Finally, something from the UN that I'll post positively about!
UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is backing a project they have dubbed the project of the 21st century. This project is titled KEO.
At the end of 2007 (or possibly in 2008), the satellite KEO will be launched into space for 50,000 years, when it will return to earth. KEO (named for the three most universal sounds in today's languages) will have a current-day map of the earth on its outer shell. Inside, there will be a diamond that includes an etching of human DNA and samples of current-day sea water, air, soil, and human blood; portraits of people including diverse nationalities; the astronomical clock, which future scientists will use to date the satellite; a "contemporary 'Library of Alexandria' offering a rational description of ourselves and our time"; and all our messages from individuals of today who wish to contribute.
What's this about our messages? That's right. Every person on the Earth is invited to write up to "four pages" (technically, you have 6,000 characters) of text to be included on the glass-tempered CD-ROMs to be included in KEO. All messages must be contributed by December 31, 2006. Other than length and time, there are no restrictions.
Interestingly, the KEO team says that on KEO's reentry, it will create an artificial Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) whose luminosity and glow will light up the sky, announcing its arrival.
Read plenty more on the English KEO website. As usual, Wikipedia's KEO page has plenty to add regarding KEO as well.
Hurry and get your message added — the deadline is December 31, 2006!
Not sure what type of message to write? Here are some messages that will be included:
… So I have a prayer for our future generations:
That you treat your children like the precious gifts that they are. Teach them to respect and love themselves, teach them to love, and to be tolerant of each other. We do that by example, because we have learned that children imitate the behaviors that are presented to them, educate them, give them hope, and keep them healthy. Yes, every child is worth the effort… Teresa, 46 years, USA
… Dear Future Beings,
I am writing to you with optimistic hope that you exist, that you have the science and technology to decipher this, and that you have the incentive and freedom to do so. One of my great interests is paleontology. It is ironic that if my physical remains exist at all now, they are probably in the form of fossils—similar to those fossils that have decorated my home… Chris, 45 years, USA
… Hello. Do you have special toys? Do you have a fireplace? Do you have a car? Do you have a closet? Do you have a blanket? I have three blankets. I can write my name: Kayla. What is your name? Do you have glasses? I like my mommy. I have a dog named Woo. Do you have a dog? I have a purple outfit. My favorite color is green.…. As dictated to her grandmother by Kayla, 4, USA
…Some time in the near future I will be strapped down on a gurney and poison will be run into my veins until I can no longer breath and my hearts stops beating…I hope that in your world politicians have to be against the death penalty in order to get elected. Or better yet, no politicians at all. They love to start wars but never do the actual fighting… Miguel, prisoner, USA
… I'll tell you how to make hamburgers. You need:
- 1 pound ground lean beef
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tomato slices (if you like them)
… Joshua, 10 years, Canada
… To whom am I writing? An evolved human being or some other life form? Maybe a roach. I’ve always felt that roaches will inherit the earth. Or maybe tube worms, protected from wars or disease down there near those deep ocean vents. If you’re a roach or a tube worm, then you won’t understand anything I’m saying. My thoughts will be as foreign to you as a trilobite’s would be to me. But maybe—just maybe—you are a descendant of human beings. 50,000 years isn’t all that long, actually. Many humans are now living to be a hundred. If a hundred-year-old human touches the hand of a newborn who then, when he or she reaches a hundred, touches the hand of a newborn, etc., it takes only 500 humans to form a 50,000 chain… Madge, 68, USA
…My favorite things so that you might better understand my world.
- Sitting quietly and petting my purring cat
- Feeling a cool breeze on a hot day
- Listening to the wind rustle the tree branches from my balcony
- Watching the snow fall
- Sitting on the beach edge with my toes in the water…
- Listening to foreign voices in foreign places
- Walking the streets of an unknown town
- Walking the streets of my home town
- Enjoying a good meal with friends and family
… Wendy, 37, USA