Saturday, January 31, 2009

Manbags and Berets

It follows suit that one week after the new moon, all the crazies come out.  I was at the grocery store buying some ingredients for a delicious chicken with tarragon, ginger, coriander, red chilies, stock, onions, cilantro, ghee, coconut milk and garlic, and I caught myself appreciating the organization of it all.  All doing our part to get our food and personal effects - then I noticed the crazy guy.  Tucked away in the corner of the deli section, picking out samosas - he just budges the line.  He went around the line up formed and found a clerk and got the desired samosas, ahead of like, 3 waiting customers... what an asshole that guy is - wearing his green beret all proudly of sorts.   I didn't see him again in the grocery store, but this guy decided he was going to cut the rules that 'normal' folk abide to, just to get his way...  asshole.  Then again, I've got to admit, I admired his contempt for the rules, his finding of a solution to his impatience of waiting in a line, and his acting on it.   Maybe he was just a good actor?

Anyways, a few days back, I was approached by a local 'beggar', or a street-person.  Where I reside, the people living in the streets in the depth of winters still work.   They peruse the back alleys to pick, prod and recycle any valuable material.  Old phone?  New bottle?  Sweaters?  Crazy huh? 

Spare Change
Some decide to pray on more aggressive tactics.  Some approach without reserve, complete strangers requesting the infamous: "Spare Change".  

"The homeless first started arriving in Evergreen about 3 months ago. At first they were only a few of them, asking for change, sleeping in the parks. But then more showed up. And we realized there was something different about them. They fed off of our change to the point that they could actually start renting apartments. We knew it wouldn't be long before the homeless actually started buying homes. And then we'd had no idea who is homeless and who wasn't. People living in the house right next door to you could be homeless and you wouldn't even know. Nobody could trust anybody. Fights broke out, war! That's when I starting suspecting my own wife, who I'd be living with for 20 years, was actually homeless. So I had to burn her, in her bed, while she slept. After she died, I vowed I wouldn't let the homeless destroy our town. So we came up with a plan to get rid of them once and for all. " - South Park (Night of the Living Homeless), 2007

So, the above quote came from an episode of a sick and twisted cartoon parody show, which warp young minds to points of immaturity, or craziness.  It's creators are two crazy entrepreneurs that came up with a paper cutout animation design and decided to parody society, pop culture, religion and politics with unique satire.  Sometimes brilliant, sometimes moronic, sometime insane.  Or is insanity imaginative?  It was Einstein who said insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.    But then again, we do know Einstein was imaginative, or maybe he was just insane and trying to protect himself... hmm...

So this guy was wearing this green beret, and I thought to myself - who the hell would wear a green beret?  Isn't that a bold statement?  Like a man carrying a man-purse, or a wearing flip-flops with socks... I don't really understand.  Flip-flop sandles let me show off my feet - and let me tell you, sometimes I like to gaze at my feet.  But to put socks on 'em?  Not putting on shoes with socks tells me your a little lazy and didn't want to tie your shoes... Lazy-assed crazy!  Then the man-purse...  I suppose, besides the obvious weird attention I would probably get on the street, is that I don't like to carry alot on my person.  I never understood carrying shit in my pockets.  Keys, gum, credit cards, money, ID, spare change.  I hate carrying it all in my pockets.  I do understand that a man-purse would solve all of those problems, plus Jack Bauer carried a man-purse in exciting Season 5 of the hit TV show 24.  But I've been accustomed to carrying my backpack - almost all places I go.  Sure it may not look the professional-type like the acclaimed attache case, but my backpack can carry everything I want.  What I don't want often and don't keep in my backpack is spare, or loose change.  In a generation that typically pays between $10 - $100 an outing, I do go out and spend this amount.  By the end of the day, with all of my shopping with cash, I have a pocket of loose change that I contemplate what to do with.  Do I give it to the beggar?  He may be on the street because of addictive paths...  Do I keep it?  It just collects dust in my change bottle - although I do end up saving a good $200 - 300 per year that way.  

Recipe for Disaster
My loose change is often unwanted.  I do find a few worthy homeless that I donate this loose change to.  I once took some leftover Crab Bisque to a homeless man in downtown Chicago.  They seem in need.  

I'd like to one day run an experiment - a social experiment in a sense.  Perhaps a little to do with psychiatry, but mostly to see what consequence an action brings.  I'd like to approach my neighborhood corner store or grocery store, and discuss the possibility of leaving a small glass jar for loose change that would be put in place to start a homeless fund.  By the evening has set, the change will be collected, and be entrusted that it is going to a legitimate purposeful cause.  

