This is a picture from NASA, of Galaxy NGC4258-M106 (translation: National Geographic Catalog #4258, Messier Catalog #106). The picture is a composite of several images, some of which were filtered to show other frequencies of radiation; this is why you seem to see six spiral arms, four of which are in the X-ray segment of the electromagnetic spectrogram…. The extra arms are an anomaly caused by the massive black hole in the galaxy’s center, which is somehow (as yet, the process is unclear…) heating the interstellar gases, then ejecting them to the outer reaches of the hole’s gravitational influence, thus pushing it completely out of the plane of the rest of the galaxy….
For me, as a lifelong amateur astronomer, it’s a rather compelling image, that demonstrates perfectly how our universe is so wondrously full of beauty we cannot see, without the aid of tools our imagination has created, to enhance our perception of all that surrounds us…. The phenomenon. as related, is a theoretical process wherein the black hole seems to be sucking ALL of the interstellar gases up from between the stars, expelling it outside the confines of the galaxy’s shape; this will, in a mere 300 MILLION years or so, have a drastic effect on the galaxy, and how it will appear, as the material with which it WAS to make new stars is removed….
Thinking about astronomy, or astrophysics, can be rather intimidating; to think of the sheer vast reaches of space, and the size of the galaxies that fill it, tends to make us humans feel very small and insignificant….. which is why so many people avoid the hard sciences, such as astronomy, and astrophysics. This stuff isn’t easy for us to think about, nor is the math particularly simple for us to comprehend without some mental elbow grease…. Man, as a group, is pretty lazy, especially about using the mind, and, as a secondary obstacle, they are fearful of that which they don’t understand. The immensity of space can intimidate those who fear the unknown; combine that with lazy, and you see why so many people close their eyes, and minds, whenever such a subject is broached….
I wanted badly to be an astronomer, as I figured it was the best way to get to outer space; traveling to other planets and stars has been my lifelong dream. I fully intend, if given any chance at all, to die on another world, even if it is only the Moon…. That particular event is getting a bit close at hand now, so, I may not make my goal, but, there will soon be regular tourist trips to the Space Station, and there is talk, finally, of colonizing Mars by the middle of this century….
Or, if not so grand a task is possible at once, there has also been talk of setting up exploratory colonies in and on the Asteroids, the remains of the world that used to be, which now are so plentiful, sailing along in the orbit between Mars and Jupiter…. Such colonies would help determine the feasibility of such a quest, one that would demand the combined efforts of all humanity, as a species, to accomplish…. It also would give us the opportunity to test out the necessary technology, in an environment simply bursting with natural resources….
Ah well, such dreams are probably out of the realm of possibility for me, but, perhaps my grandson will walk the surface of Mars one day…. If we can manage to survive the current issues, of global warming, climate change, and our own tendency to kill each other with alarming regularity, we have a pretty good chance of it….. We’ve successfully landed three or four vehicles on other worlds now, and walked on the Moon. We have a robotic ambassador on Mars, taking pictures and trundling about the landscape, fulfilling the ultimate purpose of our innate simian curiosity, which makes the mobile science laboratory very aptly named…. For now, though, we should go on with today’s business, which brings me to this…..
Shall we Pearl?…..
“Terrorism: deadly violence against humans and other living things, usually conducted by government against its own people.” — Edward Abbey
Unclear, but, interesting saga of dogs trained to bite, then being punished for not wearing a muzzle, compounded by the overall high level of corruption and insanity that is ALWAYS exposed during just about any sort of war crime tribunal…. Somebody is always finding new evidence, others are disputing it, and nobody ever wants to admit the sheer futility of ALL OF IT….. According to what I read in the article, it seems that ALL the entities involved in the incident were suppressing evidence, or hiding evidence, or mouthing off with ridiculously vague statements having no value, and relation to the reality of what actually took place….
The whole issue is so stupid, it makes me crazy to think so much time and money is being spent chasing down the alleged truth in this matter, a “truth” that, when found, will have very little resemblance to anything you or I would recognize as such; nor will it have anything valid to tell us about who is to blame for what went on. Everyone involved is guilty, in my mind, so, it really is a moot issue, as far as I can tell from the available evidence…. I’ve never carried a gun…. not because I’m afraid of them, or disapprove of them, but, because I am smart enough to realize that by carrying one, I leave myself open to being shot at…..
That, to my mind, is NOT a healthy way to live…. I take the easy solution, right next to the high road, but, not so damn restrictively moral, by never carrying guns, only carry weapons that cannot be seen, along with maintaining a policy of avoiding violent situations, of any kind, as far as is humanly possible…. I spent a long time in a job where I had to BE violent every day…. or, at least, be prepared to deal with such violence at any moment. Hence, I’m not real happy when I have to experience those nasty feelings when not at work, or without overwhelmingly sufficient reason (“sufficient” being defined as “virtually impossible to justify”….), so, I do all I can to stay out of situations that can potentially lead to any sort of explosive outbreaks….
