["lunar living"] might more aptly have been titled "Loony Living." Scientists who would readily spend hundreds of billions of dollars should be controlled. Settling other planets? How about getting this planet in order? First step: constructively use that astronomical funding for the benefit and welfare of mankind on earth.
Physicist Steven Weinberg says manned space exploration "doesn't serve any important purpose." What he fails to appreciate is that from an inspirational perspective, all the robotic telemetry in the universe fails to equal "one small step for man. . . ."
In Living Color
Having studied the culture and art of the ancient world, I must say it's about time we got to see sculptures the way the ancients saw them—in living color ["True Colors"]. As romantically beautiful as white marble sculptures are, what we see today is merely a shadow of what was. We are looking at scaffolding that is supposed to support vivid hues. Imagine covering modern murals with grime or scraping off most of the paint. They would look distorted and inaccurate, as sculptures without their paint are inaccurate. I would like to see all ancient marbles restored to their true colors.
San Rafael, California
It is not the coloration that causes a perceptual disconnect for me, but rather some of the design decisions underlying Vinzenz Brinkmann's reconstructions of ancient sculptures. For example, the subtle facial features of "Peplos Kore" are lost in translation: consider the light in her eyes and her bemused smile, both entirely missing. Similarly, the highlighting in Caligula's locks seems unfaithful to the original. And in the epic "Alexander Sarcophagus," the features and expressions of almost all the faces appear poorly rendered. "Our first obligation is to get everything right," Brinkmann says. "Do you think someday we can start making music?" Yes, I feel they can someday make music. But for that happy moment to occur, many fundamental elements must be made right.
Voyage From the Heartlands
Readers who enjoyed learning about the voyages of the Viking replica ship Sea Stallion ["Raiders or Traders?"] might like to know about the Hjemkomst, a replica of a Viking ship built by Robert Asp in landlocked Minnesota. Though stricken with leukemia, Asp lived to see the ship completed and to take it on a trial voyage in Lake Superior. It was launched on a 6,100-mile voyage to Bergen, Norway, in 1982 by a mostly amateur crew that included his friends and family. A documentary of the trip shows how the crew weathered a major storm in the Atlantic. Today, the ship is housed at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead, Minnesota.
H. Ronken Lynton
Pittsboro, North Carolina
Baseball, Pure and Simple
When I saw Neil Leifer's photograph [Indelible Images: "It's in the Bag"], I was mesmerized. Besides being a fantastic image, something else seemed unusual. Then it struck me. There were no ads in the background—just the players, the field, the fans—baseball as it should be.
By all means, let's explore space with probes and instruments. But before we export ourselves to the moon [Around the Mall: "Lunar Living"], let's get our garbage, our consumption and our relations with one another under control. Let's learn to protect the earth's remaining wild places and to reverse the destruction we have caused in the name of development. We are, thus far, no treasure to share with the universe.
Bass Harbor, Maine