Showing posts with label How I save the world. Show all posts
Showing posts with label How I save the world. Show all posts

Jun 16, 2014

Storms, then and now and leggy

I fell asleep reading about one storm, 160,000 years ago,  and woke up in time to experience another one, still going on.

As my body succumbed to the fatigue of more work (actual work; moving matter) than I'm accustomed to lately, Donald Goldsmith* was telling me about Supernova 1987A. It actually happened sometime around the era when homo sapiens was killing off, and perhaps eating, competing bi-pedals, but it was far away.  So far that the radiation didn't knock on our door until February 23, 1987.

And, rude Earthlings that we are, we turned out the lights, drew the drapes, and pretended not to be home.  The neutrinos were left to their wanderings.

Of course, everyone these days knows something about neutrinos, a product of exploding stars. They are notable for being almost non-existent in a material sense. No gravitas. But they are blessed with a blind and driving energy, and if you want to explain this to your kids by an analogy involving Barack Obama, it's okay with me.

A few days later the rest of the rays and particles from the explosion started calling. This time we were paying attention. The most noticeable result? Hundreds of ambitious astronomers and physicists rushing about and tripping over one another in a mad dash for research grants.

That part of Space Storm 1987A is calming down, as is the great Camp Jiggleview Deluge of June 16, 2014. The most noticeable result of this one will be the Commandant's activities tomorrow. Moving matter, downed burr oak branches and assorted small debris blown around here and there.

There's no real damage, just a certain annoyance that my recovery day will be delayed. I'll entertain myself by photographing the foot of so of water standing in the shallow ditch in front of the private Camp Jiggleview Forest. It's happened before, a great big puddle that goes way in a day or two.  Of course when I'm telling my Green Party friends about it I use the term "rain garden."

All that done, I'll start getting ready to replace some blown roofing on the shop-office-guest room building.  So (sigh) If I seem a little surly for the next few days, please be understanding and kind.


I'd have preferred this one, but not even exalted Commandants get everything they want.


*In "The Astronomers" 1991, ISBN 0-312-05380-0. (It's a little dated, of course, but still a rather useful explanation of cosmology for lay folk, especially when read with Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything." If I'd read it before Hawking's two popular books I might have understood more of what he said in fewer than three readings.)

May 21, 2012

Geopolitical quickie

A Very Important General, USA,  has recently bought the house next door to me and plans to move in when he retires later this year. I've visited with him briefly and he seems a bright and pleasant guy.

So, when we come well-aquainted enough, I will put Tam's Latest Hit under his nose and see if he laughs as hard as I did. If he does I'll propose him for high political office.

Sample: ... if the Frogs and Jerries are still worried about Tsar Vladimir I, let them cut a few social programs and reactivate an armored division or two on their own dime...

Jan 23, 2012

Down with sex

I see by the news that Mitt is releasing his tax dope tomorrow. Yippie. The Republic is saved.

Even better, Newt might have to come clean about how much history he taught to Freddie and Fanny in return for the  million-six.

Together that's about all we need to know to make an informed choice about who should get to control the nuke codes and the number of Federal Reserve Cartoons Ben Bernanke must print.

I know all this because I have spent an unconscionable amount of time in front of the new, cheap flat screen watching the sexiest people in the world tell me so.

Ideas? We don't need to talk about no steenken ideas.



While I would miss ogling Mika and whazhername -- Mrs. Newt the Third --  some mornings, I nevertheless propose to amend the Constitution.

We must require that candidates for public office, their spouses, and, especially, electric teevee "newspersons" to be drawn from the ranks of the truly ugly. Further, they must be adjudged charmless by a jury of their peers.

By thus ending the constant titillation of our glands on the pretext of following a great national dialog, we might begin the process of thinking about how to choose those leaders who will steal the fewest possible numbers of our dollars and our liberties.

To this end I announce formation of a national committee to promote it. The honorary co-chairpersons are to be Josh Hartnett and Paris Hilton.

Aug 17, 2010

Wildlife in the Heartland

Froggy Went  Courtin' and He did Ride...

If you're old enough,  that will make you think of Burl Ives. So stop humming and ponder  this  endangered species  --  once endangered, at least, according to one of our senior local ecological worriers.

About four years ago Miss Jayne spent the better part of a summer enhancing her reputation for rilly rilly caring  by ragging us  unmercifully about the fate of the little jumpers.   It seems she discovered that we mere humans were driving them to the fate of the Dodo.

In the first place there weren't many of them any more. Worse, we were turning them  into mutants. Frogs with two heads, or five legs, or the back ones misplaced so they bumped their butts on landing.

That sort of  horror. She pleaded with us to "do something." Or stop doing something. She didn't say exactly what, so we were confused.

(Well, yeah, Miss Jayne's dire warnings moved me to quit running  them down and injecting them individually  with PCBs and  DDT and farm chemical residues. But that hadn't  been all that much fun lately anyway, and advancing age meant I wasn't quick enough to catch all that many of them.)

Something bigger did occur, though, because neither she nor anyone else has been publicly bemoaning the death of the leopard frog population recently, and today I can personally testify  Camp J is flush with spotted hoppers.*

I swear that I am severely slowed in lawn trimming by having to shoo the little jumpers out of the mower path.  This one landed in a leaf pile under the  old burr oak on the east fence line. He held still for the picture, and I suppose that's his way of showing gratitude for the part I  played in saving him from the  great Jaynestinction. However we did it.

I feel so proud. I almost feel like kissing one and seeing if it turns into a senator from California.


*Or, as we sometimes call them, "bass bait."