Site news, earthquakes, omens, Mars, calicos, and other random weirdness
“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.)