Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Communication

Communication is the only way to successfully resolve issues. Whether it be in home-life, work, politics, or even a belief system, dialogue is key to comprehension. A lack of comprehension is the root cause of almost all problems. We need to understand each other or our differences will destroy us.

I like to believe the vast majority of people on the planet want to live in peace and harmony, I've seen evidence of it. The 'dog-eat-dog' mentality is something that has plagued our species since the first city states experienced drought or famine. Only global co-operation can resolve this and before co-operation can be achieved on such a level, there needs to be communication.

People are losing the ability to communicate. The irony is this inability is due to technology and in the main, social media. I know I've harped on about this before (see Anti-Social Media) so I won't go there this time. Suffice to say, it makes everything so impersonal. Having partially lost one of my senses (hearing), I found eye-contact crucial to understand a person even when I couldn't necessarily hear them clearly.

We do not get that on social media. In real life I rarely offend people unless it's intentional, yet on social media it's an everyday occurrence. It's not because I am any different on social media, my words just lack tone and of course eye-contact. Maybe my personal experience is not an appropriate gauge for such matters  It's true my brain processes things differently to the accepted norm due to being dropped on my head, but I have to believe what I have seen to be true.

Another problem being, communication is a two-way street and many seem to forget that. Everybody wants to be heard but nobody wants to listen. Conversely there are those who want to hear but will give no voice. Then we have those stupid politicians, sabre-rattling and causing division. Dim Wrong-Un is little more than a puppet. North Korea needs a war to revive it's crumbling economy, those pulling his strings do not value human life..... except maybe their own.

The muppet in the White House shames America. It's hard to criticise someone when you don't know all the facts but the crap he spouts comes direct from source. He's not politician by any stretch of the imagination and a country run as a business is also no respecter of humanity. The puppet and the muppet will gladly sacrifice their own people using political pragmatism as mitigation. The ends DO NOT justify the means, the future cannot be predicted with any certainty.



Mr. Trump's use of social media confounds me, it is not something I would expect from a world leader...... even without the stupidity. I know how easily people misconstrue intent, whether by accident or design. When using a limited number of words even innocent statements have that ambiguity which is easily twisted by malcontents and mean-spirited people. It is reckless for a world leader to use such a platform.

I have many followers on Twitter with completely different views and opinions to mine, with whom I like to debate. We air our contrasting views without prejudice and malice. Occasionally there is some common ground but we largely disagree on what many consider major issues. It is the common ground where the focus needs to be. From there we have a solid base essential for the foundations of wider communication.

We may never have the same belief system, we will never be the same colour or nationality, but we can be co-operative and respectful towards each other. Like it or not, we are all the same species (except me maybe) and the choice is simple, communicate or kill each other. Unfortunately I'm guessing the latter is most likely.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Respectable Terrorists

The Middle East is the cradle of war. Some refer to it as the cradle of civilisation, same horse different jockey. There is no mystery nor plausible denial of this fact. This article is written on the base of extensive research committed to memory. I'm not going to re-research every statement here so if there are any inaccuracies I would be keen to hear what they are.

I don't know if there is / was a God or not, I tend to think there was but he / she / it was most likely of extra-terrestrial origin. Ignore the God aspect for a moment, the original cause of war was agriculture. Humans are by nature nomadic hunter-gatherers, agriculture rendered the necessity to migrate obsolete. We could point to God and Satan in disagreement over just how much knowledge to impart on a bunch of psychotic primates. Was God a killjoy for not allowing Adam to eat fruit from the tree of knowledge (an obvious metaphor) and Satan the good guy for wanting us to have it? Similar to Prometheus and fire. Or did God suspect giving monkeys knowledge would always end in disaster?

Doesn't really matter unless you are religious. The implications for religious folk is that God didn't want us to have knowledge and any use of technology is ultimately sinful so you are all going to burn in the fires of hell. For the slightly more rational, genetically modifying Neanderthals and ergo interfering with the natural process of evolution, was also a very bad idea. The Greek Gods often made reference to the Gods not interfering in the affairs of the mortals, probably as a result of seeing how their initial interference backfired. For everyone else, wtf are you doing even reading this crap?

Of course agriculture wasn't the real problem, it was a case of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. I have worked on farms briefly and one of the things I quickly learnt was about crop rotation. If you plant the same crops year after year they take certain nutrients from the soil peculiar to that crop. In 5 years you end up with a famine. The solution is to rotate crops that take different nutrients allowing the depleted ones to recover. No doubt when agriculture was first used the ancients didn't have this knowledge.

Mesopotamia saw the first city states. Manpower was needed to plant and harvest crops, populations in settlements grew until a village became a city. No problem. Until that is, the crops failed. Suddenly you have starvation and on a large scale. So what do you do? Ask a neighbouring city to feed you? How then would they feed their own citizens? It doesn't take a genius to predict a sequence of events (for more click on the Agnostic Bible label). So now we know where and why war began, why has it never abated?

I believe this epoch triggered a survival instinct within our species which was at the time quite understandable. However this survival instinct has evolved over the millennia and now it manifests itself purely as greed. The transition is recognisable throughout history yet nobody has ever sought a solution. The rich get richer and the poor (quite rightly so) get more pissed off. Throughout history we have had revolutions to try and redress the balance but greed and corruption float to the top like turds in a toilet bowl.

Terrorism is merely a byproduct.of the poor getting pissed off and being manipulated by the wannabe greedy. You can get rid of Daesh or Al-Qaeda but until you get rid of poverty and greed, it will rear its ugly head again in some other manifestation. Our governments need to tax the billionaires and mega-companies and put a stop to all this once and for all. How did these corporations become so powerful anyway? Simple, they exploited and raped the land they inhabit and ergo the people too.

Politics needs to evolve or we will always have low-life criminals with nothing to lose committing atrocities in the name of whatever group is currently pissed off about being exploited. I don't believe religion is the cause of the world's problems but it sure as shit complicates things. If the money spent on counter-terrorism was spent on housing and social care, governments wouldn't need counter-terrorism.

For as much as I deplore terrorism and the atrocities committed by these scum, I still cast a disapproving eye at world leaders. Dim Wrong Un who needs to start a war to enable the North Korean economy to recover is just another terrorist of sorts. Another pissed off that his country is stone broke because of the money it wastes rattling sabres. Trump.... well let's not even go there. Theresa May and the rest of the Tories are self-serving lying hypocrites..... in my opinion. Putin I wouldn't trust as far as I could throw a concrete elephant yet in all this is almost the good guy.


I could probably have a pop at a lot of them. Just think what all the headlines would be about if there was no war in the Middle East. Social deprivation, unemployment, health, welfare, etc. etc. The politicians must be thanking their lucky stars the other terrorists are making all the headlines.

Political Allegiance

Seeing the constant furore on social media about lib-tards, white-supremacists, socialists, capitalists, and all manner of other -tards and -ists, I wonder what category do I fall into. My upbringing would suggest socialist or even borderline communist. Neither are true. I have equal disdain for all forms of government in their current manifestations. They are all flawed and need to evolve. Politicians need a novel approach, one whereby they tell the truth without intending to deceive or mislead.

Communism would appear to be the ideal but as George Orwell put it 'some animals are more equal than others. I'm not even sure what socialism is, everybody seems to have their own perception but it smacks of diluted communism designed to less offend American sensibilities. So what else is there? Democracy? I fail to see anything democratic about democracy, especially when opinion is so divided. Majority rule and minorities suffer as there is no compromise, you simply win or lose.

