickelback remind me of the CollegeHumor’d parody “Look at this Instagram“) It coincidentally also gives you a good idea of the population density of the US. And of course, because I live out on the West Coast, flying to any location in the lower 48 states often involves leaving the bright lights of LA via LAX, and once you’re clear of all the light pollution, you’re greeted with the pitch black of nothing that exists in the rural areas. It’s pretty amazing, wonderful, and disgusting, all at once, to think that we humans could set up so much civilization in a barren area, such that evidence of our habitation can be seen from such amazing heights. Or the converse is also true, where, as you make your descent back to the ground, you can watch the patches of squares and swaths of lights inch closer to you until you’re no longer one with the clouds, but rather, have returned to be among the lights. God I enjoy flying. That, and the photograph above, really offer a glimpse into how big and vast everything around us is, and how tiny and insignificant we may be in the great scope of things.


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