Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Today I learned ...

(source:  A Time-Life book titled FLOOD and copyright 1981)

This image:

(For scale reference, the distance from the top of that little map to the bottom is approximately 800 miles or 1300 km.) 

"The notion of blasting open the dike must have seemed like the only recourse to the Kuomintang general who on June 6, 1938, was confronted by Japanese troops preparing to advance from near Kaifeng against the key railroad junction of Chengchou at the village of Hua-yuan-k'ou, the general ordered his troops on June 9 to break down the main dike of the river.
The result was beyond his darkest imagining.  Far from merely creating a local flood that would stop the Japanese -- as it assuredly did -- the breach sent the entire Yellow River pouring to the southeast.  The deluge covered more than 9,000 square miles, drowning an estimated 500,000 Chinese and leaving six million homeless.  The plain remained flooded for seven years; when Japan surrendered, two million acres of fertile farmland were still waterlogged."

Meanwhile, the dear precious folks on Reddit are very, very concerned today about a single "abused" dog suffering starvation and ticks ....

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

dirty little secret


70 years ago, the United States had built a hugely efficient network for transporting goods from almost anywhere to almost anywhere else.  We called it the railroads.

Then, someone got the bright idea that a lot more money could pass through a lot more hands, if they tore it all up, built Interstate highways and long distance trucks.  The highways required much, much more land.  They required much, much more equipment and materials, steel, asphalt and cement to build.  The trucks required many, many more operators - truck drivers- one per 40 tons instead of one per 40,000 tons.  The trucks required much, much more fossil fuel to operate.

So we destroyed over 2/3 of our track and rolling stock and we eliminated almost all of the passenger handling at the same time.

You want to know what this global warming thing is really about?  After the USA suffered brutal losses and huge casualties in the War on Poverty, and then took even worse losses in the War on Drugs?  Now they are asking the good citizens to make a War on the Weather?????

just follow the money.  ?Back in my day, Physics was a high school course.  Now, they teach either Swedish massage or organized football instead.  Consequently most people don't really understand energy, so they can be easily fooled.  I was speaking to a group of college-educated liberals the other day who genuinely believed that solar energy is free (but gasoline is controlled by a corporate monopoly, an equally-horrendous fallacy).

So here is a crash course for you all:

Suppose that you have ten acres of land.

Gasoline as an energy source, is akin to knowing that there is a single stick of TNT buried about a foot deep on your land.  Nowadays, we even have all the electronic and other equipment to locate exactly where it is.  All you have to do is to dig it up.

Solar, as an energy source, is akin to knowing that a million kitchen matches have been scattered all over your land.  If you want it, all you have to do is to go out and pick them up.  A lot of them.  Where it gets really interesting is if it is raining, or snowing, or even if it is just night time and you don't have a flashlight.  Oh, one other thing -- they don't keep well either and they are very, very difficult to move from place to place....

Of course I grasp, too, the madness of crowds.  You all were manipulated before, you will be manipulated again.  I can still take the train from my house if I want to go to Washington, D.C. and say what I have to say to someone.  I don't bother very often though because I already know I will be branded as having some kind of mental illness or something .....so I'll just stay at home, by the fire that heats my house a whole lot warmer and cheaper than these foolish heat pumps ...

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Homo Sapiens is an invasive species

     The fossil records show evidence of other species which were so successful in their design that they became so overpopulated that they overwhelmed their environments, their food resources and everything, and drove themselves into extinction.  We are not the first to take that path.  It is not merely the fact of our intelligence which makes us so successful, but rather our intense (and often vehemently denied) aggressive instincts.  Homo Sapiens began pulling away from the other primates starting about two million years ago when they began to stand and walk erect.  Their mouths and teeth became smaller, and their guts smaller.  They discovered MEAT.  It was a whole lot easier to digest and to get the needed nutrients... the only thing was, it had to be caught, it had to be outsmarted, and then it had to be killed.  So that is when and why our brains started to get bigger.

     The fossil and DNA records strongly suggest that the indoeuropean strain of homo sapien were responsible for the genocide of the neanderthals across europe and northern asia, maybe 40,000 years ago, possibly accounting for the myth of Cain and Able in the hebrew tradition.  We did not like the competition.

      Now comes the day when we are using up resources of all kinds at such a headlong rate that our own extinction is clear to see for anyone with any perspective.... the seas are massively depleted of fish, the air sees fewer and fewer birds, the numbers of every species of large animal on earth are declining at alarming rates, the air is more and more polluted, the water as well, the environment is overrun with the volumes and varieties of unnatural drugs, acids, alkalines, plastics, petrochemicals, poisons of all kinds, fertilizers, radioactive isotopes, and all the other remarkable inventions our technology has invented but never bothered to figure out how to dispose of.

