old words. still current

seneca

It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (The Younger) c. 4 BC – AD 65, The Shortness of Life (De Brevitate Vitae)

Tacitus’ account of Seneca reports a seeming inconsistence between his moral principles and his lifestyle, although whether Seneca’s choices were such from lack of character or fear (Nero) we can only conject. Despite the accusations of hypocrisy, Seneca’s words carry weight, and continue to do so through time.

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keedy

It's Hardly Noticeable - John William Keedy
It’s Hardly Noticeable – John William Keedy

We all have days like this, and Keedy’s series, It’s Hardly Noticeable, gives us visual pause for thought on humanity’s mental health issues.

Is it possible for a society to have a commonly held idea of what is normal, when few individuals in that society actually meet the criteria for normalcy?

John William Keedy

march of the queen bee

bomluc27884
Lady terrestris flew past me this morning in all her fluffy majesty, hunting for a place to call home no doubt; the first bumble bee I’ve seen this year. Heralds of spring & summer, pollinator of many, producer of a delicious delicacy, and major player in nature’s hierarchy; the bee is a species we should all be ensuring the life of.

For more information on bumble bees head here

love potion no. 9

Life isn’t all serious, and my well documented passion for the VW Type 2 is just one example of this. It’s time though for the dub to shuffle sideways a tiny bit (because honestly not much room is needed!) and make room for a sibling.

From the very first wooden framed, single-cylinder Otto-cycle engined, gas powered motorcyle built by Gottlieb Daimler in 1884-85, motorcycling has enthused 2-wheel addicts all over the world; and the Honda Dax is no exception.

                 CT70_brochure          ct70_ad5

As usual of course, I’m not craving one of the newer, more polished versions; instead the original 1969 ST70 is the one that holds me. There has to be some history folks..it’s an unwritten rule!

I’m sure some of those who know me will think I’m mad, but those who know me best will just nod knowingly and smile. I think I’ve fallen the smallest bit in love with this slightly eccentric, Summer-loving machine, and I make no apologies.

Oh, and the post title? Ah, well after my SO showing me a video of a definitively mad Frenchman’s uncondonable street ride; the Nicolas Jaar remix of The Searchers’ original has stuck with me. Although, again as usual, I still prefer the original!

pretty. powerful. words.

pretty.

Undulatus asperatus, NZ | Witta Priester
Undulatus asperatus, NZ | Witta Priester

powerful.

Tornado cloud, Bermuda | Unknown credit
Tornado cloud, Bermuda | Unknown credit

words.

Consider yourself.
I want you to imagine a scene from your childhood.
Pick something evocative…
Something you can remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there.
After all, you really were there at the time, weren’t you? How else would you remember it?
But here is the bombshell: you weren’t there.
Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place. Every bit of you has been replaced many times over…
The point is that you are like a cloud: something that persists over long periods, whilst simultaneously being in flux. Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of which you are made.
Steve Grand

grade A

How to win friends and influence people.
A brief history.

trinity-crater
16th July 1945
The White Sands Missile Range in the New Mexico desert is home to Trinity, the place where the nuclear age began on July 16, 1945.
The Trinity weapon, a version of which destroyed Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945, used plutonium. That fuel was more far more efficient than the uranium in the bomb dropped over Hiroshima on Aug. 6, but it was thought to be less certain to work.

6th August 1945
The Hiroshima bomb, known as “Little Boy” – a reference to former President Roosevelt, contained the equivalent of between 12 and 15,000 tons of TNT and devastated an area of five square miles (13 square kilometres). More than 60% of the buildings in the city were destroyed.
Official Japanese figures at the time put the death toll at 118,661 civilians. But later estimates suggest the final toll was about 140,000, of Hiroshima’s 350,000 population, including military personnel and those who died later from radiation. Many have also suffered long-term sickness and disability.

Three days later, the United States launched a second, bigger atomic bomb against the city of Nagasaki. The device known as “Fat man”, after Winston Churchill, weighed nearly 4,050 kg (nearly 9,000lb).
Nagasaki is surrounded by mountains and because of this the level of destruction was confined to about 2.6 square miles or 6.7 square kilometres.
Nearly 74,000 were killed and a similar number injured.
The two atomic bombs, with the Soviet declaration of war against Japan on 8 August 1945, finally left the Japanese no choice.
Japan surrendered to the Allies on 14 August 1945.
(BBC News)

Did we learn?
No.
Instead we gave it to our children.

Gilbert Atomic Energy Lab 1950-51

atomic-energy-lab-kit

But that was ok, governments informed us we could just build a shelter against…

fallout

…and everything would be alright!

Atlas_D_with_MA-4_(Sep._13,_1961)_1
31st October 1959
The U.S. deploys the first operational intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Atlas D.

Time marched on.
Had we learnt yet? No, but we agreed to tell people how stupid we were being…

31st May 1988
The U.S. and U.S.S.R. signed the Agreement on Notification of Missile Launches.

A lot of posturing and treaty making and breaking between various nations then ensued until…

12th February 2013
North Korea conducts its third nuclear test. The estimated yield is 8-10 kilotons.

Back to square one? Hardly…

World-Nuke-Graph-with-Info-122012

The exact number of nuclear weapons in global arsenals is not known. With little exception, each of the nine countries with nuclear weapons guards these numbers as closely held national secrets. What is known, however, is that more than a decade and a half after the Cold War ended, the world’s combined stockpile of nuclear warheads remain at unacceptably high levels. Ploughshares Fund

Trinity – still showing raised radiation levels.

Grade A fools.
We are our own worst enemy.

Is this all a bit too much ‘disarmament style’ for you?
Why not have some good clean fun with Nukemap.