Monday, June 23, 2014

AGING FAST

I came here to say something, and forgot what it was.  I am now leaving but can't remember why, since I want to say something!!  Wtf?  It's been so long since I talked to myself here, and what I have cooking in my brain is completely unspeakable.  I should leave now but I like to type.  I like to read too, but I'm not tired enough to do that.  Back to Facebook.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

AWL

I appear to be absent with leave at this time.  Facebook is sapping my witty yet boring strength - I'm so ashamed. . . . . .

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dino Death By Asteroid? Not So Fast

It's a common understandable belief that during the KT era (Cretaceous-tertiary) 65 billion years ago, a great impact hit earth in the Yucatan Peninsula and over thousands of years, though climate change, wiped out the dinosaurs' habitat, then the animals themselves.  There's so much more to it, as paleontologists and forensic anthropologists now know.


 



These were large creatures - they were allowed to grow that large on a planet that sustained them.  
However they had no biodiversity - they were very  inter-related and therefore, any virus would make easy leaps.  

One was caused by a handy little killer called a nemotode which, when entering the body through water, is microscopic but grows in the gut to lengths as huge as the animal is. 
One found in an Asian elephant grew to over 25' long.  Imagine how big they became in dinos.  They were painful and fatal.   

Then you have the infamous sand fly.  We see them today preserved in amber.  This pesky creature had mandibles similar to steak knives which cut and sawed their way through the dino-skin and left infections and disease, besides stressing the animal.  Again, because they were so related, what felled a Triceratops could also kill a Spinosaur or Stegosaur. 


Earth was a very hostile volcanic world for the giants, too.  They inhaled toxic fumes from constant eruptions, another culprit in reducing the populace.

So:

1.  Dinosaurs were in a weakened state due to viral infection and parasites such as leish-maniasis and nemotodes long before the asteroid hit.
2.  They were also victimized by disease-carrying insects, mostly sandflies, which were rampant in that era and impossible to stop.
3.  When the KT asteroid hit, it most likely found a planet of a small population of giant reptiles already dying out.  This was just the coup-de-gras.




Another aside:  Why have we found so few dinosaur fossils, especially of the one great predator Tyrannosaurus - in all the world we only have a few "almost" compete skeletal remains.  What of others, where are their hundreds of thousands of fossils?  Back to the original dino wipe-out: 
 
If all this is true, and empirical forensic science gives much proof of it, then it shows us early fair warning of our own early demise.  We know the sun will die, it's too small to go nova but will become a red giant and...you know the rest.  All life will already be extinct by then. 
                                               


However, in our time of perhaps the next several hundred years, it's far from impossible to imagine unknown viruses (HIV) disease (SARS) climate change (Africa) all coming together to conspire to wipe out earth's animal life, which of course includes us.  We're not the apex life form we used to imagine we were.  We are not even prepared for a biological outbreak caused by in-country war. 


All you need do is visit Indo-China or areas in Malasia, to see how quickly disease becomes epidemic.  The next step is pandemic and North America is not immune.  We can learn from what happened 65 billion years ago by preparing for what we ourselves have put into play:  don't forget, we built a national tourist attraction over a super volcano, which is overdue. 
                                             Yellowstone



Saturday, April 6, 2013

Been Awhile - So How's Life?

 ANYBODY ELSE OUT THERE??
I realize it's been too long but I've been taken up with life, the act of living it, looking at it, the breath-taking, horrible beauty of interacting with fellow humans in a real world, and not from behind a sterile monitor.  Recently I was forced to interact with a dentist.
Con premisso, I'd like to present again the premise that life, in the 3 forms evolving on this planet, could very well be a mutation, a fluke,  an amazing coincidence of the timing of one nucleated cell with one stroke of electricity from extreme lighting in one perfect little watery environment.  It's either too chaotically organized or far too directed to be the natural result of a water molecule with a strong electrical charge, instigating this incredible mechanism of mitosis, no less miosis. 
                           
