Ego Vero Seek and you shall find... Ask and the door shall be opened - page 36

How Can an Airliner Just Disappear? (PartVI)

How Can an Airliner Just Disappear? (PartVI)

Today, Malaysian Authorities officially declared Flight 370 lost at sea with no possible survivors.  Based on close analysis of the attempted communications between the plane and satellites it was determined that the flight was on the southern of the two possible courses and this would have put it 1500 miles west of Australia in the Indian Ocean when it’s fuel would have been exhausted.  Since there are no possible landing sites, the lost at sea declaration was made.  The search continues though now as a recovery effort.  Conditions in the area are such that it is believed no one could survive for what has now been two weeks even if they had survived a crash or ditching.

australia-flight370-search-map

Still unanswered are the questions of how or why this happened.  Authorites have all but ruled out an accident because of the circumstances surrounding how the plane “disappeared” from communications and radar, and because the flight’s behavior afterward indicated that the deed was done with purpose and some skill.  There is speculation as to who was responsible and as to whether one or both of the pilots may have been involved, though to what end is not known.

It was a dark and stormy night…

It was a dark and stormy night…

Imagine a place….put yourself there….let your imagination take over….relate your experience to yourself, someone else or no one at all.

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night...

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night…

 

One obstacle to writing is the same obstacle that I have come up against many times in life: fear of failure.  Writing is an act of creation and as such the very commission of the act is success.  Others who see my work will judge it based on their own biases which I have no control over.  Nor can opinions destroy my work, once realized it exists as an object in it’s own right.  I resist the urge to edit and re-edit my work over and over again in the pursuit of perfection and generally only revisit it to correct factual or blatant grammatical errors.

This blog is part of my attempt to dare to live the life I have dreamed for myself.  I have imagined a place and  now put myself there.  My imagination is working and so you read these words.

Steely Dan…transition

Steely Dan…transition

In 1978 Steely Dan released their album Aja.  Since the band’s founders Walter Becker and Donald Fagen were influenced by jazz fron their very beginnings, this album was somewhat of a milestone in that (to me anyway) it marked their transition from a jazz influenced rock band into a rock influenced jazz band.  This live performance of the title track Aja was uploaded to youtube in 2011.  I don’t know when it was performed but I assume it was somewhere around that time.

Serious jazz chops all around.  Dude.

Free speech for me, but not for thee

Free speech for me, but not for thee

UCSB professor assaults pro-life activists in University’s Free Speech Area resulting in misdemeanor charges. How tolerant.

Full story here, but the short version is that on this past March 4th, some members of a pro-life group called Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust (hereafter referred to as “survivors”) were at The University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) at what I guess you’d call a “protest”.  There were a few of them staked out in the quad area of the campus known as “The Arbor” handing out literature and holding graphic pictures showing the effects of late term abortions.  You know what I mean, dead babies.  A UCSB professor named Mireille Miller-Young (Feminist studies) came along and was incensed.  First a heated verbal exchange began between the professor and some students, and the survivors.  Miller-Young then ripped one of the signs out of a survivor’s hands and ran off with it.  Two of the survivors, sisters Joan and Thrin Short, followed after her trying to get their sign back while recording video on a smartphone.  In the struggle for the sign and as one of the students tride to take the smartphone from Thrin the altercation got physical.  The professor and the few students she was accompanied by got in an elevator with the sign which was later found in the professor’s office destroyed.  The UCSB Police investigated and later determined that Miller-Young had broken the law.

You Need To Hear This

 

I will say up front that I am pro-life and so I am pre-disposed to being sympathetic to the pro-life side here, but that is not my point.  If you believe in Free Speech then you believe that the people you disagree with have the right to express their opinions.  I find it ironic that on a University of California campus where are offered courses of study in all manner of nonsense (i.e. pornography, sex work, feminist & queer theory) in the name of academic freedom that the exercise of free speech is not welcome in a so-called free speech area.  How tolerant of them.

What nice climate we’re having today

What nice climate we’re having today

Here in Northern California today it is sunny and in the 70’s.  Not trying to brag, just making a point.  If you live in another part of the country or the world it may be warmer or colder, wetter or drier.  The weather will change wherever I am or wherever you are.  It’s going to happen, only Bond villains and certain Superheroes can do anything about it.  By that I mean no one can do anything about it.  Where am I going with this?

Here’s where.  I am a Anthropogenic Global Warming Denier.  Just call me Galileo Galilei.  No, I did not say simply Global Warming Denier, I added Anthropogenic which means “induced by man”.  In the title and the opening paragraph I used climate and weather interchangeably when technically they are two different things.  HOWEVER…the weather is a microcosm of the climate and they share charactersitics.  The Climate is a system made up of many smaller weather systems.  So Climate = big picture; Weather = lots of small pictures that make up the big picture.  And here are some of the dots I have connected to arrive at my opinion.

