Tag Archives: Nature

Flea circus, Portales, New Mexico circa 1955

Flea Circus. Torps Flea Circus Tivoli Copenhagen 1956

Hi readers.  I’d just about decided my memory played tricks.  Two years in a row I remember  the carnival at the Roosevelt County Fair having a flea circus a kid could see for a dime.  Vivid memory because I somehow accidently went into the tent next door where a woman in a bathing suit who had no arms was typing on a typewriter with her toes.

But I’ve told a lot of people who grew up in Portales at that time about the flea circus and none remember it.  Most think I just dreamed it up, or remembered wrongly, which can happen.

Only the reason they thought so, and the reason I’d begun to thnk so, was that I came to believe no such thing as a flea circus ever existed outside imaginations.

The magic of YouTube doesn’t prove a flea market came to town with the carnival in Portales, New Mexico circa 1956, but it proves beyond doubt it might have.

Secrets of the Flea Circus

Secrets of the Real Flea Circus Revealed! National Geographic (Professor Oddnaught)

Genuine Flea Circus

No shortage of flea circuses were making the rounds those days.

So all you people who went to school beside me and don’t remember attending the flea circus I, think there wasn’t one, I say, “Horsefeathers!”  If you hadn’t been spending all your money on the steam shovels and cotton candy you’d have seen it too.  Playing bingo with pieces of corn on a checkerboard never got anyone into a tent where a woman with no arms in a bathing suit typed with her toes.

Old Jules

 

Radiation ain’t all that bad

sunflower asbestosHi readers.

I saw a movie on Netflix named, Pandora’s Promise.  It was interviews with all manner of people who used to be against nuclear power plants, but changed their minds.  ‘Good’ environmentalists, mostly.

Their logic is that they were duped by other ‘Bad’ environmentalists into thinking nuclear power plants were bad and dangerous, but that not all that many people died from Chernobyl, and not all that many are dying from Fukushima.  And that most of the time nukes are cleaner than coal and don’t kill as many people.

These ‘Good’ Environmentalists understand that without nuclear power they can’t do anything about climate change, which of course, they haven’t been duped by Bad Environmentalists about.  All that stuff about health consequences of radiation exposure was BS.  Bad Science.  Whereas, everything about climate change is GOOD science.  “How dare they,” one pro-nuclear environmentalist shouts of climate change ‘deniers’, “Deny SCIENCE?  This isn’t the DARK ages.”

Convincing movie.  Leads me to think we were all duped a lot earlier than that, back when the USSR was making such a nuisance of itself.  We could have bombed those people back to the stone age if we’d never had our heads confused about fallout shelters, genetic drift, mutants, nuclear winter and all the rest.  Hell, if someone had told us the only thing we had to worry about was the blast, EMP, shockwaves rolling around knocking things down, firestorms, hell, I think we’re all big enough we could have handled that.

What Fukushima actually proves is they’re spending way too much money building safety features into those nuclear power plants.  Those they had didn’t help, and when the whole thing went south it just hasn’t been all that bad.

Plus there are a lot of people alive today who wouldn’t be if we hadn’t let ourselves be duped into believing getting nuked would be a bad thing because of radioactive fallout.

It’s a heartbreaker.

Old Jules

 

The mysterious Kansas parrot fetish

Reminds me a bit of a 1950s song, "Poor Little Robin," "Walkin' walkin' walkin to Missouri."  But this ain't a robin.

Reminds me a bit of a 1950s song, “Poor Little Robin,” “Walkin’ walkin’ walkin to Missouri.” But this ain’t a robin.

Hi readers.  I dunno.  The Kansas State Bird is the Western Meadowlark.  Don’t even bother suggesting that’s what it’s all about.

But all over Kansas City and the surrounding area a person will see that damned cartoon character parrot.  Bumperstickers, flags in yards, even on gravestones.

Occasionally a person will see the word, “Jayhawk” associated with the damned parrot.  A jayhawk isn’t, I believe, an actual bird, so much as a Civil War pejorative used by people with long memories referring to the Kansas-version of the Missouri ‘bushwhackers’.  Irregulars, citizen soldiers using the excuse of war and hatred to rape loot and plunder anyone who disagreed with them.

I don’t think this is a jayhawk.  I think it’s a hell-of-a-lot more likely it’s a damned robin walking to Missouri, and the people displaying it aren’t happy with gasoline being so much cheaper just across the State boundary.

