September 30th, 2018



 ... has negative impacts long after the trees grow back.  Well, duh.  A diligent human can make a cubic yard of soil in about 2 weeks, and a lazy one can do it in 6 months, with composting.  But nature takes about 100 years to make an inch-thick layer.  That means depleted nutrients in soil don't regenerate at all quickly.  So look at the ancient Mayan civilization, where poor farming choices contributed to the downfall of the civilization; and compare that to modern people making similar mistakes on a much larger scale.  We have scads of examples where this happened, yet people refuse to learn from the past.

The stupid, it burns like hydrogen.


I have made bingo along Row 4 and Row 5 of my 9-1-18 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest.

B4 (respect limits) -- "The Scars on the Mind" (Polychrome Heroics: Shiv)
I4 (promise) -- "No Es Problema" (Polychrome Heroics: The Big One)
N4 (helping a stranger) -- "Becoming, Evolving, Ascending" (Polychrome Heroics)
G4 (learning a new skill) -- "Whose Work Is Never Done" (standalone)
O4 (love) -- "A World Built from the Bottom Up" (Polychrome Heroics: The Big One)

B5 (safe) -- "Only the Finest" (Polychrome Heroics: The Big One)
I5 (awe) -- "As Giants and Patriarchs" (Polychrome Heroics: The Big One)
N5 (sharing) -- "The Storybearer" (Polychrome Heroics: The Big One)
G5 (nurture self-worth) -- "That Ability to Comfort" (Polychrome Heroics: The Big One)
O5 (self-awareness) -- "Learning to Cha-Cha" (standalone)

Additional fills:

N1 (scared) -- "The So-Called Truth" (Polychrome Heroics: Shiv)
G1 (change) -- "Be Open to That Change" (Polychrome Heroics: Calliope)

I3 (optimism) -- "At the Subtlest Levels of Function" (Polychrome Heroics: The Big One)
G3 (water) -- "The Promised Waters" (Polychrome Heroics: The Big One)
O3 (opportunity) -- "The Opportunity to Develop" (Polychrome Heroics)

California Fires

The Mendocino complex of fires is now the largest in California's history.  This sort of thing will only get worse as global warming advances.  For a while, anyway.  Eventually the backlog of flammable material built up by unwise policies will be exhausted, leaving only the small amounts of annually accumulated fuels.  Deserts are much less flammable than forests.

Antipodal Earthquakes

I was amused to find this article about how large earthquakes can cause reciprocal quakes at or near their antipode.

Scientists have identified the trend but are baffled by the mechanism. Seriously? These guys have never played Jenga or any of the other balance-shifting or spring-loaded games where moving one small piece makes everything else explode? They haven't noticed that we are standing on a giant ball? They're acting like the parts of the Earth are disconnected. I mean this isn't even as complex as "everything is alive, everything is connected." It's just basic physics. If you build up pressure, eventually it has to release. If you move one thing in a system, something else has to move too. The only hard part is figuring out the details.

But we already have the one that matters: big earthquakes can cause antipodal earthquakes. That means whenever there's a big earthquake, seismic authorities should calculate its antipode and issue a warning that another earthquake could soon occur somewhere in that region. Heightened awareness might help reduce the harm done.

I've actually been discussing this with a few audience members. Apparently they're more alert to these things. The opposite side of the world to San Diego is Saint-Philippe, Reunion, Reunion. That's somewhat southeast of the Maldives. The antipode of Male is off the coast of South America. Put those together and you can see why a major shakeup along the Ring of Fire could knock loose a bubble of hotspot in what is now Kraken territory.

Heat Wave Deaths

... are increasing as the climate warms.  Duh.  Regrettably, most of the suggested solutions are useless.  Planting trees, public drinking water, and reducing poverty are all good.  But keeping people alive means keeping them cool.  You have to provide public cooling sites and home air conditioning.  For broke nations and poor families, that's unlikely.

Spread of Homo Sapiens

 ... relates to its generalist specialist status.  That is, the species Homo sapiens has a generalist pool that can rapidly adapt to many different specialized niches.  The article is still groping for an answer.  It's pretty obvious from a quick peek at global culture, though.  Where animals are limited to biological adaptations, which are slow, humans can use technological and behavioral ones, which can move much faster.  We see a little behavioral adaptation in animals but they are largely restricted to biology.  Humans can use intelligence to circumvent  instincts -- not always a long-term advantage, as seen in shift workers, but good for short-term survival.  Then biological adaptation follows along behind, and we see little things like Tibetan resistance to altitude sickness.

Sunday Yardening

Today is sunny and warmer.  Lots of butterflies are fluttering around, although I haven't seen big chains of monarchs on the trees.

I planted 10 assorted daffodils and 10 mixed tulips in purple to black shades in the prairie garden.  I put the daffodils around the tulips in hopes of discouraging herbivores. 

Fall Bingo Card 9-30-18

[personal profile] vexed_wench and[personal profile] spiralicious  are hosting the Fall Bingo Fest over on [community profile] allbingo from October 1-October 31. Come celebrate autumn and its holidays including Samhain, Halloween, and Thanksgiving.  All cultures and time periods are welcome.  (See all my 2018 bingo cards.)

If you'd like to sponsor a particular square, especially if you have an idea for what character, series, or situation it would fit -- talk to me and we'll work something out. I've had a few requests for this and the results have been awesome so far. This is a good opportunity for those of you with favorites that don't always mesh well with the themes of my monthly projects. I may still post some of the fills for free, because I'm using this to attract new readers; but if it brings in money, that means I can do more of it. That's part of why I'm crossing some of the bingo prompts with other projects, such as the Poetry Fishbowl.

Underlined prompts have been filled.

Liminal TimeShapeshifterMasksNativeHomemade Costume
SafetyFamilyGothicUrban Legend19 Evaluate Your Life Day
BloodWrath / RageWILD CARDHomeEnergy
ShadowsBalanceFrankensteinUnicornsRazor Blades
AutumnMonsterGiant AnythingNight31 Increase Your Psychic Powers Day