The single greatest influence on earth’s climate is that big yellow thing in the sky.

IN THE SKY!!  I said big yellow thing IN THE SKY!

IN THE SKY!! I said big yellow thing IN THE SKY!

 

That's better.

That’s better.

 

Not happy with the weather?  Don’t worry, it’ll change.  Not happy with the climate?  Same thing.  Things change.  The earth started out as a hot ball of gas then cooled on it’s own.  The dinosaurs were not responsible for their own demise.  Nature will take it’s course and as it has been shown the creatures that are capable of adaptation will survive, those incapable of adaptation will die out and become extinct or if a situation devlopes that is impossible to adapt to then it’s curtains for all.  Man did not invent the processes – they have been going on long before we arrived (evolved? sprouted? were dropped off by aliens? whatever.) and they will continue regardless of our continued existence.  Indeed, if it were possible for mankind to influence the climate by varying carbon emissions then the result of limiting emissions could also catastrophic if the earth were entering, unbeknownst to us, a (natural) cooling period.   A reduction of our carbon footprint would exacerbate (if the carbon theory is correct) the cooling perhaps causing an ice age which would have a devastating effect on agriculture and food production possibly leading to global famine and economic collapse.  So we’re screwed either way.  I say let nature take it’s course.  And if anyone tells you the solution to any problem is communism and higher taxes, you should mock them mercilessly.  

Did I mention that it’s nice and sunny here today?  I believe I did.

How Can An Airliner Just Disappear (Part V)

How Can An Airliner Just Disappear (Part V)

Time for another post about the missing Malaysian Airways Flight 370.  I haven’t been posting on this because there has been little actual news, just lots of (often crazy) speculation.  However, it was reported last night the Australian Authorities using satellite recon pictures may have spotted potential debris in the Indian Ocean southwest of Australia.  Aircraft and surface vessels have been dispatched, but the sheer size of the search area and bad weather make actual confirmation/recovery a long shot at best.

 

Good Luck

Good Luck

 

So, while not really wanting to board the speculation bandwagon, I will put a couple things out there.  I’ll call it educated speculation.  There are some responsible people with knowledge of the aircraft, airline flight procedures, etc. that are attempting to put together scenarios that fit in with the known facts.  Recently a theory was put forth that this was an accident and the cause was a fire on board that eventually incapacited the crew and passengers and the plane continued to fly on automated systems until it eventually crashed when it ran out of fuel.  Link to that article here.  You may want to read it then come back.  Back now? OK.  Now a pilot debunks that theory here in what seems to me to be a very credible way.  Go ahead and read that.  Back?  OK, good.  I still believe that the simplest explanation will turn out to be the correct one.  And I’m leaning toward the simplest explanation being an act of air piracy though we don’t know by whom or for what purpose or whether they succeeded (landed) or failed (crashed).  This mystery is a long way from being solved.

 

Filling in the blanks

Filling in the blanks

Here’s another puzzle piece to put on the table since I am working on the double sided 3D jigsaw puzzle of Life Or Whatever This Is.  The easiest pieces are those from the past because I know where I’ve been.  The colors, shapes and edges are distinct which makes it a little easier for me to see where they fit together.  The present pieces are somewhat more challenging.  They’re not solid – the shapes change; the outlines are fuzzy.  They might fit in anywhere – I have to keep moving them around until they lock in.  The future pieces have no form at all, however…..the spaces I need to fill are taking shape.  Will the pieces I create fit in those spaces?

 

Are You a Novice, or Expert

Are You a Novice, or Expert?

 

How’s you’re puzzle coming along?

Charlie Brown returns…..in 3D!

Charlie Brown returns…..in 3D!

I am a big Peanuts fan and I have mixed feelings about this.  It will probably be very good or very bad.  I guess I will hope for the best, the trailer looks pretty cute.

I seem to associate Peanuts with good memories from my childhood,  One of my friends had a few paperback anthologies which were just collections of Peanuts comic strips and we would spend hours reading those.  Of course Snoopy was a favorite.  There were life lessons in those comics, very subtle, not preachy.  They could be absorbed effortlessly, almost unknowingly.  Subliminally, as it were.  I remember when the Peanuts TV specials came out and honestly at the time they seemed a little lame.  The only one I really care for today is “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, though “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” is not bad if just for the World War I Flying Ace sequence.  “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was the first of the specials made and done on a shoestring budget.  The story of how it was made is interesting in that it nearly wasn’t made at all.  TV executives wanted to cut the classic scene of Linus telling the true meaning of Christmas and Schulz was adamant about it being kept in.  Then there is the iconic theme music, the title song which is “Linus and Lucy” by jazz musician Vince Guaraldi who is coincidentally also a northern California native, hailing from San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood.  This little song has withstood the test of time and I belive it will still be heard long after I am gone.