MITOSIS CELL DIVISION
When cells tear themselves in two - a directed intelligent act - their agenda would seem to be survival via multiplication.  Strength in numbers perhaps?  Imperative to "become" what it "intends"?  I don't know, I'm sure others can explain.  Yet when single-celled life becomes a complex multi-celled organism, an awareness develops that super-cedes the simple understandable need to live, as in a molecule of mold.  We call this life and depending on the advancement of it's evolution, it can become something beyond the pure instinct to eat and reproduce.  It becomes aware.   
If this were, say, 1850 and two men on horseback were talking, think about this  conversation:
"I heard they've come up with a faster way to get around", says one.
"Wow, faster horses", says the other.
These men are not thinking of airplanes or even cars, their only mode of ambulation is by horseback, so they're thinking "faster" means faster horses. 
In this century when we think of inter-galactic life, we don't think of jellyfish, we imagine a humanoid or at the very least, a host body with appendages.  Are we sure we'd even recognize intelligent life on another galactic body?  Surely, we hypothesize, it would have awareness
TALK ABOUT ALIEN - THIS IS AN EARTHLING.
When we send out probes like the amazing Voyagers to search for life, or even intelligence (SETI) do we really understand how desperate an act it would seem to any living entity of thought we encounter?  Humans are so fearful of the idea that life here on Earth is all of life, and the actual only definition of life is contained soley on this planet because it does not exist anywhere else.  Still, why should this be impossible? Mars contains no fossil remains - why?  Asteroids and comets brought water to Mars much the same as they did to Earth.  Water makes an assumption of the prospect of life.  Some thing of perhaps a very simple structure could have easily taken root on Mars many hundreds of millions of years ago, dying out for a plethora of reasonsTheir fossil remains would be imprinted in the rock, sleeping beneath the regolith - why nothing so far?  It should be as obvious as the the fossils of extinct branches of humanity we've found on this most unique water planet.
NEANDERTHAL SKULL
Then I look at Europa and think of that underground ocean, I look at those rusty "stripes" criss-crossing this Jovian moon.  They remind me of red algae. 
 ANAGLYPH OF EUROPA AND IMPACT SCAR

 
This is anthropomorphic thinking I realize, but no one is immune to that desire as I say to finally end the question of whether we're "alone".  I know I'd be ecstatic to meet some Europan algae!  Still, perhaps it's time to put down our toys. 
We need, I believe, to look at "life" in a more calculated, less emotional way, difficult as that is, for until humanity can accustom itself to the prospect if having only itself for company, we most certainly will continue reaching out, sending signals, listening, imagining, dreaming and....hoping hoping hoping. 
Hope may spring eternal but who wants to live that long?  Life is too, well - fickle! 
Thank you and good night.  I expect to change my mind by Wednesday.       

Sunday, December 23, 2012

'Tis The Season Whatever The Reason

(repost of Dec 2009)

