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Two days of beauty ...

The last two days are divided into four folders:

Brooker Creek Preserve (February 13, 2009) - the star of which is a red tailed hawk's nest

Wall Springs (February 13, 2009) - the fish are especially visible, and quite beautiful, within the crystal clear blue-gren water of the spring.  Of particular interest is the remora attached to a fish.  In addition, there are the shore birds and a bald eagle flying overhead.

Newborn Ducklings (February 14, 2009) - Crescent Lake's delightful bird life, including especially the lovely mandarin duck, the newborn ducklings, and so forth.

Manatees Return (February 14, 2009) - the St. Petersburg shoreline provides the shore birds, the boats, and of special significance ... the return of the manatees.  The manatees have spent the winter at the power plants but winter has ended and they are returning to their warm weather habitats.  


GM is going bankrupt:

To which I say: About time!  After becoming fat and wealthy off the SUV craze the auto industry doesn't deserve to survive any longer.


Do you ever read the Bible?  Here is a prophecy about the good ol' US of A:

"Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!" (Revelation 18:19 ... read the whole chapter)

The world's last remaining Superpower is quickly running out of time.  Collapse is imminent and there isn't anything anybody can do to stop it from happening.  This economic crisis which we are presently experiencing is much bigger than the United States of America.  All the efforts to stop it from destroying us, no matter how expensive, amount to little more than a person holding up his hands against a tsunami.


I finished reading Ben Bova's Mars.  The book was absolutely horrible and confirmed all of the insults expressed about the quality of science fiction writing. The book ends with an argument on behalf of space exploration:

"We'll come back to Mars one day, just as surely as the sun rises.  ... Because we have to.  The human race has to.  We're explorers, Tony.  All of us.  Even you: It's what brought you here.  It's been built into our blood, into our brains.  That's what science is all about.  Human beings have to learn, have to search and seek and explore.  We need to, just as a flower needs water and sunlight.  It's what made our ancestors move out of Africa and spread across the Earth.  Now we're spreading across the solar system and someday we'll start to move out to the stars.  You can't stop that, Tony.  Nobody can.  It's what makes us human."

This is a common argument and in fact one which I made myself several decades ago when the human expansion into space seemed like the next logical step.  Unfortunately, though, human space exploration has already peaked.  The Apollo missions constitute the boundary of human space exploration.  The last man to walk on the moon was also the last man to ever walk on the moon.  

There is no future for humankind in space.  Humans will never walk on Mars.  Humans will never return to the moon.  Humankind has spent the last several decades stuck in low earth orbit and even that shall end some day soon.  

The era of human space flight is nearing its end.  The death of the Space Shuttle might vey well constitute the very end of American space exploration.  Bankrupt and insolvent nations cannot afford such luxuries.  

Nature has confined humankind to the Earth.  There is no other home for our species.  Humans have trashed the Earth.  The Earth isn't going to remain hospitable to human life for very much longer.  Humans will go extinct like so many millions of other species.  Humankind isn't exempt from the laws of nature, our foolish presumption and arrogance notwithstanding.  

The present economic crisis, as terrible as it is, is trivial compared to what is coming.  A much bigger catastrophe is coming and it will occur before the 21st century is finished.  

Humankind's future is bleak ... but Nature will survive, recover and prosper.  

David Mathews

Originally posted to dmathew1 on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 02:34 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Manatees are awesome (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, Hybridity

    When the NHL was looking to expand in the 1990's I agitated my hockey-lovin' Bostonian buddies by advocating the NHL name its Florida franchise the Mantatees, (tagline: the Fighting Sea Cows of South Florida!)

    I took no guff on this, because there was and is nothing intimidating about Ducks and Penguins and they made the cut.

    Shorter Judd Gregg "Who could have known a (D) President would want Democratic policies?"

    by LeftHandedMan on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 02:38:33 PM PST

  •  Nice Pictures David (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, cyncynical

    However I would not call the Loggerheaded Shrike a 'Cute Little Bird'. They are fascinating but they are butchers--google them. They almost cleaned out my bluebird population.

    If you don't stick to your values when they are being tested, then they aren't values, they're hobbies!" Jon Stewart 1-22-09

    by gabie on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 02:50:05 PM PST

  •  Some might call it false advertising to start (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Christin, sherijr, sweeneymcbean

    with manatees and cute lil' baby ducklings, and close on we're all going to die, and so will everone else.

  •  SF may not be your cup of tea, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ATFILLINOIS, sweeneymcbean

    but trashing an entire genre after reading Bova's book (and NO ONE in the sf community would call him a prose stylist; he writes, and has always written, hard sf, where the ideas and not the style matter) is pretty damned dumb, diarist. Actually, there are some excellent stylists out there in the sf section--Joan Vinge immediately comes to mind, as does the late Roger Zelazny(who had  an M.A. in literature from University of Chicago). My qualifications to comment on this? I wrote fantasy in the 80s, have a degree in English plus one in Communications, and a Phi Beta Kappa key--and I've taught college level composition and lit courses, as well as one on writing the short story.

    And just because YOU cannot imagine a future in space because you can't see a way to do it--well, you sound like the people who didn't see a point in trying to sail around the world because the earth is flat.  We don't have the technology currently, but who knows what quantum physics and chaos theory will read us to?

    Please take your anti-depressants again--or start taking them, because this diary had no substance but revealed way more than I wanted to know about your emotional state.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 03:39:29 PM PST

    •  Well said! (0+ / 0-)

      Has the dude ever watched Star Trek??  Their economics are much different.  They work to better themselves and the rest of humanity.  The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in their lives.  

      It's not entirely impossible, I mean Gene Roddenberry had some pretty out there ideas back in the 60's that are now reality.  We're all gonna die whether or not we trash the earth or whatever else.  

      Besides, you underestimate the human race.  There are levels of survival that some of us are willing to accept and most of us are not.  Think about that for a while.  Have a few glasses of wine tonight and wash it down with a doobie.  You'll feel better about the state of things in no time.

      I've applied for more jobs in the last three months than most people will in their entire lives.

      by ATFILLINOIS on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 03:49:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Two vacations in (0+ / 0-)

    one evening!  Between you and Eddie C, I get to see lots of wonderful things without having to go anywhere.  Thanks for the beautiful pictures!

    -7.62, -7.28 "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

    by luckylizard on Sat Feb 14, 2009 at 07:58:34 PM PST

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