A further nail in the coffin of democracy is the stunts politicians pull to give themselves an edge. Thatcher started a war on one occasion and moved constituency boundaries on another. There wasn't even a charade of fair play. Trump and May are both in power despite the majority of the people voting against them. I do hate capitalism and exploitation used to maximise profits for one or two fat cats whilst employees have to take second jobs or work all the hours God sends in order to eke out a living. Governments won't tax these parasitic leeches that rape the resources of the nation, who else will pay for their campaigns.

Prostitution is a far more reputable occupation than politics. You must have to be some kind of arrogant selfish maggot to be a politician. That or some bleeding-heart ne'er do well because they have a conscious in an amoral career path. Yeah, as you can see, I'm not a great fan. It confuses some people because I will seemingly side with them in denigrating the opposition but then give their candidate similar treatment. The arrogant petulance of Trump would be hilarious if our politicians weren't just as childish and up their own backsides.

Seeing the behaviour of politicians in the House of Commons reminds me of playground bullies. The schoolboy jeers and cat-calling is a disgrace. And what the hell is this filibustering all about. I saw an example where a Tory politician just kept talking nonsense in order prevent a speaker proposing amendments to a health bill. It was obvious what he was doing why was it allowed. I'd have punched him in the mouth.

In the main politicians are - in my opinion - self-serving rodents who don't give a screaming shit about Joe Public just as long as they further their careers and exploit the loopholes in legislation. So back to the question in hand, what is my political allegiance? Ask me again when voting isn't just a matter of picking the lesser of evils.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Diversity

I think we all know by now my brain is a little dysfunctional. It's a little difficult to assess just how that makes it different from one that is undamaged because it happened when young and I am unable to access the minds of others to draw comparisons. In spite of all the clues it was only recently I came to accept the fact my brain processes things slightly differently to others. It is most likely just a re-routing to bypass damaged areas. In general however, it usually ends up at the same conclusion only there is a slightly different perspective.

One thing I only recently discovered but suspected for a long time, is an accelerated thought process. The average brain processes between 35 and 48 thoughts per minute, mine is a lot faster. It sounds like an asset more than a drawback, and in many ways it is. Unfortunately it has its downside as well. My 'Rambling' is perhaps a big drawback where writing is concerned. Even now this post was to inform of sites and blogs opening but as usual I find myself down another path.

The intended point is that there is so much going on in my head it is very difficult to prioritise. Things are coming together quite rapidly now but with such a diverse range of interests and projects, I find it difficult to target an audience. My original thoughts was just to put everything down in the same place but what may interest some will no doubt bore the pants off others. For this reason I have pigeon-holed things so potential viewers can look at what they may find interesting whilst avoid the rest of my madness.

Current Status of sites/blogs

Sites

  • Totally JP - The official website is merely the 'hub'. Some of the blogs will become for subscribers only (free subscription) as there are several works in progress and some posts may contain adult themes and be liable to age restriction. Coming soon.
  • I Magentalist - is the site specifically for magic, mentalism, and cartomancy. Subscribers will have access to an exclusive blog for reviews, demonstrations, and tips (limited number of invitations available). Open but still under construction.


Blogs

  • Deep End - Open again as you see, I have reverted everything back to draft and will re-post en masse all previously posted content relevant to this blog. Those who were following 'Alphatravel' will now find it in 'Writing for Posterity' in a slightly different format.
  • Writing for Posterity - This is my biographical blog that tells the whole story of my life in several segments. Some quite dark and harrowing, others comedic and often a little bizarre. The new home for 'Alphatravel' under labels 'Salad Days' and 'Wanderlust'.
  • Redefining Atlantis - This blog is the result of decades of research in which I take a rather different view of the Legend of Atlantis. Currently in limbo due to some new evidence which means a tweaking of my proposed chronology is necessary. Soon to resume.
  • Tarot as it should be - is a spin-off blog from the 'I Magentalist' website. It is a serialised step-by-step guide to Cartomancy. I dispel some of the myths surrounding the art which I regard as a science. Synchronicity is at work not spirits.
All these are still very much under construction and block posting may occur on any or all without prior notice

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Tempus Fugit

I am seemingly forever behind schedule for all the new things I am about to launch. Then I realised it is only me who sets such time constraints and I'm not good with schedules because my concept of time is not the norm. My website will be the last to be addressed as it is the hub for all the other projects.


So what is time? Time is fluid, individual perception varies considerably. For an example to illustrate significant difference in perception we have to compare species. A pigeon sees us coming in what we would call slow-motion, probably why they don't move until the last second. So if you see a pigeon at the same time it sees you and approach it, the same amount of time has passed but your perceived passage of time will differ to that of the pigeon.

Sticking to our own species, a child's day is longer than that of an elderly person. Of course this is nonsense as with the pigeon analogy. In another instance, time flies when you're having fun but drags when you're not. Again it's simply your mind setting it's own chronometer. This beggars the question of whether we can manipulate time. The concept of time travel has always fascinated me but I can't see it being anything other than a one-way trip.

Yes, I've seen and studied the theories concerning possibilities of present to past travel but it's nonsense in my opinion. Trust me, cannot be done. However, present to future is not only possible it can and is done.

The proof is with satellite chronometers. Time supposedly passes at a different rate in space, I'm not sure that is an accurate way to describe it though. It's the fact travelling at high speed will make time pass more slowly, location is irrelevant. If we could travel through space at near the speed of light and return to Earth, significantly more time will have passed on Earth than in space.

In effect this in some way validates stories of 'alien abductees', or even the longevity of 'Gods'. I tend to regard both with a little suspicion yet cannot completely rule them out. All I know is that to travel in time is pointless (unless you are waiting for a species to evolve) due to the one-way nature and the uncertainty the planet will still be habitable in the future.

However if you want to leap into the future just a little way, you will see all the blogs are up and running and the website is fully up to date. Tempus Fugit as the Romans would say.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Creativity

A while back I took up a challenge to write a short essay based on a random picture I was given. For me it was a test of creativity. Below is the picture and what I wrote.

Can I be creative? Can I write to order or am I only able to reiterate hazy recollections from bygone days. Days when I was fleet of foot and the sky was my ceiling, the world my oyster, and the Bible my guide. At the summit of my youth I would cast disdainful glances at the flotsam spewed out of the sewers of the unscrupulous. These, the dregs of humanity why do they live like that, have they no pride?

The simple answer is no! They have been stripped of any remaining pride by an uncaring government. Youth is wasted on the young and the years brief. Time and experience educate us and I look back at the youth I was with shame. It is too easy to judge others but everybody has a story. See that man over there? He was a war hero. The only thing he has to show for it is the scar of the bullet hole, his medal for gallantry long-since pawned for a bottle of cheap cider to temporarily blot out the nightmares. See that bag-lady there? Her husband drank himself to death after their only son committed suicide. Her husband racked up a lot of debt before he died and unable to cope, she was on the streets in six months. That was seven years ago.

That bloody kid over there as well. The one with the hoodie, smoking and shouting abuse at that man. Yeah that's the one. He was born a heroin addict because of his mother's use of it. His father could be any of the dirty old men kerb crawling in their posh cars, telling their wives they are working late. He will be dead next week when the car he steals crashes into a ditch. Everybody has a story.

The picture that was meant to inspire me and a magnificent sight it is, but all I saw was a cavernous hole and a giant tear-drop. It made me think about so many things and now I realise I can't be creative. I can only say what I have seen.

Rambling's Road

All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy. All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy.
All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy. All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy.
All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy. All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy.
All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy. All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy.
All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy. All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy.
All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy. All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy.
All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy. All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy.
All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy. All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy.
All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy. All work no play makes Joel a very dull boy. All..... well you get the idea.

