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The Wreck and the Raft by John Fowles

11 Humanity on its raft. The raft on the endless ocean. From his present dissatisfaction man reasons that there was some catastrophic wreck in the past, before which he was happy; some golden age, some Garden of Eden. He also reasons that somewhere ahead lies a promised land, a land without conflict. Meanwhile, he is miserably en passage; this myth lies deeper than religious faith.

12 Seven men inhabit the raft. The pessimist, for whom the good things of life are no more than lures to prolong suffering; the egocentric, whose motto is Carpe diem – enjoy today – and who does his best to get the most comfortable part of the raft for himself; the optimist, always scanning the horizon for the promised land; the observer, who finds it enough to write the logbook of the voyage and to note down the behaviour of the sea, the raft and his fellow-victims; the altruist, who finds his reason for being in the need to deny himself and to help others; the stoic, who believes in nothing but his own refusal to jump overboard and end it all; and finally the child, the one born, as some with perfect pitch, with perfect ignorance – the pitifully ubiquitous child, who believes that all will be explained in the end, the nightmare fade and the green shore rise.

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Let’s Review 123: ABC It’s as Easy as 123

Michael Jackson and the sister he never had.

Breaking: Kavanaugh’s Accuser Says She Won’t Testify Until The FBI, Which Has Already Declined to Investigate Her Non-Federal-Jurisdiction 37 Year Old Allegations, Completes Its Investigation, Sometime After a Democrat is President

Just before the hurricane, a friend warned me about snakes getting flushed out by the rising waters. Naive me. I thought he meant on my property in North Carolina. Turns out the snakes are a bit further north . . . in Washington DC.

Wildfire in the Golden State, and especially in Southern California—the nation’s maximum fire-prone landscape—is the most dynamic, violent natural event that people engage with. In sheer energy and unpredictability, a hurricane is as close as you can come to the riotous mien of a Los Angeles chaparral fire. We do not attack hurricanes, or earthquakes, or tornadoes. We do attack, however, what is essentially photosynthesis thrown into reverse, as foliage instantaneously releases stored solar energy in the form of hot gases—what we see as flames. An Intense Look Back at the Griffith Park Fire of 2007 Los Angeles Magazine

TDS Ribbons: Because It’s Time. Let the Healing Begin: By recognizing that what you are going through/feeling is Trump Derangement Syndrome, you can begin to heal Identify yourself: BE LOUD and PROUD! Identify yourself to others so you know you’re not alone. Group Healing works best. See tdsribbon.com 

Muslims really do think they will conquer the world, so any little sign of advance is exciting to them.

[Swift wrote] ”as the vilest Writer has his Readers, so the greatest Liar has his Believers; and it often happens, that if a Lie be believ’d only for an Hour, it has done its Work, and there is no farther occasion for it. Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it; so that when Men come to be undeceiv’d, it is too late; the Jest is over, and the Tale has had its Effect…

The 1942 Oeuf Electrique, or electric egg, had three wheels and ran on batteries decades after gasoline became the dominant way to power cars, and decades before Elon Musk decided to make electricity cool again. Its designer, Parisian Paul Arzens, worked as a painter and designed railway locomotives before moving on to cars. The bubble is made of hand-formed aluminum and curved Plexiglass, a novel material at the time. [click to continue…]


In which it is clearly demonstrated that Elon Musk’s Not A Flamethrower “May not be used on Boring Company decorative lacquered hay bales or Boring Company dockside munitions warehouses” suffers from ignitus interruptus. [click to continue…]


Early Boomer Anthems: 16 Tons

Mark Steyn — SteynOnline    Sixteen Tons was huge in its day, in a way that the fragmented and shriveled Hot One Hundred of today can barely imagine. Tennessee Ernie Ford’s version was released on October 17th 1955. Nine days later, it had sold 400,000 copies. By November 10th, it had sold another 600,000 to become the fastest-selling million-seller in pop history, a record it retains to this day. By December 15th, it had sold two million. It was Number One for seven weeks before being displaced by Dean Martin’s “Memories Are Made Of This”. Who’d have thought there was so much gravy in a singalong about the unrelenting grinding misery of coal mining?

