science is soooo cool!

The latest video from the Veritasium Channel. One of my favorite YouTube channels. For the geek in me. LOL.

And after the video do a search on Google Maps for “Potash Utah” and you can see the most recent image and colors. So very cool. Can you find other cool potash pond locations around the world? feel free to post a screenshot in your comment. 🙂

you may wonder….

So you may wonder given the nature of my posts; what are my favorite YouTube channels?

Well hang on to your britches because I’m about to tell you. And some may surprise you. This is by no means a comprehensive list of all channels I follow – but just favorites that regularly and consistently post new content. For examples there are many music channels that I follow but the vast majority have sporadic postings or inconsistent in featuring work that interests me. These are not in any particular rank. Just a list.

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/usgs is the site for the United States Geological Survey. It features viddy’s and information on volcano’s, earthquakes and tectonics and other geological interests. More than some other sites it reveals my geeky interests in scientific study.
  • keeping with a theme, https://www.youtube.com/c/veritasium : Veritasium is a hybrid word that combines the latin word for “truth” (Veritas) and the suffix of most elements on the periodic chart (ium) therefore creating Veritasium (i.e. an “an element of truth”). These videos explore various scientific topics both in physics, biology, geology, as well as some more philosophic subjects. I find them informative, entertaining and just plain interesting. The creator of this chanel, Derek Muller, also has children so there are several videos that are science subjects geared for children as well as learning resources. I highly recommend it.
  • I also love Bonsai. https://www.youtube.com/c/EiseienBonsai is a great channel to learn about and understand Bonsai craft in great detail. While I personally do not have Bonsai, I have always wanted to start but have been a little intimidated. Maybe this is the year I will finally Start.
  • Another channel for Bonsai that I follow is https://www.youtube.com/c/HeronsBonsaiUK this UK based nursery has great videos that I would describe as Bonsai for the Common Person or for the beginner. The presenter is very down-to-earth and very relatable.
  • Next up is https://www.youtube.com/c/bbcearth This channel really has some remarkable nature videos. While I am not a fan of having “pets” I absolutely do love wild animals in their natural habitat. And this channel fills that “cup of interest” to the brim.
  • Along similar lines is the National Geographic website https://www.youtube.com/c/NatGeo with it’s own unique perspective on the world we live on and the people, flora and fauna that we share it with.
  • Now something may not be much of a surprise because I’ve posted videos from this channel here on the blog. https://www.youtube.com/user/TheLouisianaChannel The Louisiana Channel is an arts channel with in-depth interviews discussion and analysis with artists, musicians and writers. For me it is an endless source of inspiration and exposure to some things I might not normally find.
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/Nerdwriter1 Nerdwriter is another channel I absolutely adore. Posts are less frequent that most other channels featured here – but when there is a post it blows my mind. It has taught me so much about art, writing, philosophy etc.
  • https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_43mQmHwHPTBBqImFrWU3Q Sean Tucker is a professional photographer who has some amazing insights into not only photography but photography in the age of the internet. His videos are informative, instructional and at time philosophical. What an amazing personality.
  • And lastly to go back to the beginning of the list https://www.youtube.com/user/NASAgovVideo the official NASA channel is amazing and wonderful for all things NASA related. I especially like their “Spacecast Weekly” which is a weekly digest of news and information direct from NASA for all you space geeks.

And that’s it my friend. Of the 56 channels I follow on YouTube these are my absolute favorites that bring me an endless source of enjoyment, inspiration and information. And to re-iterate – these are not ranked in any particular order. I hope you enjoy them. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend everyone.

insanity

Well the headlines keep getting worse – stranger and stranger – like the story of the Michigan Militia group Wolverine Watchmen arrested for a plot to overthrow the government in Michigan by arresting the Governor and trying her in the groups own makeshift court.   The Michigan Militia has been troubling to the history of the state that goes back decades.   Formed in 1994 by a former US Air Force veteran.  First made the news in 1995 after the Oklahoma City bombing carried out by members Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.    

Militia activity is increasing and is linked to white supremacy but the federal government has repeatedly failed to dismantle and disband these organizations with their “criminal” ideologies and activities.   We now pay the price – forget about terrorism from abroad.   We create our own! 

Canadian music group, Moxy Fruvous, known for their ability to mock, attack, chide, parody, satirize and lampoon life’s insanities, wrote and recorded a song titled Michigan Militia in 1997 after the Oklahoma City bombing.   Sadly it continues to be relevant – maybe more so – in the trump era.   I’ve always loved this music group and I post this song here (lyrics below). 