In life we all want to choose a path and stick to it - well most of us anyway. It will be okay just as long as we stick to the yellow brick road. Unfortunately for all but a very few, that is not quite so simple. Obstacles and distractions blind us and whether by our own decisions or by circumstances beyond our control, we will stray from that path. Life is far more complex than Dorothy's dream sequence (what do you mean spoiler? If you haven't read or seen The Wizard of Oz yet it's your problem).

There are many paths, some paved with gold, others with a succession of pitfalls. There are the yellow brick roads, the paths laid out before us by the powers that be, to get us through life without scraping a knee, or bumping our heads. Dorothy may have realised 'there's no place like home' but for others it is more a case of 'there's no place for home'. Life can be pretty crappy but Darwin had it right in one way. He didn't hold with this 'survival of the fittest' nonsense. Nor did he believe it is the most intelligent who have the upper hand. The key to survival is adaptability.

No matter how good our intentions life will throw us a curve-ball or deliver a googly (nothing to do with Google, Google it). The path we perceive as the correct one is not necessarily so. We have to be adaptable and stray from the path, out of our comfort zone. That path has merely brought us to where we are currently, it's irrelevant, life will not let us regress. Suddenly our plans are derelict and we need to improvise. Rough country ahead is fraught with hidden dangers, but there are also hidden gems along the way. Suddenly the paved road we left behind is mundane, an existential necessity for a quiet life. We are blessed with life, just one. Do we really want to ramble along some imaginary preordained path eking out an existence? Even if we do there is no guaranteed safe route, and ultimately que sera, sera. Or would you rather abandon the mind-numbing monotony and explore.

I have never had any real direction. Every time I think I have found the correct path I find it leading down another route I never expected to go. People can spend their whole life looking for their path, their goal, their destiny. Do they even have one? Now I tend to go with the flow and if it takes me to the wilderness, so be it. I've trodden rough ground before and no doubt will again but destiny has taken me this far and I'm still here where many wouldn't be.

So here I am rambling again. I don't know what lies ahead, but in the grand scheme of things it is inconsequential anyway. So goodbye yellow brick road, I'm off cross country looking for gems and trying to avoid the bear traps. One day I will find my nirvana, I hope you find yours.


Troubled Waters

The storm had raged unabated for days as the Atlantic Ocean tossed the 12,000 tonne ship around effortlessly. It bobbed like a cork as it rose high on the 100 foot swells and seemingly teetered on a precipice, looking for all the world as if about to plummet into an abyss. In a matter of moments the swell became a trough. The wall of water rose so high I had to stoop down and look up out of the wheelhouse windows to see where sea and sky jostled for dominance.

Nerves were jangling, sleep was fitful at best, and the mood was foreboding. We were light ship, on our way to pick up cargo. With little ballast and heavy lifting machinery on deck, the top-heavy ship floundered. This was a new experience for me. I had seen bad weather before but nothing on this scale. The crew were quiet and I could see fear on the faces of most. Someone told me there were no atheists on a sinking ship and I imagined many prayers being said over the past couple of days.

On such a passage automatic steering would normally be used to guide the ship, but it was impossible in this weather. On automatic pilot, if the ship strayed more than ten degrees off course the alarms would sound. Each wave swung the ship's head around by 15 or 20 degrees and it simply couldn't cope. The ship had to be steered by hand.

I took over from the haggard seaman more than willing to hand over the reins. He scuttled off as I tried to balance myself. As the ship rolled I adjusted my legs, stretching one and bending the other to maintain equilibrium. I rocked from side to side rhythmically, as if dancing with Poseidon himself. The Chief Officer gave me some funny looks as I whispered in soothing tones, trying to calm the beast.

Now I'm not suggesting for a moment my urgings had the slightest effect on the ocean but coincidentally the storm began to abate.

In life we will face many difficulties over which we have no control. Although we may not be able to affect the outcome we can still control our reaction and the manner in which we conduct ourselves during such tribulations. Never is sunshine so bright as it is after a storm.

Old Wives' Tales

Some old wives tales handed down over the generations are not all that reliable. So whilst it is true that rubbing a nettle sting with 'doc' leaves works, there are many others that should be readily disregarded.

Ever heard someone say 'We only use 10 per cent of our brains'?

Although you might think you can nominate several pertinent examples, scans show that all of the brain is active and playing a part in our thinking. Even small amounts of damage to the brain will cause mental impairment.

What about 'Sweets and other sugary treats make children hyperactive'?

Repeated studies have shown that children's behaviour is not affected by the amount of sugar they've eaten - although parents rate their children as being more hyperactive if they think they have given them a sugary drink, even if it is, in fact, just water!

Or 'We should drink 8 glasses of water a day to avoid dehydration'

There is no scientific evidence to support this widely believed and often followed myth. Tea, coffee, fruit juice - even the food we eat - all provide us with fluid. In fact excessive intake of fluid can damage the body and can even be fatal.

And we all know 'Spinach is high in iron'

Spinach is not at all that rich in iron. Apparently, when it was first measured the decimal point was written in the wrong place, overstating the iron content of spinach by a factor of 10. Spinach contains about 1mg of iron per 100g, whereas dried figs have 4.25mg, roast beef 2.5mg and courgettes 2.4mg.

Every mother knows 'Warm milk helps you get to sleep at night'

Milk contains the enzyme tryptophan which has been linked to the initial stages of sleep - but the amount in a glass of milk probably isn't enough to make us drowsy. However the psychological effect of warm milk at bedtime may be strong enough to put us in the mood for sleep.

One I've never personally believed 'Sick people should rest in bed'

An analysis of studies on the use of bed rest in treatment found that for many ailments staying in bed had no beneficial effect. In some cases it was actually harmful. Sorry, but going back to work/college/school is sometimes the best treatment.

One my mother used to overstate 'You should wear a hat because we lose most of our body heat through our heads'

Our heads don't give off any more heat than any other part of our body. If you are fully clothed then of course most of the heat will leave through your head because it is uncovered, but the same would be true for any other similarly sized body part.

Another one of yours mum 'Too much stress can give you ulcers'

Actually, over 90 per cent of ulcers are caused by a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori.

And my favourite 'If you are stung by a jellyfish you should pee on the sting'

Before you start approaching people on the beach asking them to do the deed, you should know this is not true. There is nothing in urine that can counteract the effects of a jellyfish sting - in fact some stings will be further activated by it. But washing out the sting with warm water may alleviate the pain and prevent further skin damage, so this may be the source of the myth.


So in future before you take to heart some of these myths a little research may save embarrassing situations like your friends trying to piss on you.

Do We Give A Damn?

An Alien Perspective

Why should we give a damn? It is difficult to make a case for mankind in light of thousands of years of barbarianism. Whether the aggressors hide behind the guise of religion, territorial dispute, or sun exposure based pigmentation grouping, there is no doubt current ape-descendants like yourselves do not deserve our help.

Okay, I admit we have a certain soft spot for you after all our interference - albeit with the best intentions - so a certain amount of tolerance is due.


When we gave you the technological advances enabling you to use fossil fuels it was as a stop-gap to enable you to develop other more sustainable energy. We never thought for a moment you would feel the need to completely exhaust the fossil fuel reserves. You have water and wind, not to mention that huge ball of fire in the sky whose power you can now harness on a basic level. Fossil fuels won't last forever and are poisoning the air that you breathe but you continue to use them at an alarming rate. It seems you prefer to amass the shiny yellow metal to living long and healthy lives. Apart from all that it is the fossil fuels that are causing such worldwide unrest!


