Stuff I’ve Learned Lately

What  I don’t know about so many things can fill a thimble…

the size of Jupiter…

While I proudly admit I know a little about a great many things–just enough to be considered obnoxious and/or pretentious at a dinner party, I  must also declare that my ignorance can be vast and has the ability to make me feel very small.   It’s like being in a tiny, leaky dingy in the middle of the Pacific without a paddle or a GPS, but with a seafood allergy.    And the clouds all form question marks JUST to hammer home all that you don’t know. 

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks in life’s classroom.  I’ve learned a few things.    

Prior to the horrific Japanese earthquake and tsunami, I’d never heard of the word prefecture.     It’s an administrative jurisdiction or subdivision in a certain countries and within some international church structures, and in antiquity a Roman district governed by an appointed prefect.  And a prefect is a high administrative official or chief officer such as  the chief of police or any chief  adminstrative official in Paris, France.    It can also be the  administrator in charge of discipline at a Jesuit or private school.    I didn’t know that either.  Chalk one up for the very public education of Laurie Kendrick.

As for the damage?   

Having grown up in South Texas in a town just 60 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, I’m familiar with hurricanes.   I lived through the peripheral ravages of Carla, Buelah and Celia.  That said, I’ve always been aware of  of the tidal surge these storms create and have  always had a keen appreciation of the damage rapidly rising water can do, but nothing prepared me for what I saw in in Japan.    Storm surges can’t compare at all.   In fact, what happened in Japan made Katrina look like a rank amatuer;  a piker.

Hell hath no fury like Mother Nature scorned. 

And try as they  might,  the brilliant and creative engineers  and artists at Industrial Light and Magic, who can so dutifully “F” with our minds with cinematic special effects, could never produce anything like that for the big screen.    Now, imagine the unimaginable if you can:  a 30 foot wall of water coming at you at 50 mph.   No one and nothing can survive.    There was no safety in  being inland either.  This surge had momentum behind it…and a lot of it.  Once on land, it travelled ten miles inland in some places before receeding.   

Let’s say you were a worker tending the fields or in one of those greenhouses (the long white structures in rows from the video) and you look up and see that coming at you.   You can go nowhere, you can do nothing but make yourself right with the God of your choice in the waning micro-seconds of what’s left of  your life.   And even then, I doubt seriously if the mind can rationally accept what’s actually happening.  You’re a pruning a chrysanthemum and as you reach for the Miracle Grow, you see this massive wall of water containing the contents of half the harbour and most of a nearby village speeding toward you.   Can the horror that exists in the split second between life and death allow rational thought?    Would you even have time to generate a decent flight or fight response to the situation?   

I don’t know and I wouldn’t want to, either.

In other news of my continuing education:  Muammar Qaddafi. 

The Libyan dictator reminds me Kilauea in Hawaii.    He like it, rumbles every few years;  spits out ash and belches noxious fumes and the USGS gets all excited and the people run and evacuate for fear of a full on eruption.  But nothing ever happens.

Maybe this time it’s different.   You can’t predict the actions of a cruel, meglomaniac. 

BUT… I did learn who he looks like.       

looks a little like dead Guyanese suicide cult leader (The People’s Temple), Jim Jones

And even a bit like Will Farrell with three weeks after an application of  Miss Clairol Dusk Blonde,  COLOR #96VG


One comment

  1. Thanks for mentioning Celia. It seems to be the forgotten hurricane. We were dead-center in it.

    I love those photo likenesses.

    Sorry about the stupid comment on the Obama post this weekend. From now on I shall stay away from comment boxes when I have a bottle of Rumplemintz in the the house.

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