The Hot Tub: A Microcosm Of Planet Earth

 

When it comes down to the new DC régime’s pecking order, Mike Pence is Number 2.

Shortly after his boss had withdrawn America from the Paris Agreement, Mr. P publicly commented on issues of the environment. And one almost felt sorry for the li’l guy because he seemed to be genuinely mystified when he said…

“For some reason or another, this issue of climate change has emerged as a paramount issue for the left in this country and around the world. It’s long been a goal of the liberal left in this country to advance a climate change agenda.”

Now Mr. P, there really is a reason and it is… or should be… nonpartisan. But let’s ease into this slowly. We lefties do realize that righties feel flummoxed by science. Nonetheless, you guys simply need to open up your minds… maybe just a tad? Meet us at least half way? OK?

Perhaps you’d gain a better understanding were this environmental stuff to hit home a bit more? And here’s where being a wallowing in wealth type of guy could actually come in handy. I mean, somewhere within your posh mansion, we would find a family sized hot tub, right?

Now let’s say you’ve worked up a profuse sweat from gutting government of all ethics and laying waste to our economy and ecology. Come the weekend would you not want to kick back and relax… to take a dip into all that warm bubbling water?

Perhaps, from time to time, even your wife Karen and your three kids, Audrey, Charlotte and Michael Jr. all hop in to join you?

Now let’s say on one particular weekend, you suddenly come down with a really nasty case of diarrhea… and by that I mean you’re, literally, unable to contain yourself. Under those circumstances, would you hop into the hot tub anyway? Expect your family to smile, say nothing and even remain soaking in the no longer clean water with you?

Of course not! You’re too refined to expect that, right?

Don’t you get it, Mr. P.? In this make-believe scenario, your hot tub is a microcosm of our climate change, warmed up planet… the fouled water analogous to our contaminated seven seas. You represent all of the world’s polluters who your admin enables… your family is akin to the family of man… all seven plus billion of us.

The obvious difference, here, is your spouse and offspring can easily make their escape.

However… on the grander scale, where in our vast universe would seven+ billion people run to?

Mr. P, are you beginning to see the big picture, now?

Decent, considerate folks… and yes you’re right… we’re mostly on the left… do understand that planet Earth is the only home we have. If we render our world utterly uninhabitable… shoot (oo = i) all over the place, as it were… there’s no other known, nearby, earthlike planet, within our vast universe, where humankind can seek refuge.

 

 

My 2 Cents’ Worth… Does Size Really Matter?

In matters of human anatomy, generalizing about size can be fraught with conundrums. After all… as any open-minded person would concur… it is far, Far, FAR too easy to jump to conclusions… especially when it comes down to the one, particular, peculiar, political organism in question.

Scientific study oft is the best way to corroborate or debunk theoretical postulates… but these days… especially since America’s most recent Inauguration Day… charges against science have been hastily and summarily trumped up.

Indeed, it would appear that the new executive (dis)order would DICTATE that we must all mindlessly fall in line with him to agree, “Science is bad” — NOTE: no punctuation here… please read onward for further explanation and instructions.

I leave this up to you… your three choices are…

“.” – “!” – “?”

If the majority of folks fail to insert the question mark, that’d mean too many of them are mindlessly marching in lockstep with the anti-science movement. And under those strict, undereducated, 6,000-year-old flat Earth at the center of the universe conditions, it’d be high time to hang up my white lab coat and leave my following theory hanging and dangling… i.e., untested / unchallenged.

That’d mean that wild(?) speculation would force us to conclude that re that particular, peculiar political entity…

Small handedness is directly proportional to a small mind.

That’s my two cents’ worth… two pennies for your thoughts?

Super Moon Toons (Super Special Blogcast)

Just in time for the Super Moon (11-14-2016), I’m Blogcasting five Moon Toons, which will help set the proper mood for this amazing astronomical event… one where Earth’s satellite, in it’s full phase, will be at it’s closest perigee since 1948 and appear 15 – 16% larger and far brighter than we’re accustomed to seeing.

Oh, btw… the Moon is looking mighty impressive even as I post this tonight… one night early.

Throughout the ages, gazing at the Moon has inspired a universally experienced air of mystery, awe, romance, passion, and love… these feelings eventually and inevitably becoming interwoven into our world’s music. When a song’s focus turns skyward, our primal, natural yearnings are roused, instinctively drawing each listener’s attention to matters celestial.

