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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Big Dang Experiment And Goings-on!

My previous post was written after a series of grass-fires erupted within a few hours of each other and were presumed to result from mischief or goings-on. Here in the Vineyard area we may briefly tolerate mischief but roundly disapprove of goings-on. We're not quite clear on what the difference is but we're against it. It wasn't until I was pulled up at a traffic light that an explanation occurred to me that did not involve firecrackers and firebugs. I saw several cars nearby with hands sticking out holding cigarettes and tapping ashes to the pavement. When the light turned green, some stubs simply dropped to roll wherever the breeze might take them. I suddenly remembered cars have not been equipped with ash trays for many years. There are no ground-level combustibles in the city or suburbs, but  rural roads are bordered by ditches full of dry grass and fields that suffer from this automotive omission. I will take the theory to the community and see if it qualifies as mischief or goings-on, but will first repost this patriotic specimen  from the archives:  
                      
                          [Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team]

I depart from the usual course of these essays to comment on the photograph above. Norma didn't take this one, Hubble did. It is a picture of one tiny rectangle of deep space. Deep space means anything outside our solar system, but to uncounted trillions of solar systems we are in deep space too, a planet at the arm of this galaxy pinwheeling in eternity. Looks like fireworks doesn't it?

I've read a lot of blogs about July 4th today and found them moving, thought-provoking, reflecting upon this 239-year-old experiment in democracy with favor, concern, worry, hope and celebration. The interests of those who produced the Declaration Of Independence are our interests too. Who are we? We are the artists, writers, gardeners, musicians, scientists, engineers, leaders and laborers certainly, every personality, every mother and father, everybody that accepts the awesome responsibility of bringing something new into the world.

The picture above might easily contain a billion worlds. Fireworks indeed. I wish them luck.

Us too. Happy 4th!

20 comments:

  1. We live in wild fire land and seem to have one every year which is named. One year it was the "Witch Creek Fire".
    The Hubble photos never seem to amaze. The one you showed dazzles.

    This might interest you (or not) richardlederer@gmail.com and verbivore.com

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    1. Thanks, Susan --and thanks also for directing me to Richard Lederer's site. He's an absolute hoot!

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  2. What did the disapproving older generations call us back in the day? Elements, I think it was. Long-haired hippy elements.
    Our 4th, which always occurs on the 3rd (don't ask, no one really knows) was the quietest in memory, which suited this old fuddy-duddy fine.
    What was it Carl Sagan said? Something along the lines of "If it's just us in the universe, it's a waste of space." Something like that.
    All well, we are all iterations of carbon.

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    1. Good points! So long as metabolism involves a measured joining of carbon and oxygen, I think we're happy to be "Elements". No reason it couldn't happen all over, even 'far out' in the universe.

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  3. Our profound insignificance in the overwhelmingly infinite scheme of things is truly beyond comprehension. Tangible proof is in that remarkable photo of a tiny fraction of deep space. Makes me think, Geo. - even when I don't want to think.

    Cigarette butts carelessly tossed from vehicle windows is something far beyond mischief or goings-on. It's deliberate carelessness with the probable result of disaster and destruction. I remember the rage of those California brush fires.

    Any raindrops in your neck of the woods? It's still pouring here. Mother Nature is laughing at the prospect of firework displays in Tennessee.
    Hope your 4th has been a pleasant one.

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    1. I had raindrops tapping on my head the evening of the 2nd, Jon, and it sprinkled off and on for a couple hours, but not enough to be measurable. It did serve to remind me that a little magic is better than none and Mother Nature did her best. So I just came home with two new 30-foot garden hoses in case the front ditch catches fire. Other shoppers had the same idea!

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  4. People just do not use their heads at times. Some sort of logic should tell them that a lit cigarette equals hot coals equals fire equals danger to dry grasses.

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    1. I think will people get more careful, Emma. But they may not all get careful at once so I'm glad Rite Aide Drugstore had a 1/2 off sale on garden hoses today!

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    1. Squid, it's never to late to wish me a happy anything. Thanks!

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    2. Well, then... Happy Groundhog Day!

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    3. To time-travelers everywhere (and when), a lovely and thoughtful salutation. Thanks Squid!

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  6. Cheers to you for putting our interests into an historical and a cosmic perspective.
    Thanks also for the admonition re: goings on, especially with butts!

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    1. My pleasure, Tom, and my privilege. Butts and goings on demand caution.

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  7. The illustrative red-white-blue photo is perfect. Sends our thoughts outward instead of inward - a very good thing. I hope you and Norma had a lovely July 4th.

    The post, the comments and your replies gave me a much-needed series of smiles - thank you!

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    1. Thanks Jenny. It was a pretty noisy Saturday night here --scared the skunks out of our yard!

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  8. It is good for a community to stand up for it's principles, or at least those whose "going ons" threaten the public interest.

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    1. Quite true, as Dan Quayle once said, "If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."

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  9. Pretty. Cool how the cosmos and humanity try to parallel each other, though I feel the former does it with much more grace without even trying.

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    1. Cosmos has had more practice, but we're learning.

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