This purposeful cause, explained, is the collection of materials and lumber, the construction of a facility, small in size at first, but with room to grow, followed by the collection of more materials, food and room.  Those that come into the shelter would be fed.  Those that have eaten too much will be turned away.  But it will start this way.  As more room grows, an office can be set up.  Perhaps a small program like this could get some help.  Perhaps a doctor of psychology or therapy can step into that office.  There to listen, to provide advice, or to provide prescription.  The doctor would not be there to pass judgement, the path that has led to those that come cannot be traced - it is a diverse world.  But if even one or two or three of these individuals can be helped in any way, the doctor may be the solution.  After a bit of growth and healing grace of the doctor, a room can be built.  Cots, blankets, heat and warmth.  A shelter from the cold hard winters, the rains, the sleets and the snow that embitters even the great Postmen - men with blue berets and man-purses.  

Empty Tank
How much can you really buy with $0.71 cents.  I can't even buy a gallon of gasoline for that much.

The experiment hasn't begun yet.  I just need the motivation.  What am I doing tomorrow... hmm... I hope I'm not homeless soon... I do have my pop bottle full of change and plenty of pockets...  Maybe i'll adjust that beret a bit and put down my man-purse.  

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thesaurus [English (UK)]: Permanent, irreparable, irretrievable, irrevocable, unalterable, irremediable

I’m quite lost at times in dealing with Religious beliefs.  Sometimes I struggle to understand things or comment on things.  I’m the same way with Politics.  I don’t quite possess the ability to manipulate or persuade without transparency.  Sometimes I do get too brutally honest, often to my detriment. 

Often times, I’ll bite my tongue, holding back an inner thought in order to create peace, but other times, when I feel used or treated unjustly, I’ll speak up – sometimes explode.    As I started, in dealing with religious beliefs, I’ve picked and prodded to understand a basis of morality, but what I’m lost at times is the aspect of preaching.  Spreading words of Truth?  Maybe my upbringing with Thermodynamics has just got too much science in me – but as you can tell, I like to preach about Thermodynamics – Laws of Balance.  Maybe I’m religious after all. 

Anyways, my sermon; Thermodynamics involves a balancing act.  Heat flows towards cool, and finds a balance of temperature.  Cooler than hot, but hotter than cool, yes, but in a sense, if anything can be cooled, then a reversible path can be found to rebalance to the original temperature.  If heat gains momentum, an acceleration happens where entropy occurs and heat may turn into radiation, or a multitude of other energy streams.  Entropy continues to occur until Chaos ensues, returning everything from a maximum to a minimum.  It re-balances. 


Its definition by the minds states that irreversibility, in thermodynamic definitions, is due to intermolecular friction.  No comment on heat and thermal equilibriums, only stating that irreversibility is caused by two masses causing friction.  I still like to think the Laws of Thermodynamics are balanced and equal.  Nothing in, nothing out, everything in harmony.  To me, irreversibility cannot exist. 


But perhaps friction is the entropy, the greed in my analogies.  Friction - something I don’t understand.  Mass and friction.  Greed and friction.  Exploitation and friction.  Resources and friction.  Oil and Friction. Plastics and Friction.

Irreversible plastics.  They hold our things – water, circuit boards, music, comfort, entertainment, zeros and ones, thoughts, bodies and groceries.  Irreversible plastics.  Produced out of organic molecules we dig, we mine, we drill, we pump, we produce and we fight over.  Why do we fight over it?  Because it’s precious to us and we want more!  


Synthetic Plastics date back to 1862 – Parkesine was the trademarked name.  Parkesine, made from a mixture of chloroform and castor oil, formed a malleable, light weight material, produced in colourful displays without dyes and finished to a gleam and “hard as a horn, but as flexible as leather”, started it all. 

Sure Goodyear had discovered natural rubber in 1839, but this was the first synthetic plastic, made out of chlorine, methane and vegetable oil. 

Alexander Parkes saw the potential of all the applications of this product.  I wonder what he would think now. 


The North Pacific Gyre – if I lived in the heydays of the 1950’s I’d probably think this is the latest dance craze.  Today, it’s taken on a whole new meaning.  The North Pacific Gyre is the natural currents that carry out the Pacific Ocean’s dance.   In the gyration, things may eternally float on – like a magical bubble floating with the gentle breeze, or a paper boat, floating off in the ocean’s horizon.  If this magic were to happen and flow out to the vastness of the oceans, we can see what the eternal really is – plastics.

