22 April 2011

Resurrection: Hippitus Hoppitus

Baseline Forest Carbon Map of the U.S. for the Year 2000

Easter is a Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of its nominal founder from death by Italian crucifiction. Resurrection means, of course, the resurgence or revitalization or revival of something. It's a Spring thing here in the good old Northern Hemisphere. There's a lot dour pessimism about the state of our world—with good reason; to wit: we're running out of energy to fuel our civilization, and what fuel we're using is destroying our climate and our environment. But there're also signs of hope. Resurrection of humanity.

Don't mess with Texas: it's on fire. The worst in recorded history. And it's running out of water. Don't most of the global warming deniers come from Texas, anyway?

A hole in the Antarctic ozone has desiccated Australia.

The more I learn about natural gas, the costlier it seem to get.

As if we didn't know it already, the era of cheap energy is over. Conventional sources, that is.

Though it seems even the trusty old spark plugs may soon go the route of the buggy whip or dinosaur (that's 'Jesus pony' to you fundamentalists) thanks to "lasers".

There are alternatives, though. And they seem to be proliferating. Algae, for instance. And all that wind kicking up those fires in Texas? Not a problem, a solution.

Some suggest that there may be a Moore's law governing the efficiency of solar cells. And that soon we might be using solar cells as conventional windows.

Nuclear fission reactors, one hopes after Fukushima Daiichi, are toast. It's way too soon to rule out fusion, however. Creative problem solving, no? Archaeology of knowledge: wasn't that a title by Foucault?

[Anticipating a Randal Gravesian response to the foregoing, I humbly proffer the following:

]

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In case you were wondering, Easter eggs are the devil's testicles. And here's the story of how the Easter Bunny and painted eggs play in to the overall scheme of Christ's resurrection from the dead: the Hare Club for men. Not here or here.

12 April 2011

Back in the Swing

Spent a lovely week at a new Spring Break venue: Hilton Head Island. Totally upscale commercial destination—too much so for my taste. Big jellyfish. Ran a 5K race on the beach Saturday with Wisdoc (who took a 1st in her division and has the bling to prove it), Wesdom, and his two friends who spent the week with us. It was my first ever barefoot race. And a PR.

Also spent a lovely afternoon with one Frances Madeson. No, not the pithy Queen of Comments at this here blog (who, if I'm not mistaken, is still sojourning Down Under), but her avatar, persona, POV, and narrator of her novel: Cooperative Village. That Frances is a sketch—a cross between Lucy Ricardo and Josef K. So sweet it's hard for her to be angry, she still manages to satirize—albeit gently and lovingly—the downtown demimonde in this romp through the lower East Side. Her voice is the absolute star of the book, passionate, humorous, articulate. FM: I hope you're gathering material for the sequel (Oz, missing mother, hopeless love for hubby, life underground: the possibilities!)

I went pretty much without news/electronic input for the week, but I gather a few things happened in my absence. The government didn't shut down because the parties reached an eleventh hour agreement. How mundane. Now Wisdoc can go back to work and get paid for it. I'll say it again: the way to get the budget back in balance is to put corporate taxation on the same accounting footing as corporate finance—if a company posts a profit for shareholder and performance bonus purposes, it should pay taxes on that same amount, not some phonied up set of books. Oh, and de-militarize the global economy.

Did you know that today marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the U.S. Civil War? Secession was about nothing less than the right of the States to regulate (or not) the private property interests of certain human beings in owning certain other human beings. BDR points to this brief which pretty much tells the tale.

Harvard Prof. Larry Tribe thinks President Obama is in violation of the Constitution in the way in which his administration is detaining and treating alleged Wikileaks leaker Bradley Manning.

The situation in Japan is now admittedly worse. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor is now in full-on meltdown, a 7 on a scale of 7. That's Chernobyl. And they keep getting hit with powerful aftershocks. May the all-compassionate Buddha bless them.

Oh yeah: Turns out that hydraulic fracking is even worse than we thought. I mean, we knew it was causing localized earthquakes in Arkansas. Now it seems it's contributing to global warming. Natural gas isn't really all that cheap.

This is promising:
"Bolivia is set to pass the world's first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country's rich mineral deposits as "blessings" and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry."

Don't panic just yet, but it seems that a giant gamma ray blast has drawn a bead on us and is bearing down.

Some scientists think they have gotten closer to discovering how life could have emerged from non-living matter: it has something to do with sugars and self-replicating RNA. Truly, this has to be the biggest mystery of all.

Miss anything?

Oh, yeah. Commenter Charles F. Oxtrot has apparently passed on. His constructive destruction blog disappeared around April Fools day and now appears to be stilled. You can check this out, though, for rumors of his further demise. Hope all's well!

The best song you never heard:
Cotton Mather - Camp Hill Rail Operator
  
Found at abmp3 search engine

Don't worry, for those of you following along at home, the Canetti series will eventually end!

10 April 2011

Oh Boy!

Just returned from a week off to discover The Feelies have dropped a new album. Probably my second favorite band of my youth (after, of course, Big Star). You can find reviews and a couple of songs on-line, here and here and here.

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Please come to Atlanta!


Should Be Gone - The Feelies by BarNoneRecords

04 April 2011

Healing Hiatus

It's Spring Break week in the ATL. I shan't be a-posting. We've got Wesdom and a passel of his pals at the beach. It's been an intense semester for them. They're great kids and deserve a chance to decompress.