I like to keep it in the refrigerator.
Keeps the powder dry, and the action quicker.
Let me be your American Gladiator.
Find enclosed an adhesive N.R.A. sticker.
 
A letter t’ you from where I been holed up
In this bucolic, agrarian compound.
One step ahead
Just ahead
Of the government bloodhound.
 
The gas is off, it’s a national showdown.
BUT…
Sure wish that I could visit you,
My sweet betrothed.
In a couple a’ days
We’ll all be free,
Or we’ll be dead.
 
Happy Birthday, Trisha,
I’m in the Michigan Militia.
Happy Birthday, Trisha,
I’m in the Michigan Militia.
 
I’m fencing off this little piece of heaven.
Cross the line and you’re electrocuted.
Polishing up my AK47.
It’s a constitutional right, can’t be refuted.
 
Now they got us on TV,
And makin’ us look stupid.
Shot of me flippin’ my lid,
At that mutt reporter,
A classic case of race dilution
Houston,
 
What is the problem?
I’m fighting for you, and a blue-eyed Jesus.
America first,
The rest get the pieces.
 
Na Na Na Na.
Happy Birthday, Trisha,
I’m in the Michigan Militia.
Happy Birthday, Trisha,
I’m in the Michigan Militia.
 
Fighting for your honour,
Like would any Afrikaner.
Happy Birthday, Trisha,
I’m in the Michigan Militia.
 
Our numbers are strong, and it won’t be long
’til I can tell you, Trisha, that we won.
You’ll be ecstatic, just like that night
You told me up in the attic.
That was your wish again,
To be back in a purified Michigan
 
Down on…! down on…!
… the farm?
 
Well, that’s my wish again,
To be back in Michigan.
 
Happy Birthday, Trisha,
I’m in the Michigan Militia.
Happy Birthday, Trisha,
(Well, that’s my wish again, to be back in Michigan)
I’m in the Michigan Militia.
 
I hope you like the double barrel,
I think it goes with your apparel.
Happy Birthday, Trisha,
(Well, that’s my wish again, to be back in Michigan)
I’m in the Michigan Militia.
 
I like to keep it in the refrigerator.

International Dog Day

Happy Dog Day.    August 26, 2020.    For all my friends who are dog lovers.   
This has always been my favorite dog song. 

And of course, another favorite artist Laurie Anderson had a great movie and soundtrack  called HEART OF A DOG.   here are two tracks from the soundtrack.

Finally a track by Rush

bless the beasts and the children

Another installment: thinking of the world we are leaving our children and the children of the future. We are on the cusp of the next great extinction event caused by climate change. Climate change cause by humanities overwhelming impact on the environment and the planet on which we call home. Our children should not be the ones to warn us yet that is what is happening. We adults have shrugged off our responsibility and now our children are crying out for help. What are we doing to provide light during these dark times? What are we doing to keep them safe? How long will we pat our children on the head and offer our empty comforting words? Or, will we continue to write pretty songs to placate and humor the need instead of meet the need? It’s not enough to say, “It’s just too hard. At least the world won’t end while I’m alive. We’ll let someone else figure it out.”

When will we say, “…NOW is the favorable time. NOW is the day of salvation”(*) for our children?

* II Corinthians 6:2

Jalacy “Screamin’ Jay” Hawkins B-Day

Born in Cleveland, OH  July 18, 1929, Jalacy “Screamin’ Jay” Hawkins would go on to take the world by storm with his unique voice and theatrical presentation.   He would leave an indelible mark on popular culture.  He would go on to inspire and influence generations of musicians including Tom Waits, Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson and many others.   When I discovered Tom Waits in college (mid 1980’s) I found out that one of his major influences was Screamin’ Jay.   So naturally I had to check it out.   I now own many Screamin’ Jay Hawkins discs.   He recorded his signature hit I PUT A SPELL ON YOU many times.  And just about anyone who is anybody in the music world has covered this song. But there are so many other delights.   He is funny, witty, wry, satirical. Trained on classical piano he wanted to be an opera singer and sited Paul Robeson as an inspiration and Caruso was also a big influence –  but when that failed to come to fruition he blossomed in the cabaret circuit and that is where his transformation into the kitschy character performer – often performing with voodoo props, rubber snakes and cigarette smoking skull he affectionally named Henry.  He has had several movie appearances.

If you’ve never heard Screamin’ Jay Hawkins before you are in for a treat. Enjoy.

