Are things amazing? It might seem like a bleak time in the world. Inflation is soaring, interest rates aren’t too far behind them, the COVID-19 pandemic is still lingering around, there’s another lingering war in Ukraine, the stock market has hit major lows, the southern United States is grappling with destruction from Hurricane Ian, and we’ve had to grapple with accusations in cheating in fishing, chess, and poker.
However, a few things have happened in the past month that are reason for celebration and to keep your head up! Humanity is amazing and cruising ahead at breakneck pace in the realms of space, science, sport, and politics. Here’s a few things that are catching our eye:
Amazing Space Feats
While we might not be doing the greatest job maintaining our planet from within, we have figured out a way to defend it from extraterrestrial “dumb” objects. NASA’s Double Asteroid Rendezvous Test, otherwise conveniently known as the DART probe, slammed into a small asteroid 7 million miles from Earth on Sept. 26 to change the orbit of the rock, Dimorphous, around its larger asteroid parent Didymos, in a test to prove humanity could deflect whatever else might be headed toward Earth.
Also within the space realm, but not having to do with Elon Musk, we launched another telescope called the James Webb, that is so powerful we can almost see the beginning of time. In fact, most recently Webb released images from the Orion nebula, 1350 light years away from Earth. While the Orion nebula math and science is beyond the scope for this simpleton, this was the culmination of a 20 year project.
Amazing Science Achievements
Back on earth, a lot of exciting things are happening including foldable screens in the Galaxy Z Fold 4, robots that peel bananas, AI that can create art, and beat out humans! We wrote about Dall-E before but in September a video game designer named Jason Allen created Théâtre D’opéra Spatial using a similar tool to Dall-E, called Midjourney. He beat out all of the human artists to win first prize.
In the natural world, scientists found the largest plant in the world, a seagrass off the coast of Australia which is three times the size of Manhattan Island! In the somewhat natural man made world, archaeologists found a 1000 year old Mayan settlement in Central Belize.
In the abstract world, we were hosts to what is now known as the “Merge” or rather the Ethereum Merge, whereby the cryptocurrency updates their algorithm to make it more eco friendly with much less computing power to verify transactions.
In the world of humans, a few amazing feats in endurance recently happened. Jacky Hunt-Broersma completed 104 marathons in 104 days, an impressive feat in itself, but then you realize that she lost her leg in 2001 at the age of 26 and only started running in 2016.
Eliud Kipchoge is closing in on the sub 2 hour marathon officially with a 2:01:09 in Berlin shaving an impressive 30 seconds off his own prior world record. Kipchoge has run under 2 hours for a marathon but that was not a sanctioned race. New York Yankee Aaron Judge broke a 61 year old record by hitting 62 home runs in a season breaking the prior record by fellow Yankee Roger Maris of most home runs in a season in Major League Baseball’s American League (Barry Bonds has the MLB record with 73).
Also in the world of humans, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her platinum jubilee right before her death making her the second longest monarch ever (behind Louis XIV of France). Her son King Charles III will be one of the oldest monarchs to take the throne at 73 years old.
And finally, it seems like the group that is making the Ayatollah Khamenei rethink his strict oppression on women’s rights in Iran are teenage girls. After Mahsa Amini died following her encounter with Iran’s morality police, the uprising was started by school girls not far off from Amini’s age (22).
While things might look bleak in the present, taken from a far enough lens, one can argue that things never looked more amazing. In the history of humankind we have never had this level of affluence, abundance, and peace. Relatively, things look tough, but hey, humans are somewhat related to that peskiest of bugs, the cockroach, so we most likely can survive anything.