Coming home on the train tonight, I had been casually observing a woman reading a book, ARE WE LIVING IN THE END TIMES?--I figure she was yet another of the loose canons swooping around about the Armegeddonists--and we both step out into the evening drizzle. What do I hear? "Oh, Sh-t, I am so sick of rain." Not very pious, if you ask me.
Well, later, I am innocently surfing this night and on MSNBC* (I know, not a very literate e-rag, by any stretch of the imagination), but there IT was, the book and the book club, the LEFT BEHIND PROPHECY CLUB, dedicated to (hold your nose, oh my Reasonable Ones!) helping the faithful "understand how current events may actually relate to End Times prophecy." A query on their page was even more creepy: "Israel's cabinet accepts U.S.-backed "road map" to peace. But does it block the path to Christ's return?" In saner times, mis amigos, a major news media would hardly be running ads for nutcases like these, but I am hearing that even in the santified halls of the gov'mnt, prayuh meetin's about this stuff are goin on--as we blog--and chuchanstate, having celebrated their nuptials, are about to snuggle up for a hot wedding night.
I am bruised and sore from pinching myself, dammit: this is still a beautiful world, despite what Certain People have tried to do/done to it, and this sh-- has got to stop!
*BTW this ad appeared on the news announcement about the shutting down of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya.
Wonked again, shall we say! 7.1 hits Amazonia. A RARE occurrence. Were it not so deep it would have been a lulu, even in the sparsely populated area in which in occurred. It was, Dear Reader, 550km (340 miles) deep and thus not so lethal. But, if I can get this straight, the "... June 20 earthquake occurred within the Nazca plate, which currently underthrusts the South American plate at the Peru-Chile Trench, along the west coast of South America. As it descends from the west coast of Peru to eastern Peru, the Nazca plate is seismically active down to depths of about 170 km. Between depths of 170 km and 530 km, the Nazca plate beneath eastern Peru and western Brazil produces very few shocks. Beneath western Brazil in the region of the June 20 earthquake, the subducted Nazca plate is again seismically active between depths of 530 km and 650 km. The deep part of the Nazca plate, in which the June 20 earthquake occurred, took--" GET THIS! "10 million years or more--" YES, 10 MILLION! "to descend from the point at which it initially thrust under the South American plate."
We are talking, as my first ex- would say, glacial time--positively glacial. And here we little rattrap humans are scurrying over the thin crust of the earth as if we own it; and it took this long for the earth to move!
I reproduce the comments on the Earthquake near the coast of Central Chile Friday, June 20, 2003 at 09:30:41 AM local time at epicenter (Friday, June 20, 2003 at 09:30:41 AM Eastern Daylight Time in our neck of the woods). It was a whopping 6.9:
"This earthquake occurred in the Chilean subduction zone, in which the dominant tectonic process is the subduction and underthrusting of the Nazca plate to the east beneath the South American plate at a rate of about 8 cm/yr. The currently available location and moment-tensor of the earthquake imply that the shock occurred as a sudden slippage on the thrust-fault boundary between the plates. The hypocenter of this event is located within a segment of the plate boundary that was ruptured in 1943 by a magnitude 7.9 earthquake."
I recall an old Harrison Ford dystopic movie--you know, the famous one where, in the sepia gloom of the background set, it rained. Heavily. All the time. The implication was that we--humankind--had done something horrid that screwed up the weather and brought on this soggy state of affairs. 27 days out of 50? Hmmmmm.... As we are winding down this month of Nor'oester Norteamericano rainy season, I do wonder: Oh, Lord, what did we do to deserve this? (This alternates with an ever-so-Pollyanna-ish, "Well, at least it's not co-old...")
You see, we often say that weather talk is trivial. Au contraire, I think it is very important. I suppose you could argue that since Goretex was invented (did I ever tell you that Goretex was invented by someone living in my home town?)--I suppose you could argue that we have the power to defend ourselves against "ordinary" weather, that we are not, after all, cave men (cave persons?) who are at the mercy of snow, sleet, hail--all that now challenges modern mail deliveries. Weather talk forms the bulk of our interpersonal grousing--when is this heat going to break? when is it going to warm up? I AM SO SICK OF THIS RAIN!
Yes, but it's good for the crops.
Oui, think of the pervasive gloom that comes with prolonged rain; think of the ozone high we all get just before a thunder storm breaks; the way everbody and their uncle pours out onto the city streets when the sun finally reappears; think, even, of how everyone in the city walks out after a snowstorm, trudge, trudge, trudge, down the street talking to anyone, smiling, excited at the novelty Mama Naturaleza has once again bestowed upon us.
Frankly, I never want to complain about the rain in summer. I just want to know if the drought is over; if I can plan a picnic on the Fouth of July without a rain date; if the mosquitoes will miraculously develop good manners and obsequiously bow out of taking a bite of my arm this summer honeysuckle, late afternoon; and if, in my dreams, I can sprawl in my hammock under a tin roof as the rain clatters down, and puts me out like a baby...avapvfopuli [1:00 a. m.]