Tag Archives: earth

If Somewhere is Where You Are and Elsewhere is Where You’re Going, Then Nowhere Must Be Where You Aren’t Except When You May Be

I have a science fiction novel that takes place on a planet named Aon. It’s a small planet (as far as planets go) about two-thirds the size of Earth. nowhereThe planet is sectioned into different climate zones, almost like pie wedges, that run vertically from pole to pole.  As you move from zone to zone, weather patterns can change drastically. You can travel from a lush green rain forest type environment to a harsh desert ecosystem in just a few steps. It’s this way across the entire planet with no two zones alike.

This brings up a plethora of questions. For instance, how could you step from an ambient temperature of below zero while treading on ice and within a few steps move to a grass filled prairie balmy and comfortable?  Or, how about standing on one of the poles where each climate meets and melds into a climatic concoction impossible to describe?

The nice thing about this (the way I see it) is it’s all under my control. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

The one question I keep asking and have done so for years (this planet gives me the perfect platform to do so) is where in the world is the middle of nowhere?

First, we have to ask ourselves where is nowhere? I’m here and you are there which is where you would call “here.” Now, this says to me that even though I am here, I am in fact somewhere, and even though you’re there (which is here for you) you are in fact somewhere.

Does this mean that there is someone else who is neither here nor there once again meaning here is in fact nowhere? I will give you a moment to mull this over…times up. I’m sure you have a grasp on this concept equal to mine; so let us proceed.

It stands to reason that there is a third realm other than here or there and this realm we will refer to as “nowhere.” You’ve always heard it said, “no matter where you go there you are,” or “everyone has to be somewhere.”

I think we are finding that these notions may be proving to be unreliable; therefore, we must adjust our way of thinking. Now that I have brought this conundrum to light and done most of the work for you, I will expect a full report and a definite location for this place referred to as “nowhere.”  Once this place is defined then I will gladly direct you to the middle of nowhere and put this nonsense finally to rest.

If you have any questions or run into any problems you may reach me at Klondike 555. Until then, good luck, so long, and don’t forget we’re depending on you.

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Warmal Globing

Global Warming

Global Warming (Photo credit: mirjoran)

As I begin this post, I do so with as much objectivity as humanely possible. I equate the discussion of this subject right up there with that of politics and religion. I am not a climatologist and have done no scientific research on this topic, nor do I base my opinions on knee-jerk reactions. What you are about to read is what I have gleaned during my years on the planet or actually seen for myself.

What do I speak of, you ask? None other than global warming. If we look at the workings of our Earth we see that most things are cyclical. For instance, night and day, the monthly waxing and waning of the moon, the quarterly seasonal changes.

In some parts of the world, damaging winds and monsoons are a yearly occurrence. We know that El Nino and La Nina seem to favor a decade or so between appearances. Hurricanes increase and decrease in intensity and frequency in decade-long cycles.

If I were a betting man, I would wager that other changes occur in lengths of time outside of our ability to measure.

In the 1970s, we were told to expect an ice age. So far, I haven’t seen it.

In the 1980s, the ozone layer was being depleted by our misuse of hydrocarbons. As complicated as this problem was, we changed the chemical make-up of Freon and what do you know? The ozone boo-boo will heal just fine. Wow! I never knew the stuff that kept me cool in the summer was so deadly!

Ice. Makes drinks cold and makes cars slide. I’ve heard that it’s melting. I’m not sure if it should be or not. I do know that I could look around the world and see many beautiful, lush green valleys that were once full of ice. I guess it melted.

When writing, we seek to sensationalize our stories and characters. By the same token, it seems as though we are not satisfied unless we can glom on to the next great catastrophe that will threaten the planet on which we live. Whether it be the next comet, perilously intersecting our orbit and turning this living sphere into a dead ball or a coming ice age caused by our use of fossil fuels.

In conclusion, I hope I haven’t stepped on any toes. Just one man’s observations. I did manage not to bring the “creator” of the internet into this post because his carbon boot print would wipe out half of Rhode Island.

Post script: I wonder whatever happened to the rain forest?

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Watch that Dirty Mouth!

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s consider the four basic elements, earth, air, water, and fire. Have you noticed that I start a lot of my posts with the word “consider?” Well here goes another one. Sorry, but it’s my favorite word.

What do we really know about these four mysterious elements? I’m glad I asked that question, for we shall perform a comprehensive in-depth examination on each in turn starting with fire.

Fire, it’s hot. Simply amazing, and no we’re not stopping there. Let’s continue, shall we?

Water, it’s wet. …fascinating stuff, just fascinating.

Air, it has the unique quality that we all wish we possessed at one time or another. It’s invisible.

And finally earth, it’s dirty.

Now consider (there’s that word again) the end result if these elements were to interact with each other. First, if you expose fire to water contained in a vessel, the water will boil. If you expose fire to water without the containment vessel, the water will sizzle and the fire will undergo a dramatic change I like to refer to as, “going out.”

Air, what can we say about air that hasn’t already been said? Well, since we haven’t said much so far, probably quite a bit. If air mixes with water, you will have bubbly water, which by the way is great for hot tubs. Air and earth will produce dirty air. Fire actually needs air in order to properly operate. And we mustn’t forget the all important fact that life would not exist without air.

We will now examine last but not least, earth. Without earth we would have nowhere to stand. If you mix earth and fire, you get hot dirt. And finally, we come to the end of this scientific journey of discovery. If you mix earth and water, you have mud. Mud, you say?

You brought us on this magnificent exploration of the basic elements of life and end with mud? I understand your disillusionment, but look at the usefulness of mud down through the ages.  It was used to build housing and hold bricks and stones together. Jesus used it to restore sight to a blind man. It’s been used for wrestling and for a spectator sport as trucks tried to make it through massive mud holes called bogs.

If you apply this concept as you write, you will find that you will be able to keep your reader in suspense until you choose to cut through the mud and expose clearly the path you led them down. Just make sure the uncertain areas which they travel through in your writing are not so muddy as to confuse but muddy enough to maintain curiosity.

So clean yourself up, you look a mess…and don’t forget to wash behind those ears!

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