The North Pacific Gyre creates a vortex and swirl – concentrating anything that floats eternally into the depths of the oceans.  A previously termed; “Plastic Soup” has been cooking, concentrating to twice the size of the continental US and containing over 100 million tons.  Every piece of plastic that has drifted into the ocean in the past 50 years is accountable, and in 2008, that number was estimated to be over 100 million tons. 

If averaged over 50 years, 2 million tons of plastics are annually dumped up in the ocean.  I doubt very much that this amount should be averaged, but perhaps I can trend this to GDP growth over that time span.  I’ll use the United States of America’s Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE), a component of calculating a nation’s Gross Domestic Product in this example – perhaps more fitting of projecting plastic accumulation and disposal.    

PCE Increase per year = 5% (2000 – 2007)

100 tons projected at 5% growth in 2050 = 815 million tons.

Area of current vortex (Area of U.S. = 9.1 million square kilometres times 2) projected at 5% growth in 2050 = 149 million square kilometres. 

Area of the Pacific Ocean: 150 million square kilometres. 


Microsoft Thesaurus Check – no results were found.

My definition to Renew, to Rebalance, to Undo, to Protect.

I don’t know why I can’t find another word for it in my thesaurus checker.  I suppose it needs a little defining.

The vortex, alive and well, will continue to collect our trash while we wait for a solution.  Any type of solution, but we have very little time.  When I work with very little time, I panic.  Do we need panic?  I sure don’t feel it right now.  Maybe I need to.  Maybe we all need to.  Without panic, it could be deadly.


Plastics float – like a boat, across the sea, because of we.  Be specific? our Pacific. 

What a mind-blowing thought – if we can’t see it, maybe it’s not there.  Dilution is the solution?  I’ll keep swinging my arms, and if you get in the way, it’s your own fault? 

Let’s chop up our plastic, and then send it into the ocean!   There’s the solution! 

Will sarcasm get me anywhere?

Probably not, but amazingly, my sarcastic idea is not my own.  Ok, maybe it works, and works quite well, but if I do a quick life cycle study on this, I can take data to know that fine particles of plastics, laden with garbage may attract fish, yes even in the depths of the oceans.  And well, fish eat these plastics and store them.  They store plastics quite well in their fleshy insides.  Then, fish eat fish.  Then, more fish eat fish.  Then a crustacean eats some of the fish leftovers, but then that crustacean is eaten by a fish.  Which in turn, will get eaten by more fish.  And so on.  Eventually, we eat fish. 

And I hear Fish Tacos are the latest craze – and boy do I like seafood! 

Head in the Toilet

When younger, I got to go out into the ocean.  It was a home on the sea.  I got seasick the first few days, but eventually, I felt comfortable enough to pee off the bridge deck.  It was fun!  It was an epiphany.  My little presence alone can’t affect this vast world.  But what if everyone pissed into the ocean – that’s damn nasty. 

And what if we have.  What if we are. 

Plastics are currently derived from an oil source.  They are used for televisions, telephones, brooms, mops, clothes, CDs, DVDs and everything around us.  My challenge is this, name three things around you right now that you may keep or pass down that will last for the next 41 years.  Are they made of plastic? 

And what of everything else that is made of plastic.  In the next 41 years, they will have to be thrown out.   To the incinerator? Wait… these plastics may burn and kill us in the air.  To the garbage dump?   Hmm… no more room?  We can chop down more trees right?  To the ocean?  I really don’t think that’s a good idea for the next 41 years.  

The Melting Pot

Plastic was initially invented with vision and foresight.  Chloroform and castor oil.  They have these ingredients.  These ingredients were mixed together and caused friction.  The friction was caused because masses meeting created an irreversible loss of energy – thermodynamics – everything is accounted for.  We have created an irreversible reaction.  And we do this because we consume.  But to keep consuming unnaturally, we are creating an even more irreversible reaction, we are creating it to ourselves and our health and our environment.  We need to balance our consumption – we need to know where it goes, how it’s disposed, and how we can recycle.  We need an answer now.  We cannot wait. 

