2006/06/23

Keep Watching the Skies!

That title comes from the ending line of an old science fiction movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (one of the great ones). Even without flying saucers, I enjoy watching the skies.

It is rainy season in Japan and last the few days have brought morning fog and afternoon clouds, sometimes with rain. It is warm and humid. I like it.

This afternoon there was a high overcast of strato-cumulus clouds with an angry looking sun trying to burn through it. It had a surreal look to it and I wanted to take a picture, but it was way too bright for my camera. Then I came up with an idea. I took this picture by placing one of the lenses of my sun glasses over the camera lens.

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Of course Japan is the land of the rising sun. In the Shinto religion, the sun goddess, Amaterasu, is the highest of the gods (kami). She doesn't look very happy in this picture.

7 comments:

The Moody Minstrel said...

In the Shinto religion, the sun goddess, Anaterasu, is the highest of the gods (kami).

Actually, Amaterasu-no-Omigami (aka The Sun Goddess) is the highest of the earthly deities. Believe it or not, Shinto does believe that there are higher deities in increasing echelons terminating in the One (Elemental) God that is ultimately responsible for everything.

(Yes, I was surprised to hear that, too...and I heard it direct from the high priest of Kashima Shrine. I gets better. Read on:)

The Shinto creation story is interesting because it is entirely based on evolution. The cosmos started as elemental chaos. Then the One God (I don't recall his name), who was at the heart of that chaos, had an idea that he should do something. The spirit of that idea manifested as the first divine offspring, who I guess you could call the God of Creation (kind of like Lord Brahma in Hindu). This latter deity then gave birth to the universe in the form of a giant explosion (the Big Bang?). Everything developed from there as an ongoing process, both physical matter and spiritual forces (which were apart yet connected rather like manitou in Native American religions) evolving until they finally produced the living world. (Of course, there was plenty of intervention from the celestial deities in between, such as when Izanami and Izanagi came down to Earth and loved it so much that they gave birth to Japan...)

Interesting story, innit?

Hello? Are you awake?

Pandabonium said...

Moody -

Uh, yeah. Fascinating (really). Let me run that theory by Stephen Hawking and get back to you.

As the character Helen Bensen says to the robot in "The Day the Earth Stood Still", "Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!"

The Moody Minstrel said...

And why Gort didn't go ahead and vaporize her like he was originally intending to I'll never know...

I still like the scene where Klaatu sees a chalkboard on which a famous physicist has written equations of quantum mechanics that he'd been working on for ages (on a chalkboard??), and Klaatu shakes his head, sighs, marks up a few of them, rewrites one, and erases the rest.

Damned primitives. Klaatu was sent to Earth to warn them to abandon nuclear war or else. So what does he do? Tell them how to make even more powerful weapons! Oops...DUH!

"Gort, Klaatu barada fuktup!"

Incidentally, the horrible sequel of the original Battlestar Galactica TV series entitled Galactica 1980 basically copied that scene verbatim, chalkboard and everything. It was how the two chronically geekish Viper pilots proved they were extraterrestrials. (Now that I've given ample evidence of my own geekishness...)

Pandabonium said...

MM What always struck me as odd about the chalkboard scene was that by monitoring radio and TV signals, Klaatu not only learned English but knew the Greek based symbols used in mathematics. What TV show were they watching to get that? Capt. Kangaroo's physics corner?

Not to worry. It wasns't nuclear physics on the board, it was Prof. Barnhardt's chicken soup recipe.

Gort hesitated because he found her attractive and was debating on whether to vaporizer her or ask her out on a date. She solved his dilema by fainting.

Geek alert! Activate the Omega 13....

Robin said...

hehehehe.

Singapore is the Land of Rising Sons!

Pandabonium said...

I didn't know that Robin. Singapore is a long way from Calvary, where Christians believe "the Son" rose.

Oh boy, the "bozone" is thick in Kashima today. ;)

Happysurfer said...

LOL!