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Sunday, March 30, 2014
2007 – 2014
THE OSO MUDSLIDE: AN ACT OF NATURE, NOT OF HUMANKIND
Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. Well, last week it was the death by helicopter crash of a beloved television photographer and his pilot. This week, it is a mudslide which so far has claimed 18 and national attention.
When this first happened, on March 22, I was afraid it would unleash the Hounds of Mediaville which feed their readership’s appetite for hate by looking for scapegoats, straw dogs and other profound symbols of blame, packaging this garbage as journalism to be eagerly consumed by the metric flipping ton.
In the Pacific Northwest, we do not do that and it has not been done, for the most part. We are doing what we do. And what is that, exactly? First, we gather our information from several sources. Second, we suspend our cynicism and watch how people involved in such disasters handle themselves. Third, we familiarize ourselves with disaster mitigation and relief and when those steps are also being taken, as they are in the Oso Mudslide, we let our readers know that too.
We also reflect on that trait in some natures which compels those who know the risks involved to gamble. For 18 people in the North American Cascade Mountains, the hillside finally paid off. As tragic as that is, it certainly did not start with the people of Oso, Washington.
Our hearts go out to all those impacted. And most certainly, our prayers.
IN OTHER NEWS
We were not surprised to learn this. When you’ve got very little, sometimes your vices are all you have, regardless of how self-destructive those might be. Smoking Proves Hard to Shake Among the Poor
Which airport in North America has ~ for the fifth consecutive year ~ been ranked the best on the continent by Skytrax World Airports Award? The answer just might surprise you.
WORLD NEWS SHORTS
OSO, WASHINGTON MUDSLIDE
We could not agree with this more. Crimea crisis has shown Harper at his best
None of us REALLY expects this to be more than frustration for the canines and good exercise for the birds, right? Canadian government to hire dogs to scare geese away from experimental farm
Say hello to the Man From South of The Border. Bruce Heyman, new U.S. ambassador to Canada, sworn in, ready to move north
Sam: Felina, would you mind a whole lot explaining to me, Sweetheart, what Arnie is doing out on the back porch?
Felina: Arnold, Dear.
Sam: Yeah, him too. Okay, to rephrase the question, what is our television set doing out on the back porch?
Felina: It is so he can see better. He also said that he “needs the rays”.
Sam: I thought we took care of that washing his one eye every day. And what exactly is so important to see that he needs to park out in the sunlight on the American side of our granite abode?
Felina: He is looking at that mountain slide in that human place called Oso, mate of my three lifetimes.
Sam: Ah, gotcha. And I’m sorry, Princess. I should have known.
Felina: The world is a busy place, mate mine. And I know you do not share my love of them.
Sam: Felina, plain fact is that as much as I love you, there’s not enough room for them.
Felina: Most of the time.
Sam: Okay, most of the time. I didn’t wish that mud on them, Sweetheart. And I am sorry it happened.
Felina: I am sure you have your opinions about this, though. You generally do, oh sun and moon of my life.
Sam: We get paid to have opinions, Felina. But my self-preservation instincts are kicking in big time and I am not going there.
Felina: You are as wise as you are rapacious sometimes, Samuel. But if you were the heroic type, instead of such a delightfully unmitigated scoundrel, what would you have to say about this?
Sam: I’m sort of darned if I do and double darned if I don’t, this time, aren’t I?
Felina: You are about to be hoisted by George Peppard.
Sam: That doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.
Felina: Then your only recourse is quite clear, isn’t it, my dashing do-er of dubious deeds?
Sam: Okay, here goes. Just remember, this time you flipping asked, Felina.
Felina: I shall, Samuel Alexander.
Sam: The whole hill was built on gravel and clay the receding glaciers left behind. At the bottom of the hill is a river that has been cutting into that big pile of Ice Age slag for a long time now. It has also been raining the French and frogs for several weeks.
Felina: So this was clearly a disaster in evolution.
Sam: Yes, Sweetheart. I feel real bad for the human beings who died. But the planet is a living creature herself and still growing. It was nobody’s fault this happened.
Felina: But perhaps if more human beings understood that Gaia lives?
Sam: It would not stop these acts of nature, Lass.
Felina: Sometimes, it really seems like the only thing one can do is pray and light a candle.
Sam: And maybe to accept that sometimes even the wisest fall to the weather, Lass.
Felina: I think perhaps Arnold does not need the sun as much as he claims.
Sam: Perhaps not, Sweetheart. And on that note, then, Felina?
Felina: On that note, Gentle Readers, to all those of you in Oso, we offer a candle and a prayer. Until next week, may the wind be always at your back and may the Creator keep you forever safe in the palm of Her paw.
If you’re looking for the inspiration of kid power, check this out. What Kids Can Do
We definitely approve of this. White House Unveils Plans to Cut Methane Emissions
This wins a “better late than not” award. B.C. hands over records of 4,900 First Nations children who died during residential school period
We absolutely and totally agree with this. Egypt’s Miscarriage of Justice
After this goes to court, GM could end up making go-carts. Carmaker Misled Grieving Families on a Lethal Flaw
This is what happens when punishment and rehabilitation are not balanced. U.S. Accuses Rikers Officer of Ignoring Dying Plea
EXPLORATION, HISTORY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
This was fun. Interactive Feature: Can You Spot the Liar?
This could set tourism back a bit. Guess what the white in Hawaii’s white sand beaches is made of? If you enjoy Diamond Head and vacationing on Oahu, you probably do NOT want to know so don’t go here.
This was just dumb enough to be really interesting. WATCH: Here’s What Happens When You Set Off 150 Mouse Traps
NORTHSTAR WEEKLY QUIZ
Merriam-Webster Online offers a short battery of games to improve one’s spelling and vocabulary. They are short, timed and the scores are ranked by age group. These are also activities you can share with friends and family. In my house, learning together is also considered cool.
THE GREEN AGENDA
We sort of suspected these were not as healthy as they have been touted to be. Selling a Poison by the Barrel: Liquid Nicotine for E-Cigarettes
We certainly agree with the poignant commentary. Scare Tactics Over Foreign Drugs–Frightening people risks leaving them without the medicines they need
We found this very informative and very validating, too, since we’re already doing a lot of this. Down-to-earth advice about healthy eating
YOUTUBE “JUST TO FEEL GOOD” STUFF
BEST OF THE NET
It is an America gone mad from the addiction to war and desperate for resources beyond her own borders. A military dictatorship controls the country and life is grim. The Republic is fighting for its very survival and for decades, especially with Latin America.
This is the world of the United States Coast Guard cutter Testament, a cybernetic patrol boat, and her six-person crew. Her mission, and those of her sister craft, is simple.
Quench the rebellion and stop the flow of Americans seeking refuge in Canada. Kill when expedient. Deliver the survivors to the BellinghamRe-EducationCenter.
A simple operational order and one which has served America well. Until Testament
Feature Magazine Articles
ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL
Don’t read this on an empty stomach, okay? Can we eat our way out of the invasive carp problem?
If this works out, we humans may be learning a lot more about ourselves than we can comfortably live with. Apparently there’s a computer that can translate one of the dialects of dolphin.
This couple raises sled dogs in Manhattan. Video: Vows: Leader of the Pack
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
A FINAL WORD
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Until next week, then, take care, stay well and Godspeed.