Left for work at 4:20 this morning, closed the front door, gasped at the beauty of our Moon and Jupiter. Bathed in wonder, I couldn’t look away. Lips curled in a foolish grin, raced dawn to work for another glimpse of Jupiter’s dance with the Moon. Buoyed by Moon and Jupiter, happiest day in a very long time.
Driving home I heard Night Flyer by Allison Russell on CBC radio. Don’t know if lingering Moon and Jupiter tonic plucked a nerve, nor do I care. I love this song. Love how a seemingly ordinary day without expectations inexplicably tasked Moon, Jupiter and Allison Russell with making my day.
Two thirds of British Columbia is forest, trees far as the eye can see in every direction. So why the fuss over old growth forest? Trees grow back, right? Plant another, heck plant five and call it progress. Never mind eradication of ancient ecosystems, extinction of plants and animal species unique to old growth habitats, soil erosion or contamination of fresh water. How can anyone look at this photo without regret? Within hours of Vancouver Island resident Lorna Beecroft posting this image on Facebook, B.C. Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resources announced it was looking into the tree’s history. Soon thereafter, a ministry spokesperson defended the cut as legal.
According to the Ministry of Forests the tree was cut down on northern Vancouver Island sometime between March and August 2020, a month before Special Tree Protection legislation became law on September 11, 2020. ( Linked below ) In a nutshell, vaguely worded legislation purported to protect approximately 1,500 behemoth old growth trees without stepping on “big timber” toes. Ministry of Forests spokesperson feigned regret, “today, a tree of this size might well be illegal to harvest under the regulation, and fines of up to $100,000 could be imposed if it was.”
“Might” well be illegal to harvest, ought to read “large as this tree appears, it wouldn’t qualify for special protection”. According to Jens Weiting, Sierra Club BC’s senior forest and climate campaigner, Sitka Spruce less than 283 centimetres diameter at breast height don’t qualify for special protection. (283 centimetres = roughly 9.2 feet ). Maximum width of standard logging trucks is 260 Cm, Do the math. B.C. Ministry of Forests isn’t interested in saving old growth trees.
The Fairy Creek and Caycuse watersheds on Southern Vancouver Island fall under Tree Farm License 46, controlled by Teal Jones Forest Ltd. On April 1, 2021 provincial court granted Teal Jones a injunction to remove protesters obstructing access to old growth trees. As of yesterday RCMP report 137 arrests and counting. It’s going to take more than an injunction to diffuse old growth logging outrage.
Google Earth recently added a timelapse feature, equal parts mesmerizing, sobering and incredible. Timelapse in Google Earth combines 24 million satellite photos captured between 1984 and 2020. That’s 37 years of deforestation, urban sprawl, shrinking glaciers, tar sands, agriculture, irrigation, mining and coastal erosion in high definition interactive timelapse. Choose a theme, play, pause on a given year, zoom in, scroll about – kudos Google, job well done. Google Earth introduced Timelapse as “longest video in the world”, 20 petabytes ( one petabyte equals a million gigabytes ), my head spins.
Every two years scientists, space agencies and civil protection organizations gather for five days of asteroid impact drills. This week marks the seventh Planetary Defense Conference, held virtually to comply with pandemic considerations. From April 26 – 30, 2021 fictitious asteroid PDC 2021 measures are live streamed by ESA (European Space Agency). Fascinating stuff, well worth consideration. Below. link to asteroid impact drill overview from NASA, followed by several links to watch in real time from ESA –
Meet Marjorie Taylor Greene, ugly face of conservative extremism in post-Trump America. Sanctimonious Marjorie pegs the wing in nut. Trump loyalist, conspiracy theorist, this first term U.S. representative for Georgia’s 14th congressional district is driving force behind the America First caucus. America First doesn’t mince words, ponder “common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions”, cessation of humanitarian aide to third world countries, massive spending to repair infrastructure provided it “reflects the architectural, engineering and aesthetic value that befits the progeny of European architecture” and immigration policies designed to exclude minorities. Make no mistake, ugly is here to stay.
Taylor Greene isn’t a uniquely ugly American, she’s joined by Republican representatives Paul A Gosar (Arizona), Barry Moore (Alabama), Louie Gohmert (Texas) and Matt Gaetz (Florida) in promoting America First. Trump empowered ugly, gave it teeth to forsake shadows, validated extremism, applauded exclusion, division and promoted partisan propaganda. Trumpism fits Marjorie like a glove.