The Continental Shift

The Atlantic Ocean is expanding, the Pacific Ocean is collapsing – a form of a Universal dance.  It may be an eternal dance, perhaps, or it just may take Eons to happen, but someday, somehow, the dance will be over and the North Pacific Gyre will no longer be the latest dance craze.   At this far distant point in time, we’ll see the glorious mistakes of our past .   I hope to live to 2050 and feed the Generation NEXT

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Full Moon

It’s pronounced Nu-Cu-Lar

Homer Simpson – a man amongst us all.  His tomfoolery and satire to the outside world – a mastercard commercial on his own.  And the mainstay of his many occupations?

It starts with a spark

From within the neutron, our mass is stored, we keep things in a tight sphere with our neighbouring protons, our positives.  In harmony, we chase each other around, within our spheres, nothing escapes, nothing is created.  Equilibrium.   Our energy and excitement attract other building blocks – our electrons, our sparks.   

The sparks rotate around the nucleus, orbiting and observing from afar, we attract but we repel, in perfect harmony.  The sparks spin themselves into a tizzy, a tazmanian devil gaining speed and power.  The gravity and energy generated from this magic and entropy is suddenly brought to a complete standstill and balance – another atom.  This atom is mystically attracted to the sparks – drawn to a kismet sensation of peace.  As word of this peace spreads, atoms become densely attracted, until the true beauty of a molecule is presented – an element.

 In it’s abundance

Hydrogen is the most plentiful element of the sun.  It is the true purity of an atomic structure – minimal protons, minimal neutrons and minimal electrons.  The tiniest balance of gravity and mass.  This property also lends itself to its explosive nature as well.  Hydrogen releases more heat per mass than any of the petroleum products we burn today.  The powers of hydrogen to provide an eternity’s worth of energy to the sun is one mystery I can’t explain – but we do know it generates heat.   The annual amount of energy we on Earth receive from this mystery of Solar Flux is approximately 3,850,000 x 1015 kJ. 

It its scarcity

Uranium populates the earth with 50 billion tonnes and exists with radioactive properties – the ONLY natural element of its kind.  It dissipates energy.  The image of an inanimate object emitting energy, to me, is one of fantasmic proportions.  A dab of mass, an infinite smidgeon of heat capacity, and the mystical is born.  I would tend to believe that an inanimate object possessing energy and mystical powers would be Supernatural.  Our Kryptonite – it does indeed poison us.

Uranium, when its life is depleted, decays to lead, plumbum.  It first decays to Thorium, Radon, Polonium and eventually to lead.  Throughout these decay steps, energy is continually dissipated, to the point where the microscopic electrons run off into space, and elements materialize to their simpler states of being – inanimate. 

Now one thing I’ve always wondered, if materials like polonium, radon, thorium and uranium dissipate energy – can they not absorb energy?  No, not the stuff that get’s filtered down from the atmospheres to us, the stuff I’m talking about is the raw, energy of solar radiation up in the heavens?   I obviously haven’t done any research on this, as I doubt anyone would be allowed to load up a bunch of uranium on a space shuttle and get away with it.   But my view on equilibrium and the Law of Thermodynamics tells me that actinides (the chemical species on the periodic table) may possess these supernatural powers of energy storage – perhaps from the Sun? 

 Our Superhero

 Faster than a speeding bullet, More powerful than a locomotive, Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, Look, up in the sky

The atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945.  The second atomic bomb fell on Nagasaki on August 8th, 1945. 

We have observed the atrocities that could be created, the simple wasting of lives that these weapons have created, yet we continue to build. 


        Uranium Mining % Globally             Country

                25%                                                    Canada

                19.1%                                                    Australia

                13.3%                                                    Kazakhstan         

                8.7%                                                       Niger

8.6%                                                       Russia

7.8%                                                       Namibia

 The approach taken by global threats, is that if you have one – we want one.   Successful atomic bomb testing programs have been conducted as recent as 1998, and could possibly still be in development.    We do we need so many?

“I’m gonna keep swinging my arms and if you get in my way it’s your own fault”

Childish games are sometimes the funest - the ones where you don’t take ownership of your consequences and pretend your right.  Childish games. 

We still play them often – my favourite was Hungry Hungry Hippos.  We’re all ravaging our share from a random path of chaos. 

 They will attack….

These games may have evolved to theories I can’t understand anymore.  War.  We blame, we throw stones, we argue – and for what?  A fair slice of the pie? 

I can understand the concepts of war in global expansion.  We are intrinsically programmed to survive.  We must find a shelter, food and warmth.   I do understand that there are still developing nations out there that abide to these actions, but I don’t understand why developed nations dispute.  Developed nations that develop nuclear armaments. 

