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Volume 2, Issue 1
January 5, 2004

1. Quote of the Month
2. What's New at World Beyond Borders
3. Space, Spirit and Unity
4. What You Can Do


"There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum." --Arthur C. Clarke


Many great athletes will tell you that imagining victory before a big game helps their performance on the field. Filmmaking also uses a visioning process during pre-production. Every aspect of a film must be drawn out in storyboard form before any shooting begins. This month at World Beyond Borders, we'd like to announce the creation of Terran Times - a newspaper from the year 2100. This is a means for us to imagine a brighter future of global unity, which will in turn help us think about the successive steps that must be taken to get us there. Terran Times is a wiki, a collaborative website anyone can edit. So get creative in the new year and help us imagine what living in a united world will be like. Terran Times is located at http://worldbeyondborders.freezope.org/terrantimes.

We would also like to announce an extension for our Earth Flag and Anthem Contest. We want to encourage more entries, so the new deadline is July 1st, 2004.

New articles this month are as follows:

How We Might Get There?
*"The Engagement Tree Model" by Jane Shevtsov looks at why people get involved in causes and organizations. How can we engage them on the deep level necessary for our long-term work?

*"Space and Human Unity" by Jane Shevtsov discusses the connection between space exploration and perceptions of human unity. "Congressman Bill Nelson, who also flew on the shuttle, has put forward the idea of a summit meeting in space. Perhaps that is where Earth's constitution will be written."

Please send article ideas or submissions to Jane Shevtsov, jaia@ucla.edu.

by Jane Shevtsov

On Saturday, the lander Spirit touched down on Mars. Over its projected lifetime of three months, it will explore Gustav Crater, a region of Mars thought to have contained liquid water in the past. People from all over the world will see the photos it sends back. These images will have tremendous scientific value and the lander's experiments may shed light on the possibility of past life on Mars. Yet, there is one more thing Spirit could do before its mission is out. It could take a look back at the Earth.

Pictures of Earth from Mars have been taken before. They, however, used powerful magnification to produce a recognizable disk, sometimes even with visible continents. Clearly, this is not what someone standing on Mars would see. From the red planet, Earth will appear to be a pale blue dot, just as Mars is a pale red dot in the skies of Earth. Earth will not even be the brightest planet in the Martian sky -- that distinction goes to Venus, which is farther away from Mars than Earth but reflects far more of the sunlight hitting it.

Future astronauts traveling to Mars will be the first human beings to see this sight with their own eyes. They will witness what Carl Sagan wrote of when he described a snapshot of Earth taken -- with high magnification -- from beyond the orbit of the outermost planet. "That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives... The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors, so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds."

The more of us share this perspective, the closer we will come to seeing ourselves as human beings first and foremost and the closer we'll come to building a global government. It would be a fitting irony if Mars, named after the Roman god of war, helped bring an end to it on Earth.

For more information:
*Mars Exploration Rover Mission,

*SETI@Home, Carl Sagan, full Pale Blue Dot quote and photo,

*SPACE.com, Robert Roy Britt, "Earth Photographed from Mars in Surprising Detail",


*Share the short article above or the longer "Space and Human Unity" article with a space enthusiast friend -- or anyone watching Spirit's new images. Consider using it to bring up the topic of democratic global government.

*Send this newsletter to two people you would not normally
forward it to. Let's get out of our usual clusters this month!

We want your stories! Email Jane Shevtsov at jaia@ucla.edu.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/1.0/

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