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Then: Moon Explorer

Now: Internet Explorer

On July 20, 1969 we sat around in front our TV's watching as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left the safety of Apollo 11 and walked on the Moon.  After ten long years, the United States had won the space race.  It seemed really unbelievable that man was actually walking on that celestial body and that we were watching it happen. It was a reality show, long before that term was coined.  

For many years after that, we continued to put men and women into outer space, but it seems that the moon was destined to be the only body we would set foot on.  And as far as I know, no aliens have landed on Earth.  Although parents of teenagers might have a different opinion.  I know I did, when my daughter was a thirteen.

But back to the Universe.  Its endlessness is a mind boggling concept.  I can't really understand something going on forever and ever and ever.

I have a similar feeling when trying to understand Cyberspace.  A place that has no limits.  That goes on forever and ever and ever.      

It's such an immense entity, my tiny little thoughts get lost.  They start chasing themselves and I end up forgetting what I was thinking about in the first place.  

But not the explorers of today.  They are "getting it"  and "getting into it."  Instead of discovering new continents or landing on new planets, they are discovering virtual places, worlds only known in yesterday's science fiction stories.

Facebook.  MySpace.  Twitter.  Our own Fab40 site.  

Some of this I get.  Some I don't.  I like connecting with old friends and seeing photos of family members living in different time zones.  I like sharing good news.  I get the part about  promoting oneself.   I enjoy playing games, such a scrabble, with people you've never met.  All good things, as far as I'm concerned.  

But there are some aspects that I just don't get.  I don't want to be in a pretend food fight.  If I'm going to get mashed potatoes in my face, I want them in my face!  I want to know if they are lumpy or seasoned with garlic.  If I go on an African Safari, I want to feel the earth beneath my feet and hear the lions roar.  

What I am supposed to do with a pretend bouquet?  Put it in a pretend vase on my pretend windowsill?  And how do I know that the friend who sent it to me is even real?  Maybe it's just a pretend friend.  

Everyday, the virtual place is growing and growing.  And here goes my mind again into that circle of never ending thoughts.  

Well, some say that man didn't even walk on the moon.  That it was all pretend.  So who knows?

Maybe one of these days, one of my new friends will be transported from my computer screen into my house.  We'll touch hands.  Hear each other's voices.  Laugh together.  And take a walk to the local coffee shop, smelling the "real" flowers on the way.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tinaf wrote Feb 22, 2009
    • Great, Janie!  Especially the part about the pretend gifts.  I get them on Facebook, too, and yeah, not only do I not know what to “do” with them, I wonder, “Should I thank the friend I don’t really know for a gift that doesn’t really exist?”  And the funny thing is that I can say this to a person or in a blog comment today without even sounding nuts.  But a statement like that in the 1960’s would have gotten you “the men in the white coats.”



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pamaloon wrote Feb 22, 2009
    • I know, Janie! It gives me a virtual headache. Please send me a virtual Tylenol and some pretend flowers to go with it. It is a Brave New World out there, and what is more amazing is to think that if it has changed this much since the 60s, what will it be like 30 years from now? Maybe I’ll be living in a virtual old age home. LOL! Great post!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Justjer wrote Feb 22, 2009
    • I know what you mean, Janie...Many years ago I tried to contemplate the concept of ‘the universe’ or world or whatever one calls it...How do you wrap your head around that?  Well, I couldn’t without it exploding (my head..not the world). So, I pretty much stopped that. And of course as you have pointed out the same applies to the ‘virtual world‘.  So I haven’t really spent much time repeating this futile endeavor. In fact, I am as wary of going to Facebook, etc as I am of going to outerspace. I have a hard enough time with expectations in the real world without  expanding into more worlds. But it seems that perception is reality in many ways, and I know some believe that the virtual world is very real and vice-versa.  And I guess
      there is some smudging of the lines. In fact, before there was an internet, some unfortunate souls used tin foil to improve on their ability to receive messages from beyond.  And as much as the world has changed, this practice still exists. I guess that’s what happens when one continues to contemplate the limits (or lack thereof) of the world whether it be real or virtual.  So, don’t push too hard and you’ll be fine, and continue to post these wonderful blogs of yours.   Just Me



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sylvia wrote Feb 22, 2009
    • WOW!!  I wonder where technology is going.  What will the
      world be like 50 years from now. I think people will be
      living in space apartments and traveling to visit friends
      in their own space cars. I still look up at the moon and
      remember when men walked on it. That I can believe, but
      Facebook is not my cup of tea. I like reality not virtual
      reality. I like holding a book and turning pages. Not a
      computer page turner and a cold instrumemt. Wonderful blog.
      You really do have some terrific ideas. Keep them coming.
      Sylvia



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Feb 22, 2009
    • Tina - You are so right.  If we said things like this in 1960, we would have been taken away!

      Pam - I wonder myself what the world will be like in 30 years.

      Justjer - You’ve given me a great deal to think about.

      Sylvia - I do agree with you about the pages of a book.

      Thanks for your comments.

      Janie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lindao wrote Feb 23, 2009
    • I don’t always get Cyberspace either, Janie, but I’m really happy it’s there.  For one thing, I love to be able to pull up your posts on Fabulously40! —LindaO



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Feb 23, 2009
    • Linda - I agree.  It’s mind boggling, but I enjoy it.  Thanks for your compliment.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sandyde wrote Feb 24, 2009
    • Janie, I can totally relate. As usual, another great blog that really gets me thinking.

      Sandy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Diane Klapper wrote Mar 31, 2009
    • I LOVE SITTING IN MY BACKYARD WORKING IN MY GARDEN.  I FEEL LIKE IN A SPECIAL PLACE THAT A MADE JUST FOR ME AND I DID.  IT SEEMS LIKE ITS THE ONLY TIME I APPRECIATE  THE BEAUTY OF HAVING PEACE AND QUITE  THAT I“M AWARE OF. TOMORROW I‘LL BE PLANTING THE FLOWERS THAT I PURCHASED TODAY AND JUST RELAXE AND LISTEN TO THE SOUNDS OF NATURE.  IT MIGHT SOUND CORNY BUT HONESTLY I REALLY ENJOY BEING IN TOUCH WITH NATURE .



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