Stop using fossil fuels!

So what is the alternative? Wind-farms? Hydropower? Geo-thermal Energy? Solar Energy? All possible but unlikely due to your ineptitude at grasping a few basic concepts and the corrupt oil and arms companies that feed off this human misery by stifling any threat to their industry.

Electro-magnetic Energy, as we're so knowledgeably told by the bleeding hearts and artists, causes Leukaemia and Lymphoma among other things.


This is indeed the case!

What they have failed to take into account is that you monkey-men are evolving all the time and whilst there will be casualties you will, in a few generations, be impervious to what is currently deemed harmful in electro-magnetic radiation. So do we give a damn? In the short-term, no, but we are currently in talks with the dolphins as to the fate of Earth once you monkeys have all killed each other.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

I Would Have To Kill You

Accidental Heroes

Now I can't tell you too much or I'd have to kill you. Let's just say.......

Joel was enjoying his latest work detail. He had to paint the ship's funnel with another lad 'Gormless' George. I say 'lad', at nineteen George was a year older than Joel. In all fairness though he made two short planks look like the latest Apple-Mac. The other seamen thought it was an act at first but were quick to lose patience and tag him Gormless. It wasn't that he was dim, far from it when conversation swung to a particular interest of his, he was just...... slow. It's like he was using Google translate. Joel felt sorry for him and if somebody tried to tease George he would chime in and make the person look silly.

It helped George a little in that Joel became part of the joke. Deemed a double act they were referred to as Dumb and Dumber. Now they shared the flak. 'Right if that's what they think, so be it' thought Joel.
"They say we're slow then that's what we will be" Joel said under his breath.
"Huh?" George asked diligently.
"I was just thinking if...." Joel saw the blank look on George's face "never mind"

There was no point trying to explain and it was probably best George didn't know. There was only so slow you could go. George needed no instruction when it came to slow, it was almost like he was going behind Joel and somehow taking the paint off. The bosun hadn't put a time limit on the job. Joel sized it up. It should take a couple of hours, even with two coats they would be finished by lunch.

The clear blue skies complimented the glass-like surface of the Mediterranean. It was too nice to be working inside and Joel thought he could perhaps stretch the job out all day. What he didn't realise was the bosun had allowed all day for the job or Joel might have gone for a second day. The job was easy apart from the very top which couldn't be reached. Joel opened the door to the funnel and squeezed through the narrow gap to the rear where a ladder led to a hatch above.

On top of the funnel was a flat area where Joel sat basking in the sunshine. Taking his time Joel leaned over and added the last touches to the paintwork. It was almost a shame when the lads finished and took the surplus paint down to the store.

The next day the crew were informed they would be taking part in an exercise with the US Navy Seals. There was a buzz of excitement on board. Not because of the exercise but because of the time off it afforded. The idea was for the crew to hide when the Seals boarded the ship. Joel rubbed his hands and pulled George to one side.
"We've got the perfect place" Joel whispered.
"Where?"
"Remember what we were doing yesterday?" Joel hinted.
"Yeah, but where we going to hide?"
"Never mind"

It was probably best Joel didn't tell George until the last minute or he might give it away. Joel sloped off to his cabin and filled a bag with cans of beer. He went up to the funnel deck making sure nobody was watching. Inside the funnel Joel climbed the ladder and opened the hatch-lid. He put the bag of beer on top ready for later.

When the ship's alarms went off signalling the beginning of the exercise Joel grabbed George and led him away. They made their way to the top of the funnel, sat down and opened a beer each. 'This is the life' thought Joel. His joy lasted all of ten minutes. The tannoy crackled.
'Thank you for taking part in the exercise gentlemen. Report to the crew mess for debriefing"
"Bollocks!"

Joel was upset. He had barely finished his first beer. George went to the hatch.
"Let's have at least one more beer before we go down" Joel told him.

As they leisurely drank another beer the tannoy crackled again.
"The exercise is over. Repeat, the exercise is over. All crew members report to the crew mess for debriefing" the voice sounded more authoritative.

George made to move again but Joel had an idea.
"We're on top of the funnel and can't hear the tannoy from up here" Joel said grinning.
"We can, I just heard them say we-"
"You don't do yourself any favours George" Joel said in exasperation.
"Oh I get it" George said when the penny finally dropped.

For the next three hours increasingly agitated calls were made over the tannoy but the lads ignored them. In the end Joel looked at his watch. They had drunk all the beers and it was lunch time.
"Come on then, let's go eat" Joel slurred.

They walked into the crew mess to a hero's welcome. The captain and the Navy Seals were there all eager to shake their hands.

Unknown to Joel and George, the Navy Seals hadn't even bothered looking for the crew. They went straight to the bridge and tannoyed the announcement. When the unsuspecting crew members went to the crew mess they were suddenly confronted by machine guns. The Navy Seals had then spent the best part of four hours scouring the ship for the Joel and George without success.
"So where did you hide" asked one of the Seals.
"I would tell you but I'd have to kill you" Joel responded and everyone laughed.

The US of A

First posted 1st August 2015.....

Ok, no bullshit, I've got to get this off my chest. On Twitter 58% of my followers are American. I'm not one to blow smoke up your arse and say "Have a nice day" if I don't mean it, part of being a Brit I suppose. So what's this all about? I feel uneasy that people like me when I know if I express my thoughts on their nation, they would probably revise their opinion. This is what I feel about America......

First off let's deal with the emotional tie. My thoughts before ever meeting an American. My father was a WWII child. At 14 years old he was man of the house and the bread-winner working down the coal mines while the men were fighting the Nazis. The one thing about us Brits from these generations is no matter how we fight, bitch, moan, and squabble amongst ourselves, in times of crisis we all pull together.

As a child my somewhat blinkered view of WWII led me to believe it was us Brits and our extended family of English speaking nations that saved the world. Australia, Canada, New Zealand and of course America. This naturally endeared me to these countries. Obviously this was a short-sighted view but I'm merely explaining how the 'relationship' developed.

I suppose I first came into contact with Americans as a young teen and just the odd tourist. We made jokes about them. Before PC killed humour we mocked the Irish for being dumb, the Scots for being mean (tight-fisted), the Welsh for their affiliation with sheep, Australians for being convicts, etc. The jokes we told about Americans centred around them being self-obsessed braggarts.

For example, an American was on a tour and kept drawing comparisons "Call that a river, we have bigger puddles in America". He kept going on about how much bigger the cars were, bridges, everything was bigger in America. Fed up he took the tourist into a cafe for a burger. "Our burgers are 10 times that size" he said and the guide replied: "Yeah, over here we make them to fit in our mouths as well"

Ok, not very funny but you get the idea. I didn't mind that too much it was only a trifling thing.

Then when I left school I joined the merchant navy and was fortunate to visit America many times. Florida, New York, Virginia, Hawaii and of course California. Without exception I had a terrific time. I found Americans very warm and welcoming. They were interested in what I had to say (I think they may have thought I was from another planet) and it was easy to build a rapport.

There were only two downsides to my visits, and again they were just trivial. One was the television and in particular the ads that seemed to come on every 5 minutes. It was the nature of the ads I found irritating, they insulted the intelligence. I questioned how people could be so gullible to believe the crap they were being fed. The type of ad I saw would have ensured I would never buy that product.

Then there were all these bloody evangelists, 'give me your money, God needs your money'. Go fuck yourselves, my God ain't short of a few bob. Sorry, still makes me a little angry. So anyway I came away from America with more positives than negatives.

