Sales Wick is a long haul pilot and photographer. He was piloting a massive 10+ hour overnight flight from Switzerland to Rio de Janeiro. The route takes them across the Sahara and the Atlantic Ocean. While most people will be settling in for a night of sleep, he sets up his camera and captures this transcendent video. I won’t do it justice, so just read his words:
“(We go) …past the bright city light of the capital of Algeria towards the Sahara. Tonight will be a special night, since its one of the few nights every August where countless shooting stars will be seen all over the night sky. Deriving from the constellation of Perseus, these meteor showers will guide us through the night.
Just as the bright city lights are vanishing behind us, the Milky way starts to become clearly visible up ahead. It’s now pacing us, at almost the speed of sound, along the invisible highway and the pitch-black night sky above this surreal landscape. Ahead of us are another eight hours flight time, but we already stopped counting the shooting stars. And we got already to a few hundred.”
If you ever doubt there is beauty in the world – watch this.
Essentially you have to disable encryption on remote desktop access in Gnome due to a bug that has come to surface in Vino. However, some threads tell you to uncheck it in the wrong place. Follow these guidelines and you should be able to resolve it quickly.
Keeping with the intent of the week-long conference to share strategies to make the world better, Francis’s contribution to that conversation was to urge the people gathered here to use their influence and power to care for others.
“How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion,” he said to applause. “How wonderful would it be, while we discover faraway planets, to rediscover the needs of the brothers and sisters orbiting around us.”
If data was used like this in the 90’s – imagine how it’s used today…
The Lion King video game has a notoriously difficult level. Known simply as ‘the monkey level’, some consider it one of the hardest levels in gaming. But did you know there’s a story behind its legendary difficulty?
In the 90’s, Blockbusters started to rent out video games in addition to films. However, unlike film studios, who got paid every time their films were rented, video game developers didn’t get a cut of the profits. So, a lot of the video game industry hated the rental industry and wanted to make sure their games could not be beaten in the rental period.
Disney, in particular, had studies and metrics. They determined that most players would not buy a game if they could beat some large percentage of it in a rental period. Disney told the developer of the Lion King, Westwood studios, to put some giant difficulty spike early in the game to intentionally halt player’s progress. The game was nearly complete and the final deadline was fast approaching. The monkey puzzle was the only thing they could quickly implement on such short notice.
Here’s a developer’s commentary on how it went down:
There is one simple thing wrong with you – you think you have plenty of time.
If you don’t think your life is going to last forever, what are you waiting for? Why the hesitation to change? You don’t have time for this display, you fool. This, whatever you’re doing now, may be your last act on earth.
At daybreak, it is the women that are first to find Jesus has risen. They are the first carriers of the resurrection story, the first to encounter Christ risen and spread that to the disciples who are in hiding.
Peter and the beloved disciple then run to the tomb. What was that run like? The morning air stinging the lungs while the head swims with thoughts, wonder, and confusion? If someone told you your dearest friend was not dead – would you run to the grave?
Is our love such that we would run with such abandon to Christ where we can find him at work in EVERY heart in our world today? Entombed in the mental illness and addictions of the homeless, those in prison, the refugee, the forgotten elderly, relatives we are no longer speak with, the foreigner with strange ways, someone from the opposite political party than ours, coworkers that are difficult or malicious, the unborn that we are told do not matter and have no rights, the terminally ill, bullied kids, the disabled and disfigured, those with anxiety and depression, anyone ‘not cool’/ugly/unfashionable that pop culture says don’t matter, and yes, even the terrorist or even those that wish us harm?
Christ is at work in each of their hearts. We do not deny the difficulties and real dangers there, but should we not accompany him in the work he is doing there?
As the dark of night descends, the Easter fire is blessed, the Easter candle (the pillar of fire that leads the Israelites out of Egypt) is lit and we make entrance into a dark church. We read the stories of salvation history, sing the ancient exaultet, the Gloria with bells sounds for the first time in 40 days.
We had new converts baptized, we anointed adults with holy oils in confirmation, and the first communion is received by those who have spent a year in preparation. All the sacraments of new life are celebrated as Christ himself rises this night.
Saturday is the Jewish sabbath day – a day of rest. And so Christ himself ‘rests’ in his tomb while his disciples hide in fear. 3 days he lies in the tomb as they think the worst – that all is lost. A reminder that even crushing defeat cannot stop God – but that things happen in His time.
However, Christ is not inactive. It is long thought this day he descended to Hell and freed the holy souls trapped there before they had a savior. Before Christ, Jews believed all souls went to Sheol. The Harrowing of Hell is depicted in many early icons such as this one by Fra Angelico (1400’s) in one of his fellow monks cels in Florence.
Christ thirsts for us so much he offers himself to set us free. This one sacrifice celebrated at every mass throughout all time. And the cross – a sign of capital punishment – is transformed into the doorway to what sets us free.
But more. Michelangelo’s Pieta in Rome was inspired by this day. Any parent that has lost a child has a heavenly mother who understands the unspeakable loss. Today she is entrusted to the beloved disciple – and to us.
We have not only a Lord and savior that knows our human weakness and loves us. We also have a mother and advocate that knows even these pains of loss we can turn to – even when everything seems lost as the first disciples surely felt this day.
May we enter the silence with our Lord to contemplate the great mystery of these 3 days…