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November 17th, 2013

Dept. of The World Is Bigger Than We Are

Wind

We spent the first half of Sunday checking the National Weather and Weather Underground sites, weirded out by having a tornado watch for downtown Chicago. That just doesn't happen.

And then all of a sudden, it was a tornado warning and it got very, very dark outside, and they halted the Bears game and evacuated people from Soldier Field, and I watched on Twitter as the tornado tore into Pekin, Illinois, then flattened next-door Washington, Illinois, and realized that I was frightened about a tornado for the first time after decades of living at the back door of Tornado Alley, and sent out a mass email to my condo association members, reminding them that the storage basement was a safe place and to stay away from windows, and thought about how fast I could get the cats into the carriers we had close by, and realized there was nothing, absolutely nothing, that I could do to outrun wind if chance chose to have it bear down on me ....

In the end, we were extremely safe, although some torrential rain and hail fell for a short time, and the wind shoved it sideways into one of our basements, just enough to ruin some boxes of Andy's. But people are dead in downstate Illinois, and the tornadoes bounced across the Midwest and the south, and even New York City - New York City, for chrissake - had a tornado watch.

How are the rest of my friends in the Midwest?

Good thing that global warming is just a liberal hoax, she said bitterly, days after donating to help the Philippines,and considering weather-related disasters both acute and chronic across the globe. ljgeoff, you're right, you know. I just don't have the courage to plan the way you do.

I'm going to send a few dollars the Red Cross's way to help wherever they need it. I hope you all can do the same.




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Department of Nataldalia

Birthdays Past and Future

I'd be remiss if I didn't wish a slightly delayed birthday to [personal profile] peroxidepirate . You haven't been posting lately, but I hope that's because three-dimensional life is being good as well as busy and challenging. May the year treat you kindly, may you be very happy in it.

And I'll take the time to wish a very happy birthday to[personal profile] roadnotes as well - I hope your celebration is as quiet or as lively as you'd like it to be, and may the coming year provide peace and joy to you, with many good meals with friends and loved ones, many beautiful mornings, and many, many songs sung.




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Dept. of The World Is Bigger Than We Are

What Once Was Wrong, the Inevitable Will Crown Right

When I was a little girl, I used to read comic strips in my daily newspaper. One of them was a would-be Buck Rogers strip called, if I remember correctly, Brick Bradford (which information I had to retrieve from Wikipedia. It certainly ran a long time.)

One of the adventures in that otherwise forgettable strip has stayed with me ever since. The hero sets down on a planet with a toxic atmosphere, with beings he at first thinks are unintelligent beasts. He and his colleagues eventually come to realize that this is a planet that was once like Earth, but which has become so polluted that it now has a completely different ecosystem, to which all those of the planets beings who survived have adapted. To them, Brick's obligatory scientist colleague narrates, Earth's atmosphere would be deadly.

The story fascinated me for two reasons: a) the idea that something we would consider absolutely wrong - an environment, say - would be absolutely natural to other beings, indeed necessary and non-toxic. I considered it compelling both environmentally (although I didn't think of it in those terms back in 1966 or 1967, which may have been when I read it) and philosophically; b) the idea that our world could end, that we would end, but that it might be OK, because something equally important or intelligent or what-have-you, might grow to take our place in a vastly changed world.

All of which leads me to this: Thanks to [personal profile] ljgeoff for alerting me to this article. For all that I've just said, I'd much rather we managed, somehow against all logic, to stick around. I guess I'm not quite mature or enlightened enough to take the approach of the writer. And he's right, not me.






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