Monday, January 07, 2013

Dire Straits

Well, December 21st 2012 has just passed, and nothing untoward happened. You're feeling happy about this, I'll bet. You're thinking the ubiquitous forecasts of a worldwide apocalypse on that day, were always bilge, and you're ashamed you ever gave them even a soup├žon of credence.

Actually, a worldwide apocalypse could happen at any time. I'll remind you the earth does a full turn on its axis each 24 hours, while also doing a complete circle around the sun every 12 months. And, because the earth wobbles like a top while spinning on its axis, the north and south poles rotate (precession), and do a complete rotation each 25,920 years.

While all this is going on, the earth is being subjected to the varying gravitational pulls from the moon, and the other planets in its neighbourhood. Because the weight of the ice-shields and oceans and whatnot on the earth's outer crust is maldistributed, it wouldn't take too much to cause the earth's orbit to change, or the earth to tip, resulting in changes of position of the north and south poles. And not to speak of massive shifts in position of the earth's outer crusts. So, if a Greenlander, you could find yourself at the equator. If an African, you could find yourself at one of the poles.

You'll readily see that any of this would cause world-wide climate-changes to happen Big Time. If a Greenlander, and Greenland becomes scorching hot, you'll have to get used to slapping on lots of sun-tan oil all the time, and to just wearing a flowered shirt and shorts and sandals. If an African, and Africa is inundated with ice and snow, you'll have to get used to wearing winter woollies, and even snow boots and a fur cap.

Because places presently covered with ice and snow and whatnot might now have scorching hot weather, the ice and snow and whatnot will melt into the seas, causing their levels to rise Big Time. This'll bring about world-wide flooding on a scale you won't even have dreamed of.

You'll have to abandon your home lickety-split if flood-waters approach, and you'll need to find another permanent home far, far away. Should the flood-waters catch up with you while you're fleeing, you'll be in even more dire straits if your father didn't  give you swimming lessons when you were small.

Even should you flee successfully, and find a new refuge far, far away with a vastly different climate, you'll have to find new work, which, if you were an oil-man with your own air-conditioned corner office in a skyscraper, will be less pleasant.

Although I've digressed a bit from the premises of Isaac Asimov's and Robert Silverberg's *“Nightfall”*, the next posting may show I didn't digress too much.


  1. Those of us in Northern Illinois (I've told you--haven't I?--that we prefer to call it Baja WIsconsin, so it sounds a little classier) anticipate an improvement.

    This whooshing idea appeals to me, actually, the destructive side me, I suppose.

    Meanwhile, speaking of Dire Straits, you are neglecting your musical offerings in the face of all this cataclysmic change. You shouldn't. How about "The Sultans of Swing" -- that's a terrific song!

  2. " are neglecting your musical offerings in the face of all this cataclysmic change......"

    Did you ever watch the video of Donovan's "Atlantis" that I posted in my previous entry?

    Yes, "Sultans of Swing" is indeed a terrific song. It brings back memories of long boozy evenings in pubs in the late 1970's, when this song was a frequent accompaniment to all the smoke and buzz and chatter.

    However, I've just posted on the sidebar, not "Sultans of Swing", but "Dream of the Drowned Submariner" - from Mark Knopfler's latest CD "Privateering".

    It's a quite beautiful song, and fits perfectly with the themes of my last few postings. Listen particularly to the sections that have the clarinet. Haunting, don'tcha think?

  3. I'm having trouble clicking on your link, but I'll look it up on youtube.

    I suggested "Sultans of Swing" this morning, but then I got to thinking that, after all the violence and double talk, maybe I like "The Walk of Life" even more. One thing is for sure, though, the word "boozy"--all by itself--makes me laugh.

    Yes, I did watch the Donovan. I had never heard it before. I don't know; I missed a lot of stuff along the way somehow. Thanks.

    OK, I'll check out your drowned submariner with haunting clarinet.

  4. Whether it's with with "Sultans of Swing", "Walk of Life", "Song for Sonny Liston", "Boom Like That" or......"Dream of the Drowned Submariner", Mark Knopfler shows his genius as a lyricist.

    And, the older he becomes, the better he gets.