Tuesday, October 25, 2011

dust to dust

-- The body of former Libya strong man Muammar Gaddafi was reported buried, secretly, at an undisclosed location in the vast Sahara Desert today. A man who demanded a public was suddenly alone and very, very private...as private as Osama bin Laden, the alleged Saudi mastermind of the 2001 World Trade Towers attack that claimed some 3,000 American lives and then rose to become the central "terrorist" in American-policy minds and then was assassinated by American SEALs on May 1, 2011, and then was allegedly dumped in the vast Indian Ocean. 

Tall or short, famous or infamous, rich or poor ... everyone returns to the truth at some point, I imagine. Every grain of sand has its tale to tell, but what tale is it? True or false, it's worth the effort not to tell a false tale.

-- The word "extinct" used to mean that something no longer existed as a presence or force to be taken into account. But apparently the meaning has been revised since the "extinction" of the Javan rhinoceros in Vietnam seems to mean that there are 50 or fewer remaining. It's a bit of conservationist hyperbole, I suppose, but it still messes with my mind: When is something that is "extinct" not extinct?

-- The last of the most powerful nuclear bombs is being dismantled in the U.S. The dismantling of the B53, a weapon hundreds of times more powerful than the bomb that obliterated Hiroshima during World War II, is taking place in Texas today and being hailed as a "significant milestone." And once again, the question arises: If it ceases to exist, does it therefore cease to exist? Don't think of a purple cow!

-- A columnist asserts that the global-warming doubters have been put in their place by a study done by a scientist who was once skeptical himself. Physicist Richard Muller wrote "Global warming is true." This conclusion comes after some research that went beyond the bias and incredulity of the naysayers whose political agenda runs to industrialization and profit. The columnist seems to feel that this is the last word on global warming and its openness to incredulity. It's as if he were suggesting that reasonable people would be forced to agree. But when has bias -- yours, mine, anyone's -- ever allowed itself to be swayed by hard facts? Once again, extinction is probably something less than extinction.

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