And if the moon watcher is also a composer of music, a synergy develops with other watcher-songwriters. Consequently, there’s a vast body of Moon Toons for us to choose from and enjoy. There’s also a diversity of song tempos, instrument arrangements and musical genres, which could almost be compared to the phase like moods set by the Moon… first quarter, full, last quarter, new and earthshine… from the narrowest sliver to the Super Moon… and everything in between.

While these special musical segues, presented below, can be enjoyed at any time of day, for the optimal effect, synchronize the playback with the spectacular Super Moon. At that time, be sure to shut down all artificial lighting and once you’ve clicked the play button on the first video, traipse on over to your window, fling those curtains wide open and watch this cosmic event lazily arcing across the sky.

Once you’ve tracked through all five songs, it’ll be time to head for the great outdoors… and the farther away you get from the hustle and bustle of civilization, the better. If there’s a significant other in your life, invite that person to join you.

Once you’re one with nature, the hush of the night will form its own subtle “music”… perhaps a gentle, steady breeze whooshing through pine needles or rustling whatever leaves may still be on the trees… maybe a nearby babbling brook will add a bit more ambiance, too. At that point, that ol’ devil moon will draw your gaze upward and you’ll feel your terrestrial concerns ebbing as you soar to commune with the vast cosmos.

Who knows, the sparks of new love may be in the air? Or perhaps latent feelings will be rekindled? Might single folks even wind up experiencing an unexpected meeting with their soul mate, while both are wandering about beneath the night sky? Whatever transpires under the Milky Way… under the Super Moon… you’re bound to feel a timeless bond with the rest of humanity… one that has always been there for the taking… for those attuned, caring souls, who know how and where it’s found.

Howling is cool, but not mandatory.

 

Van Morrison ~ Moondance

Sting ~ Moon Over Bourbon Street

Cassandra Wilson ~ Harvest Moon

Norah Jones ~ Shoot The Moon

Bap Kennedy ~ Moonlight Kiss

 

 

Revisions on 111416 15:33

99 Word Blog (#036) Zika: Politically Transmitted Disease

 

Small-minded Republican legislators prioritize gutting Obamacare, Planned Parenthood and strutting the confederate flag over eradicating Zika mosquitos.

One would think these prolife legislators… who obsessively scrutinize all events inside every womb… would be alarmed by how Zika infections ravage fetal brain development (Microcephaly).

Only if this virus were to suddenly mutate to transform all infected people into political liberals, would these conservatives begin to feel concern.

Since that’s not Zika’s MO, folks MUST get “infected” with liberal thoughts… all on their own. Via the ballot box, voters MUST say, “You’re Fired” to righties who don’t shive-a-git about public health.

 

 

To Boldly Go… To Proxima Centauri

Last Wednesday, astronomers announced the existence of a planet closely orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri. Normally we’d deem that short star to planet distance too close for human comfort but, since the heat output from red dwarfs is much less, this new world, “Proxima b” does reside well within the habitable “Goldilocks” zone.

Even better, educated guessers claim this exoplanet could have terrestrial type surface features… inclusive of liquid water. And, saving the very best for last, this newfound solar system is an astronomical “stones throw”, a “mere” 4.2 light-years (25 trillion miles) away from Earth.

For many of us, who’ve been around long enough, this is a literal fantasy come true.

You see, fifty Septembers ago, CBS launched the weekly Sci-Fi TV series, Lost In Space… the story of the Robinson family (John and Maureen and their teen daughters Judy and Penny and preteen son Will). Maj. West is their pilot… just in case the computerized navigation system crashes.

After these six astronauts are cryogenically frozen into suspended animation, the fully automated, flying saucer shaped Jupiter 2 blasts off… and they embark on their interstellar journey. Their goal is to colonize a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri (which, btw, may or may not be gravitationally bound to Proxima Centauri).

Col./ Dr. Zachary Smith portrays the villainous saboteur who, prelaunch, reprograms the ship’s robot to destroy the spaceship 8 hours into the mission. His bad karma catches up with him when he gets trapped aboard the ship during the final 10 seconds of the countdown. Eventually he has to deal, first hand, with “his” running amok robot. The critically meteor and robot damaged Jupiter 2 then crash lands on an unknown planet… the 7 shipwrecked spacefarers fighting, daily, to stay alive.

