Posted by: kentropic | July 17, 2009

kina’ole = lifelong learning

Buzz Aldrin, photographed by Neil Armstrong (photo by NASA)

With the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, we have a great opportunity to stop and think about what’s possible when you get enough smart, dedicated people all working toward the same goal.

If you weren’t around to see it the first time, it might be hard to imaging how an event could galvanize the world’s attention the way this one did, or the way some of the real-time audio (“the Eagle has landed,” “one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind”) passed instantly and permanently into the shared culture. NASA has some very cool interactive features on its website — including restored video of the landing — that can help us all share the power of this event again.

Buzz Aldrin was one of the Apollo 11 crew, and was the second person (after Neil Armstrong) to set foot on the moon. He’s also one of the more interesting characters ever associated with space exploration, an activity which — by its very nature — attracts extremely skilled professionals whose public personas tend toward the dry side. Not much room for wacky pranksters in a high-tech tin can hurtling through space….

But what I find most noteworthy about Buzz Aldrin isn’t his career as an astronaut — although that’s clearly an amazing and inspiring achievement. No, what’s even more impressive is his new rap single, produced in collaboration with Snoop Dogg, Quincy Jones, Talib Kweli and Soulja Boy.

Snoop Dogg and Buzz Aldrin kickin' it in the studio

Snoop Dogg and Buzz Aldrin kickin' it in the studio

 

 Called “Rocket Experience,” it’s a benefit for Aldrin’s ShareSpace Foundation, which promotes science education.

Now, if there were ever someone who’s entitled to kick back and relax with the knowledge that’s he’s had a great life, the 79-year-old Aldrin might be it. But what does he do instead? He gets in the studio with some music industry heavyweights and more than holds his own. “I’m not too good at carrying a tune, but I do have rhythm,” Aldrin says.

That’s what lifelong learning is all about, and that’s some impressive shizzle, yo. In my book, it’s right up there with War and Peace author Leo Tolstoy learning to ride a bike at age 67.

lifelong learner & bicycle enthusiast Leo Tolstoy

lifelong learner & bicycle enthusiast Leo Tolstoy

What’s the best example of lifelong learning that you’ve ever seen?

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