 

There is a Charles Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California that I have visited.  It is surprisingly large and as an adult you can easily spend an afternoon there.  The kids may be bored after an hour, but most kids today probably don’t even know what Peanuts is (yet).  Definitely worth a visit if you are in or going to be in northern California.  Well, here’s hoping that Peanuts in 3D! will be a classic and keep the Peanuts legacy going for a few more generations.

Don’t People Speak English Anymore?

Don’t People Speak English Anymore?

I confess to being a bit of a language snob.  That is, I may make a judgement of a person’s character or intelligence based on how they speak.  Even though I often habitually use language that is informal or incorrect – what would be called colloquialisms, slang or the dreaded jargon.  I actually prefer it in speaking and in writing.  I am, however, careful not to expose myself to the potential harsh judgement of other language snobs and am on My Best Behavior in situations where I am with other language snobs or unsure of the company.  Here at the blog you will frequently see me in my rhetorical underwear.  Language snobs – don’t look!

You talkin' to me?

You talkin’ to me?

 

That’s why it was with interest that I read “In Defense of Talking Funny” by Kory Stamper at her blog Harmless Drudgery.  As a defender of talking funny she has some cred (see what I did there?) since she is a lexicographer at Merriam-Webster.  I may e-mail her and ask if she gets to carry a badge or something.  But I digress.  In reading her article she gave a name to the practice of changing how we speak in different situations.  In those instances what we are doing is changing dialects, a practice she refers to as “code-switching”.  But what is a dialect?  I will quote the lexicographer’s explanation of what makes a dialect:

To get technical, dialects are varieties of a language that have their own set of speakers with their own vocabulary, grammatical rules, and accent, and they can be regional, socioeconomic, ethnic,  tonal, and even a combination thereof. American English has eight major dialects–or 24, or hundreds, depending on who you ask and what they define as a “dialect.”

So languages are made up of dialects and English is no different, and the casual language I have adopted is a dialect.  I don’t know where it came from, I’d like to believe I invented it myself.  MikeSpeak.  Truth is it’s probably local and something I have learned.  Also, it turns out most of us don’t just speak a dialect, but switch between several depending on the situation, which frustrates language snobs everywhere who want to know why no one can speak english anymore.  Ms. Stamper tells us that Standard English, while being a dialect in and of itself, is the language used by people with power and prestige.  OK, I get that.  When I want to appear educated, influential or powerful I will break out the Standard English lest the powerful Standard English Speakers judge me.  

I am a practioner and also a victim of language snobbery.  Turns out that makes me normal.  Who would have guessed that?  Me being normal, I mean.  But it also makes me human.  It is human nature for us to judge those different from us – whether it is how we speak or how we look.  And it is human nature to try and fit in.  So we keep being human.  And if people are talkin’ funny it’s not the end of the world.  They’re just being people.  

 

Saint Patrick’s Day revisited

Saint Patrick’s Day revisited

Writing yesterday’s Saint Patrick’s Day post brought back fond memories of my 2009 trip to Ireland.  Though to be truthful the actual experience was somewhat stressful since we did not book a tour.  Rather we made our own reservations, rented cars and drove ourselves around.  So there was a fair amount of feeling a little “lost”.  At least they spoke English – sort of.  Going back through my pictures, I thought I would share a few more with you.  Again, you can click on the image to see a larger version.  If you’d like any more info, ask in the comments and I’ll answer.

Lismore Castle

Lismore Castle

Lismore Castle in County Waterford, once owned by Sir Walter Raleigh.  The site has been occupied since the 7th Century, but the current buildings were built in the mid-18th century.  We did not go inside as the grounds were closed at the time we were passing through the area.

The Town of Dungarven in the distance

The Town of Dungarvan in the distance

This is the view of the town of Dungarvan from one of the places we stayed in County Waterford, the Seaview B&B.  A very nice place reasonably priced – I recommend it.

A typical Irish town. I do not recall the name of this one where we made a rest stop.

A typical Irish town. I do not recall the name of this one where we made a rest stop.

Here is a main street of a typical Irish town.  I believe the pink building on the left is a pub.  There is always a pub.

Here's a better shot

Here’s a better shot

Yep..I was right.  It’s Danny O’Shea’s.  No google listing.  There is a D. O’Shea’s Hotel on google but this isn’t it.

OK, that’s all for now.  If you want to see more or know any more about the subject, please inquire in the comments.

 

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