The Night Sinead O’Connor Made SNL History


Over twenty years ago Sinead O’Connor destroyed her career by ripping up a picture of Pope John Paul II at the conclusion of her performance on Saturday Night Live. Booed off the stage a few weeks later at a Bob Dylan concert, O’Connor faded into troubled obscurity – deemed too controversial to book or promote.

I loved Sinead O’Connor; her beautiful shaved head and voice of perfection sent shivers up my spine. I remember that night in October of 1980. We sat transfixed as she sang Bob Marley’s War. My heart stopped when her defiance collided with conviction – she tore the photo on live TV, in front of millions viewing what was to become the most powerful message I’ve witnessed. A single act that blew my mind and made my heart soar.

Where ever you may be Sinead O’Connor –  you forever have my admiration and respect.

Missing George Bush


In part because Neil Young is my hero – a Canadian who sings of impeaching George Bush – in part because I actually miss the insanity of the Bush years, and in part because this simplistic little melody cracks me up. I hasten to add my mirth is more of a “holy crap” moment, remembering George Bush days.

Pondering Water


I’ve pondered climate change, plastic water bottles in land fills, and oil families the likes of George Bush snapping up land over the world’s largest aquifer. I’m used to the rolling eyes and ho-hum attitudes of people believing it’s not their problem. The moment Al Gore faded from front page news, so too did awareness, urgency, and social responsibility. Sure, there’s a core group of grass roots realists; their efforts seized upon by marketing gurus – turning a tidy profit with buzz words like free or fair trade, sustainable, and ethical. A marketing wet dream, after  slumpish years struggling for new adjectives to describe “new, and improved”.

Lets ponder water. A friend sent me this link tonight, a visual aid that knocked my socks off. Looking at the photo you should see three blue spheres. The largest one represents all the water on earth – everything from oceans, ice caps, moisture in fog banks, even your runny nose. The next size illustrates how much of the first sphere is fresh water; rivers, lakes, streams, and groundwater. 99% of this sphere is groundwater, and inaccessible. The last tiny blue speck shows accessible fresh water.

http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/2010/gallery/global-water-volume.html

We take water for granted, assuming the supply is infinite. Rising temperatures mean our glaciers melt faster than they are able to restore themselves. Many scientists believe the “tipping point” has been reached – within a few decades the Himalayas could be glacier free. Millions upon millions of people rely on the water glaciers deliver to rivers.

It takes 7 litres of water to manufacture a single plastic water bottle. a puny “water footprint” compared to the 16,000 litres needed for a single KG. of boneless beef. Americans use on average 575 litres a day per household, we use more water washing our cars than many people in the world survive on in a week.

http://www.treehugger.com/clean-water/we-use-how-much-water-scary-water-footprints-country-by-country.html

We allow ourselves to be lulled by slick ad-men, consuming with wild abandon like there’s no tomorrow. There’s a reason Texas oil men are buying  land atop aquifers, and it sure isn’t for a place to build  retirement cottages. They understand the oil will dry up and water is the next market to corner.

A link to the massive land purchase by the Bush family atop the world’s largest aquifer in Paraguay.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/oct/23/mainsection.tomphillips

What If “God” Was a Lactose Intolerant Vegetarian Allergic to Donkey Dander?


If we were able to suspend belief, wipe the slate clean, and ponder our world as if today was day one; chances are “God” would be a lactose intolerant vegetarian allergic to donkey dander. I shudder to think of the litany of psychological disorders the man could have been diagnosed with – grandiose delusions, intermittent explosive disorder, narcissistic personality disorder – a psychologists dream, requiring intensive therapy and medication. Restless leg syndrome, halitosis, erectile dysfunction , acne, an unsightly over-bite; all treatable and available for nothing more than the cost of vanity. Ponder how different the world might be if “God” was burdened with marketing and perception, just like all of us.

Of course “God” didn’t worry about such things, nor were any of them relevant to his “time”. Vanity was considered a sin, you ate what you had, and sneezed all over your donkey if it got you to your destination. Religions were born of a time and place, based on that time and place, and relevant within the context of that time and place.

While possible that “God” could have conjured up a hairless donkey to combat his itchy eyes, it’s doubtful psycho analysis was available – likewise botox injections, tofu turkey, and soy milk. I ask all fundamentalists to ponder for a moment how ludicrous it is to apply ancient context to modern times. The world is no longer flat, men of science are not burned at the stake, homosexuals don’t burn in hell, and not only does the Catholic church tweet – they concede the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

One last serious question – does the Catholic church provide rice crackers for the faithful with an aversion to the glutenous body of Christ? Referring to the “host” of Christ in the sacrament.

Equal Rights


Ponder equal rights as you have a little dance party courtesy Playing For Change. What exactly are equal rights? Are we all created equal or are we segregated by geography and religion? Are any of us less equal simply because we were born in the wrong place or time? Are women inferior in one place, and respected in another simply because of a lousy roll of the dice? Think about a world free from religious restraints; a place where we were all created equal – a place where squabbling over the after- life was considered a petty waste of time. Imagine what we might accomplish.

80/60 With Another X-Class for Show


AR1748 is one pesky sunspot; still beating its chest, and threatening to show us who’s boss. With odds of eruptions now up to 80% for M-class and 60% for X in the next 24 hours – 1748 unleashed another X class flare today – in case the three X flares of 1.7, 2.8, and 3.2 the previous day hadn’t made us stand up and take notice. As AR1748 turns towards earth, today’s X-1 is expected to deliver a little slap – most likely in the form of geo-magnetic disturbances responsible for crazy beautiful auroras. Ar1748 has produced more X-class flares in the last few days than all other sunspots this year combined.

NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory – photo of AR 1748 taken on May 16

http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Dust Off Your Tin Foil Hat It’s Sunspot Time


I’ve been a space weather nerd for a while and have never seen an 80% chance of M-class and 40% chance of X-class flares in the next 24 hours. Our sun is flexing muscle with the most intense solar activity this year. Sunspot AR 1748 let loose significant X class eruptions of 1.7, 2.8, and 3.2 in the last 24 hours. Take it from me – this is crazy. The good news is none were “earth directed”, no incoming CME (coronal mass ejection) is anticipated for now. The bad news – while researching when 1748 will face earth I stumbled upon a wordpress blog proclaiming it the beginning of the “rapture”. My decision to retreat, despite every fibre in my being screaming “post a comment” – left me shaking, incensed, reaching for a cocktail, and ultimately validated in my AR1748 raised eyebrow. When all is said and done – not only have I never seen such crazy solar activity in a short period of time, I’ve never seen it attributed to the rapture. All the affirmation I need to know I’m not pondering fairy dust. FYI -AR1748 will be earth directed in a few days.

http://www.spaceweather.com/

Bookmark this link to spaceweather, start paying attention to solar reports, and send your tin foil hats to those anticipating the “rapture”, just be sure to tuck a little tin foil into that emergency kit at the top of your “to do” list.

Circular CME