The Age of Clone

Please, oh please, dear lord, make Abrams stop.
I sat through six seasons of ‘Lost’, expecting a massive pay-off in the final episodes but was left thinking – really? I mean really?
This was followed by one of the biggest hypes in recent movie history – Cloverfield, and again I was left wondering what had happened in those two hours I will never get back. (Now there is going to be a sequel – but why?)
Clearly too stupid to learn from my mistakes I then went on to watch the rebooted Star Trek franchise, which did not upset me too much. Except they were the same storylines only with a Bizzaro world twist. Everything was mirror reversed. Spock shouting ‘Khan’, instead of Kirk and the like.
Ok, I can deal with that, especially after Scott Bakula destroyed the TV Star Trek franchise – one Quantum Leap too far?
But now that I have seen Star Wars VII I know – to some extent – how audiences felt in 1977, at least as far as the story goes. Because it was the SAME movie!!! Only with a bigger death star and better special effects – really? I mean – really?
There was nothing else in all the worlds of imagination that they could put to paper and then onto the silver screen but the same story? I guess Disney is to blame as well  – Avatar was just Pocahontas in space with cool special effects – same formula.
I predict that this our age will become known as the age of the reboot and clone flicks, with Disney the grand temple of profit and Abrams its supreme priest.
Please, oh please, give me a few more original pictures like ‘They live’, ‘The man from Earth’, ‘The game’ (with Michael Douglas – how about that ending?), ‘Casablanca’ (there is no cooler final scene) or even ‘Spirited away’. You notice something here? No sequels. No franchise. Just great self-contained stories that will leave an impression.
I know the gods of profit reign supreme, but one can hope.

Musings

All of us have favourite books we re-read time and again. These books are places where one can hide, rest and imagine different lives, different times. They have a familiar feel to them, they smell  just right and as soon as the words scroll by one is displaced and captivated.

They allow us to return to times in our lives long thought lost by recapturing vivid memories and associations we had at the time of reading them for the first, the second, the tenth time.

I, myself, have five such books. I will re-read them from time to time. I am drawn to the stories they reveal, the emotions they conjure deep within me. I am happy when I read them, content. I am transported, changed, as each reading will reveal a new detail or a forgotten connection, triggering dormant sections of my mind.

These books are, in no particular order, Healer by F. Paul Wilson, Tuf Voyaging by George R R Martin (written well before his GoT fame), What Mad Universe by Frederic Brown, Hurra, wir leben noch and Es muss nicht immer Kaviar sein, both by Johannes Mario Simmel, and, I fear, not translated into English.

The books by Simmel have the added advantage of purportedly being true stories. Simmel chronicled the events of both books, taking the point of view of the respective protagonists, Jakob Formann (not his real name), a self-made industrialist in post-war Europe, and Thomas Lieven (not his real name), whose story is too unbelievable not to be true.

The other three works are all Science Fiction, but Science Fiction with a decidedly human bend. A man displaced into an alternate reality, similar but maddeningly different from his. It is all he can do to stay alive. Another man unwittingly sharing his body with a second, invading mind, whose consciousness reaches down to the cellular level, leading to inevitable immortality and all its trappings. The final man, not so much a man, but a stylised symbol of a man, stilted, exceedingly well-spoken, philanthropic, fragile and omnipotent – an itinerant merchant without a sense for business in the possession of one of the most powerful weapons ever dreamed up by Science Fiction.

I am not entirely sure what these books say about me, but they are my favourites such as they are. I would take them on a one-way-trip to Mars, pack them in my steamer trunk as I set out to the Paleolithic and strap them to my chest as I tumble down the Einstein-Rosen bridge.

I have learned (and still am), upon reflection, much and more from those books. Mostly how to deal with the unexpected, the shocking, the new and frightening. All the protagonists are anti-heroes, they are all flawed, they are all, in the end, completely dependent upon their own wits and ingenuity to survive and carry on another day.

Maybe you can look at your favourite books anew and ask yourself what they say about you.

