It’s an odd quirk of my blog that I often post extensively about the minutia of life, yet the really important stuff sometimes gets short-shrift. I’m in the midst of several important developments in my life right now, so I figure it’s high time for an update.
First of all, Becky and I are in the process of deciding on a wedding location here in the Phoenix Valley. We’ve visited four potential sites so far, with a fifth and final tour scheduled for tomorrow. (I’ll post pictures eventually.) Currently, the front-runner is the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale, but the place we’re visiting tomorrow — Gold Canyon Golf Resort — remains very much in the running, having been Becky’s sight-unseen favorite from the beginning. If they impress us enough to surpass the Hyatt, we’ll choose them; otherwise, we’ll pick the Hyatt, which we visited today and which we both loved.
We have yet to decide for certain whether we’ll have the ceremony at the hotel (i.e., where we’re having the reception) or at a church. We’ve been asking the various hotels we’ve visited to show us their ceremony sites, and some of them are quite lovely. But Becky is her parents’ last best hope for a church wedding :), and she has been vascillating on the issue for months. It’s still up in the air at the moment.
Since reserving either a church or an off-site priest is a crucial logistical hurdle, that choice — church vs. hotel — will be one of the next decisions we make, after picking a site and a date. Our target date range is Dec. 27-31 of next year, and right now we’re leaning toward Dec. 30 (a Friday) or perhaps Dec. 29. We’ll have to go over everything with our final site choice, and get things set in stone. But it’s entirely possible that, one year from this very night, or else one year from tomorrow, I’ll be getting married! :)
The other major development in my life is, well, moving halfway across the country. Of course, I’ve been living in Indiana since late August, but much of my stuff has still been living here in Arizona; I had only a couple of suitcases’ and a few boxes’ worth of possessions in my university apartment. And Becky, of course, has all of her possessions here in Arizona, as well as herself and our four pets. But next week, all of it — the possessions, the pets and the people — will depart sunny Arizona for wintry Indiana. Becky will be (hopefully) renting out her house in Mesa, and we’ll be living in South Bend together for the next 2 1/2 years.
And then of course there’s the wobblewobblewobble. :>
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) — The deadly Asian earthquake may have permanently accelerated the Earth’s rotation, shortening days by a fraction of a second and caused the planet to wobble on its axis, U.S. scientists said Tuesday.
[I’ve done that on mine, occasionally. / - the guestblogger :]
Richard Gross, a geophysicist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, theorized that a shift of mass toward the Earth’s center during the quake Sunday caused the planet to spin 3 microseconds, or millionths of a second, faster and to tilt about an inch on its axis.
When one huge tectonic plate beneath the Indian Ocean was forced below the edge of another “it had the effect of making the Earth more compact and spinning faster,” Gross said.
It took him long enough. Bush pledges he will send more aid. Other world leaders had already done so.
Having NO idea whether this is Potential Science or Actual Buncombe (or Both simultaneously, that QWF being unPopped as yet), I submit the following for consideration by the IrishtrojanSphere, if not by the EarthMother. :)
Perhaps Brendan “Earthquake Magoon” Loy, former USC student of Tremblorology, will give out with an analytical Tremor or two about this Grand Unification theory of Geology. :} (For the benefit of the ridiculously young around here, Earthquake Magoon is a character from Al Capp’s “Li’l Abner” comic strip. :) Hat Tip: CT New Age Republican Bob Lutts. :)
By SIMON WINCHESTER
December 29, 2004
…Given these cascades of disasters past and present, one can only wonder: might there be some kind of butterfly effect, latent and deadly, lying out in the seismic world? There is of course no hard scientific truth - no firm certainty that a rupture on a tectonic boundary in the western Pacific (in Honshu, say) can lead directly to a break in a boundary in the eastern Pacific (in Parkfield), or another in the eastern Indian ocean (off Sumatra, say). But anecdotally, as this year has so tragically shown, there is evidence aplenty.
Plate tectonics as a science is less than 40 years old. It is possible that common sense suggests what science has yet to confirm: that the movement among the world’s tectonic plates may be one part of enormous dynamic system, with effects of one plate’s shifting more likely than not to spread far, far away, quite possibly clear across the surface of the globe.
In recent decades, thanks largely to the controversial Gaia Theory developed by the British scientists James Lovelock, it has become ever more respectable to consider the planet as one immense and eternally interacting living system - the living planet, floating in space, every part of its great engine affecting every other, for good or for ill.
Mr. Lovelock’s notion, which he named after the earth goddess of the Ancient Greeks, makes much of the delicacy of the balance that mankind’s environmental carelessness increasingly threatens. But his theory also acknowledges the somber necessity of natural happenings, many of which seem in human terms so tragically unjust, as part of a vast system of checks and balances. The events that this week destroyed the shores of the Indian Ocean, and which leveled the city of Bam a year ago, were of unmitigated horror: but they may also serve some deeper planetary purpose, one quite hidden to our own beliefs…
Simon Winchester is the author of “Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded, August 27, 1883.”
Read the whole holistic thing, the first portion of which recounts (apparent) “cascades of disasters past and present”.
The tsunami death toll is now, by some accounts, at 100,000.
As of early this morning, the death toll has reached nearly 68,000 in the wake of the recent natural disasters.
And how much is the US giving in aid? $35 million. Now, $35 million is nothing to sneeze at. I might be able to live comfortably for the rest of my life on $35 million if the dollar doesn’t deflate any more. But to offer only $35 million in an area that requires billions of dollars in aid? I’m not the only one who thinks this is a horrible insult to the people living near the Indian Ocean.
Although U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland yesterday withdrew his earlier comment, domestic criticism of Bush continued to rise. Skeptics said the initial aid sums — as well as Bush’s decision at first to remain cloistered on his Texas ranch for the Christmas holiday rather than speak in person about the tragedy — showed scant appreciation for the magnitude of suffering and for the rescue and rebuilding work facing such nations as Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and Indonesia.
One would think that after the way the world came to aid the US after 9/11, Bush would be happy to return the favor:
Some foreign policy specialists said Bush’s actions and words both communicated a lack of urgency about an event that will loom as large in the collective memories of several countries as the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks do in the United States. “When that many human beings die — at the hands of terrorists or nature — you’ve got to show that this matters to you, that you care,” said Leslie H. Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations.
There was an international outpouring of support after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and even some administration officials familiar with relief efforts said they were surprised that Bush had not appeared personally to comment on the tsunami tragedy. “It’s kind of freaky,” a senior career official said.
Now, I understand that the US only has a certain amount of money in its coffers. And I understand that we’re trillions of dollars in debt and so on and so on. We have a duty to help our fellow man (it’s . . . the Christian thing to do). $35 million is a good start. I just pray that Bush plans on giving more . . .
UPDATE: The Washington Post now reports that the death toll has surpassed 76,000.
Jordan Golson, a UMass undergrad and a typical, run-of-the-mill blogger, got one hell of a traffic boost when Drudge linked to his collection of tsunami videos Tuesday evening. You think an Instalanche is something? Try a Drudgelanche: nearly 140,000 unique hits Tuesday, according to his SiteMeter counter, and those were almost all after 5:00 PM EST. Wednesday could bring even more. Wow.
Now do you believe in Gonzaga, David?
Can you say “Top 10″? Woohoo!! GO ZAGS!!!
Notre Dame’s last chance likely gone; Oregon State now leads 31-14 with 12 :17 left. We are joining the mass exodus. Becky: ‘An ignominious end to a piss-poor season.’