On my bedside table is a snow globe with a winterscape inside. Church, park bench, girl standing shin-deep in snow. Tip the snow globe over and a blizzard of slow snow falls over church and bench and girl. What is it about snow globes that makes them fascinating and terrifying at once? My heart lurches at the thought of the snow-globe girl waiting endlessly, with only the hope of a new snow blizzard to settle on her mantle when the next person tips her snow-globe world over. Not a gust of breeze may ruffle her skirt, not a bird may perch atop the steeple. The only way out of a snow globe is by shattering the glass dome that is its sky.
One of my fondest memories from childhood is of looking at a globe with my father. "What's the biggest country?" he'd ask me and my sister. We'd spin the globe around and guess. . . . The globe brought me a sense of wonder and adventure. I wanted to go to those other places and see how people did things differently. And, many years later, when I did visit other countries, I took my father's interest and fascination with me. When we plant the seeds of fascination and respect for other people, we are teaching tolerance and peace.
Charlotte Sophia Kasl
Never in all their history have men been able truly to conceive of the world as one: a single sphere, a globe, having the qualities of a globe, a round earth in which all the directions eventually meet, in which there is no center because every point, or none, is center - an equal earth which all men occupy as equals. The airman's earth, if free men make it, will be truly round: a globe in practice, not in theory.
Even to this day it is easier than it ought to be for me to get a rise out of an American by telling him something about himself which is equally true about every human being on the face of the globe. He at once resents this as a disparagement and an assertion on my part that people in other parts of the globe are not like that, and are loftily superior to such weaknesses.
George Bernard Shaw
Our globe is under new dramatic environmental pressure: our globe is warming, our ice caps melting, our glaciers receding, our coral is dying, our soils are eroding, our water tables falling, our fisheries are being depleted, our remaining rainforests shrinking. Something is very, very wrong with our eco-system.
Common sense told us that to preserve the peace, we'd have to become strong again after years of weakness and confusion. So, we rebuilt our defenses, and this New Year we toasted the new peacefulness around the globe. Not only have the superpowers actually begun to reduce their stockpiles of nuclear weapons...but the regional conflicts that rack the globe are also beginning to cease.
Think of a globe, a revolving globe on a stand. Think of a contour globe, whose mountain ranges cast shadows, whose continents rise in bas-relief above the oceans. But then: think of how it really is. These heights are just suggested; they're there... when I think of walking across a continent I think of all the neighborhood hills, the tiny grades up which children drag their sleds. It is all so sculptured, three-dimensional, casting a shadow. What if you had an enormous globe that was so huge it showed roads and houses- a geological survey globe, a quarter of a mile to an inch- of the whole world, and the ocean floor! Looking at it, you would know what had to be left out: the free-standing sculptural arrangement of furniture in rooms, the jumble of broken rocks in the creek bed, tools in a box, labyrinthine ocean liners, the shape of snapdragons, walrus. Where is the one thing you care about in earth, the molding of one face? The relief globe couldn't begin to show trees, between whose overlapping boughs birds raise broods, or the furrows in bark, where whole creatures, creatures easily visible, live our their lives and call it world enough. What do I make of all this texture? What does it mean about the kind of world in which I have been set down? The texture of the world, its filigree and scrollwork, means that there is a possibility for beauty here, a beauty inexhaustible in its complexity, which opens to my knock, which answers in me a call I do not remember calling, and which trains me to the wild and extravagant nature of the spirit I seek.
It would be rash to conclude that, on balance, the environment of the globe as a whole is either deteriorating or improving, or that the survival of the societies we know depends upon filling a simple set of prescriptions. It is all too complex and dynamic, whether it involves managing greenhouse gases or Nile snails... The future condition of the globe's interlocking natural and social systems depends more on human behavior than on the further investigation of natural processes, however desirable that may be.
Gilbert F. White
The theory of the earth is the science which describes and explains changes that the terrestrial globe has undergone from its beginning until today, and which allows the prediction of those it shall undergo in the future. The only way to understand these changes and their causes is to study the present-day state of the globe in order to gradually reconstruct its earlier stages, and to develop probable hypotheses on its future state. Therefore, the present state of the earth is the only solid base on which the theory can rely.
Horace-Benedict de Saussure
There is no master cabal organizing the three-hundred plus Food Not Bombs or mad genius organizing the dozens of Indymedia's across the globe. We can all be the Johnny and Jane Appleseeds of anarchist counter-structure. We do this by harvesting good ideas and strategies from across the globe and replacing them on the local level. And while our passions and ideas should be brash, we should also be inspired by our day-to-day victories. People need to feel encouraged to start small, realizing the infrastructure begets infrastructure.
Curious George Brigade
Inside the snow globe on my father's desk, there was a penguin wearing a red-and-white-striped scarf. When I was little my father would pull me into his lap and reach for the snow globe. He would turn it over, letting all the snow collect on the top, then quickly invert it. The two of us watched the snow fall gently around the penguin. The penguin was alone in there, I thought, and I worried for him. When I told my father this, he said, "Don't worry, Susie; he has a nice life. He's trapped in a perfect world.
There was a single window that tapered into a funnel, with eerie moonlight passing through it, reflecting directly off the globe like a mirror. For a moment, as I rose I saw something glimmering within. Dumbly, with feverish whispers assailing me, I realized it was the center of one of the distant galaxies, flaring after some unknown cataclysm. Its radiance was such that it burst from its prison. It met the moonlight halfway. It created kaleidoscopic colours on the walls. Then, in answer, the reliefs transformed from majestic art into something approaching divine, alive, plays from Egyptian memory, given the spark of life from space. I saw animal-headed gods move. They stepped from the walls to take their place around the altar. All stared at the globe. Each raised their arms in silent supplication. And such was their toxic ecstasy that I wished to join them, to forget my dreadful experiences and revel in something truly wondrous.