Well I can't keep pretending I don't notice the decorations on the traffic lights and the chubby Santas leering at me from every store window. Want to discuss a bit about the history of this season? Good! A friend chastised me saying there'd be no Christmas without Christ. I beg to remind her of the thousands of years B.C. ("before Christ") man has celebrated the Winter Solstice, and in many a differing tradition. By any other name, a time of celebration and worship. But so many other celebrations take place this time of year, some became mixed up, mingled and now people become confused. Read on!
As families gather round the mummified tree with gifts asunder, merriment galore, sooner or later someone will whisper:
"Let's not forget what this day is really about!"
And with duly bowed heads, we meditate on the birth of a babe who, some believe, grew up and changed the world. He had alot of unusual ideas (like loving your worst nightmare of an enemy) Very evolved guy. Made alot of powerful folks angry. But it's also time for other celebrations mankind has kept through time - like Saturnalia. Or Mistlemas. Or Dies Natalis Invicti Solis (Birth of the Unconquered Sun). And others. All in keeping with our wondrous, beautiful pagan rituals of renewal.
Would you like more information about these holidays? Good!
We celebrate many things during this time of year. We have for millennia.
I'd like to offer that man has celebrated the Winter Solstice for ages unrecorded. Every country celebrates differently, and going back into history I'll just use one little example, the ancient Roman holiday of the Sun, "Saturnalia", also celebrated at this time. We still celebrate the Winter Solstice on the 22nd, the longest night of the year - the shortest day. With the sun at lowest, it's the turning point of the year. The Romans called it Dies Natalis Invicti Solis or "The Birthday of the Unconquered Sun." For many a modern year we've called it "The Birthday of the Son of God." Whatever his Aramaic name really was, I believe he existed, raised to be a good obedient Jew, yet was a radical thinker and troublemaker for the high Rabbinical priests, was murdered, and we usually call him Jesus.
All the traditions of Roman midwinter's Saturnalia are still performed today, depending on your country: it's a huge festival of hearth and home. The Romans took to making merry, halls of their homes decked with the boughs of laurel and evergreen trees, oil lamps were kept burning (we light our candles, in some ages directly on the tree), all meant to ward off the spirits of darkness.
Schools were closed, the army rested, and no man was executed.
Friends visited each other, bringing gifts of good luck such as incense, fruits, candles, cakes.
In each Temple stood an evergreen, symbolizing the continuity of life, and all of this we continue to do. Did you know your Christmas tree has that meaning? Isn't this symbolism nice to know? And there are myriad other traditions for as many countries, but where amongst all this is the place set aside for Jesus, and why now?
In the 3rd century, many dates between December and April were celebrated by Christians as Mistlemas, now called Christmas (roughly translated as "blessed time") and meant to honor Christ's birth. The 6th of January was the most favored as it was thought to be the baptismal day of Our Lord.
It is still a widely held belief that indeed, it was not the Winter Solstice when Jesus came into the world but October, as Julius Caesar did add two months during harvest to the 10-month calendar. Either or. I think anyday is a good day to remember the birth of someone as decent and kind as Jesus (or whatever His true name was)
So, on with the history:
It was c. 350 a.d. that December 25th was adopted in Rome and gradually almost the entire Christian Church agreed to it. The Greek Orthodox Church still celebrates Christmas on January 6th, however. But the 25th coincided with the Winter Solstice, The Yule, and the Saturnalia. All the merriment of Saturnalia was adopted into the observance of the birth of Christ. The mixings are now becoming soup. The tree and the manger are coalescing.
By 1100 a.d. Christmas was the peak celebration of the year for all of Europe. Although it went through many changes, especially during Reformation, such as the banning of mistletoe for its pagan connotations (still held by today's Christian church) the mix held fast to this day - the combination of Saturnalia's merrymaking with the celebrations of the Winter Solstice, and the agreed-upon day of Christ's birth (with no historical basis and none really needed).
So Christmas is truly not really one or another, but a combination of many. Merriment, joy, and respectful honor. A most important time of the year.
In 1647 England, Parliament passed a law abolishing Christmas altogether, how bout that?! Even though Charles 2 revived it, the feasting and merrymaking were more worldly than religious. Bit of a dark time.
It's clear our Christmas traditions arose from what some would call "pagan" ceremonies but which we all still perform and take great joy in following. To be "pagan" is actually a very natural good thing. We "deck the halls" and set up a tree as in Saturnalia , having family gather, friends visit, exchange gifts, all the favors this greatly evolved time brings.
It's the Winter Solstice. A duly recognized time of year.
It's Saturnalia, the time to get a little nutty and just live to the fullest with those you love.
It's Dies Natalis Invictis Solis, birth of the Unconquered Sun.
It's Mistlemas, the time the Roman Catholic Church founded to honor the Son of God, recognized and honored as a Savior and King.
It's Christmas, the time to pause and savor our family and friends, exchange gifts, as in the Yule Tide Feast for children, so similar to Saturnalia.
By the by, this Savior and King, humble, loving, 100% human, 100% divine, was considered the anointed One, whose destiny was the foundation of the Christian faith. Why not celebrate anytime we want? you may ask. Why can't we chose another date? Well who knows what the next few centuries will bring. We change so much.
When you celebrate with joyous merrymaking your Saturnalia feast, or meditate on the mysteries of the Winter Solstice, or pay homage to the birth of the Unconquered Sun to keep man warm through the coming cold, or Yule Tide, to gather round a fire with family and exchange gifts, take a moment at the creche, the manger we all know so well, and pay your respects to what may have been the birth of a true King of all mankind, who can say with complete certainty this couldn't have happened?
If you don't believe it means anything, it can't hurt you I promise. Whether the concept of such a Man is within your ethic or not, the way I see it and in my humblest of opinions, God requires no one's belief in Him to exist.
SWEET SATURNALIA!
WARM WINTER SOLSTICE!
PRAISE TO THE UNCONQUERED SUN!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!
HAPPY MISTLEMAS!
CHERISHED YULE TIDE!
and just because it can't hurt,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!
Thank you for taking in this history lesson, I think I covered it all!

Friday, December 21, 2012

We Are Evolving

In this time of GREAT CHANGE where the old smoke bows to the winds of love and peace, I wish you a life of dancing through your world, singing through your dreams, walking the steps of the true, and always, always, gazing above. 
This is the end of the Great Bak'tun, the Mayan Long Count calendar, which foretells a time of newness and harmony, changes for things that did not work, fast evolving of things that can, a chance for the honest and the poor to rise above any station and grace the world with wisdom, a time like no other - seen in the stars many thousands of years ago, by Masters
        NAMASTE!  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I REMEMBER....

On Sept 11, 2001 over 10,000 babies came into the world.