If we are developed enough to arm ourselves and protect ourselves, why do we need war?  Are we expanding our borders?  Are we getting more territory for our population?  If I stay in my neck of the woods, and don’t throw a stone or speak blasphemy and trust that our handshakes in trade are honourable – I’ll trust that you won’t throw a stone or speak blasphemy and will honour our handshake. 

This would seem to work – but why would it otherwise fail? 

My only explanation is an entropic one – Greed.

Plain and simple.  Thermodynamics causing chaos again. 

 Down the Well

So I dropped my stone.  Will you still throw at me?   Do you still have hatred enough to pillage and rape?

Uranium has a source – it is mined.  Those that are mining this precious, supernatural element, Please ensure its safety is kept in mind.  Perhaps send it to the heavens and observe its magic.  Far away from us – to the Moon Alice! 

Uranium can be used – it is non-renewable.  This resource, once depleted or utilized – is non-renewable.  It is destroyed, and it can destroy with its powers.   War must serve a different purpose than it is today before we can dispose of this material.  We have to think of better ways to diplomatically feed a world, clothe a world and warm a world.  Balanced with equations and equality and thermodynamics. 

I can see the Full Moon tonite.   I’ll be watching to see if it falls…

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Riding the Thames

The South Sea Company – the latest and greatest investment opportunity.  You can’t go wrong.  We trade in the far south of the new land of America, an investment opportunity as vast as the great South American Sea – we are the South Sea Company. 

As almost a premonition that naming a company after a fictitious body of water will bring fictitious results, this scandal led to arguably the worst financial meltdown for a country’s population.

The scheme consists of this:

The British Government, having just come off the War of Spanish Succession, came up with a solution to get rid of the national debt.   They could not create another bank, as the Bank of England was the only stock bank.  Instead, a trading company, called the South Sea Company was created, with the purpose of funding government debt.

The Government and Company then issued stock to prospective ‘holders’.  These ‘holders’ would also assume the appropriate share of Government debt.  In doing so, whatever profits the company made by trading in the South Americans Seas would be used to grow the value of the company, and therefore 'holders'.  One ship a year was granted, and would help the Spanish colonies develop with the arrival of slaves. 

The Government promised a payment of 500,000 pounds every year to pay off the assumed debt.  The Government would also provide loans of up to 10 million pounds at 6% interest payback (in essence, take all our debt, and pay us another 6%).  The government would also put a tariff, or tax on all items shipped to the South Seas (in essence, more government funding).

In total, approximately 31 million pounds of debt were assumed from the government to the company.    Stocks were issued, paybacks were made – but another step can make this thrive even more. 

Ai – ja heir? Da preisse o dat South Sea jus wen up agin?  Days tradin with a furry dems afriks day is.  Im gon’ go git me sum rite dis instant I is..

The speculation was imaginative, fantastic, astronomic.  The price was driven up fictitiously, just like the serendipitously named company.   Those at the top, executives, politicians, were offered to buy the shares, but rather than actually buying them, the politicians never paid, and were actually allowed to ‘hold’ the shares in a long position and sell them off when they pleased.  The money transfer was fantastic.  So they were given a value of 100 pounds per share, pocketed 900 pounds per share, and handed the 100 pounds per share back to the lender.

The price of the stock went up over a year from 100 pounds to 1000 pounds at the peak.  The speculation worked.  Banks set up tables on the street, criers proclaimed: “all Peasants and lords funnel yourselves into the scheme, take your life savings and get rich quick.  Others are doing it – why can’t you?”  

With a rate of profit inflating this fast – an image of a bubble is conjured.  The bubble grows in unnatural beauty reflecting all that it has been created by – but at some instant in time – it bursts – and explodes in a fury of waste only to spill the mess on those that created and made it grow.

The rich got rich quick – the poor assumed the meltdown.  After the peak, the true corruption in this scheme had run its course, or perhaps there were no more poor to fool, the company crashed.  Right back down to 135 pounds per share.  Those that bought at or near the top lost everything.  Those that bought the shares on credit were bankrupt.  Those that knew the system kept up the greed by short-selling the downturn.  

The failures reached the banks and goldsmiths – the money they had leant out the peasants and lords could not be repaid.  Suicide rates surged.  Corruption, bribery, fraud was being rampantly exposed in the government.   A suggestion was made that those who’ve conspired and perpetrated this scheme should be thrown into the Thames. 

 It was truly the ugliness of human nature.