Americans outside of America caused some concern though. It then took me back to my teens when the overall opinion of self-obsession. Although I thought they were generally harmless we did have a mass brawl in Fiji with the crew of a US Coastguard ship. They were clearly used to having their own way and thought they could be disrespectful to a bunch of British seamen, stupid mistake.

Since then, things have steadily deteriorated. I began to hate the way we were being 'Americanised'. It seemed our culture was picking up bad habits from America. Trick or Treat replaced Mischief Night, all of a sudden Easter had some stupid bunny. Again trivia but there were other things. Health & Safety for one. At work I was taken to hospital stitched up and went back to finish the job. Now we are suddenly embroiled in a blame and sue culture. It may have seemed like a good idea at the time but the system was too easy to abuse and people with minor injuries they would shrug off at home were suddenly hospitalised with fake or grossly exaggerated injuries.

[Trick or Treat actually began in Scotland]

Companies are so worried about being sued for an accident, because some moron tripped over a mop that shouldn't be there, we now have Health and Safety gone mad. Kids can't even play conkers any more. A tradition that stood for centuries suddenly banned in schools by H&S idiots simply because one kid in a million was blinded in one eye. We're building a generation of wimps. Then perhaps the thing I hate even more, Political Correctness. Banter is a large part of true Brit humour and thanks to America, PC is killing it. Ok so how come I'm blaming America for PC?

We call each other some horrible names, and we can because we know we're just trying to offend in a non-malicious way. As kids every one of us had a derogatory nickname, including 'Choc-Ice' who was a mixed race kid and one of a group of five of us best-friends. To call him that name today would have people up in arms calling us racist which is simply ridiculous.

It's not always what you say to a person that's offensive it is the way you say it. I hear this 'accidental racism' bollocks. There is no such thing. You're racist or you're not, no middle ground, no selective racism, this is one of the few things in life that is quite ironically, black or white.

Anyway I'm starting to ramble again, the point is I was naive about racism in America and perhaps still am a little. I studied the American Civil War objectively and although slavery was a major issue I became of the opinion that there was a lot more to it than that, and as with most things in life greed was the true issue. I knew about the KKK but dismissed them as a small minority of extremists that every country has similar problems with. As far as I knew racism in America was negligible - or at least at a comparable level to our own - since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.

For a long time I kept hearing incidents of racist attacks, but they were sporadic and not well reported over here. In a population of nearly 300m(? Guess) they were unfortunately expected. More recently though since using Twitter I'm seeing more and more of this type of thing and I started looking deeper. The first thing I saw was old footage from WWII where there was racial segregration imposed by the Americans on their own troops.

Of course that grated with the Brits. These guys are putting their lives on the line for you and you want to treat them as second class citizens. WTF?! Are you mental? It made me proud the Brits weren't having any of that crap and invited the coloured guys into their homes.

Some reports and video clips I've seen about racist incidents are deeply disturbing, not only by their nature but also their regularity. For example an unarmed, unresisting, pregnant coloured woman hit and wrestled to the ground by a police officer. In a land where just about everybody has access to a gun, I'd be paranoid as a cop, but this was just barbaric. It is just one of many clips I've seen recently.

There you have it, I've aimed for brevity and only skirted around things or I could have written at least another half a dozen posts on this highly complex topic. People who know me by now will know I'm not one for stereotyping, I don't hate a nation, colour or creed simply because of the actions of a few morons. America is an enigma for me. There is this hypersensitive paranoia, and it's fuelling suspicion and hatred.

For the most powerful nation on Earth you're doing it wrong. A few hundred have stockpiled billions whilst the nation is $18 trillion in debt. You have the power to make a difference if you put aside your greed. We can't do it, the vast majority of England is owned by foreign investment, we're just tenants now. Anyway I'm rambling again, just had to get that off my chest.

Depression

Getting things out in the open does alleviate the horrible isolated feeling when a burden is borne alone. I remember my father teaching me a tactical card game (quite odd in itself) and I knew him to be intelligent even though he didn't have the privilege of an education. In the game there are set patterns and rules to follow just as there are in life. The one expression which sticks in memory was the most used 'Circumstances alters cases'. In other words sometimes the situation calls for a different kind of resolution. All I'm saying is I've found that although getting things in the open would be beneficial to many it cannot be universally applied.

I have often written about some of the root causes of depression (bullying, abuse, isolation, etc.) but never really looked at the animal itself. Looking at it, I probably suffered acute depression as a teen but the only known cure to my father was a kick up the arse (it actually worked quite well, but that's me). Thankfully my kids didn't appear to suffer from depression, although I sometimes I wish they could just be a little less happy (joke.... sort of). To those ends my thoughts on depression may not be the same as others, so instead of ramming my beliefs down your throats, I thought I would seek 'professional' help. What I found when searching the internet disturbed me a little in some respects. The article is from a 'teen advice' section of a site purportedly run by professionals.

Below is the article and some of my thoughts.......

Have you been feeling tired, lazy, lonely and sad? Does staying in bed all day seem preferable to going out into the world? Do the things that once made you smile now just seem to annoy you? If you answered yes to any of these questions, and these symptoms have been occurring consistently for a few weeks, then you might be depressed [no shit Sherlock]. Depression is no laughing matter (pardon the bad pun) [forgiven], so make sure you get the help you deserve by visiting your GP immediately.

The first question could have been termed 'Are you a teen?'. The second question could have been termed 'Are you a teen?'. The third question could have been termed 'Are you a teen?'. Now I'm not saying don't go see a GP because 'Circumstances alters cases' but as I remember it I suffered many of these symptoms that could persist for many weeks. The difference is I, like many others, were expected to deal with what was deemed a part of growing up.

What Is Depression?

A lot of people say they are depressed if they've received some bad news, had a bad day, or are feeling so tired that they can't seem to get started. While none of these things are fun, they are not clinical depression either. Clinical depression can be described as a mood so low, and so consistent, that it interferes with your daily life. Doing poorly on a test or having a bad day at work / college is not very nice but it's not depression.

What Are Common Symptoms of Depression?

There are many common symptoms of depression, though those suffering from depression may not exhibit them all. These symptoms include:

  • Unsettled or lack of sleep.
  • An overwhelming feeling of tiredness.
  • An increase in "sleeping in" or afternoon naps.
  • Difficulty concentrating throughout the day.
  • Loss of interest in favourite or previously entertaining activities.
  • Avoidance of classes, clubs, sports teams or social events.
  • Decrease in school / college work and performance.
  • Constant anxiety or frustration.
  • Feeling unable to become motivated or enthusiastic about anything.
  • Loss of, or excessive increase in, appetite.
  • Rapid weight loss or gain.
  • Inability to picture the future.
  • General loss of hope or feeling like giving up.
  • Little effort put into personal hygiene or appearance.
  • Believing that life isn't worth living or having suicidal thoughts.

How is Clinical Depression Diagnosed?

Visiting your GP is the first step towards diagnosing and alleviating depression. During your appointment you will need to be honest with your GP about your behaviour and emotions, and he / she will most likely ask you questions about how you are feeling, your life and any major events that have occurred recently. Your GP may suggest a course of counselling or therapy and refer you to a psychologist or other specialist. [hmm]

How is Depression Treated?

The good news about depression is that there are many options for treatment and all of them have good results. Depending on your circumstances, your doctor may recommend:-

  • A prescription for anti-depressant tablets (often Prozac) to treat your symptoms. [WTF! STOP DRUGGING KIDS FFS!]
  • Counselling to treat any underlying issues.
  • Cognitive behaviour therapy, or "talk therapy" that can help you change the way you think and react to situations.
  • More exercise and a better diet to give you a firm foundation for health.
  • Holistic therapies such as massage or aromatherapy for a natural boost.

