It's forty years since we sat on our sofas eyes glued to our black and white TVs and watched Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin take the first bouncy giant steps on the moon. I say 'we', but to be honest I can't recall if I watched the seemingly slo-mo live or whether my memory is of one or many of the endless repeats.
It seemed to be important at the time, athough few seem to recall that this was part of the so-called space race between the USA and Russia, a matter of 'cold' war. Its peacetime value was in technological advances such as non-stick frying pans, which are a waste of time in Jakartass Towers as I can't convince 'Er Indoors or sundry other domestic helpers to throw out the scourers.
Still, anniversaries are all about mortality and the meaning of life, so I thought I'd play Apollo by Brian Eno which he wrote because when he watched the Apollo 11 landing in 1969 he felt that the strangeness of that event was compromised by the low quality of the television transmission and an excess of journalistic discussion, and that he wished to avoid the melodramatic and uptempo way it was presented.
It turns out that Apollo isn't among the eighteen Eno albums (plus sundry collaborations and productions) I do have so I've stuck with Another Day On Earth.
Brits have an opportunity "to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing" on 20th and 21st July at London's Science Museum when they present the premiere of a new live arrangement of Apollo. There will also be performances of new material based on recordings from space.
The moon has a profound influence on us all. Bearing in mind that it's its gravitational pull which largely dictates the tides and that we humans are composed of c.70% water, then it's hardly surprising that werewolves howl and lunatics go extra loony at the time of full moons. The moon also rules those born between 22nd June - 21st July (which is now!) under the astrological sign of Cancer, symbolized by the crab.
Cancerians tend to beemotional, intuitive, imaginative, shrewd, cautious, protective, and sympathetic, changeable, moody, overemotional, touchy, clinging, protective, sensitive, moody and unable to let go and go with their instinct, because they know it can be trusted.
Amongst Eno's musical collaborations were a trilogy of albums by David Bowie, which provides a very neat segue because among the pirated DVDs available here is The Prestige in which Bowie portrays Nikola Tesla who was born on 10th July 1856. All the adjectives in the last paragraph apply to Tesla, a very crabby person.
You may not know it, but if you are reading this on a computer connected to mains electricity, it's Tesla you have to thank, rather than Thomas Edison, because alternating current (AC), rather than Edison's batteries (DC) was Tesla's creation. He was also a pioneer in radio, x-rays, lasers, atomic physics, electric vehicles, vertical take off aircraft and much more.
One's mind boggles at his genius. Although he converted to vegetarianism late in life - good man - arguing that it is wrong to eat uneconomic meat when large numbers of people are starving and that plant food (was) superior to meat in regard to both mechanical and mental performance, his mind got boggled too and he died alone in a New York hotel room on 7th January 1943, penniless and a virtual lunatic.
There is a crater named Tesla on the far side of the Moon.
I'm pleased to say that there's also one named Collins.