Tuesday, January 31, 2012

History in High Places

Before I die I hope to see. . . .

A) a cure for cancer (they have been promising a cure since Popeye was just a gleam in his old pap’s one good eye, but as I type, no “cure” in sight). . . . B) all humans suddenly convert to vegetarianism (the war against animals and the consuming of our fellow earthlings has been going on for far too long and is now totally unnecessary and totally unhealthy, for both diner and dinee) C) real peace in the Middle East (I wonder how this country would like it if Iran was assassinating our scientists or Iranian aircraft carriers were parked in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening destruction on the U.S.). . . . D) an American president who actually cared more for the safety of America than the safety of Israel (all of the presidential candidates, the “Empty Suit” included, seem to spend more time fretting over Israel’s safety than our own) . . . E) life on another planet  (Hello? We know you’re there, and we know that you know we're here, so, Hello? ) . . . F) travel faster than the speed of light.

Of all the above, “B” is the thing I would most like to see happen before I die but since there is almost no chance of that occurring, I’ll opt for “F” as the event I would most love to see before I kick the can.  As a history lover, nothing would be more wonderful than actually viewing history as it happens and solving age-old riddles. 

Some where out there in that great ocean of ink is a planet some two hundred light years from earth.  And on this planet there are some highly advanced folks with some incredibly sophisticated technology, including extremely powerful telescopes that can see right into the very heart of the universe.  For education, as well as entertainment, some of these folks have trained their telescopes on many planets, including our very own earth.  Since their own planet is two hundred light years away from earth, these beings are just now enjoying earth history as it unfolded here two hundred years ago in 1812, or, as the light reflecting off earth reaches their own planet.

My desire before I die is to see we earthlings reach travel velocities of not just the speed of light, but ten times the speed of light.   In that manner, our spacecraft—of which, I, of course shall be the resident-historian on board—can actually stop our travel in ten years or so, get out our nuclear-powered space telescope, point it back at earth and I can then feast my curiosity on the conundrums of American history, some of which are . . .

1) Did Davy Crockett really die at the Alamo like a hero, i.e., on his feet, swinging “Old Betsy” like a club when his bullets had run out, fighting to the bitter end?  Or will our telescope spot old David crawling under some buffalo robes when the battle reaches its full fury?

What really happened at the Little Big Horn?  Did Custer make it to the top of the bluffs alive, or was he actually killed along the river, as some accounts state?  Did the Sioux make a final rush toward the doomed soldiers, as so many artists romantically depict, or did the Indians just take their time and pick off each trooper, one at a time?

Was there really a UFO “incident” at Roswell?  Was there a cover-up?  Did men in dark suits whisk away those little green aliens after the crash or is this just more bull whack by those same looney-toons who believe in Big Foot and Elvis sightings?

Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone? Or will we see in our telescope shooters on the grassy knoll also killing Kennedy?

What really happened to Jimmy Hoffa in that Michigan parking lot?  Was he rubbed out there by mobsters? Or was he taken for a last ride?  And what became of his body?

Was Flight 93 shot down by our own jets as some evidence points, or was it truly a last, desperate act of doomed people?

These, off the top, are just a few riddles I will solve if man begins his outer space travel at ten times the speed of light in my lifetime.  Anyone want to go along?

Tails, You Lose—Recently, I have noticed lots of bob-tailed house cats running around Florida.  I suppose the answer is very simple: Gators are fast, but cats are faster.  When an alligator lunges for a feline snack, the latter is quicker than the former—but not so quick as to escape entirely unscathed.  The cat may save its life but not its tail.  This is probably how the American Bobcat originated.   They must have begun here in Florida, then, after countless generations of cats losing their tails to gators they finally fled far from Florida and spread out to relative safety across America.  But the eons of evolution had taken its toll and the cat never regrew its pride, its beauty, its tail. Seems reasonable.  Sounds plausible.  Must be true.

Send in the Frowns--I wrote two blogs back about tornadoes and the colors they adopt when tearing through whatever is in their path.  Strange.  That very evening after posting the blog a tornado roared through Charlotte County and tore into tatters some property here.  After two years of living in Florida, that is the first twister to hit anywhere near this native Kansan has abided.  This bizarre coincidence reminds me of that very same blog and my mention of being nearly hit by the van one night and then being attacked by a vicious dog on the next night, all in the same place. 

Now, just last night, as I was tossing the rubber bone for Disney the Dog to fetch, one toss landed and wedged tight between the door frame and the open door. My very next toss, in the opposite direction, stuck square in the sliding glass door track.  Both tosses were at least 25 feet, and both times Disney could not retrieve the bone.  In thousands of such tosses, nothing like this had ever happened. 

I do not consider any of this earth-shaking or other-worldly, merely fantastic coincidences.  This type of stuff has occurred all my life.  I hope these bizarre happenstances happen to others as well for I certainly don’t relish the thought of being the only person tumbling along like some sort of real-life Stephen King virtual victim.


Photo of the Day--Hydrothermal Worm