Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
“It takes faith to believe, and it takes courage not to, and who is to say which is the deeper and more truthful.”
— Herbert Weisinger
You often hear about believers who have a crisis of faith, but what of the skeptics among us who have a crisis of doubt? For years we skeptics have decisively refuted the metaphysical claims of the great religions and scoffed at the pretensions of newfangled spiritual fashions. But then our doubts are suddenly shaken by an unbidden mystical experience. The power of this direct cognition of ultimate reality, beyond word or image, is undeniable. But does it prove the existence of God? If you remain skeptical, you find yourself in a difficult state. You now seriously doubt your doubt and yet have no abiding faith to replace it. How do you proceed? You can no longer be atheistic because you’ve communed with the divine. You can’t be religious because the existence of God is still in question; what’s more, religious representations of God now get in the way of your direct mystical experience. Nor can you be agnostic because you’re far from neutral on the subject. You must become a skeptical mystic. As you cut your own singular path to the great whatever, you must now treat your own experiences with the relentless skepticism you once reserved for the claims of others.
I am One with a God I do not believe in.
Reprinted with permission from “Daily Afflictions,” by Andrew Boyd, published by W.W. Norton. To order a copy, click here
Brother Void is the alter ego of Andrew Boyd. More information about Brother Void and his book, "Daily Afflictions," can be found at his Web site.More Brother Void.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.