Quick, Find Bernie An Oprah

The 2000’s belonged to Oprah Winfrey. From Time, Life to Forbes, every media outlet and publication ranked Oprah as the most influential woman in America. Vanity Fair credited her with greater influence than the president. Oprah obliterated political, racial and economic boundaries. Anyone could ask what we thought, Winfrey wanted to know how we felt. Adept at measured opinion, she knew what to ask and when to listen. Oprah had no use for editorial rantings or blusters of reactionary postulation. Oprah made  foibles human, transgressions answerable and triumph magnificent. Recommend a book – we read it. Expose controversy – we talked about it. Mention Illinois Senator Barack Obama in 2006 – America listened.

Appearing on Larry King Live in September 2006, Winfrey was asked about a fan who started a campaign “Oprah for President”. Down-playing the notion, Oprah suggested the fan -“take all your energy, and put it in Barack Obama”, enthusing over her “favorite senator” with hopes that one day he would run for President. In October 2006, Barack and Michelle Obama appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show to promote Obama’s book The Audacity of Hope. Oprah chided that if Obama decided to make a presidential run, she hoped he would announce intent on her show. Obama’s book hit No. 1 on Amazon and New York Times book lists, a week later Time magazine hit newsstands with a Obama cover and caption “Why Barack Obama Could Be the Next President”.

Announcing his candidacy on February 10, 2007 (not on Oprah, rather the steps of the Illinois State Legislature ) Obama trailed front runner Hillary Clinton for most of 2007. Considered a long shot, I firmly believe Oprah’s fund raising, endorsement and appearances at rallies catapulted Obama to official nominee on August 27, 2008.

Call me delusional but Bernie Sanders could be the Democrat nominee, we just need to find him an Oprah. Look at the facts – Hillary is a prig. Stiff, prudish, unimaginative, a two dimensional rubber stamp politician spewing  rhetoric with practiced correctness. When she speaks, all I hear is blah, blah, blah. My disdain for Hillary is curious. Twenty years ago I might have jumped on the gender wagon forsaking content for girl power, the single bright light being that today finds me demanding substance. Bernie Sanders has more substance than Hillary could muster in a lifetime.

It may be too little, too late but don’t let media tell you who the Democratic nominee will be. We need to find Bernie an Oprah, and fast!


Deportation Force

Distasteful as it may be, every few weeks I make a point of reading articles about Donald Trump. Without fail, fresh insight produces a mouth full of vomit. My days of sarcastic clucking are over, I haven’t the energy or inclination to organize dribbles of common sense regarding Trump. That said, this is what I learned today –

Donald Trump believes vaccines cause Autism. WTF!

Trump is opposed to increasing minimum wage. ( Raising the federal minimum wage would impact businesses, minimum wage earners just need to work a little harder. )

Teenage moms shouldn’t receive public assistance, although placing them in group homes makes sense.

Enough! Mindful of rising bile, I’m about to turn away when “deportation force” catches an eye. He detests birthright citizenship – screw the 14th Amendment, Trump has it on “good authority” the Constitution never meant to encourage pregnant Mexicans. Build a wall, half of illegals are criminals, expelling Mexicans would drastically reduce crime, blah, blah, blah – explain deportation force.

How silly of me, clearly making America great screams for eloquently named illegal immigrant crushers. Deportation Force doesn’t mince words ( Trump loathes political correctness – I learned that today ) A true crowd pleaser, Trump rallies erupt at mention of tripling the number of immigration enforcement officers, supporters beam with patriotic relief. What a guy – 25,000 new employment opportunities for real Americans and promise to purge millions of criminals, rapists and drug dealers – it doesn’t get better than this.

Just playing with you, it gets a lot better. Collective back slaps leave little room for questions or practical analysis. Trump supporters needn’t worry themselves with specifics or common sense. The American Action Forum had free time to run numbers – Trump’s Deportation Force would take upwards of 20 years and $400 billion to complete.

Of all the ways $400 billion might be used to make America great again, deportation force isn’t one of them. Donald Trump is an asshole – I learned that today.