The Wednesday evening this Sci-Fi program debuted (09/15/1965), I was 11 years old… a boy totally geeked about the real life NASA space program. However, at that point, not all was going well in my life. I was being relentlessly, verbally and physically assaulted by playground and neighborhood bullies.

To be sure, Lost In Space did afford this long ago, lost in life kid the very escapism he had so desperately needed. Even better, character William Robinson was also an 11 year old. I could readily identify with him because we were both living on hostile planets and constantly facing down monsters… his world and creatures the alien variety… mine terrestrial.

Returning to the here and now…

One component of today’s reality is our compelling thoughts that humankind could someday visit and explore Proxima Centauri’s potentially earth-like planet.

The other component is that terrestrial monsters and bullies (in particular, political sociopaths and narcissists) do continue to exist and they’re rapidly bringing our troubled world to the brink of self-destruction.

All things considered, it would not be too soon for us to start planning some real-time, real-life escapism… to construct an actual, space-worthy Jupiter 2… to select a handful of humans who, as interstellar astronauts, could easily wind up becoming not only colonists of “Proxima b”, but also the soul survivors of planet Earth.

Nine Afterlife Scenarios

Is there life after death? Considering how one has to actually die to find out… we, the living, can only conjecture. As for my own theories? There are at least nine different forms of living on… in varying degrees… some of them earthbound… others otherworldly… some are somewhat short-lived… others could endure through eternity. The specifics…

Heaven Awaits Scenario ~ When the physical body expires, everything that ever made us uniquely different from everybody else… all of our memories, hopes and dreams endure. Everyone who has preceded us in death and has ever meant something special to us is present to welcome and usher us into everlasting life.

On one hand, Near Death Experience survivors corroborate. On the other hand, the skeptics contradict… claim these episodes are merely due to an end of life brain chemistry… one which causes the mind, normally accustomed to keeping us alive, to freak out when it cannot do so. Little doubt, oxygen starved brain cells and, perhaps, even some physician-administered pharmaceuticals are all in play. Factor in a lifetime’s worth of spiritual indoctrination and you’ve got the perfect recipe for hallelujah inspiring hallucinations.

My Own Experience… in an Actual Death Experience, my mother’s spoken with awe in her eyes, last words were, “They all came!” Since just prior to that we’d been engaged in a totally lucid conversation… since we were the only ones present in her nursing home room at the time… who, pray tell, were “They”?

Double Helix Scenario ~ Folks who are “fruitful and multiply” preserve their DNA… their human traits remain within the gene pool for generations to come. As for anyone who has opted out of parenthood, we’re now talking about pruned and felled family trees… bloodlines banished to oblivion.

Of course, procreation does have its limitations… can only immortalize 23 of each person’s 46 chromosomes per conception. Genetic duplicates having never been Ma Nature’s game plan, there’s virtually zero chance that anyone would ever wind up totally replicating themselves… right down to the freckles and fingerprints. Furthermore, even if such an identical copy were to exist, that person would not grow up with the same life experiences.

Send In the Clones Scenario ~ While the technology to create genetic duplicates exists, human cloning is still considered a huge no-no by principled politicians (if there are any such animals), bioethicists and theologians.

If this ‘tude were to change, someday, clones would only be physically identical since, as I’ve already mentioned above, they’d not share the unique life experiences of the original being.

Donor Gametes Scenario ~ A man and woman can procreate without having actually met… in fact… neither of them even need be alive. Harvested female and male germ cells, once thawed out from the cryogenic deepfreeze, combine in the in vitro fertilization petri dish and the surrogate mother does the rest.

Donor Organs Scenario ~ Harvested human hearts and the other major bodily organs can prolong recipients’ lives for decades. In a sense, donors can live on for many decades, maybe even longer when recipients utilize their new lease on life to become new parents. IF both parents and offspring then go onward to make something of their lives… oh… say… contribute something of great value to society… THEN (albeit indirectly) so would the organ donors.

In a horror film sense, people with “yuge” ego problems (think Donald Trump here) could, someday, even resort to some ghastly surgery… could “donate” their own heads… have them bolted onto new, recipient bodies. Fortunately… so far… and to the best of my knowledge… there are no real life equivalents of fictitious Dr. Frankenstein’s monster out there… way, Way, WAY out there.

