July 20, 1969 was a day of destiny. On that day, the human race moved just a little farther in its evolution. Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin took that famous "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" and humans stood on the moon for the first time.
We have since lost the moon; we have not been back for nearly forty years. But we have left our mark there, claiming it for humanity. One day we will return. For now, we only dream of it.
The moon has always been drawing us outwards and upwards; there has been speculation that without such a large, enticing circle in our night sky, we would not have worked so hard to improve ourselves and step beyond our abilities to find that we could do more. Certainly, the moon is not the only factor, but it is undeniable that it has left its imprint on us as a species.
"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently.
They're not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the
only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things, they
push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy
ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world, are the ones who do."
-- Apple Computer commercial "Think Different"
This site is a intended to be a celebration of the spirit of humanity that strives to better itself; to put aside the minor differences that separate the individual members of the species; to work together to reach for our destiny: the moon, and then the stars.
The best person suited to change your world is you. You always have the choice to remake the world as just a little better than it was before. All it takes is will and effort.
Heroism is not necessarily charging up Omaha Beach on D-Day, nor is it necessarily boarding a primitive spacecraft to journey to the moon; they are that, of course, but we can all be heroes in our own way. And make no mistake about it, we all need heroes. Subscribe to the HeroicStories mailing list to find out about everyday heroes.
My philosophy of web page design is that simpler is better; it makes the download faster, and it's more compatible with older browsers. I use style sheets heavily, but they are not necessary to view the pages. After learning style sheets for this site, I see that they are really a lot nicer than peppering the HTML code with tables and font tags.
Important resources in designing this site:
- Programming Perl by Wall, Christiansen and Schwartz, and Perl Cookbook by Christiansen and Torkington (again, published by O'Reilly) I learned Perl by reading the first book, and the second has helped me out with some programming techniques. (Learning Perl is also available for an easier route to learning Perl.)
- Jakob Nielsen's useit.com, which gives pointers on how to write web sites that are useable (and useful) to the greatest number of people. While I haven't taken all of the suggestions, what I have done should make this site quick to load and easy to navigate.
- Optima Systems' PageSpinner, a quite useful HTML editor. It's shareware and therefore not very expensive. And it allows me to hand-code HTML, which is my preferred method of design, while highlighting different tags in different colors. It also comes with a site management tool, and can upload pages to the server automatically. It's very AppleScript-aware, so those proficient with AppleScript can extend its capabilities quite a bit.
- Lemke Software's GraphicConverter, used to create the graphics that I did on the site.
- Bare Bones Softwares's TextWrangler, a really great (and free) text editor. (The commerical version of BBEdit has a lot of tools for HTML editing, but with PageSpinner, I don't need all of them.)
- Matt's Script Archive, which has a few useful CGI scripts. I have taken and modified some to use here, like the hit counter at the bottom of each page.
- Moon pictures are from the NASA Kennedy Space Center archives.
- Many graphic elements from Free Graphics World, scri8e.com, and Background Labs.
"The reward of a thing well done is to have done it."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life, "Fate," 1860