All that being said, none of what they are saying in the article, about EITHER side of the issue, is of any particular surprise to me, nor does it convince me to change my opinion of most (defined as virtually ALL….) politicians, or any other incarnation of talking head…. especially when speaking of a situation being acted out primarily by lawyers, who, as we all know, have a hard time with the truth…. Well, at least, with the truth as we all know it, anyway…. They’re pretty good at making up their own; it just doesn’t have much to do with reality in most respects….
That’s all, ffolkes. I’m being nice, and cutting off this rant, practically before I got going…. Y’all know how I feel about politicians, especially those with brainwashing, er, training as lawyers, so, there’s little need to reinforce that. Y’all also know how I feel about the truth, so, you will realize that any situation in the public venue that is concerned with a quest to find the truth is of concern to me, as I am well aware that none of the people involved in those quests have any real interest in finding it. That is especially true in a story like this one, where so many of the parties involved were, and are, engaged in criminal acts, yet, because they are supposed to have been government sanctioned, are trying to abrogate any responsibility for those criminal acts…
Almost got started again, so, we’ll go now, to put together a fine, old-school, five-star pearl, with all the points sharpened to a dangerous degree, ready to poke holes in the lies and distracting noises made by those we call “pundit”…..
“It was a saying of the ancients, “Truth lies in a well;” and to carry on this metaphor, we may justly say that logic does supply us with steps, whereby we may go down to reach the water.” — Dr. I. Watts
“By experts in poverty I do not mean sociologists, but poor men.” — G. K. Chesterton, ILN, 3/25/11
“Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true.” — Demosthenes
“The seal of truth is on thy gallant form, for none but cowards lie.” — Murphy
“Don’t overestimate the decency of the human race.” — H.L. Mencken
Smart Bee decided to make this difficult & obscure, only offering me such abstrusely eclectic aphorisms such as the above…. It works, and it’s appropriately nasty, in a strictly metaphorical sense…. I’m just thinking it could be clearer….. I like it when the quote acts like a sledgehammer to the forehead of one of the idiots I’m targeting; these act more like a stiletto, sliding between the ribs into the heart, almost without any notice, but, effectively killing any credibility they may have previously enjoyed…. So be it, gigoid has spoken…. a bit garbled, but, to completion, at least….
Yep, you guessed it…. I’m lazy, so you get another of my old poems…. I will, however, compose a new haiku first, just because I can….
Oxymoronic, and trite.
Politics is crap.
This poem was written on 9/10/2012, one of the first I wrote that year, when I finally ended the 30+ year sabbatical I took, in regard to writing poetry…. As is apparent, the pain with which I so frequently live was, at least for that day, foremost in my mind, and in my concern….
Gauges of Pain
Consciousness devolves in pools of gripping fears
holding hostage any hope of serenity,
sharp stabbing motions and greedy tears
nary a moment passes without common calamity.
Always a surprise, nothing soothing ever found,
leaving only breathless clinging pain,
salvation seemingly absent, it muffles all sound,
bringing ever more sadness and rain.
Solitude is ever present to claim my time,
lonely hours and relentlessly long days,
no radio plays such music in secular rhyme
happy, vibrant voices belong to elder ways.
Life can be justified it seems to say,
by hopeful favored moments of pleasure,
seemingly friendly, pointing out the only way,
to bring back happiness in minimal measure.
Days of horror and embarrassing tears
serve ever to drive wretched hours to withhold
promising naught but sorrow in coming years,
black, bitter memories that never grow old.
Cold, cold the days fly by,
can it really be our only token?
Never to say, or know just why
the pain never stops, even when spoken…
~~ gigoid ~~
(Why, yes, yesterday was NOT a good day…. why do you ask?…..)
Griefe brought to numbers cannot be so fierce,
For, he tames it, that fetters it in verse.
— John Donne ~~
Today’s old-school pearl for this section is another self-directed grouping, put together partially from pearls found yesterday, with the final group collected during this morning’s efforts, while searching for other pearls with a specific parameter…. This self-direction brought us to a very old-style collection, with a theme best described as “Advice for the Living”, using a number of quotes, as usual, from ancient philosophers, who stated their axiomatic wisdom so eloquently, it has lasted for thousands of years, thus generously sharing their new/old wisdom with each succeeding generation of humans…. Oh, and there is something from Mark, and Alan, too…. more modern, but just as deeply insightful….
“To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.” — Lao Tzu
“The wake does not drive the boat.” — Alan Watts
“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.” — Marcus Aurelius
“As men, we are all equal in the presence of death.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 1
“Education is the best provision for old age.” — Aristotle
“Be careless in your dress if you will, but keep a tidy soul.” — Mark Twain
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” — Philo
Today’s Pearl has been brought to you by the letter U, and the number six…. Don’t ask me why, because they never tell me. I can tell you, however, we’re done, so, whatever brought us to this point, it has served its purpose admirably…. We shall honor that service, by heeding the call for a quick, and dignified exit…. which will be a big surprise to all concerned, I’m sure…. I’ll see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, as long as the space-time continuum holds its shape that long….
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…
When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes, I