… Written almost a decade before Tennessee Ernie Ford struck gold with it, “Sixteen Tons” was the work of Merle Travis. .. On one night in August 1946, Merle Travis sat down and wrote three “folk” songs about Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, where his father had worked in the mines. One of those songs was “Sixteen Tons”….. Travis had a facility for big memorable hooks, and so, asked to hustle up a handful of folk songs overnight, he figured why not? He said he remembered a letter his brother had sent him during the war, about the death of the great reporter Ernie Pyle in the Pacific. In the course of his musings, John Travis had sighed, “It’s like working in the coal mines… Another day older and deeper in debt.” Merle recalled, too, his father’s weary fatalistic shrug when asked how things were going: “I can’t afford to die. I owe my soul to the company store.”

Put those two lines together and you’ve got half the song.

Tennesse Earnie Ford: “Sometimes it’s a new twist that boosts one of those songs up into the million sales class.  “Sixteen Tons” was written eight years before I recorded it, too.  I’d sung “Sixteen Tons” years before [on radio], but it hadn’€™t been any blockbuster, and Merle Travis, who’d written it, had put it in an album of his songs called Folk Songs of the Hills.  Nothing happened then either.  Then we decided to do some of Merle’€™s things with modern instrumentation [on television].  When Merle did them, he’€™d used a straight guitar music background.  When we did them we used a flute, a bass clarinet, a trumpet, a clarinet, drums, a guitar, vibes, and a piano.  They gave it a real wonderful sound. [click to continue…]


Dear Nike, I want to have a conversation about this hat. It’s over 13 years old. I don’t remember when I bought it exactly, I don’t remember where I bought it. But what I do remember is why I wore it.

On August 10, 2005, I was a newlywed with two young sons. My husband Tim and I had toasted our one month anniversary the night before, and I was enjoying a rare evening to myself, catching up on reading and relishing the quiet. Until there was a knock on my door. I had no way of knowing that the small act of turning a knob was about to shatter my life into a million pieces. I sat numb and in sheer disbelief as I was told that my husband, while in a foot pursuit and subsequent struggle with a suspect that ended up in the road, had been struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle. He took his last breath lying in the middle of the street. What I lost in that moment is indescribable. I had to watch his mother be dealt the most agonizing blow a parent can face, and I couldn’t comfort her because I was in my own hell. I had to find a way to gut my own children in the gentlest way possible and tell them that this man they had come to love, who they looked up to, who cared for them as his own, would never walk through our door again. [click to continue…]


Breaking! This Just In from the Heart of the Storm

Finally, the news behind fake news… [click to continue…]


The Missing

Their silence keeps me sleepless for I know
Within that smoke their ash still falls as snow,
To settle on our flesh like fading stars
Dissolve into sharp sparks at break of day.

At dawn a distant shudder in the earth
Disclosed the flight of fire into steel,
The shaking not of subways underground,
But screams from inside flowers made of flame.

We stood upon the Heights like men of straw
Transfixed by flames that started in the sky,
And watched them plunging down in death’s ballet
Too far removed to hear their falling cry.

By noon that band of smoke loomed low
Upon the harbor’s skin and made us gasp;
A hand of smoke that in its curdled crawl
Kept reaching to extend its lethal grasp.

The harp strung bridge held up ten thousand souls
Who’d screaming run beneath the paws of death,
Like dusted ghosts that lived but were not sure
If they lived in light or only for a breath.

They’d writhed and spun within that storm of smoke
And stumbled out to light and clearer air,
To find upon the river’s further shore
No sanctuary other than despair.

The sirens scraped the sky and jets carved arcs
Within a heaven empty of all hope,
That marked its epicenter with one streak
Of black on polished bone where silver’d stood.

By evening all their ash had settled so
That on the leaves outside my window glowed
Their souls in small bright stars until the rain
Cleaned all of what could not be clean again.

We breathed that smoke that bent and crawled.
We learned to hate that smoke that lingered so.
We knew that blood could only answer blood,
And so we yearned to go but not to go.

Within that city shrines were our resolve.
We placed them where our grief would best anneal.
Upon our walls and trees their faces loomed
To gaze at us from time beyond repeal.

Their last lost summer faded into ash.
Their faces faded into name scratched stones.
Our years flowed into endless desert seas
Where warplanes prowled in search of bones.