     Mother Nature is exceedingly patient and slow-moving.  She counts seconds in millions of years.
Plastics and all our other synthetic material manufacturing  will all break down and disappear without a trace in a thousand years or so.  All of our skyscrapers, bridges, and most of our other edifices will be totally gone, without a trace, within about ten thousand years.  Stone monuments may take a little bit longer to wear down but within fifty thousand years they, too, will be gone.  Chances are we won't even leave behind any fossil remains, most species never do.  On a planet that has been around for 5 billion years, this is hardly more than an instant.  Meanwhile, the remaining species, especially insects, will hardly even notice when we are gone.

     Though we have done quite a bit of damage and will probably do even more before we expire, the odds heavily favor a complete recovery.  and it won't even take that long, it will take even less time that it took us to evolve from the first Australopithicus who got up and walked away.

     I can't wait.



Monday, June 6, 2016

sexism

so ...

There are so many guys these days, around here, who actually WANT to be pussies ...

...and that doesn't tell you anything?

That doesn't tell you what is wrong here?

That still doesn't tell you that we have ceded too much, far too much,  power, too much privilege, too much leverage, to the genus of the species known for its timidity, its fear, its complacency, its immobility in the face of need?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Joy

     After the resurrection, "The Powers that Be" refused to be outmaneuvered.  Having been soundly beaten in the public opinion polls, their initial reaction seemed to be surrender ...and Christianity spread throughout the western world ... but Truth was never their favourite tool, instead they found ways to insinuate lies and deception into the very core teachings of the new church, to corrupt the very words, language, and concepts even as they seemed to support them ... individuals like Emperor Constantine, Saint Augustine, the august members of the Nicene Council, the Popes, and later on King James, John Milton, and others, they all managed to subtly alter the message that Jesus had delivered, in ways delicate but powerful...

     Darkness will never be destroyed ... emptiness, utter stillness, and absolute zero will always be just around the corner.  They are not forces, they represent the absence of force.  They are not people, or gods, or devils, there is no intelligence behind them.  Those people who teach that pain, suffering, and loneliness can be eliminated forever, they have an insidious desire to teach people utter hopelessness as they begin to suspect that that message itself is a lie.

     "He is Risen"

     Joy unbounded.

     It is what it is, it can be brought forth in every thing, in every person, in every place, and time.  There is nothing else worth living for, nothing that can be made to be permanent, nothing that lasts, certainly there is no scientific basis whatever for the mathematical concept of "eternity".  It is ephemeral, it is ethereal, it is the mists rising from the grass in the morning that will burn off in the afternoon.
     Ours is the potential, the possibility, to create happiness, new, in the people around us.  Jesus showed us more ways to do it.  Don't try to make it into more than it is, do not try to capture or keep it or turn it into stone, else you will lose it forever.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

happiness

     Happiness is fleeting!  Run!  Run for your lives!  Catch it while you can.

     Because only the ending, only termination, only death, can last forever ....

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Police

     I came home from my morning shopping trip, parked in my driveway, and duly noted a police cruiser parked on the side street by my house.  I got out quietly and looked around, up and down the street, in yards, and down the alley, but saw no one.  the police car was unoccupied.
     There's been incidents.  There was a fire down the street just two weeks ago, arson, and the man and the woman found both shot to death in their car.  There was the awful incident a few years back where a man shook his baby to death, and later we all learned that he had fled another state, another wife, another life, after having done the same thing.  One of my neighbors was strung out on heroin before wrecking his car, his marriage and his life; that house is still abandoned.  Another was known to have clogged the sewer lines with hypodermic needles.  Even one of my own roommates called the police after some kind of staged suicide attempt.
     So, I walked quietly around to the front of my house.  there, on the main street, was another cruiser and an unmarked squad car parked right across the street.  But this was near the middle of the day, there was bright sunshine and hardly any traffic.  Nothing was moving and there were no sounds.  I looked at my neighbor's house, everything seemed to be in order.  The hardware store was quiet.
     After a minute or two of waiting, and still hearing nothing, seeing nothing, I ventured in to the hardware store.
     The cashier was on top of the situation.  He had it all scoped out.

     "They are having lunch together at the pizza shop", he stated boldly.
Just then one of the officers passed by on the sidewalk.  "How's it going?", he asked.

     I think there is a lesson in there, somewhere ....