Planet and people: new books for Anthropocene times
20 hours ago
|One could question the wisdom of spending two hundred bucks on an energy monitor, but the thing might end up paying for itself.|
|This is a small part of what comes across the internet interface. The other two members of the family are still asleep as I write this, so this basically represents my three oversized monitors coupled to the computer upon which I type, one five-CF-bulb chandelier suspended over my conference table, our huge freezer, and whatever other lights and devices have been left on or are idling or participating in the slow bleed that originates with otherwise-inactive devices siphoning power.|
|TED has only been running for a couple of days now, but this looks suspiciously like the part that is apparently leading to those perplexingly-high e-bills. We are running the house in our normal fashion for the next few weeks just so we can get a complete "before" picture prior to instituting behavioral and device changes.|
|Cayley takes her leaping littorally, with the Lingan thermal generating station silhouetted in the background.|
|We're all moving thataway, straight ahead, full steam.|
|She's still so young... Lawrence is ahead of her on his journey through spacetime, and I'm significantly ahead of them both, but sometimes I see things as if I'm actually living in multiple moments, which is perceptually the same as living in no discrete moments at all.|
|Same thermal generating station, very different day.|
Screengrab courtesy of 1996beardeddragon's crude but revealing video as embedded below.
|With schoolchildren in rural Pakistan.|
Courtesy of the Central Asia Institute
|A school built in Afghanistan.|
|Compare these costs with the cost of ongoing war in Afghanistan, currently estimated at |
FOUR BILLION DOLLARS PER MONTH
|It got a lot larger, even in the time since |
Cayley posed with it just four days ago.
|A right proper specimen.|
|The underside. Reportedly, gypsy broccoli crowns are not supposed to get as large as conventionals, because they divert part of their energy to their side-shoots. This guy is fairly large. I can't tell you how many people tell me in their personal modes of absolute God-given certainty that we can't grow a comparable volume of food using organic methods, because organic yields are so vastly inferior. Well, I'm not feelin' it: here's a damned big broccoli that I grew in my first six weeks of stumbling through the effort as an absolute Newbie. |
Looks pretty convincing to ME.
|The proverbial moment of truth.|
|Someone was hoping Santa would bring |
an iPad for Christmas...
Does it appear to have happened?!? :-)
|Here's the dog in a state of abject misery because |
Cayley is paying attention to something other than her.
Does that furry face not say it all??
(Click the photo for a close-up of her tragic eyes)
|Of course, Cayley insisted on wrapping a gift for her... |
and she's perfectly capable of unwrapping it herself.
|Yet another toy waranted to be indestructable... |
and we're betting it won't last a week.
Incidentally, this is the only dog I've ever seen who
uses her paws like hands to the extent that she does.
|And of course we had to add an ornament to our memory tree |
to mark the year that Nyx came.
I even attempted to brindle it with a fine-point Sharpie.
|I'm not a big fan of posed shots,|
but it's our first year in this house, so...
|I could have lived my entire life without this and been perfectly happy, but I DID want to start drinking green tea more rigorously, for the health benefits (transhumanist Ray Kurzweil legendarily drinks ten cups per day).|
|Quantum enmeshment's got NUTHIN' on this stuff.|
Do you hear the Twilight Zone theme in your head??
|You can see how parched the land is.|
From L to R: Our stabilized control area, which consisted of our lawn segment east of the driveway, followed by the test areas each fronted by a different construction stormwater control: sod, mulch, aggregate (limestone), and fabric filter fence.
This may look pretty simple, but I had to bury those perpendicular fence segments almost a foot deep to ensure that there's be no cross-talk among the test areas. It was a LOT of work (but of course I do stuff like that to keep fit).
|Flash reflecting off the many raindrops.|
|Here's a pic of Cayley collecting run-off from behind the area protected with a sod berm. |
You can see that the run-off in her dustpan is somewhat muddy.
|And here's this evening's sample booty. The line in the back represents what we call "first flush" (as the areas are just starting to drain) in the same left-to-right order as the areas named in the panoramic shot above. There are two sample jars for each because I hope to convince a lab to waive the cost of formal analyses on the large jars, while we'll use the small jars for bench testing.|
The jars out in front are the same areas but about a half hour into the drainage event. You can see that they're not so muddy.
|Sleepy 12-year-old for scale.|
Do you see Christmas lights in the lower left corner of the photo? That's not because we decorated the garden. That's because I've been using them to warm the tank on the nights when it has fallen below freezing.
|This is a Gypsy broccoli, which means that the plant will continue to produce satellite heads following the primary decapitation.|
|We sure miss the seven years of wall markings |
at our old house.
Now THAT was a growth chart!
|An organized ritual is depicted here. From http://english.cri.cn/6909/2009/06/24/1601s495996.htm|
But just as Christianity is not fundamentally about the Vatican holding billions of dollars in real property and investments, or Protestants squabbling over which of their factions has the fastest track to heaven, true Buddhism is not about who's got the biggest gold statue, the most vibrant robes, or the shiniest head.
|For thirty bucks, you, too, can have a set of these utterly objective triage tapes. But seriously, who sees more injustice and pain in this world than medical doctors?|
|I could have picked a far more graphic photo than this one, but it would have been difficult to keep reading if I had done so.|
|Click the URL above the photo.|
|Except the entry DOES result in a rather unfortunate juxtaposition of the advertising banner above the page title. YOU thought Jimmy Wales looked rather morose and sheepish in this photograph because he needed his readers to send more money. But maybe he's actually having member issues of a different sort.|
|Please forgive her those PJ bottoms and socks!!|
|One of the very first: |
a cat ornament from Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Chuck,
a gift in 1994, folk art from Mississippi.
|Pew marker from cousin Carolyn's wedding in 2000, where Cayley tossed rose petals as the show-stopping|
21-month-old flower girl.
|Swarovski snowflake from 1998, a sobering memento of our Enron days, when hundred-dollar trinkets were passed around as freely as Hershey's holiday kisses.|
|The Norfolks can't take much weight, so we hang the heavier oraments on the skirt. These include an ornament I ordered in duplicate and had engraved, one for us, one for my friend Didi's family, during the last Christmas we spent with them before she died. This photo also shows oraments from three different trips to Nova Scotia, and several gifts from family members. The "Dream Snow" book was a final gift from Didi to Cayley. The "Night Before Christmas" book derived from my maternal family and is over fifty years old. And the two Santa Claus candles were purchased for me by my late paternal grandmother. She died before she was able to give them to me, and I have never opened the box.|