Depression is a serious condition that is on the rise among teenagers internationally. Sometimes teenagers are embarrassed about depression and avoid their feelings rather than seek the help that they deserve. If you think that you may be depressed, don't be afraid to confront your feelings head on so that you can get treatment and move on. Don't let depression run, or ruin, your life.


As stated I'm not a doctor, psychologist, therapist, whatever, and  can't dissuade people from visiting a GP because I simply don't know the circumstances. Before you do run out and see your GP to get a course of zombie inducing drugs, try the good old fashioned remedy first.

'Stop wallowing in self-pity and grow a pair' is what my dad would have told me and I suspect it would have been my initial reaction to my sons. I can't say it's right for all, but it worked for me. Depression is just a state of mind, albeit a very difficult one to deal with sometimes. I still get depressed occasionally but that is just a by-product of modern life. Without the lows you cannot fully appreciate the highs. I generally deal with it by becoming angry with myself for allowing it to happen. It passes quickly.

Seriously guys genuine clinical depression is not funny so if you have any doubts it is better to be safe than sorry and seek help. I lost a friend to suicide and failed to see the signs. They were there in hindsight but it was of course too late then. Don't you make the same mistake.

A friendly smile can change a life forever, think about that!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Coffee Break: Answers

Oops, forgot to schedule the answers on Monday but I'm sure you knew them already. Just in case here they are.....

Technically speaking, an ounce of feathers is lighter than an ounce of gold. This is due to gold being weighed in Troy ounces which are 480 grains compared to the avoirdupois ounce which is 437.5 grains.




Friday, 14 July 2017

Something Strange About The Boy

From the moment they cut the cord Joel was considered 'special' in certain ways. He had 'abilities' of which he was unaware. The adults knew there was something different about the boy. Joel's paternal grandmother bought him a pack of Tarot cards. Before long he was giving readings to an assortment of aunts, and eventually a few uncles. Joel seemed to have a lot of aunts and uncles.

The adults took the readings far more seriously than Joel himself, he just thought it a party trick and never really believed any of what he said. In general he rarely even remembered what he had told during a reading. It was as though it was Joel's alter ego performing the readings and he wasn't privy to that information. The readings were rattled off in a bored monotone, Joel had better things to do at that age. Perhaps that was why he didn't remember them. It wasn't just the cards that led to the special label though. Joel was particularly fond of myths and legends. He always believed them to be true, just distorted over a period of time, similarly to Chinese whispers.

His favourite place to play was among the dunes of a sandy beach, where he could gaze longingly out over the sea. At low tide Joel and his friends would scour the water-line to see what the parting tide left behind. Mermaids purses, cuttlefish-bones, a huge variety of seaweeds, and driftwood of all shapes and sizes. Some small, others whole tree-trunks. There was always something even if it was just the fine powdery sand. He watched it through sunlight as he let it slip between his fingers.

Sand through a microscope

Like his friends, Joel loved slap-stick on the television. There was just the one television though and Joel didn't really get to choose what to watch. His father certainly had no time for the 'custard pie in the face' antics which Joel found particularly funny. It irked a little that the custard seemed to be more like cream, or shaving foam, and it wasn't even a pie, more a flan. This was typical of Joel's train of thought and as with the myths and legends he wanted to know what it was all about. Joel looked up 'Flaneurs' and found they originated in Belgium and were hecklers, the pies were indeed custard and they ate them if they found no reason to throw them at a speaker. "Why do I even need to know these things?!"

By 14 years old Joel hated reading Tarot cards for people, why did they take it so seriously? The last straw was when he overheard two 'aunts' for whom his mother insisted he do readings.
"Everything he said was right" said one.
"Yes" agreed the other "There is something strange about the boy"

Strange and weird became adjectives Joel was all too familiar with as a kid, it was something that would never go away.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Coffee Break #1

Here are a selection of challenges, trivia, and something to listen to. Answers to puzzles will be posted on Monday.

So let's sharpen you up with the age old question 'what is heaviest an ounce of gold or an ounce of feathers?' I suppose many of you will think you know but do you really know?

Below is my own version of sudoku. Just fill in the missing colours making sure lines and blocks of nine do not contain the same colour twice.



Now have a go at my Crossword which is a mixture of clues some cryptic some straight forward,



Across

7. Introduced the west to arabic numerals and the golden ratio (9)
8. A mixture of finely divided solids with enough liquid to produce a pasty mass (5)
10. Strike-breaker joins a poet that covers a sword (8)
11. It's in the eye of the beholder (6)
12. Letter from Tibet and Greece (4)
13. Never look a gift horse in the mouth for example (8)
15. Country known for inventing the neck-tie (7)
17. A town and county of Ireland (7)
20. Illicit inhabitant seen in French toilets (8)
22. Hardly a stroll in the park (4)
25. Anna _____ English novelist best known for Black Beauty (6)
26. Drag it on (8)
27. An arachnid's legs worth of singers (5)
28. Dramatic soliloquy (9)

Down

1. Sounds like this grassy area is familiar to singers and road-workers alike (5)
2. From the middle to the tip can be only a minor flaw (6)
3. One rodent rising with anorak or without; Region of New Zealand (8)
4. The first was Plato's school of Philosophy just north of Athens (7)
5. One could spoil the whole barrel (3-6)
6. Is quick to anger and likely to cry (9)
9. A punt could help (4)
14. How often do you hear this? (9)
16. Roused from sleep (8)
18. Virtual reality or living dead (8)
19. Number 36 in the Periodic Table (7)
21. These bells could cost you (4)
23. For the love of a narcissist (6)
24. Baden Powell started this movement (5)

Words-worth

Tautological Pleonasms

After a while on a blog / Twitter there is a tendency to repeat oneself. I've done it a fair bit but in my defence I'm not the only one. At least I don't repeat myself in the same sentence like these, like these:-


'It looks like a busy weekend on the ferries, particularly Saturday and Sunday - Peter Powell

'It was a sudden and unexpected surprise' - BBC correspondent

'I've said I've never broken the drug laws of my country, and that is the absolute truth' - Bill Clinton

'It's like deja vu all over again' - Yogi Berra

'I never make predictions, especially about the future' - Samuel Goldwyn

The confusion for many is whether the above are examples of tautology or pleonasms. There appears to be a grey area between the two. Tautology to my mind is repetition in different words. A pleonasm is 'redundancy' or unnecessary use of words already implied. Peter Powell's quote could still fall into either category. Bill Clinton's comment 'absolute truth' is clearly tautology whereas I consider Samuel Goldwyn's gem as a pleonasm, as is Yogi Berra's.

The BBC correspondent gives us a different perspective. In general pleonasms and tautology are to be avoided when writing, yet in common speech they abound. As with the BBC correspondent (I'll give him the benefit of the doubt), repetition is often used for emphasis. There are other words used unnecessarily, oddly enough more common in writing than speech. 'But', 'that' and 'which' are the main culprits. When writing I try to limit the number of times I use these. Try omitting these words when you write and see if your sentence still makes sense.


He didn't know that it was gone
He didn't know it was gone

I started to get bored with semantics, at the end of the day who cares what it's called, just stop it! So the devil in me thought of how to repeat myself without actually doing, there are some curious examples of how to achieve this.


The bandage was wound around the wound.

Your invalid insurance is invalid.

The dump was so full it had to refuse more refuse.

After a number of injections my arm got number.

The farm was used to produce produce.

