Pondering The Newsroom


The Newsroom was an HBO political drama series that aired from June 2012 – December 2014. Starring Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy, news anchor at fictional Atlantis Cable News. Twenty five episodes over three brief “seasons” cemented The Newsroom atop my list of remarkable TV productions. Posted below are a handful of clips chosen to illustrate America’s indifference towards common sense truth – scripted Will McAvoy snippets ringing truer than anything blithered on non-fictional U.S. media today. The content may be dated, the message is anything but.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Newsroom_(U.S._TV_series)

 

Road Trip Skies


Bogging myself down with ambitious post holiday elaborations came to an abrupt halt moments ago. Deeply philosophical ramifications of unabashed road trip freedom can wait a few days – road trip skies make it impossible to think clearly.

Road trip skies frame the ordinary, punctuate extraordinary, elicit emotion. Road skies enable a sixth sense, that of focusing impressions and appreciating what otherwise might go unnoticed. The first picture and last three black and white photos were taken by my husband, all the rest were snapped on my phone.

2016-08-12 13.45.22

2016-08-10 20.31.28

2016-08-16 15.54.28

2016-08-15 13.11.06

2016-08-14 19.22.15

2016-08-12 12.14.14

https://www.flickr.com/photos/15574096@N00/

A Changed Notes


Home tonight after nine days on the road with my husband. Over 5,000 Km.,(1,300 of them today) three provinces, gravel road meanderings, secondary highway diners, family, strangers, thunderstorms, road-side attractions, heritage sites, gob smacking geology and demon mosquitoes. Stay tuned – snippets of ponderous elasticity quiver but I’m too tired to catch them. Until tomorrow….

Vacation For Notes


Vacation won’t sink in until my plane takes off tomorrow morning. It’s a loaded concept, yet beyond meeting my husband in Penticton, a 9 day blank slate calls my name. Stay in one place, drive a thousand miles, it really doesn’t matter, I’m on vacation.

We’ll take it day by day, pull off the road when we please, spontaneously fixate on random destinations, erect my telescope beneath the darkest night skies, swim in rivers and remember why we love each other.I’m on vacation, life doesn’t get better than that.

Jupiter’s Gravity Doubles Perseid Meteor Show 2016


Every summer Earth passes cosmic rubble from Comet Swift-Tuttle. Known as the Perseid meteor shower, (after constellation Perseus –  radiant point in north-east skies)  reigning champion of annual meteor events. Dependable, prolific Perseid rarely disappoints. Between July 17-August 24, Perseid teases summer nights with previews of the main event – peak performance of 60-100 meteors an hour between August 9-13.

Comet Swift-Tuttle circles the Sun in an oblong 133 year orbit. At perihelion (closest orbital point to the Sun, last reached in 1992 ) solar energy melts ice (primary mass of most comets ) releasing trapped space bits which join the comet’s tail. Extending hundreds of thousands Km, debris shadows Swift-Tuttle’s solar orbit. Perseid showers when Earth’s orbit intersects the outer edge of Swift-Tuttle’s tail. Every so often Jupiter’s gravitational influence stirs Swift-Tuttle’s tail – this year happens to be an “every so often” event.

Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office announced Jupiter’s gravity pulled three streams of comet tail closer to Earth’s orbit, making 2016 the first time since 2009 Perseid watchers can anticipate an outburst of activity. Courtesy of Jupiter, instead of skimming Swift-Tuttle fringes we’ll pass through freshly tugged regions of space dust – projected meteors per hour will double to 200,

Illustration image

http://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/meteor-shower/perseid.html

Perseids in Aug. 2015, a composite image by Petr Horalek of Kolonica, Slovakia [more]

WTF Donald


Earlier this week Donald Trump blithered utter nonsense at a campaign rally in Florida, regurgitating fantasy the following day in Maine. Trump’s outbursts tend to flow within spillways of generalized chest thumping hubris, moronic sound bites selling Trump’s “brand” to America – this jibber-jabber gem was different. The nincompoop’s head, bloated by gases of maniacal impunity from truth or reason, pulled a nut salad from his ass.

Trump vehemently claimed to have seen a video showing $400 million being taken off an American airplane in Iran. Trump suggested the cash was ransom paid by America to release hostages. It wasn’t – the footage in question aired on Fox News showing released Americans stepping off a plane in Geneva. (full story linked below) Trump’s false assertion the video was “leaked” by Iran to “embarrass” America, in particular President Obama caught exchanging money for prisoners, went from simmer to boil.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/trailguide/la-na-trailguide-updates-donald-trump-again-talks-of-tape-1470345240-htmlstory.html

“I wonder where that money really goes, by the way…. Well, it went either in their pockets, which I actually think more so, or toward terrorism — probably a combination of both,” he said.

Game over, damage done. Trump’s shrewd grasp of constitutional free speech capitalized on free to lie, manipulate and bend truth for personal gain. Yep, America is the greatest nation on Earth – Trump dishes constitutionally condoned propaganda, Fox News eats it for breakfast, catatonic Trump supporters froth at the mouth, conspiracy slithers from Trump’s ambiguous retraction, fact becomes cover-up, coming full circle – placing the onus on truth for daring to debunk nut salad. WTF Donald is tip of the iceberg – WTF Hillary, WTF constitutional right to political free speech lies, WTF people incapable of grasping dangerously stupid politicians exist because dangerously stupid free to speak whatever you damn well please constitutional leniency put them there. WTF America.

Not for a second have I considered my lawful right to free expression compromised in any way. Do I live in the greatest nation on Earth? Reside in a super power bastion of enlightened democracy? Patch together truth based on late night television comedy sketches? Tune into national news networks anticipating the task of exhaustive research to determine truth, or worse, exclude all news other than media geared to my religious/political bias? Does my life require constant affirmation, strife over faith, sexual orientation, civil rights or fear mongering propaganda? None of the above – I live in Canada.

WTF Donald is unimaginable in Canada. WTF Donald thrives in America because the Fairness Doctrine (Federal law implemented in 1949 requiring holders of broadcast licenses to air opposing viewpoints on topical or controversial issues ) was struck down in 1987. The Fairness Doctrine kept broadcasters from monopolizing airwaves with biased opinion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairness_Doctrine

WTF Donald has little to do with Trump, everything to do with America’s systematic escalation of disregard for truth. WTF created the likes of Trump. Truth be told I harbour a growing fascination over the possibility Donald might prevail. Distasteful as that seems, “President Trump” could be the jolt America needs to WTF lawmakers into reinstating the Fairness Doctrine.

Immortal Jellyfish


In 1988 science stumbled upon proof of eternal life – immortality thrived in the form of a minuscule jellyfish. German marine biology student Christian Sommer spent a summer on the Italian Riviera studying invertebrates. Long story short (see link below) he noticed something unusual about Turritopsis Dohrnii – a tiny jellyfish only 4.5 mm wide at maturity.

http://immortal-jellyfish.com/

Observing petri dish specimens, Sommer watched them reproduce followed by an astounding transformation – reverse aging to juvenile polyp stage. Liken it to a butterfly becoming a caterpillar or bird becoming an egg, hatching as a new chick. Instead of dying, they started their life cycle over again.

Science can’t explain the immortal jellyfish beyond understanding cellular trans-differentiation happens during rejuvenation – one cell type is converted into another (skin cell might become a nerve cell ). Crazy as it sounds, mankind’s elusive quest for longevity might have it all wrong. Immortality’s secret could be locked in an obscure jellyfish content to reproduce and start over again.

The “immortal jellyfish” can transform itself back into a polyp and begin life anew. Credit Takashi Murai