Thursday, October 11, 2007

Qgis 0.9 Release and Religion in Space - The re(li)gion outside Earth's Atmosphere

Finally managed to put together a working Qgis installer with GRASS and PyQt4. The major issue was binary incompatibilities between the MSVC builds of PyQt4 released by Riverbank and the MSYS-MINGW builds of QGIS. With the MSVC build of QGIS going ahead these issues will probably disappear by the next release. Aaron Racicot has been nice enough to provide constant feedback and help me fill the holes in the installer.

Coming to the other niggling topic - that of practicality of Earthly religions in the heavenly frontier (or just space). Most of the religious dogma is built with earth-bound mortals in mind. At the ISS in polar orbit with 15-16 sunrises a day fasts and prayer times become rather irregular, as does prayer direction. There have been a few articles about this issue with a Malaysian astronaut heading to the ISS. The official "how-to-behave-guide" bases things on an initial condition/launch site perspective rather than dynamic time. I was disappointed since I was dreaming up a gyroscope stabilized Kabba facing prayer mat for orbital. Anyway it is good to see dogma and rites being shredded by zero-gravity and fast-moving space-time and the core of the belief system being exposed. This is in the wake of reading some Richard Dawkins evangelism, he is just as bad and narrow minded in his way as the rest of the religious folk.
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