Protection of the biosphere and biodiversity is relevant to all of humankind
The great leader of the Native American Suquamish Tribe, Chief Seattle (after whom the city is named) was a scholar with great love for his land and people.
He said to his white conquerors:
“Teach your children what we have taught ours, that the earth is our mother.
Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth.
The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth.
Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it.
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”
These words were said over a century and a half ago.
Recently, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) spearheaded a global contract called the Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights, which has since been adopted by its member countries.
Singer Sarah Brightman preparing for space station visit
British singer Sarah Brightman is expected to blast off in October for a 10-day stay on the International Space Station, NASA reported. The famed soprano, who starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera” will pay about $52 million for a round-trip ride aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule, said U.S.-based Space Adventures, a privately owned firm that is arranging the trip.
Brightman, 54, will become the eighth tourist and first professional singer to visit the orbital outpost, a $100 billion research laboratory that flies about 260 miles (418 km) above Earth. One tourist, Microsoft co-founder Charles Simonyi, made two trips.
Since NASA retired its space shuttles in 2011, Russian Soyuz capsules have been fully booked flying crew to and from the station, a project of 15 nations. The last tourist to fly was Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte, who spent 11 days aboard the station in 2009, at a cost of about $35 million.
The design captures the classic historic spirit of space travel and exploration, while using a female figure as the central motif – highlighting the potential of women to succeed in the worlds of science and technology, traditionally the preserve of men.
The figure is drawn with a respectful nod towards the stylish, heroic aesthetic of 1960’s soviet statuary, in particular the monuments to pioneer cosmonauts such as the first man in space Yuri Gagarin. Similarly, the four pointed star at the top of the design refers to the emblem for Russia’s Star City and the ascending rocket is adapted from the beautiful “Conquerors Of Space” monument which is situated outside the All-Russia Exhibition Centre in VDNKh.
At the base of this, the flags of three nations lead the way into the ascent; Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Behind the female figure is the earth – the most recognizable landmass we see is the United Kingdom, the birthplace of Sarah Brightman. Positioned like a crown above the female figure is the image of the International Space Station itself.
Never has the term “Mission statement” been more appropriate.
For Sarah, this mission – TMA 18M – embodies her own goals
CHASING DREAMS, SHAPING FUTURES
Sarah’s endless pursuit of realizing her own ambitions is matched by her personal commitment to the advancement of education for young people around the world. She works closely with several organizations that strive to achieve greater opportunities in the fields of Science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the arts, including UNESCO (as an Artist for Peace ambassador), Virgin Unite, (the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group – as a scholarship benefactor), and Challenger Center (STEM education non-profit organization – as an advisory board member).
Sarah is also a supporter of The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, which significantly supports the arts, music in schools, The Architectural Heritage Fund and awards 30 performing arts scholarships annually.
Finally, at the centre of the design, behind the female figure is The Moon, which refers back to the Apollo 11 landing. This event had captivated Sarah as she watched it on TV as a child and was the driving inspiration behind her earliest desire to travel into space. The moon also became the predominant motif on the cover of her latest album project, Dreamchaser.
The Taj Mahal from Persian and Arabic, “crown of palaces”, is a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”.
Taj Mahal is regarded by many as the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Islamic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Indian architectural styles.
In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“IOTD” is image of the day, a concept I came up with. I teach visual meditative therapy – or in easy terms – a mini mental holiday. For some people it is very difficult for them to get their image right. I post an image a day for people to use in their mini mental vacay. Some are serious, some are silly, and some are just beautiful!”