In time their smoke and ash became but words
In stories told at dinner, told by rote,
Or in the comments made by magazines
For whom the “larger issues” were of note.

In time their faces faded with the rains,
The little altars thick with wax were scraped,
But still beneath clear plastic they endure
Reminding us that we have not escaped.

Their silence keeps me sleepless for I know.


Let’s Review 122: Days of Miracles and Wonders

Is This Image of the Total Eclipse “History’s Most Amazing Photo”? By studying the eclipse path carefully, the photographer realized that Southwest Airlines runs a flight from Portland to St. Louis that would put him in the perfect position to view the event. Taking a once in a lifetime chance, Carmichael purchased a ticket and hoped that he’d get a window seat. Since Southwest doesn’t have pre-assigned seats, he’d even prepared himself to bribe someone to give up their window position if necessary. Luckily, it didn’t come to that. When he explained his mission to the Southwest flight crew, not only did they ensure he’d get a great seat, but the captain actually went outside the plane to clean the window for a crystal clear shot. During the flight itself, the pilots circled a few times to provide all passengers with a spectacular view.

The Race to Build a Better Bee |   Researchers at Harvard University developed a RoboBee that, despite weighing less one-tenth of a gram, is equipped with smart sensors that can interpret and respond to their environment, mimicking the function of the eyes and antennae of bees; The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, MA, is working on DragonflEYE that could be used for guided pollination; and, in March, Walmart filed a patent for drone pollinators.

Not to mention middle-class drug addictions to crack and meth….   How Tattoos Became Middle Class | Even the manner in which customers chose to get tattooed informed attitudes towards it, she notes. Active planning, research, and vetting often go into choosing a tattoo artist, with some people waiting months or years for the desired artist. This showed that tattoos required work, planning, and restraint—in other words, rather conventional behaviors.
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Something Wonderful: No Blue Without Yellow


File Under: “Ex-Wives, Could Have Been Mine”

Bless ’em all, bless ’em all, the long and the short and the tall… [click to continue…]


The Creepy Line: More on Google

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The Wound

Simon Dedvukaj, 26, Mohegan Lake, N.Y. janitorial, foreman, ABM Industries / Confirmed dead, World Trade Center, at/in building 2

“Well, it was only 3,000 people and we’ve moved on. Why can’t you? Carpe diem, man.”

The huge wound in my head began to heal
About the beginning of the seventh week.
Its valleys darkened, its villages became still:
For joy I did not move and dared not speak,
Not doctors would cure it, but time, its patient still.

— Thom Gunn, The Wound

EVERYONE WHO WAS IN NEW YORK ON on “The Day” will tell you their stories about “The Day.” I could stun you with an eight-figure number by running a Google on 9/11, but you can do that as well.

“The Day,” even at this close remove, has ascended into that shared museum of the mind to be placed in the diorama captioned, “Where Were You When.” The site has long since been cleared and scrubbed clean. There is even an agreement on the memorial which will, I see, use a lot of water and trees. “The Day” has become both memorial and myth.

Less is heard about the aftermath. Less is said about the weeks and months that spun out from that stunningly clear and bright September morning whose sky was slashed by a towering fist of flame and smoke.

You forget the smoke that hung over the city like a widow’s shawl as the fires burned on for months.

You don’t know about the daily commutes by subway wondering if some new horror was being swept towards you as the train came to a stop deep beneath the East River.

You suppress hearing over the loudspeaker, always unclearly, that the train was being “held for police activity at Penn Station.” Was that a bomb, poison gas, a mass shooting, a strike on the Empire State building? You were never sure. You carried a flashlight in case you had to walk out of the tunnels that ran deep beneath the river. Terror was your quiet companion. After the first six weeks, you barely knew it was there. [click to continue…]


Of a Fire in a Field and a Hole in the Sky

The Tower of Voices, a roughly 93-foot-tall concrete and steel structure, contains a wind chime for each of the 40 passengers and crew members who were killed on Sept. 11, 2001, and represents the final phase of the Flight 93 National Memorial. Each chime will generate its own distinctive sound.

At the end of April in 2006 a couple of friends asked me to go with them to see “United 93,” but I declined both offers saying I wasn’t sure that I needed any reminders other than what I saw in New York on that day. In the end, though, I went to it as I went to the funerals, alone.

