Tag: John P. Grotzinger

The dirt beneath our feet.

A film about dirt that opens eyes!


I have mentioned the website of the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia before.  It’s a fabulous resource for many aspects of moving towards a more sustainable lifestyle, and not just for Australians.

A few days ago, their regular posting included a link to this:

Dirt: The Movie

DIRT! The Movie — directed and produced by Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow — takes you inside the wonders of the soil. It tells the story of Earth’s most valuable and underappreciated source of fertility — from its miraculous beginning to its crippling degradation. The opening scenes of the film dive into the wonderment of the soil. Made from the same elements as the stars, plants and animals, and us, “dirt is very much alive.” Though, in modern industrial pursuits and clamor for both profit and natural resources, our human connection to and respect for soil has been disrupted. “Drought, climate change, even war are all directly related to the way we are treating dirt.”

DIRT! the Movie — narrated by Jaime Lee Curtis — brings to life the environmental, economic, social and political impact that the soil has. It shares the stories of experts from all over the world who study and are able to harness the beauty and power of a respectful and mutually beneficial relationship with soil.

DIRT! the Movie is simply a movie about dirt. The real change lies in our notion of what dirt is. The movie teaches us: “When humans arrived 2 million years ago, everything changed for dirt. And from that moment on, the fate of dirt and humans has been intimately linked.” But more than the film and the lessons that it teaches, DIRT the Movie is a call to action.

Here’s the trailer to the film.

And here’s the movie’s website.

The link to the film on the PRI Australia’s website is here: Dirt: The Movie.

So plan on sitting down somewhere and enjoying a full-length film about dirt.  It will hold you spellbound.

To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.  Alfred Austin

The Curiosity Mission.

Just a personal muse!

This has very little to do with anything other than my lifelong fascination in exploring space, which is why just over 21 hours ago I published the taster for this Post.  That ‘Earthrise’ photograph and the one below changed forever how we feel about the home we all live on.

The famous “Blue Marble” shot.

First Full-View Photo of Earth
Photograph courtesy NASA Johnson Space Center

This famous “Blue Marble” shot represents the first photograph in which Earth is in full view. The picture was taken on December 7, 1972, as the Apollo 17 crew left Earth’s orbit for the moon. With the sun at their backs, the crew had a perfectly lit view of the blue planet.

December 7th, 1972.  Coming up to 40 years ago. I was in my late-20s.  This photograph touched me in ways that I still don’t understand.  This is such a beautiful planet.

Thus Curiosity: NASA’s latest Mars rover is due to touch down at 05:31 UTC Monday 6th August.  I decided to publish this at 04:31 UTC on the 6th one hour before the crucial and novel landing, or in terms of local time here in Payson, Arizona, 9.31 pm on the 5th August.

Wishing the Mission and all the hard-working people who have spent so many years working towards this critical point in time in space history the very best of luck!  It will be wonderful wherever one is on this Planet to wake up on the 6th and hear that Curiosity has landed safely! And if you want to follow the Mission then NASA have a website devoted to the latest news.

Let me close by offering you a couple of videos from the fabulous BBC Horizon science series, full hour-long programme about NASA’s latest Mission to Mars.

NASA Engineer Adam Stelzner describes how he hopes the Curiosity rover will land.

Chief Project Scientist John Grotzinger talks about Curiosity’s scientific instruments.