Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Site news, earthquakes, omens, Mars, calicos, and other random weirdness

with one comment

“European merchants supply the best weaponry, contributing to their own defeat.”

Yusuf Ayyubi (1138-1193) Kurdish general

A few site notes and random meanderings. I finished my page expansion in the menu above, adding sections on history, science, and space exploration. I wanted to make it a bit easier for people to single out my one topic posts on a particular theme. And as a way to inspire me to write more such posts. Suggestions welcome. Not like there’s a shortage of topics, it’s really incredible how much is both out there and in history. People tend to get caught up in the great events of their time and recent past, and lose sight of the fact that every age was the same. We just forget. See, there’s a fun blog post there, great forgotten events in history!

I found out something I thought was neat about WordPress I didn’t know. It’s possible to get the post history for the entire life of a blog, not just the past 30 days. One goes to the dashboard, blog stats, click on the 30 days link. When it loads the url will have numdays=30 somewhere near the far right. Change the number to something greater than the life of your blog, enter, and voila…the all time most hit posts. A hat tip to Scott’s Blog for posting this information.

I’m not sure if I mentioned Strange Maps. Only one thing to to say, “wow!” I wish I had thought of the idea myself. In local cat news, my calico has achieved perfect rotundity. She is quite pleased, or will be until the diet starts tomorrow.

July rain, and an Earthquake? And as a geological quirk, the earthquake’s waves were “focused” on Berkeley so we got a lot of ground motion even though the quake was centred some miles away near Oakland. The ground motion from earthquakes actually has little to do with the epicentre of the quake, instead it varies wildly from place to place depending on the nature of the quake and the underground geology. Locations tens of miles from the epicentre can have more ground motion than tat the epicentre. In some cases the seismic waves can pass through the Earth itself. A major quake in Peru was felt in parts of eastern Canada for example.

In any event, more omens in an ominous summer. I get up every day and check the news with trepidation. Most Americans seem to be completely unaware of the carnage and social disruption that is still spreading as a result of our attempt to impose “democracy” at the point of a gun on the people of Afghanistan and Iraq. I recommend “After Reporting in Iraq, America Feels Like a Bizarre Disneyland” for those who want to know. The invasions of both countries can be simply summed up as “good intentions, bad idea.” I’m still sticking with my prediction that we have started a world war or a hundred years war by toppling Saddam and the Taliban. On the plus side, at least I know we haven’t started a war of civilizations. When all parties sanctimoniously justify the most mind numbing carnage on their part and condemn the violence on the other side…we have a war of barbarians, not a war of civilizations.

Moving right along, the news from Mars isn’t good. A planet wide dust storm is raging, and the rovers are running low on power because the sun is being obscured by haze. At some point their batteries will be exhausted, their night time heaters will fail, and their circuits will crack in the extreme cold. It’s not over yet, but it’s not looking good. Oh well, they vastly exceeded their designed lifetimes, but all good things must come to an end.

(Yusuf Ayyubi is known in the west as Saladin. Interesting fellow.)


Written by unitedcats

July 22, 2007 at 11:17 am

One Response

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  1. Re cats —

    A neighbour of ours has departed on an eight-month tour of the world with his family. (Yes, we are green with envy.)

    He rented out their house for the eight months, and the tenants aren’t interested in being responsible for two cats. So we’ve taken them in.

    As you might imagine, they aren’t very happy to be locked out of their house and foisted off on people who aren’t their people.

    However, one has adapted nicely in just a couple of weeks. The “adaptable” one is social. Her perspective is, we’re nice to her, so life goes on. She’s loyal to whoever feeds and pets her.

    The other one is territorial. His perspective is, this isn’t his territory and there’s already another cat living there. (Our aged, scrawny cat with kidney problems … well on his way to shaking off this mortal coil.) He doesn’t even like the cat that came over with him from the other house — he hisses and spits at it routinely.

    He has adopted the strategy of coming in to eat as much food as possible in the shortest possible time, then hastening back outside for 24 hours or more at a stretch. We’re not quite sure what to do about this.

    I think we’re going to lock him inside for a few hours whenever he drops in to eat. Frankly, we’re afraid he’s going to return to some feral, Lord-of-the-Flies state of unmitigated savagery. He needs exposure to our civilizing influence.

    Please excuse the completely off-topic comment. But you did mention your cat, which is what set me off.


    July 24, 2007 at 10:28 am

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