Solar Sector Boundary Crossing Refresher

To those not inclined, enthusiastic gushing over Earth poised to cross a fold in the heliospheric current sheet on April 29/30 likely falls flat. That’s OK, twenty years ago I wouldn’t have understood a solar sector boundary crossing meant geomagnetic storm. Living in a state of gob smacked wonder over auroras, didn’t equate to comprehending how or why – shreds of murky high school science were of little use. Solar dynamic’s light didn’t flicker until the day I decided to figure it out from the perspective of one without a formal science education.

In October 2014 I wrote a post titled “Solar Sector Boundary Crossing”. If I do say so myself – a concise, accessible, easily understood window to the wonder of solar dynamics.

“Hang on for a lesson in solar dynamics – Earth is experiencing a solar sector boundary crossing. Let me explain….

The sun produces wind (currently 410.9 Km/second) that blasts across the cosmos. Just like Earth, our Sun has a magnetic field – known as the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF).  Whipped into a spiral rotation, wind driven IMF rotates in one direction. It divides into spiral sections pointing to and away from the sun along the ecliptic plane ( a direct line between Earth and the Sun). The edge of this swirling mass has a surface separating polarities of planetary and solar magnetism called the heliosphere current sheet.


Earth’s magnetic field points north at the magnetopause (the point of contact between our magnetosphere and the IMF). If the IMF happens to point south at contact (scientific term, southward Bz) the two fields link causing partial cancellation of Earth’s magnetic field – in other words, opening a temporary door for solar energy to enter our atmosphere. Welcome solar sector boundary crossing – a phenomenon born of high solar wind and coronal mass ejections (CME’s – aka solar flares).

It takes 3 or 4 days for magnetism to sort itself out – in the meantime, and barring the occasional high frequency radio disruption,  wonky GPS and cell phones, peppered with sudden power grid failure events – we’re treated to kick ass auroras.”


Stumbling Upon Sweet Spots Close To Home

Decent weather and a work free weekend allowed two days of adventure with my husband. Nothing crazy, just a mutual fondness for starting the car and seeing where it takes us. The unspoken prize – stumbling upon sweet spots a stone’s throw from home. “Let’s go for a drive” is a call for fresh eyes on everything taken for granted. An opportunity to meander peacefully from confines of routine. Late Sunday afternoon, Lighthouse Park couldn’t have been any sweeter.

Notes at Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver

View from Lighthouse Park – https://www.flickr.com/photos/15574096@N00/



Pondering Nothing Wow About It

Ohio State University’s Big Ear radio telescope – April 15, 1977. Astronomer Jerry Ehman listened to cosmic static from star systems Chi Sagittarii in constellation Sagittarius. At 10:16 pm Eastern Time Big Ear recorded an inexplicable 72 second burst of radio waves – Ehman circled the anomaly, jotting “Wow!”. 39 years later the strongest cosmic radio signal ever recorded, remains the only unexplained radio signal from space.

Alien 'Wow!' Signal Could Soon be Explained


Enter former U.S. Dept. of Defense analyst Antonio Paris, now of St. Petersburg College in Florida. Paris suspects two “suspicious” comets (266P/Christensen and 335P/Gibbs, not identified until 2006 and 2008) created the “Wow!” kerfuffle. 1420Mhz is the radio frequency behind  Ehman’s “Wow!” Coincidentally, the same frequency neutral hydrogen hums in the cosmos (space is anything but silent – click now to listen http://spaceweatherradio.com/ ) Logically comets contain a lot of hydrogen, hydrogen Paris theorizes wreaked havoc at 1420Mhz the evening of April 15, 1977. “Wow!”, nothing more than an inadvertent surge of hydrogen courtesy of meddling comets.

