Friday, July 1, 2016

WW...Mysteries Solved...Maybe

Oregon State

In hundreds of millions of years, somewhere in the past, Earth consisted of one big continent.  For many innumerable million years, in fact. Geologists wondered the how and why of uniqueness of the land masses filling the earth, dividing Atlantic from Pacific. 

Why does South America feel like it could cozy up with Africa? Why is Australia off by itself, containing unique critters of its own? Why is there a Gulf Stream that swirls hot to cold, an interactive exchange? Can any continent claim that it has the hottest temperature? Personally, I'd go for Africa.  Sahara Desert wins, hands down.

Alfred Wegener published The Origin of Continents, in 1912.  He posited that at that time, there had been only one massive continent, which he named Pangaea, or Pangea. It was during a 600 million year span to some other million, land masses broke apart in a continental shift, similar to pieces of driftwood rolling through waters until it found a home. (First, continents were together, then they broke up, and then they moved back...Fickle, if you ask me.)

Found in YouTube...there are many other videos

Wegener's book seemed to solve a great mystery to most people.  I suspect that other geologists may have wondered about this but discounted it, but Pangaea seemed to make sense to average humans. I mean, really.  Just look at a jigsaw puzzle, you academics. 

Unbelievably, this created quite an uproar, was controversial until the 1950s. But, even so, Wegener had cast his scientific reputation to test the waters in early 20th century years. I'd say he took quite a chance on this, but then...

This shift had all sorts of ramifications, too numerous here. Feel free to check it out. BUT it is patently clear that there will be no effort to reconnect any time soon.
Carole King from YouTube

The above italicized underlined words are a gift from Wednesday Words, this month provided by River. Each week during one month, volunteer bloggers provide a writing challenge by posting 6, 12 words and/or a sentence/photo prompt.  This gives writers a jolt to experience winding those words into a cohesive poem, prose, short-story, whatever genre.

Participants may post their take on these words in that blogger's comment section, or indicate that your post will be at your site.  This helps readers to find you, which is nice.

In July, Elephant's Child  will be tossing us some words, with some visual prompts provided by Olga Godim. It will be interesting, as always.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Fox Within

Red Fox Face wallpaper
Nicholas was an unusual student, one that no one could ever forget or want to remember.  Clever, he was a fox and just as devious. Nicholas had a "history" and would create more in his future, of that all were certain.

When he walked by with his mother as she pushed a stroller, Nicholas was normal compared to his mother and brother.
Mother was a ragged woman, worn out, face drawn and gray, a face that drooped.  Tattoos laced up and down her bone thin arms, even onto her brown stained fingers.  Little brother looked straight ahead with dim eyes, no sound or smile, with a flat face like a paper plate.

Red Fox Face
Nicholas was as canny as a fox, eyes dashing from side to side, up and down, casing sidewalks and trees.  He focused on people and their eyes, and they immediately looked away. Something about his eyes pierced them as his next prey.

School Principal escorted Nicholas to his second grade classroom and handed him off to his teacher. He spoke a few words, almost in a whisper.  They both led Nicholas to his seat, in front row to the far right.  His desk was placed two feet away from students to his left and behind him.

First day, second day passed quietly.  Third day, all hell broke loose.  

It was hard to describe a whirlwind in a classroom where desks flew and students ran to back of classroom.  

Principal came running, scooping Nicholas up in a grip, while the boy screamed maniacally, biting and scratching.  The principal ran with the boy to the nurse's office, phoning his mother and psychiatrist.

Mother had forgotten Nicholas' medications that morning. Psychiatrist raced down to this school and administered meds himself.  What were they?  This, then that, and that, and more of this.  Finally, there was Lithium.

Fourth day, fifth day, weekend.  On the sixth day, Principal walked through second grade classrooms with a fourth grade girl, blonde and clearly shaken.  She gazed around the room and shook her head.  Principal saw Nicholas' seat was empty and caught Teacher's eyes.  She shrugged her shoulders as he nodded, understanding.

He was late, about eight minutes late, and when Nicholas swung open the door, he ran to his seat, hugging his backpack to his chest.  Fox eyes, darting side to side, a gleeful smile cut across his face.

Principal made another round with the girl, who pointed to Nicholas , nodding.  Yes that's him that's him!

Principal sauntered up to Nicholas, "Hey, how are you doing?" Just as casually, Principal opened the backpack and retrieved a steak knife. Replacing knife into backpack, he said, "Let's go talk about this..."

Apparently, Nicholas walked to and from school, following this girl and her friends.  Each day, he hissed, "I'm gonna kill you..." And this one day he ambushed her from his hiding place in a bush.  
Natural born killer
Natural born killer
Straddling over her, he stabbed on one side and then the other of her face with a knife stolen from home. He laughed and howled "I'm gonna kill you..."

Friends ran to her, Nicholas stuffed the knife into his backpack, raced away.  

Cumulative folder and information shared that Nicholas' father was incarcerated in Astascadero Prison for the Violent and Criminally insane, and Mother had just been released from Los Angeles County Jail Division of Mentally Ill.  Nicholas had been diagnosed as bi-polar before he was seven.

What happened to Nicholas the Fox in the years that followed?

I don't know, sure wish I did. It has been 25 years since that time with Nicholas in my classroom.  If I saw him again, I would cross the street and hide.

Red Fox Face wallpaper

Monday, June 27, 2016

I will read ashes for you, if you ask me.

I will read ashes for you, if you ask me. 
I will look on the fire and tell you from the gray lashes 
And out of the red and black tongues and stripes, 
I will tell how fire comes 
And how fire runs far as the sea.
By Carl Sandburg

Fire all throughout the Southwest--it is burning, eating and consuming every single thing in its way.

from a distance
Residents are looking back at the fire, as they drive away with just clothes and photos.

From YouTube site

Dry dry air, heavy and suffocating.  Sun scorching burnt earth, 100 degrees or more. Tinder dry vegetation, ready to burn.

Oh, God!  Please protect the firefighters!  

Oh, God! Bless families whose homes are burned to the ground!

Every summer, I post about wildfires.  Last year, we could see the flames from our house. One year at a school where I taught, ashes covered playground and swings.