Trump has good reason to call her “a rising star”. Taylor Greene ticks all the boxes – Pizzagate believer (2016 conspiracy claiming prominent Democrats operated a human trafficking and child sex ring from the basement of a DC pizza parlour), supports QAnon, opposes abortion and wants to defund Planned Parenthood, tried (and failed) to block the Equality Act (amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity in employment, housing, education, credit, jury service and federal programs) and fiercely denounces gun reform. She sported a “Trump Won” facemask on her first day in Congress,
In years leading up to her run for office, Taylor Greene expressed support for execution of Democrats on numerous occasions. Full throttle, 2020 electioneering Marjorie campaigned as “Squad’s worst nightmare” (the Squad refers to first term Democrat women of colour targeted by Trump in racist Tweets ) This photo appeared on Taylor Greene’s Facebook page with the quote – “We need strong conservative Christians to go on the offense against these socialists who want to rip our country apart,”
On March 19, 2021 Iceland’s Geldingadular volcano woke from a six thousand year slumber. A relatively minor eruption, more curiosity than threat by Icelandic standards despite being 20 kilometers from Reykjavik. Burping Geldingadular isn’t far from the Blue Lagoon, a man-made geothermal spa fed by water from a nearby power plant. Blue Lagoon (geothermal spa) – Wikipedia On March 31st, Wioleta Gorecka ran with a friend’s suggestion to capture the “big three” – volcanic eruption, aurora and the blue lagoon. Her whim took my breath away –
According to the South China Morning Post, November 17, 2019 marks the first documented case of COVID-19 in China. Impossible to say if this individual was patient zero. If we’re to believe official statements by China, infections grew to 60 by December 20, 2019. On December 27th, Dr. Zhang Jixian, head of the respiratory department at Hubei Provincial Hospital in Wuhan, confirmed the disease was caused by a novel coronavirus. On that day, official case count stood at 160. Viral videos of Wuhan’s “wet market”, clips of fine dining delicacies like whole bats or live baby mice in broth, cemented China’s official party line – COVID can be traced to Wuhan’s wet market. China closed the market in January 2020, sanitizing it without taking samples. In May 2020, China admitted it wasn’t the market, offering no idea where it came from.
In late 2017, science and health officials from the U.S. Embassy attended a conference in Beijing. They witnessed a presentation by Chinese scientists working out of a top level bio-safety lab in Wuhan. Research indicating bat caves in Yunnan Province were probable source of the SARS outbreak and identification of three new coronavirus characterized by a “spike protein” conducive to “grabbing” on to human lung cells known as ACE2 receptors. According to Politico (article linked below) officials at the U.S. Embassy sent teams to inspect the lab on three occasions in late 2017, early 2018. The article alleges – “When they sat down with the scientists at the WIV, the American diplomats were shocked by what they heard. The Chinese researchers told them they didn’t have enough properly trained technicians to safely operate their BSL-4 lab. The Wuhan scientists were asking for more support to get the lab up to top standards.” Shocked enough to alert Washington, warn of potential implications and call for immediate assistance to meet safety standards. Pleas lost in a quagmire of political posturing. A warning no one listened to?
Not so fast. Since when does China allow top level bio-security scientists to speak off the record to U.S. diplomats? Admit they’re incapable of managing containment and security?
Much as I’m leaning toward credibility of a lab breach and cover-up, I struggle with accuracy of Politico’s account. Read the article and let me know what you think.
In 1998, March 2 was named Read Across America Day, ( Theodor Seuss Geisel – Dr. Seuss, was born March 2, 1904 ) Launched by the National Education Association to celebrate reading, it strives to motivate young readers. Some call it Dr. Seuss Day. His books spark imagination, teach millions to read and endure across generations of bedtime stories. Read Across America isn’t a celebration of Dr. Seuss, it’s an initiative to promote reading at a young age, All good? Not so fast. Publisher Dr. Seuss Enterprises cited racist and insensitive imagery as reason for ceasing sales of six Dr. Seuss titles.
These books haven’t been banned, the decision to cease publication and sales was made last year after an extensive review process. Who knew it would become a “cancel culture” poster for right wing America? Cancel culture refers to “cancelling” individuals, groups/organizations or public figures by ostracizing points of view deemed objectionable. The theme of last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference was “America Uncancelled”, Below, a snippet and link titled “Dr. Seuss Falls Victim to the Cancel Culture Nazis”, read it and weep…
“I warned the country about the cancel culture mob and their nefarious plan to ban books, paintings, films and music they found offensive. I warned that the radical leftists were waging a jihad on our culture, on our American traditions. Their plan is to build a socialist utopia on the rubble of our history and culture.” – Todd Starnes at Dr. Seuss Falls Victim to the Cancel Culture Nazis by Todd Starnes (townhall.com)
Over at Fox, misleading cancel culture propaganda raged. Check out No, Fox News, Dr. Seuss Was Not ‘Canceled’ By VA School District | Crooks and Liars at Crooks and Liars. Conservative media called out Joe Biden for not mentioning Dr. Seuss in his Read Across America statement. Whinny Donald Trump Jr. called “cancelling” Dr. Seuss books “insane”. So this is how it’s going to be? We can’t address questionable optics without threat of America Uncancelled retaliation? Is cancel culture a pseudonym for MAGA? Sigh.
New research published in the journal Science Advances supports a correlation between moon cycles and sleep. Seems we go to bed later, sleep less when the moon is full. Scientists analyzed sleep patterns of two control groups, one in rural Argentina without artificial light pollution, the other college students living in downtown Seattle. Research concluded full moons disrupt sleep patterns even in urban locations with artificial light pollution. Participants wore wristbands to monitor activity, both groups went to bed later, slept less during the week leading up to a full moon. Research confirmed humanity’s inherent link to evolutionary circadian rhythms.
Circadian rhythm regulates wake/sleep hours, repeating once every 24 hours in step with rotation of Earth. Circadian (from Latin “circa” meaning around or approximately and “diem”, meaning day ) rhythm is hard wired into every form of life. It dictates when bees feed, bats fly and we sleep. Circadian rhythm is sensitive to light fluctuation – enter full moon sleep deprivation.