Next year 266P will pass Chi Sagittarii, 2018 sees 335P’s orbit following suit. Paris hopes to test his theory but faces some challenges – it seems all radio telescopes are booked. Undaunted, Paris started a crowd funding campaign to buy or build his own telescope. (Linked below)


In wonder of “Wow!”, the possibility of noisy hydrogen annihilating a cornerstone of early cosmic wonder left me a little grumpy. No worries, it took 6 minutes to grow up and jump on science’s band wagon. Kick discovery ass Antonio Paris of St. Petersburg College, I wish you well.

Captives of Moral Laundry

Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries join Canadian residential schools in epitomizing my disdain for the Catholic church. Namesake of supposed prostitute Mary Magdalene, laundries imprisoned “fallen women” for guidance and reeducation – or so it began in 1765 Dublin when pious missionaries filled the first asylum by offering street prostitutes a “safe warm place”. Not even close – it seems the nuns had stumbled upon a system of  diabolical perfection.

Very quickly, the church realized unpaid labour was key to sustainable wealth – what better source of slave labour than fallen women. Morality, an easy sell in predominantly Catholic Ireland, thought nothing of “fallen” evolving to include unwed mothers, pregnant victims of rape, bastard children, women deemed mentally incompetent and orphans. Practically overnight, institutions sought “permanent” inmates to sustain lucrative laundry contracts from the state and military.

Any woman could find herself incarcerated at Catholic institutions. Prisoners without charge or trial, inmates without sentence, recourse or representation. Persons deemed morally inconsequential, thrown to the whim of repugnant moralists without explanation or hope. At birth infants became property of the church,forcibly removed for adoption. As if moral incarceration, disregard for legal and civil rights, forced labour and physical abuse weren’t enough – relinquishing infants didn’t release inmates from moral condemnation, unpaid labour was far too valuable.

Magdalene institutions evolved into perfectly acceptable social norms. So much a reality of Irish life, government awarded lucrative laundry contracts and diligently returned escapees to the nuns. Between 1765 and 1996, roughly 30,000 “morally wayward” women and children became prisoners of Catholic nuns. Laundry contracts fizzled in the early 60’s with modernization responsible for mechanized washing. Unfazed by implications,  Catholic nuns courted a fresh source of income. MB Games, subsidiary of toy maker Hasbro was setting up shop in Ireland, someone had to assemble their games.

Anyone over 40 recalls Mousetrap, Trouble and Kerplunk – board games rivaling Monopoly for space on rumpus room shelves. How could we know Catholic nuns met unmarked Hasbro trucks at Magdalene gates, or that “fun for the whole family” were packaged by prisoners of Catholic morality. ( To this day Hasbro refuses comment ).

In 1993 a mass grave containing 155 corpses was unearthed at one on the laundries. ( It seems the nuns lost a considerable sum of money on the stock market, forcing the sale of a piece of land – did they forget about the bodies, pray new owner wouldn’t dig during construction? By 2001 media attention forced the Irish government to admit abuse, while remaining steadfast on their assertion laundries were private institutions, absolving themselves of knowledge or collusion. A 2009 inquiry heard testimony from 1,500 survivors, resulting in 2,000 pages of unsatisfactory findings. In 2011 the United Nations Committee Against Torture “urged” further investigation. February 5, 2013 the UN committee published evidence of state “collusion” in atrocities. February 19, 2013 Prime Minister Enda Kenny formally apologized for “the nation’s shame”

“Therefore, I, as Taoiseach, on behalf of the State, the government and our citizens deeply regret and apologise unreservedly to all those women for the hurt that was done to them, and for any stigma they suffered, as a result of the time they spent in a Magdalene Laundry.”[49][50]

The Taoiseach also outlined part of the compensation package to be offered to victims of the Magdalene Laundries. He stated:

“That’s why the Government has today asked the President of the Law Reform Commission Judge John Quirke to undertake a three month review and to make recommendations as to the criteria that should be applied in assessing the help that the government can provide in the areas of payments and other supports, including medical card, psychological and counseling services and other welfare needs.”




The Catholic church has no intention of apologizing, nor will they contribute to a compensation fund for survivors. A jaw dropping article (linked below) published July 2013 in Catholic League describes “lies” in “Myths Of The Magdalene Laundries”. Yikes!