It’s not too late

It's Not Too Late

The wind turns like a dagger, the rain falls like a hammer
The sky has grown dark but it’s not too late
The weather crashes down, what’s lost cannot be found
The night is closing but it’s not too late

It’s not too late, it’s not too late
It’s not too late, it’s not too late
The atmosphere is lethal but I will fear no evil

The ocean rolls like thunder, the tempest pulls us under
The dogs are howling but it’s not too late
As broken structures rust, false idols turn to dust
All lies in ashes but it’s not too late

It’s not too late, it’s not too late
It’s not too late, it’s not too late
The atmosphere is lethal but I will fear no evil

In the dark before the dawn, the echo of the siren song
Dies away like a ghost, as the day breaks

It’s not too late, it’s not too late
It’s not too late, it’s not too late
The atmosphere is lethal but I will fear no evil

reconsidering Dylan

When I was younger I never quite got on the Bob Dylan bandwagon.  Sure there were songs I absolutely loved, “Knockin’ on Heavens Door”, “Blowin’ In The Wind” etc.  But his style never really grabbed me.  While he served as “the voice” of my generation and older he always seemed out of touch.  I found his work really hit or miss.   I could never get through a complete recording.  Just major snooze-a-rama.   And that voice.   Horrendous, muttering, mewling like sandpaper on dry flesh.   And even though I enjoyed some of his music I found that I enjoyed it more when other people sang it.   His performances just left me empty and hungry for something more (and not more from him).  While his music may have served as the voice of a generation it certainly never served as a “voice” for my life experience.   And his music just seemed to become more and more distant through the years.   And that’s the way I felt for most of my life.

Fast forward to the present.   I am 59 going on 60.   On a whim I purchased the Bob Dylan box set – The Complete Album Collection Vol. One.    I’ve forced myself to listen through each album (all 47 discs).   And to my surprise I found that not only does the music touch me in unexpected ways but it seems more relevant to my life and our culture as it currently exists.   It appears that Dylan was not out of step with the times.   I was just out of step with Dylan.   And while some stuff from the 80’s and 90’s still seems somewhat uneven.  His work has just gotten better and better in the new millennium.   And his voice has gotten better.  When he was younger (or should I say when I was younger) his voice just seemed strangely out of tune lacking the clarity I had come to expect from many folk and pop singers.   But in the intervening years I fell in love with Tom Waits who has a similar voice and I love Tom’s songwriting style and storytelling.  Not only that but Dylan handles a guitar like Tom handles a piano.   I’ve found that since the LOVE and THEFT album Dylan’s songwriting is not dissimilar and in fact is complementary to Tom Waits music, and Dylan’s  voice is perfectly suited to that style.   It’s enjoyable and I can easily sit through an entire recording as the music evokes many scenes, times, places and people that I can appreciate.  And I’ve come to admire his skill with language and music.

Bottom Line:   While the box set was a risky purchase considering my previous opinions of Bob Dylan it was a purchase that paid off in spades.    It’s been so great to get in touch with a master songwriter.   When you go through his oveure in this collection one can easily see why he was nominated for the Nobel Prize for literature.

So while I may have said some things early on that may have seemed sacrilegious – well my eye’s have been opened.   Another blind man can now see.

With all that said and done.   Here are some tracks you may/or not be familiar with.    Enjoy.

 

haiku’s on fog

O beautiful morn

shrouded and clouded in mist

fogged o’er secret Spring

Links to the Pond smlr

wake up now dear Spring

shed the blanket of morning

wipe the fog away

Secret Gatherings

Where, oh morn are you?

Where are your budding flowers?

Even birds whisper

Behind the Fence Line smlr

 

that damn balloon

two more poems featuring the half-deflated balloon from the workplace office.

______________________________

I AM WAITING

I am waiting.
Waiting for the light to flicker.
Waiting for the walls to drop.
Waiting for the half-deflated ballon to fall
Waiting for the stale office air to circulate
Waiting for microscopic dust to settle
I’m waiting for your call.

——————————————-

A half-deflated balloon
from a celebration
long past

drifts listlessly
bobbing and weaving
in the recirculated
air current

Still tethered to
its cubicle
human placeholder
the open cage
where “pets” can roam freely.

the writing blahs

The hand lies
limply on the page

Pen flip-flopping flaccidly
insipid, impotent inspiration

Desire, a
vacuous turncoat
betrays me

What to write.
What to write?
What To Write!

nothing.