That's all well and good but if you want to get really silly you could take it to the next level with this:-

If one doctor doctors another doctor, does the doctor who doctors the doctor doctor the doctor the way the doctor he is doctoring doctors? Or does he doctor the doctor the way the doctor who doctors doctors?

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Horizons

We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon - Franklin D. Roosevelt


In my time at sea, I spent many an hour on lookout watching horizons. Staring dreamily, I would let my mind wander and there were moments when it seemed to expand. It was almost as though I had an aura proliferating from my body mingling, combining, intertwining..... harmonising, with all the eye can see. Scale was lost as I became the sky and the sky me. It was an odd but reassuring feeling, one of belonging, almost importance. I, little ole me, was part of this magnificent machination. My pneuma roamed free and I no longer felt alone. How could I feel lonely when I was part of this?

This was particularly true at night when darkness filtered out unnecessary visual distractions and put emphasis on celestial bodies dotted around the sky. The onset of night was a treat in itself, never are night and day so beautiful as when they meet to hand over the reins, they compliment each other. I have watched the sun rise from the top of a mountain, A six hour drive, a two hour trek, and a four hour climb in darkness, for a few seconds of pure liquid gold as the sun rewarded my efforts and signalled a new day. Dawn on a mountain is special but for dusk I preferred an open ocean.

Sunsets anywhere can be awe-inspiring but I was more fascinated with a somewhat less spectacular phenomenon I've only seen at sea. It was a small green flash as the sun dipped below the horizon. A goodnight wink from the sun as twilight finally succumbed to darkness.


We steamed through the nights, unerringly heading for the elusive horizon, like a donkey chasing a carrot on a stick. It never occurred to me back then the horizon was unattainable, just something we followed to get to a destination. The horizon isn't a constant, it is like a rainbow's end. You can never get there. Instead of chasing the pot of gold we should concentrate more on the journey, that alone determines who we are. On many a dark stormy night with thick black clouds blocking the celestial beacons, the horizon was invisible. It was then a case of lowering sights and concentrating on maintaining direction.

Stormy nights could be disconcerting but thick fog was eerie. Sound and depth of vision are mysterious as they chop and change in a heartbeat. Every sense is alive, alert to danger. The hairs on your neck stand on end as your eyes become useless and you strain every other sensory organ to compensate. You can't see an end to the fog and start to believe it will be with you always. Then without warning it lifts, clarity ensues, and your horizons broaden once more.

Monday, 26 June 2017

DIY Prophecy Guide

Move over Nostradamus, I have decided to share my self-styled DIY Prophecy Guide. I actually shared it at Christmas but the post is much older and it's starting to get a bit spooky...

When predicting apocalyptic events we need to first decide what kind of disaster to send forth. Obviously it needs to be something big with huge cost to human life, what would be the point otherwise. Despite this I would recommend wannabe soothsayers start small, just to get the feel. To give you some idea I've listed below a few areas that can be explored.

  1. War - a bit old hat now and predicting one is pretty unremarkable. 
  2. Natural Disasters - these are always good to guess, particularly earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
  3. Extra-terrestrial - meteors, solar flares, planet alignment, can all give clues
Of course there is no need to choose just one, a combination can be a clincher against doubters. Mix and match, it can be fun. For our example I am going to use a combination of Natural and Extra-terrestrial events but I'm going to keep it small - you only get one shot at predicting the end of the world. My advice to those who choose to go with the War format I would suggest looking at ethnic groups and disputed land. From there you can speculate who will side with who and predict something a little less obvious. The Middle East is a no-brainer, people have been killing each other there before they even knew about fossil fuels.

My guess would be Iran. The nuclear capability, the 'recent' revolution 1979, the wars with Iraq, and the fact the country is struggling between democracy and fundamentalism. At the moment the armed forces are controlled by religion rather than the puppet democratic 'government'. Alternately they may help Syria claim back ceded territory around the Sea of Galilee and Golan Heights. A weakened Iraq would no longer be a 'buffer' and suddenly the USA are in an awkward position as to whether they will back Israel, who certainly won't take things lying down. Especially now, as oil has been found in the Golan Heights.

The knock-on affect would be a Palestinian uprising during the crisis and the Plains of Megiddo could indeed trigger a war to end all wars. There are other places to look at, North Korea is an obvious one, yet I feel they are a long way off being a real threat to global security. Nope, if you want to predict war and unrest the Middle East is a pretty sure thing.

Natural disasters are another fail-safe area to predict. If you just look along the tectonic plate boundaries there are any number of places a disaster could occur. The most populous areas are best for obvious reasons but it's best to pick one that hasn't caused a problem for a while. New Zealand is in a unique location as the tectonic plate boundary has two different motions. In the South Island the plates rub alongside each other causing earthquakes, whereas in the North the Australian Plate subducts below the Pacific Plate which results in more volcanic activity.

After recent earthquakes in the South perhaps it indicates the North will spring to life again. The volcanoes are still very active. The most recent associated disaster was back in 1953 when a lahar took out a railway bridge at Tangiwai, and by consequence the Auckland to Wellington passenger train. Before that it was Mount Tarawera in 1886 which covered a village Pompeii style. These were devastating for New Zealand but had very little impact on the rest of the world. However Lake Taupo last exploded around 2,000 years ago and they heard the bang in China. The Romans too recorded associated phenomena from the time.

Italy is another possibility for volcanic conflagration as the African Plate collides with the European. Etna and Stromboli are constantly active which releases the pressure sufficiently to suggest a big one unlikely. What about another Vesuvius eruption though, the volcano is still active and a similar event to 79 AD could see Naples become the new Pompeii / Herculaneum. In 1631 an explosive eruption killed 4,000 people. The list of possible disaster sites are endless and you don't even have to guess. There is an even safer bet.


Sea-levels are set to continue rising so predicting major flooding is perhaps too obvious. However with a little lateral thinking you can stay one step ahead with your prophecies. Consider the tipping point, that point of no return when a bottle for example has been gently pushed over until it gains momentum and accelerates. The idea being that although the disappearance of the polar caps has been a relatively gradual process (in human timescale not geological), the end will happen very quickly indeed. I conservatively guess in another 40 years, experts say 100 or more. Timing can be crucial when predicting future events so we must use ambiguity without seeming to do so.

Monarchs are good for this. If we look at the current Royal family we can make a few more guesses. In 40 years the Queen and Prince Charles will probably have popped their clogs and William if still alive would be 73 years old. Giving the experts more credit than they deserve, let's say the total meltdown will occur after my estimate. This would mean there is a good chance Prince William's first-born will be on the throne as George VII. Then you have your time span "During the reign of George VII great floods...." and also some flexibility depending if and how long Georgie reigns for. 

Look for other clues that others may not have spotted, or that are not common knowledge. Most people know about the Canary Islands and the imminent possibility of a land-slide that could dump half a mountain into the Atlantic. The resulting 'mega-tsunami' would devastate the east coast of America. Something that is less well known however is what is going on in Greenland. It's not so much not knowing what is happening, as not fully understanding the implications.

Greenland has the second largest body of ice in the world and it is melting. Yeah big deal we knew that. If it was to melt completely sea-levels would rise 7.2 metres (24 foot). Knew that as well, sort of. The thing that is usually overlooked is something quite different. The inland area of Greenland is uniformly flat except for the middle which is depressed by the weight of ice. If this ice is no longer there then isostasy occurs as the gravitational equilibrium between crust and mantle is restored.