But what the hell do I know?

Old Jules

Well, lessee. Hmm. Reckon why the forage fish on the west coast of North America might vanish?

Climate change would be nice.  Climate change is something we can all bite our ownselves in the ass about if we believe humans are the cause of it.

Similarly, a sort of general speculation it might be overfishing works well, so long as there’s no mention whether one particular nation is responsible more than the others.  No mention, specifically of the city-sized fish factories operating year-round buying catches from any fishing boat capable of reaching them.  Japanese fish factories operating in a devil-take-the-hindmost race to see whether they can get all the fish out of the North Pacific before Japanese radiation kills them.  Stone deaf to the pleas of every nation on earth also depending on their fishing industries.

So yeah, maybe over harvesting of fish might be it.

Beats hell out of one other possibility nobody seems to be mentioning.  The 900 pound gorilla.  Personally I don’t know enough about it all to have an opinion.  But I suspect the reason those fishing job related folks don’t mention the 900 pound gorilla possibility might be a desire to be able to catch and sell fish again sometime if the Pacific coast of North America ever has any again.

Maybe those radiation leaking Japanese nuke plants are being damned by faint praise. 

 

Lost At Sea: Fishers Can’t Find Sardines and Climate Change May Be To Blame

By Clare Leschin-Hoar | Takepart.com 16 hours ago Takepart.com
 
The sardines off the western coast of Canada have completely disappeared.

No one knows exactly what has happened to the $32 million commercial fishery, but what we do know is stunning: The region’s sardine fishermen returned to port empty-handed after failing to catch a single fish according to a report Monday.

Poof! Vanished. Gone. 

Although you may not eat sardines on a regular basis, (though we think you should), the health of this tiny forage fish has had scientists worried for some time.

Sardines, along with anchovy and menhaden, form the base of the food chain for species that range from bluefin tuna to humpback whales to sea birds and dolphins. Forage fish are critically important to the aquaculture industry as well, where they’re ground up, turned into fishmeal, and fed to popular species like farmed salmon.

Geoff Shester, a scientist with conservation group Oceana says they’ve been concerned about the Pacific sardine fishery for some time and warns that effects from a collapse could last for decades.

“This is about the entire Pacific coast including the U.S. and Mexico, not just British Columbia,” says Shester. “If fishermen have stopped fishing because they’ve hit their quota, that’s one thing. But they’re stopping because they can’t find any fish. That means fishery management is failing.”

Indeed, Oceana isn’t the only group worried. The collapse was predicted by prominent scientists who said ocean conditions—including a change in temperature—and poor reproduction rates are contributing to the sardines’ decline.

At least one study has found that climate change is causing the geography of where fish are found to shift, which may be what we’re seeing in Canada, too.
 
Fishing pressures on the ecosystem also play an important role.

When sardines are in a productive cycle, they can be fished agressively and their stock can withstand it, while leaving enough for ocean predators, Shester said.

“But if you don’t respond to a natural decline fast enough by limiting fishing, you’re suddenly in big trouble,” says Shester. “It makes the crash even worse because you’ll have fewer sardines remaining. When conditions get productive again, they can’t bounce back because there aren’t enough of them to begin with.”

Canada isn’t alone in declining sardine stocks. Paul Shively, forage fish campaign manager for Pew Charitable Trusts, says we’re seeing a similar trend in the U.S. The numbers are striking. In 2007, the U.S. brought in 127,500 metric tons of Pacific sardines.  In 2010, the number shrunk to 66,817 metric tons, and by 2011 that number declined to 44,000 metric tons. 

“We can’t do a lot about the changing temperatures of the ocean and the natural cycles it goes through, but what we can do is to keep from fishing the bottom out of that. We don’t want to fish those last remaining fish,” he said.

Shively is worried about more than just sardines. While sardines are protected under fishery management plans, he points out that there are no such protections for other important species like smelt, Pacific saury and lantern fish.

“If someone wants to fish them, there are no limits on what they can take,” says Shively.

As for the sardine fishery, Shester says we should be paying close attention to the news coming from Canada.

“We’re in an emergency situation right now. Any fishing is overfishing when the stock is in this condition.”

Not to suggest if it’s actually the nukes doing it the Japanese are at fault in any way.  Any more than they’d be at fault if it were found to be their giant fish factories doing it.

