Communion Of Dreams

More’s the pity.
June 2, 2011, 11:24 am
Filed under: Art, Astronomy, Connections, Terrorism

I’ve mentioned previously my Paint the Moon conceptual art project, and how it got started. Recently I noted to a friend that sometime in May was the 10th anniversary of the initial idea for the whole thing. His reaction was that I should do it again, or at least hold a ‘virtual party’ to celebrate the whole thing.

I demurred, for a couple of reasons. One, I have a lot of other irons in the fire currently. Two, part of the charm of the whole thing was the freshness of the idea – trying to recapture that naive moment would likely fall flat. And three, this is a different world we live in these days from the one pre-9/11. On that last point, this news item is relevant:

People who point powerful lasers at planes and helicopters — which can temporarily blind pilots — could face fines as high as $11,000 per violation, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday.

* * *

Pilots have reported over 1,100 such incidents in the U.S. so far this year, and officials said they are concerned that eventually there will be an air crash.

The incidents have increased rapidly around the world over the past six years as online sales of new, powerful handheld lasers have soared. In 2005, there were fewer than 300 such incidents reported in the U.S. Last year, there were 2,836 incidents. In some cases pilots have had to relinquish control of an aircraft to a co-pilot because of vision loss.

Yeah, it’s a different world now – one where an effort to create such a work of art would likely get me branded as some kind of terrorist.

More’s the pity.

Jim Downey

1 Comment so far
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Here is a fun video, maybe you’ve seen it. It sure helps restore a sense of naive wonder to my mind. It also has giant lasers pointing at the sky. APOD also posted about it on June 1 and the provide some description about what is going on, such as to look out for the large and small Megallanic Clouds ( and earth orbiting satellites as well as explain how the footage was taken. Well, sort of. It’s a moving video and I recommend it.

Comment by Tim Weitzel

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