Thursday, January 22, 2009

18-foot python tries to eat 3-year old (animals)

A family in Las Vegas was caring for a friend's 18-foot reticulated python. The snake got loose somehow and attempted to eat the family's 3-old child. The child's mom stabbed the snake and saved the child. Sadly the snake's injuries were deemed fatal and it was executed.
Reticulated pythons are the same type that are loose in Florida and are found under people's porches and which are challenging the alligator for supremacy of the Everglades. The pythons are just doing what they are supposed to; it's people who don't think. Of course the cute little snake will grow into something huge and dangerous, and zoos don't want them, no one wants them. I worked in the pet business and I hated selling snakes. I'm not afraid of them but I don't see the allure. Stories like this make me feel sad. I don't hate the snake for trying to eat the child, and I feel bad that the snake died. There's no happy ending possible, really.
Screenprint; Image source=article source (title link goes to article).

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gary Jennings' new 2012 book

Gary Jennings, one of my favorite authors, has put out almost as many books since he died as he did when he was alive. (Died February 1999.) His newest posthumous offering is coming out in June and is called Gary Jennings' Apocalypse 2012 and is apparently considered part of the Aztec series.
Because GJ is known for writing about the Mayans, right? Well, there was that one section in Aztec where Dark Cloud went south to try to get his eyes fixed. I guess that qualifies.
There is nothing listed on Amazon in regard to the plot or a summary, but you know the minute I saw it on the front page of Amazon under "we recommend" I pre-ordered it. I mean, I have to. It's like a biological imperative.

2012: solar storms will wipe out our infrastructure

There have been solar flares forever, every 11 years. All of a sudden, this next cycle is going to be the "big one" apparently, wiping out our power grid and making our GPS units no longer work. (I know, when the power goes out the first thing I do is run to the car and check my GPS...not.)
According to the fear-mongers at ABC, we aren't ready for a solar space storm that could knock out our electricity, our cell phones, even our water supply. This is based on the fact that, (b)ack in 1859, a solar eruption resulted in telegraph wires burning up. ...

How bad would the "Katrina Space Storm" be for us earthlings? Well, the NAS report suggests the storm could cascade through our modern world. First, the electric grid would be vulnerable, and could be shut down. It's the first big domino that, the report says, could lead to "disruption of the transportation, communication, banking, and finance systems, and government services; the breakdown of the distribution of potable water owing to pump failure; and the loss of perishable foods and medications because of lack of refrigeration."

OMG! Stockpile food...uh, no, can't do that, the refrigerator will be dead. I guess we'll all have to resurrect our 1950's bomb shelters and hope for the best.

Nothing like a healthy dose of fear for breakfast!

(image source lolcats; screenprint of article)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

4 Ollin, or the end of the world, is Thursday

Thursday is 4 Ollin/Caban/Earthquake, the date the Aztecs think the world will end. Well, on SOME 4 Ollin, we don't know which one. (Unlike the Mayans, who left us the long count pointing to 2012 for whatever reason, the Aztecs only counted their years in sheafs of 52, and didn't include a solar month with their sacred calendar enddate). 500 years ago, they believed the 5th sun was already old and dying and the final 4 Ollin earthquake was eminent. So I guess it could be Thursday. If not Thursday, then in 9 months, on the next 4 Ollin (09-25-2009).
My subconscious must have known 4 Ollin, and possibly the end of the world, were coming, because I had a very odd end of the world dream, very short and very vivid.

In the dream, I sat in the living room of an apartment. My mother slept in the bedroom. It was night, and everyone knew the world was ending that evening. Although you'd think everyone would be outside, rioting, in reality, it everything was quiet. Two laptops sat open and on before me, and I turned them both off, shut the covers, and unplugged them, thinking rather sadly "this won't save them." I knew my mother was in denial and that's why she stayed alone in her room. (I have no idea where my husband, grandmother or pets were--they weren't in my dream consciousness at all--or why I was in an apartment.)
I walked over to the big picture window, maybe 3 or 4 stories up. The building was located on a hill, so I could see pretty far across a city whose lights twinkled below, spread out to the horizon. I couldn't stand the silence so I opened the window and leaned out and started shouting; I don't remember what I said. As I yelled, I saw the lights that were nearest the horizon go out. It was like a dark cloud was racing over the earth (probably the earth turning). I stopped yelling and watched the darkness spread toward me, EMP-ing everything electronic and killing everyone. I wished my mother was awake to watch with me (somehow that, and knowing my computers would be EMPed, were sadder than my own impending death). Watching the world die is a once in a lifetime thing, and here I was alone. The darkness blotted out everything I could once see, and came up the hill, and then it took me, even as I started shouting again.
I realized I was still standing there. I wasn't dead! I turned to feel my way to my mom's room and see if she also survived.
The darkness was complete--no moon, no ambient light. But somehow I never stumbled and my outstretched fingers never encountered furniture. Before I was halfway across the room, I realized that I was indeed dead, and my body was crumpled in front of the window.
But I wasn't a ghost; somehow all at once I realized (or was told) that I was an AI and my memories and sense of self had been transferred from my body at the instant the darkness hit. (Why the EMP wouldn't have taken out an AI, I don't know.) And I also knew that my mother hadn't been spared and she was dead, most everyone else was dead, and only a few were now AIs, but I didn't know how or why.
And that was it.

Here is a list of 4 Ollins between now and 2013
  • Friday, September 25, 2009
  • Saturday, June 12, 2010
  • Sunday, February 27, 2011
  • Monday, November 14, 2011
  • Tuesday, July 31, 2012 (143 days before 13th Baktun)
  • Wednesday, April 17, 2013 (117 days after 13th Baktun)
if you want to mark your calendar....or just buy mine!

(Image is from flickr)