More

Difficult to breathe

Hard to think

Form coherent thoughts

Fingers slowly moving over keys

familiar and alien

poised over letters and symbols and spaces

seeking the ones needed to express

most succinctly

The need

the feelings

slipping into…

lack of clarity?

over the ‘W’, now the ‘O’

still meaning eludes

too many thoughts, emotions

Sadness, guilt, regret, pity, shame (a little),

how to right a lifetime of actions?

how to give and receive peace?

Lost thoughts, orphaned, drift across my mind

dissolving as morning dew at dawn.

Dawn, there will always be another dawn.

I think.

Anachronisms

What do we really know? Not much it appears. Mysteries surround us and trip us up at every turn. Most of the knowledge we assume to be solid is in fact only theory. Not proven. Not fact. Not truth.

We must guard against those that claim to have the truth.

In fact, there is a beautiful saying:

Trust nobody who says they have the truth, trust everybody who is seeking for the truth.

I concur. To go a step further we must get away from an anthropocentric view of the world and accompanying truth(s) and widen our faculties to include all life in our quest for the ultimate answers.

I suspect that will lead us down a very difficult path, but the high road is always the hardest way to travel.

There have been attempts in the past. I call them anachronisms because they do not fit within the time and place, any time and place really, of their occurrence.

My hope is that one day these thoughts will not be anachronistic.

High Strangeness II LUNA

Image

7. Seismic Activity: Hundreds of “moonquakes” are recorded each year that cannot be attributed to meteor strikes. In November, 1958, Soviet astronomer Nikolay A. Kozyrev of the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory photographed a gaseous eruption of the moon near the crater Alphonsus. He also detected a reddish glow that lasted for about an hour. In 1963, astronomers at the Lowell Observatory also saw reddish glows on the crests of ridges in the Aristarchus region. These observations have proved to be precisely identical and periodical, repeating themselves as the moon moves closer to the Earth. These are probably not natural phenomena.

8. Hollow Moon: The moon’s mean density is 3.34 gm/cm3 (3.34 times an equal volume of water) whereas the Earth’s is 5.5. What does this mean? In 1962, NASA scientist Dr. Gordon MacDonald stated,

“If the astronomical data are reduced, it is found that the data require that the interior of the moon is more like a hollow than a homogeneous sphere.”

Nobel chemist Dr. Harold Urey suggested the moon’s reduced density is because of large areas inside the moon where is “simply a cavity.”

MIT’s Dr. Sean C. Solomon wrote,

“the Lunar Orbiter experiments vastly improved our knowledge of the moon’s gravitational field… indicating the frightening possibility that the moon might be hollow.”

In Carl Sagan’s treatise, Intelligent Life in the Universe, the famous astronomer stated, “A natural satellite cannot be a hollow object.”

9. Moon Echoes: On November 20, 1969, the Apollo 12 crew jettisoned the lunar module ascent stage causing it to crash onto the moon. The LM’s impact (about 40 miles from the Apollo 12 landing site) created an artificial moonquake with startling characteristics—the moon reverberated like a bell for more than an hour.

This phenomenon was repeated with Apollo 13 (intentionally commanding the third stage to impact the moon), with even more startling results. Seismic instruments recorded that the reverberations lasted for three hours and twenty minutes and traveled to a depth of twenty-five miles, leading to the conclusion that the moon has an unusually light—or even no—core.
10. Unusual Metals: The moon’s crust is much harder than presumed. The maria is composed primarily of illeminite, a mineral containing large amounts of titanium, the same metal used to fabricate the hulls of deep-diving submarines and the skin of the SR-71 “Blackbird”. Uranium 236 and neptunium 237 (elements not found in nature on Earth) were discovered in lunar rocks, as were rustproof iron particles.

11. Moon’s Origin: Before the astronauts’ moon rocks conclusively disproved the theory, the moon was believed to have originated when a chunk of Earth broke off eons ago (who knows from where?). Another theory was that the moon was created from leftover “space dust” remaining after the Earth was created. Analysis of the composition of moon rocks disproved this theory also.

