Decadent

Another quiet day here in the bush. Soon it will be time to throw open the windows and hear the wind in the pines; the birds singing and the whine of traffic on the weekends. Funny how one can almost completely tune out the drone of traffic!

It is a beautiful sunny day today. It was chilly last night, around -8C, perhaps colder. The house is coolish this morning, so that Attila will burn a noon fire in the masonry heater to get things warmed up. That should do it, if the weather forecast is even remotely accurate. By the weekend temperatures should stay well above freezing at night, and go up as high as 20C during the day.

My research is going well, although I find that some of the work done at the end of the day, after 12 or more hours at the keyboard, can be a little dubious. Yesterday’s work on the project is reviewed before moving forward each day with further research.

Our company, Em and Henry, did not arrive yesterday, which wasn’t a problem. The only drawback was that I had baked a coffee cake to serve with tea during their visit. Since they didn’t show up, Attila and I decided to eat the coffee cake ourselves. Decadent. There will be no more baking for the promise of company!

Terra and Luna are off with a few friends on a “girls holiday”, shopping of course. I think they will have a lot of fun. Janus has the grand-babies all to himself for four whole days, hand on to your hat Dad. It sounds like everyone is going to be having fun!

Things aren’t this wonderful everywhere in the world. Right now I am feeling very lucky to be in the here and now.

Japan Nuclear Catastrophe

History is being made in Japan. Eventually we will all be affected by the nuclear catastrophe there, in one way or another; some of us directly as a result of radiation, some others will be affected economically, directly and indirectly. Eventually we will cease to associate these changes with the nuclear catastrophe in Japan, or in Chernobyl or at other nuclear sites; if we ever made the connection in the first place.

The long-term effects will not occur in one lifetime. When we are gone, it won’t matter who was responsible for what, or who became rich as a result of what… those who suffer the future consequences of this catastrophe will likely have no recourse; will probably enjoy no acknowledgement or support in dealing with the issues that arise at an individual level.

My world has a long history of industry and science and government failing public safety and playing down the processes that led to human suffering; Walkerton (water supply), Thalidomide (health issues for babies in utero), asbestos (cancer), these immediately come to mind with no effort. These things are not acceptable just because they “didn’t happen to me”. “Who knew!”, isn’t a good enough public stance on such issues.

“TOKYO | Thu Apr 7, 2011 11:06am EDT
(Reuters) – A strong earthquake of magnitude 7.4 shook northeast and eastern Japan late on Thursday, and a tsunami warning was issued for the northeastern coast of Japan, an area badly hit by the March 11 earthquake.

Japan’s NHK public television repeatedly said those in areas where the tsunami warnings were issued should evacuate to higher ground.”

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/07/us-japan-quake-idUSTRE73642T20110407?feedType=RSS&feedName=japan&virtualBrandChannel=10464&WT.tsrc=Social%20Media&WT.z_smid=twtr-japan_reuters&WT.z_smid_dest=Twitter

“Some South Korean schools close over radioactive rain concerns,
By Jack Kim
SEOUL | Wed Apr 6, 2011 11:12pm EDT
Concerns about radiation fallout from Japan’s nuclear disaster prompted some schools in South Korea to shut on Thursday as rain fell over most of the country, but the nuclear safety agency played down immediate health risks.”
Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/07/us-japan-quake-korea-idUSTRE7360KL20110407?feedType=RSS&feedName=japan&virtualBrandChannel=10464&WT.tsrc=Social%20Media&WT.z_smid=twtr-japan_reuters&WT.z_smid_dest=Twitter

Worldly Distractions

Weather

3 °C
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 3.0°C
Dewpoint: -6.4°C
Humidity: 50 %
Wind: 4 km/hr

Quote

“”I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process — an integral function of the universe.””
Richard Buckminster Fuller
1895 – 1983

Notes

Richard Buckminster Fuller

“Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller (July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983)[1] was an American engineer, author, designer, inventor, and futurist.
Fuller published more than 30 books, inventing and popularizing terms such as “Spaceship Earth”, ephemeralization, and synergetics. He also developed numerous inventions, mainly architectural designs, the best known of which is the geodesic dome. Carbon molecules known as fullerenes were later named by scientists for their resemblance to geodesic spheres…

Biography
Fuller was born on July 12, 1895, in Milton, Massachusetts, the son of Richard Buckminster Fuller and Caroline Wolcott Andrews, and also the grandnephew of the American Transcendentalist Margaret Fuller. He attended Froebelian Kindergarten. Spending much of his youth on Bear Island, in Penobscot Bay off the coast of Maine, he had trouble with geometry, being unable to understand the abstraction necessary to imagine that a chalk dot on the blackboard represented a mathematical point, or that an imperfectly drawn line with an arrow on the end was meant to stretch off to infinity. He often made items from materials he brought home from the woods, and sometimes made his own tools. He experimented with designing a new apparatus for human propulsion of small boats.
Years later, he decided that this sort of experience had provided him with not only an interest in design, but also a habit of being familiar with and knowledgeable about the materials that his later projects would require. Fuller earned a machinist’s certification, and knew how to use the press brake, stretch press, and other tools and equipment used in the sheet metal trade.

Academia
Fuller was sent to Milton Academy, in Massachusetts, and after that, began studying at Harvard. He was expelled from Harvard twice: first for spending all his money partying with a vaudeville troupe, and then, after having been readmitted, for his “irresponsibility and lack of interest.” By his own appraisal, he was a non-conforming misfit in the fraternity environment. It was to be many years before he received a Sc.D. from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

Wartime experience
Between his sessions at Harvard, Fuller worked in Canada as a mechanic in a textile mill, and later as a laborer for the meat-packing industry. He also served in the U.S. Navy in World War I, as a shipboard radio operator, as an editor of a publication, and as a crash-boat commander. After discharge, he worked again for the meat packing industry, thereby acquiring management experience. In 1917, he married Anne Hewlett. During the early 1920s, he and his father-in-law developed the Stockade Building System for producing light-weight, weatherproof, and fireproof housing — although the company would ultimately fail.

Bankruptcy and depression
By age 32, Fuller was bankrupt and jobless, living in public, low-income housing in Chicago, Illinois. In 1922, Fuller’s young daughter Alexandra died from complications from polio and spinal meningitis. Allegedly, he felt responsible and this caused him to drink frequently and to contemplate suicide for a while. He finally chose to embark on “an experiment, to find what a single individual [could] contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity”…

Fuller was concerned about sustainability and about human survival under the existing socio-economic system, yet remained optimistic about humanity’s future. Defining wealth in terms of knowledge, as the “technological ability to protect, nurture, support, and accommodate all growth needs of life,” his analysis of the condition of “Spaceship Earth” caused him to conclude that at a certain time during the 1970s, humanity had attained an unprecedented state. He was convinced that the accumulation of relevant knowledge, combined with the quantities of major recyclable resources that had already been extracted from the earth, had attained a critical level, such that competition for necessities was not necessary anymore. Cooperation had become the optimum survival strategy. “Selfishness,” he declared, “is unnecessary and hence-forth unrationalizable…. War is obsolete.” He criticized previous utopian schemes as too exclusive, and thought this was a major source of their failure. To work, he thought that a utopia needed to include everyone.”

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckminster_Fuller

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