I’ve always figured climate change was what caused the Rape of Nanking, the Bataan Death March and Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  It all runs together.  Karma sort of thing.

Old Jules

Worthless eaters and functional economics

His functional net worth declined.

His functional net worth declined.

Hi readers. Thanks for coming by. The economic illusion we’ve been using to drive our lives is fragile and thin.  Practical, or functional economics is right there where it’s always been, waiting for a dysfunctional government to reveal it.

The practical, or functional worth of an individual as it applies to the real human condition is in what that individual produces, compared to what that same individual consumes.  A farmer who produces 20 tons of wheat in a year and only consumes the value of 10 tons has a practical worth of 10 tons of wheat.  A person who grows 50 beef cattle but only consumes the value of 49 beef cattle has a practical worth of one cow.

Same with hamburger flippers, though the hamburger flippers aren’t getting bonus credit for the secondary product of their profession, creating patients for heart surgeons.

And so on, reduced to its lowest common denominator.

Okay, so what about us useless eaters?  Insurance salesmen, congressmen and senators, presidents, CEOs, billionaires, and drug kingpins living down in the ghetto?  Retirees?  Professional military.   Party girls and celebrities.

Well, we’re all worth the same.  The amount of something we produce, minus what we consume.  We aren’t worth as much as a slum welfare mother who, at least, produces 13 children. 

For the moment, at least, the fabricated illusion is still holding together.  Even with a dysfunctional government ignoring the alternative reality.

But it’s still worth keeping in mind that we useless eaters are all pretty much of equal value when measured by practical or functional economic standards.  Whether we’re retirees, CEOs of multi-national banks, welfare mothers, or inheritors of the Colgate fortune.

Caves in Germany containing the remains of Cro Magnon people 43,000 show they kept their worthless eaters around during prosperous times.  But when times got bare they discovered a strange new respect for functional economics.

Maybe they eventually found themselves blessed with dysfunctional governments and multi-cave marketeers, besides their retirees.

Old Jules

Selectively breeding human beings for food

Hi readers.  Probably most of you know already that human beings are being selectively bred for food by competing species of space aliens.  That’s what’s causing so much trouble for us as a species.  Our damned overlords can’t make up their minds, keep changing what they want from us.

It’s the reason French mothers gave birth to a century of runts after Napoleon got a generation of their male breeding stock killed off in Spain, Portugal and Europe.  Then the other group of space aliens got into the driver-seat and brought Germans, British and Americans into France with WWI to impregnate all the French women in an attempt to undo the Napoleonic accomplishments.

It’s the reason cheerleaders want to propagate with football stars.  One of the groups of space aliens likes the physical traits, dumb as cluckshit, beefy males, big titty women, and they want a strain of offspring for their high-dollar eating joints.

A few people probably still doubt this is happening, but all you have to do is look around you to prove it to yourself.  Why do you think all those fast food joints are out there peppering the surface of our great land?  One of those groups of space aliens is fond of meat with a lot of fat on it.

The one thing all the space alien species agree about, though, is brains.  A human brain is about the same amount of food product for discerning aliens, whether it’s generally a brain with an IQ of 80, or one of 150.  And the one with an IQ of 80 gives them one hell of a lot less trouble.

Space aliens all do everything they can think of to improve the likelihood their breeding stock is nearer 80 IQ than anything higher.  And they’re fairly successful in that regard.

I just wish they’d make up their minds about the rest of it.  All this seesawing back and forth over football and wars gets old after a while.

Old Jules

“The men who write upon these walls,” mystery solved

The part about rolling it in little balls had scientists tearing their hair out.  Putting periscopes under the partitions trying to catch someone doing it.

The part about rolling it in little balls had scientists tearing their hair out. Putting periscopes under the partitions trying to catch someone doing it.

If they'd looked at the floor they could have solved it decades earlier.

If they’d looked at the floor they could have solved it decades earlier.

Hi readers.  Scientists have finally solved one of the most puzzling mysteries of the 20th Century.  The poem beginning, “The men who write upon these walls,” found on the stall partitions in Mens’ rooms was a phenomenon more pervasive than the “Kilroy was here” riddle of the WWII era.

Now they can finally settle down to studying why the magnetic poles of earth wander around from hell to breakfast.

Old Jules