Another popular theory is that the moon was somehow “captured” by the Earth’s gravitational attraction. But no evidence exists to support this theory. Isaac Asimov, stated,

“It’s too big to have been captured by the Earth. The chances of such a capture having been effected and the moon then having taken up nearly circular orbit around our Earth are too small to make such an eventuality credible.”

12. Weird Orbit: Our moon is the only moon in the solar system that has a stationary, near-perfect circular orbit. Stranger still, the moon’s center of mass is about 6000 feet closer to the Earth than its geometric center (which should cause wobbling), but the moon’s bulge is on the far side of the moon, away from the Earth. “Something” had to put the moon in orbit with its precise altitude, course, and speed.

13. Moon Diameter: How does one explain the “coincidence” that the moon is just the right distance, coupled with just the right diameter, to completely cover the sun during an eclipse? Again, Isaac Asimov responds,

“There is no astronomical reason why the moon and the sun should fit so well. It is the sheerest of coincidences, and only the Earth among all the planets is blessed in this fashion.”

14. Strangeness:

Apparently, Professional astronomers have been gradually discouraged from investigating a phenomenon that has been reported on the Moon for 1,000 years. It is short-lived light, color, or other changes in the appearance of the lunar surface, referred to as Transient Lunar Phenomena.

High Strangeness I LUNA

Image 

1. Moon’s Age: The moon is far older than previously expected. Maybe even older than the Earth or the Sun. The oldest age for the Earth is estimated to be 4.6 billion years old; moon rocks were dated at 5.3 billion years old, and the dust upon which they were resting was at least another billion years older.

The chemical composition of the dust upon which the rocks sit is remarkably different from the rocks themselves. This indicates that the lunar surface may have been moved from somewhere else and placed on the Moon. Some of the Moon’s craters originated internally, yet there is no indication that the Moon was ever hot enough to produce volcanic eruptions. Hundreds of moonquakes are recorded each year that cannot be attributed to meteor strikes. Some of the quakes seem to follow a specific schedule. 
 

2. Heavier Elements on Surface: Normal planetary composition results in heavier elements in the core and lighter materials at the surface; not so with the moon.

“The abundance of refractory elements like titanium in the surface areas is so pronounced that several geologists proposed the refractory compounds were brought to the moon’s surface in great quantity in some unknown way. They don’t know how, but that it was done cannot be questioned.”

 

3. Water Vapor: On March 7, 1971, lunar instruments placed by the astronauts recorded a vapor cloud of water passing across the surface of the moon. The cloud lasted 14 hours and covered an area of about 100 square miles.

4. Magnetic Rocks: Moon rocks were magnetized. This is odd because there is no magnetic field on the moon itself. This could not have originated from a “close call” with Earth—such an encounter would have ripped the moon apart.

5. No Volcanoes: Some of the moon’s craters originated internally, yet there is no indication that the moon was ever hot enough to produce volcanic eruptions.

6. Moon Mascons: Mascons, which are large, dense, circular masses lying twenty to forty miles beneath the centers of the moon’s maria,

“are broad, disk-shaped objects that could be possibly some kind of artificial construction. For huge circular disks are not likely to be beneath each huge maria, centered like bull’s-eyes in the middle of each, by coincidence or accident.”

 

 

Ruminations

Life is not just.

Nobody should ever think that it is. Life is naked and brutal and beautiful and breath taking and surprising.

But  not just.

Justice is a concept, even though coined by us humans, which is poorly understood at best. Who is the authority of arbitration when it comes to justice. Who has the wisdom, insight, neutrality and ultimately power to mete out justice?

The answer, unfortunately, is, nobody. At least nobody mortal. We seek out God, the Gods, Fate and Karma to be the ultimate arbiters of justice. We thus recognised long ago that justice is something that cannot be left in human hands.

So, what good is it? Must we wait to be judged by a higher authority? An ultimate power? And whose justice will it be? Who, in the final analysis is just? Justified in having taken the action that was taken?

Not an answer to be found in a blog – that much is certain.

How about this then? Let us treat each other with respect and dignity. Let us treat each other in a way that encourages smiles and hugs and giving way and getting up to offer one’s seat and helping the weak with the heavy loads and the strong to realise the value of humility.

After all, justice will be a long time coming.