I imagine this too will be a gradual process up until a point is reached where the land may just 'pop-up' for the last shove. Anything could happen but I would guess a mega-tsunami is likely. Dismissing all these and countless other scenarios from around the world. I have chosen California. The area is subject to high volumes of earthquakes due to the San Andreas Fault. As with most earthquakes two plates become jammed together and pressure builds. Eventually something gives and the sudden jerk reaction on release causes a quake.

In the mid to late 1800's the buildup and periodic release of seismic pressure along the northern San Andreas fault produced a series of magnitude 6.0 or greater on the Richter scale earthquakes, leading up to the famous 1906 San Francisco 7.8 earthquake. Apparently this pressure build-up is happening again. Okay it's going to happen, but how do we determine* when?

*guess

Historically the seven largest quakes recorded are these:-
  1. Jan 9th 1857 - 7.9 hit Fort Tejon one person died 
  2. Feb 24th 1892 - 7.8 hit near Baja no reported deaths
  3. Apr 18th 1906 - 7.8 hit San Francisco causing an estimated 3,000 deaths
  4. Mar 26th 1872 - 7.4 hit Owen's Valley 27 reported deaths
  5. Jan 31st 1922 - 7.3 hit west of Eureka no deaths
  6. Jul 21st 1952 - 7,3 hit Kern County 12 died
  7. Jun 28th 1992 - 7.3 hit Landers 3 died more than 400 injured
Now we could cheat here, but if we are trying to con gullible people into believing the crap we write, let's at least give a little value for money. The cheat would be to look at the dates, automatically the number 2 jumps out at you. Perhaps 2022 would be a good, bad omen. Anyway unlike others we won't cheat, we will instead look to the stars for help ......well one star and a few planets.

May 2000 was another date given as a possible world-ender and this was based on planetary alignment. All the planets were the other side of the Sun to us and all sorts of crazy theories sprang up. In my opinion it did have some affect though. I believe the Moon, the planets and the Sun can all affect tectonic activity here on Earth. Of course there is no evidence to support this ........yawn. So when will this occur again? Not until May 6th 2492 I'm afraid. How about predicting that as the new end of the world for that very reason? Just think in 476 years someone from the future might find this and start worrying. Nah, could never happen.

There is another date in 2040 where the innermost planets (discounting ourselves) will all be in the same part of the sky, but that again is a little too far ahead for our purposes here. Solar Maxima are handy because they seem to encourage seismic activity..... although there is no evidence to support this. The recent solar maximum was of course in 2012, a pattern suggests the most likely date for the next maximum will be around 2022-24, but we won't know until this one ends. The average solar cycle is about 11 years but can fluctuate between 9 and 12 years, Once again though that 2022 number comes up. A sign of the times?

I've had a vision! Yeah before you go all hypocritical on me read this.....

vision
noun
  1. 1.
    the faculty or state of being able to see.
  2. 2the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.



I could write the summary Nostradamus style, little poetic quattrain, or I could write it scripture style as some kind of revelation, maybe I should claim alien abduction because I'm obviously not of this planet. As there are no longer witch-hunters today I needn't hide my beliefs with metaphor, I mean who would kill another person for their beliefs in this day and age ......ridiculous. So here it is.


Late in 2022 an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale will hit San Francisco, it will cause widespread damage and will be preceded by a series of smaller quakes. One of San Francisco's famous landmarks will be destroyed.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Perception 3.1

Before looking at how perceptions were formulated in others, I think it only fair I use myself as an example. Having searched for a plausible solution to the enigma of human origins for several decades, I may not in establishment terms be deemed an expert but I feel it at least qualifies me to give a reasonably informed opinion. So this is how I see it.....

For some reason we are of the opinion that life is pretty rare, maybe non-existent outside of our own little planet. To believe this is incredibly short-sighted or extremely arrogant. Life is just a series of chemical reactions producing energy, energy is life. It is going on all over the universe, at all different levels. If the universe was 'created' it wouldn't have been done so to specifically produce mankind.

Evolution may have been responsible for life on this planet but something just doesn't add up. The transition from Neanderthal to Modern Man is too severe. Scientists have been looking for the missing link for as long as I can remember, but there isn't one. With there being no signs of genocide found on Neanderthals it only leaves two options. They mysteriously died out maybe by some disease Modern Man was immune to, is one tenuous possibility, but I think they simply integrated.

I read quite recently scientists found some Neanderthal DNA in our species but cannot remember exactly the details. It just reinforced the view I've always held. The answer to the question of why we aren't more like Neanderthals if they are our ancestors, is due to neoteny. Evolution is merely adaptation. Our genes were just stronger than those of Neanderthals. Our comparative 'child-like' appearance is a by-product. An alternate argument is that Neanderthals evolved into modern man after the ice-age to adapt to the warmer climes.

The problem with that is the ice-age only finished 10,000 years ago and Neanderthals seemed to vanish 30,000 years ago. The biggest problem with the believe we evolved from Neanderthals is with brain structure. From a brain geared up to sight, sound and instinct, we were suddenly bestowed with an analytical brain, separating us from the rest of the animal kingdom. There is only one way this can be explained...... a creator.

Now before you religious folk go all cock-a-whoop with the 'I told you so's', it's not exactly the creator you have in mind. It's certainly not any creator of the universe. I doubt even we were created, we were adapted. It is safe to assume there is life outside our solar system, it's also safe to assume that since our star is merely middle-aged there will be life at a more advanced stage than our own. The crux of the matter is whether any life visited us.

When you look at gaping holes in scientific knowledge and the plethora of religions, myths, and UFO stories, it almost a certainty we have been visited. Some would question why an advanced species would visit us, just ask NASA and SETI why they're exploring space. It could be they thought they were doing us a favour interfering with our evolutionary process, genetically modifying Neanderthals (giving us fire and fruit from the Tree of Knowledge).

The adverse affects of their interference now leaves them with a moral dilemma. Interfere again and perhaps make a bad situation worse or leave us to our own devices and hope we can sort it out ourselves. Maybe they just left after they saw what self-destructive savages we are. Who knows? The point is, whether you want to call them Gods or just interstellar busy-bodies, their existence is certain.

Perhaps they interacted with us, maybe they still do to a lesser degree, but far from us praying for their forgiveness, I think they should be issuing us with a massive apology.

Okay so that is a synopsis of my overall perception, some will agree with it in part, some will disagree completely, and no doubt a few will want to kill me, but that is just my opinion. The real issue is how I formulated that opinion and that began at a very early age.

I came from a mixed family. My mother was Catholic and my father atheist. My father didn't really express views on religion, he didn't care one way or the other so wasn't put out when I was baptised or went to a Catholic primary school. By then I was already a fan of Santa so welcomed this God person into my life. I became an altar boy and had a healthy respect for the church. The priests were beyond reproach although one or two nuns who taught us were sadists.

By the time I was losing my teeth I had sort of latched on to the Tooth-Fairy being fake but went along with it for the cash (I was even known to become a little impatient and prise one or two stubborn teeth out). The news Santa wasn't real was a huge body blow (don't worry kids I found out later he was Santa) and it was shortly before I went to 'big school'. This made me question things and sparked my research.

Initially I dismissed the Bible as total twaddle. Things were just too incredible to be true. Santa visiting all the children in one night, a flood that covered the whole planet, parting the Red Sea, resurrecting people, complete bollocks! However, I wanted to be objective and I needed to look into things more before dismissing them. My research took me in many directions and something weird started to happen. The impossibilities not only became possibilities but probabilities.

One thing I noticed early on was the problem in looking at ancient events with a modern perception. It simply doesn't work, yet it is on this basis the vast majority of people formulate their opinions. This is how things get twisted and how evil people with an agenda manipulate those unable to think for themselves.