Surviving Elements Scenario ~ The basic chemicals, which make up our bodies will eventually get recycled, at first, here on Earth (e.g. during cremation) and, eventually, back into the vast, inky dark, cold cosmos… the very place from where humanity had originally borrowed these elements.

The late astrophysicist, astronomer, philosopher, educator, author and TV host, Carl Sagan, the master of simplifying complex science, once wrote…

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”

Naturally, disembodied elements, (even if human brains were their original source), will not possess any intelligence… will never really be us. While it’s a virtual certainty that we’ll “survive” in this sense… we’ll never know it.

Intellectual Property Scenario ~ We live on in the memories of others. To remain a household name throughout perpetuity, one would need to be some sort of superstar scientist, physician, psychiatrist, philosopher, theologian, educator, engineer, architect, inventor, sculptor, painter, lithographer, publisher, poet, playwright, author, actor, entertainer, comedian, singer, musician or world leader (or some combination of the above). Even people who history would judge to be our worst-nightmares-come-true can be remembered… as examples of who NOT to emulate.

For the vast majority of us… who don’t make the history books… who would not even be an obscure footnote in such a publication… we’ll be forgotten as soon as all who ever knew us are dead. Even if our pictures were to appear in some handed down from generation to generation photo album, would an ancestor, three generations down the road, truly know us beyond the lifeless, two dimensional depiction? Once there’s no one to give a damn anymore, family photos will eventually wind up getting trashed. Only if today’s landfills were to become tomorrow’s archaeological dig sites would anyone ever try to remember us.

Good Mentor Scenario ~ Throughout our lifetimes, we’ve all been teachers (no formal classroom required). This face-to-face intergenerational imparting of everyday knowledge and skills is how we leave our small mark on the world. It even counts, e.g., when we demonstrate the fine art of tying shoelaces to a youngster. While this mundane stuff easily goes towards the betterment of our society, to be remembered, by name, for making such contributions is highly unlikely.

Internet Scenario ~ This involves anyone who, anywhere and at anytime, ever did anything great or small on the WWW.

Over the course of the past decade, I’ve made my own presence known here in cyberspace… at MySpace, Xanga, Blogger and WordPress. I’ve got to believe that some of what I’ve said made some small difference in the life of someone… somewhere… sometime. Maybe that person shared my thoughts with someone else… and that person did the same… and so on… and so on… and so on…

True, I’ve blogged many a time and netted not more than one “like star” click… but does that mean all is lost? Carl Sagan didn’t think so. To quote him once more, he observed…

“Books are like seeds. They can lie dormant for centuries and then flower in the most unpromising soil.”

I suspect if the good Doctor S. were alive today, he’d have no problem making the words, “books” and “blogs”, interchangeable.

Beyond that, it has oft been said that once posted, nothing ever really dies on the Internet, and so, if that, indeed, is really true… well… I know that, someday, as I’m taking my last gasp of oxygen, I shall live on…

Hmmm… to leave my mark upon the world via the World Wide Web? Not bad. To maybe even witness this actually occurring, while my loved ones and I reside in our Heavenly Home throughout eternity?

Yeah… for me… that’ll do…

47 Years Ago This Night…

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, had fulfilled President John F. Kennedy’s May 25, 1961 commitment to land men on the Moon by decade’s end. Armstrong, descending the Lunar Excursion Module’s ladder, had become the first human being to ever set foot and walk upon an alien world.

Over the decades, since, there have been naysayers, who’ve always been quick to remind us that the tax dollars could’ve and should’ve been spent more wisely. But, I’d also be quick to remind everyone that this bold adventure did unite humanity. And the value of that is as vast as the immensity of the universe, itself.

Nearly four years ago, Armstrong’s mortality caught up with him. While his spirit did merge with the universe, in the lunar vacuum his footprints will endure until our Sun dies billions of years from now.

Not a bad way for anyone to leave one’s mark upon our world… upon two worlds.

Tonight’s Moon will be in a nearly full phase… so, weather permitting, I urge you to set aside your worldly concerns… to step outside to take an upward glance… to think about Neil and Buzz’s uplifting accomplishment and try to recapture that spirit of unity.