When people who were in New York on that day talk about it, it always seems to be focused on the day itself. Nobody talks much about the days and the weeks and the months that came after that day in New York City.

In a way, that’s understandable because what happened for days and weeks and months after was pretty much a slowly diminishing repeat of that day. Things got better, got back to the new “normal.” The wax from the candled shrines was scraped away, and in time — quite a long time actually — even the walls and fences full of fading flyers asking if you had seen one or the other of those we came to call “the missing” were gone.

Most of these ghastly portrait galleries were simply washed away by the snows and rains that followed that autumn day. Some were covered in long sheets of clear plastic duct-taped and sealed.

It was as if somehow preserving them for a long as possible would in some way preserve the hope that those in the towers who had been turned to ash and dust were, somewhere, somehow, still merely missing. Some were even laminated and replaced more than once on a chain-link fence that ringed Ground Zero forming a patchwork of Kinkos-copied faces framed by wire and the hole in the sky. [click to continue…]


In the item Florence’s Evac To-Do List – Short Form: “If you didn’t start last week just head for the hills and pray.”   AD commenter Marcia offers these insights.

Marica, September 13, 2018: Some random thoughts from a long time prepper and hurricane pro (did Fran et al. Down East and even did Ike in Cincinnati!). The first of which is that preparing for a hurricane or a full-blown Woodpile apocalypse is not something one does today. It is a lifelong project that at which one gets incrementally better having experienced multiple events, and keeping up with changing times (new & better flashlights, etc.). So while everything on your list is good and reasonable, it’s also pretty well known to folks who pay attention, and beyond the scope of those who are just waking up.

(Aside– about the coin on the ice. Under these circumstances, just where is the home owner going to be but at home? Won’t he know that the power has gone out?)
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UPDATE: “It’s Official: Google Is a Democratic Party Front | Power Line All of the speakers express grief over Donald Trump’s election. All of the speakers assume that every Google employee is a Democrat and is stunned and horrified that Hillary Clinton–the worst and most corrupt presidential candidate in modern history–lost. There is much discussion about what Google can do to reverse the benighted world-wide tide exemplified by Brexit and Trump’s election. The insane doctrine of “white privilege” rears its head.

“You really have to see it to believe it. Having suffered through the hour-long cri de cœur–OK, to be fair, there is a huge element of schadenfreude, too, and you will relish much of it–you probably will have several reactions: 1) These people may have certain valuable technical skills, but they aren’t very bright and are unusually lacking in self-awareness. 2) It is remarkable that they can achieve such an extraordinary monoculture in an organization with thousands of employees. It must require vigorous enforcement of right-think. 3) It is easy to see how these uniformly left-wing robots/people seamlessly transitioned into Resisting the duly elected Trump administration.”

A video recorded by Google shortly after the 2016 presidential election reveals an atmosphere of panic and dismay amongst the tech giant’s leadership, coupled with a determination to thwart both the Trump agenda and the broader populist movement emerging around the globe.

“These individuals, who preside over a company with unrivaled influence over the flow of information, can be seen disparaging the motivations of Trump voters and plotting ways to use their vast resources to thwart the Trump agenda.

“Co-founder Sergey Brin can be heard comparing Trump supporters to fascists and extremists. Brin argues that like other extremists, Trump voters were motivated by “boredom,” which he says in the past led to fascism and communism.”

Key moments from the video can be found at the following timestamps:
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It would seem that the National Weather Service is tell all that Carolina is about to get f**ked.

Forecasters for the national weather service are calling this a “historical weather event.” If Florence is a Category 4 hurricane when it makes landfall in North Carolina, United States, it will be only the second in history to reach landfall at that strength in NC. The other Cat 4 was Hurricane Hazel in 1954. This storm is not only supposed to have sustained winds of 100+ mph for more than 24 hours, it is also supposed to stall out over the state dropping 10-20 inches of rain. While you can’t plan for every contingency, you can prepare for the worst. I invite our prepper community to add to the following list. Be safe out there.

UPDATE: Sharknado Panic Level Unlocked.

IF YOU ARE IN AN EVACUATION ZONE, [Guess what?] EVACUATE THE AREA. [But just get these few chores done first you poor suffering bastard.] [click to continue…]