"Earth’s distant orb appeared the smallest light that twinkles in the heaven; whilst round the chariot’s way innumerable systems rolled and countless spheres diffused an ever-varying glory. It was a sight of wonder: some were hornèd like the crescent moon; some shed a mild and silver beam like Hesperus o'er the western sea; some dashed athwart with trains of flame, like worlds to death and ruin driven; some shone like suns, and as the chariot passed, eclipsed all other light." From "Queen Mab" by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1813)
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Captain's Log (well it had to happen eventually)
Two top buys here, the first is “Manned Spaceflight Log” by Tim Furniss which lists all the US and Soviet spaceflights from Yuri Gagarin’s trip to space in 1961 up to the early shuttle launches in the early 1980s. Fantastic, what a great resource. The photos are all black and white but there are some really good ones and frankly, I couldn’t resist having all that information in one book right at my finger tips. Even with the world wide web, I think there’s still a place for a decent reference book, as even I don’t have the computer on all the time.
In the same Oxfam book shop was “Into That Silent Sea” by Francis French and Colin Burgess. Coincidentally, I mentioned this book quite recently when I wrote a blog about Valentina Tereshkova. It too documents the early spaceflights but goes into much more biographical detail on each of the early space pioneers, both cosmonauts and astronauts. I wish I could read two books at the same time, one in each hand. I have so many books that I can’t wait to read.
However, it not just books I’ve been getting. I also bought more old National Geographics and another Spaceflight magazine. These Nat Geo’s have articles on the US Mercury and Gemini programmes, so how could I not get them? I plan on doing some more space related paintings so you could say it was research. Or you could call it space porn. I mean, look at the thrusters on that!
I also bought this Mexican lottery game in a fantastic shop in Clifton called Otomi which sells loads of fair trade Mexican crafts, food and Dia de los Muertos related items too. What’s not to like?
Suggested listening: “Keys” by The Keys