Monthly Archives: August 2017

GOT Spoiler: Never Mind, Winter Isn’t Coming

 

If complaining is an art, I am Picasso. If it’s bullshittery, I am Ferdinand.

So please excuse my latest deposit, whatever its contents. I can’t help myself.

But why the oxygen-depleted approach to Hurricane Harvey when it comes to  a connection with global warming? Has this somehow become a political issue, too?

Last night, NBC’s Lester Holt gave the entire NBC Nightly News  from Houston. Apparently, Texas is god’s downspout. Or anus. Regardless, the boss was having major runs: By the end of the newscast, Holt had to move  to higher ground, the currents invading so quickly.

Yet nowhere in the half hour did he mention global warming. Indeed, most networks have avoided the issue like a Category 4, lest they incur the wrath of dullards. Apparently that’s a key demographic. And a frighteningly large one.

Last month, Gallup did a poll of Americans and found 81% of them believe there is a scientific debate over global warming. In truth, Gallup later noted, 97% of scientists agree that global warming is a man-made dividend on ill-advised investment. That is as much agreement as you’ll ever get from the scientific community, which still debates the nature of gravity.

To their credit, some smaller outlets have attempted a connection. At the Houston CBS affiliate (which has become a YouTube star overnight),  a University of Houston professor estimated that 20% of the rainfall was due to global warming. USA Today ran a piece Tuesday entitled Is There a Global Warming Connection?

Both stories added fascinating components, from nature’s cyclic tendencies to our ever expanding carbon boot print. But there’s a must simpler story here:

This is what global warming will look like.

For all the data Al Gore drops on us, for all the wisdom Neil deGrasse Tyson offers in baritone, nothing matches the images we digest. We are watching coastlines alter live. Those Houston homes now have new owners: brine. And they don’t pay rent.

Trump, of course, used the opportunity for political expedience — and to let us know he chose the timing of a political pardon because the storms would get great ratings. If nothing else, we know how to ferret fortune out of nature’s indifference. The guy will pardon Harvey the moment he realizes most of the victims are minorities.

We have seen this before, with Katrina. In a tsunami. If you’re looking for work, here’s a suggestion: Google Earth is going to need people just to update its maps.

But when the debates are over, when we’ve given up on the notion that this is all a “gotcha!” from the Far East, we will be left with these images. What we do with them is the only real issue to come from Harvey, as is its only lesson:

You don’t need to be a product of global warming to be a preview of it.

 

 

 

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The Sweet Science Versus Sour Apples

 

Last night’s fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor was a bit like our presidential election: Not the event we expected, but probably what we deserved.

On the one hand, you had the boxer, a veteran of combat whose success has actually had a souring effect on reputation, perhaps because of its regularity. On the the other: a loud-mouthed outsider whose success seemed primarily an architecture of hyperbole.

Wait. Where have I heard that?

The fight itself wasn’t much of a battle, either. The veteran made precision jabs, the product of relentless repetition and practice. The outsider was clearly uncomfortable in the ring and the gloves, though he did manage to land some solid roundhouses, perhaps because he threw so many.

Hmmm.

In the end, the boxer scored a technical victory, though the scrapper won the war of public opinion, carried on shoulders and hailed (incorrectly) for being politically incorrect, a scrapper deserving of worship because he took on the system.

Jesus.

When the final bell rang, the boxer walked to the center of the ring and announced his retirement. Mayweather complimented McGregor for being better than he thought, and said it was time to take his aging body into gentler waters. McGregor, too, complimented Mayweather, saying he always appreciated a good fight. He did not dispute the judge’s votes, which clearly went Mayweather’s way.

Forget that. The fight was nothing like the election.

Now, for less bullshit-ty analytics:

  • 42% of of highly-mobile and regular home workers worldwide suffer from insomnia, as opposed to 29% of regular office workers, according to a UN study.
  • Hydra, the quarter-inch invertebrate, is composed primarily of stem cells, meaning its lifespan is limitless.
  • The Kindlifresser, or “Child Eater”, is one of oldest statues in Bern, Switzerland, and nobody is sure why it has a baby half stuffed into his mouth, and three more over its shoulder.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald wasn’t arrested for killing JFK. He was actually arrested for fatally shooting a police officer 45 minutes after the death of Kennedy.
  • Austria, Belgium, France, and Germany hold elections on weekends or have made election day a holiday. All surpass America in voter turnout.
  • Similar to “fake news”, the “Lügenpresse” accusation was used by the Nazis to discredit unsupportive media outlets.
  • Down syndrome has been disappearing in Iceland since prenatal screening tests were introduced in the early 2000s. Almost 100% of women who had a positive test for Down syndrome decided to terminate their pregnancy.
  • Robert E. Lee himself, after the Civil War, opposed monuments, specifically Confederate war monuments.
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