An increasing number are exercising their ability to (as the old airline commercial put it) “”Get up and move around the country.”
A cousin of mine, a year or two older, has picked up a winter home in Arizona. My sister is eyeing Sequim, WA, and a long-time pal and her husband are looking at those hills north of Phoenix, too.
Their reasons vary, of course. One likes more sunshine, another hates the traffic south of Bellevue, WA, and another has grown tired of the gray winters. All super-legit reasons to move – on the surface.
But, when you stand back like you’re watching a herd, you that they are dispersing. You know, like the animals that dispersed and headed up into the hills of Banda Aceh before “the big one” tsunami down there in 2004. When I look just so, I see a kind of dispersion movement going on.
Not that they’d be wrong about dispersing.
I assume you’ve read the latest from super-brain Stephen Hawking. According to this newspaper report, Hawking has seven ways that our run as dominant species on this rock could end.
Let’s run through them, one at a time, and see how realistic “The End” might be ands how to address those worries with just the right gifts at Christmas…:
1. Cataclysmic Asteroid Strike.
We don’t have to go any further than this morning’s report by the Christian Science Monitor to discover that a group of Russian scientists have spied a mountain-sized asteroid heading our way.
The good news is that while earth-crossing (goes ahead or behind Earth’s orbit every three years, or so) the asteroid is not at present dangerous. It will miss.
Still, you can feed paranoia for Christmas by giving a decent telescope like the Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope (Black). For just $300-bucks, you could be the first one on the block to see it coming. With a CCD eyepiece, you might be able to pick up some spare income from photographing the comings and goings from the motel down the street, too. (Everything’s a what?)
Oh, and if you do find Planet X…..
2. Artificial Intelligence
The way Hawking as it figured, humans might be judged as extraneous to the needs of AI..and so it could do away with us.
In the meantime, notice that a group called Sqreem has been hired by the United Bank of Switzerland (UBS) to advise their high-end wealth clients. Worth noting that Sqreem is not US-based, is it?
For gifting try Person of Interest: Season 3 ($40 bucks) along with The Arduino Starter Kit (Official Kit from Arduino with 170-page Arduino Projects Book) ($90) and some USB cables and a copy of Excel and Access so you can whip up spreadsheets for logic and Access databases until you, too, get a TV series about you AI project.
3. Genetically Created Plague
I bet you didn’t know that there’s a current outbreak of plague in Madagascar, did you?
The truly paranoid will want their own rolls of Roll Products 142-0004 PVC Film Biohazard Warning Tape with Black Imprint, Legend “Biohazard” (with Logo), 55 yd. Length x 2″ Width, 3″ Diameter Core Roll, for Identifying and Marking, Fluorescent Red/Orange at $18 a pop (but just imagine the fun you can have around the office with it). Start with the office fridge and work your way up to that supervisor with a hygiene issue.
Then, walk in to your next staff meeting wearing your always fashionable DuPont TY122S Disposable Elastic Wrist, Bootie & Hood White Tyvek Coverall Suit 1414, Size XLarge, Sold by the Each ($12) sealed up good with duct tape and wearing a MSA Safety Works 10041139 Full Face Multi Purpose Respirator. ($152).
By the way, I’m pretty sure you can set a special tactical cartridge for some of these units making them idea for tear-gas filled demonstrations if you’re subject to asthma. And these are dandy following Hawking’s next concern which is?
4. Nuclear War
This is the Christmas gift that’s always in style. Why, just this morning we’re reading reports about how the risk of nuclear war is rising again.
To size up the dirt from the dirty bombs, you’ll get glowing reviews for selecting the RADEX RD1503+ Geiger Counter (New 2015 Model) for just $160. Choose the gift wrapping at checkout.
5. Particle Accelerator Disaster
In this scenario, Hawking worries about CERN sparking too much anti-matter and there goes the world.
Assuming you’ve read in Scientific American about the new particle that has been found which is both matter and antimatter, such concerns are not completely without basis.,
Never at a loss for just the right gift, I would recommend Yoga Anatomy-2nd Edition.
In case you don’t see the connection, it goes like this: If CERN screws up and destroys the planet, you’ll be limber enough to kiss your butt goodbye.
6. God Reaches for the Off-Switch
Already Deepak Chopra is writing articles like “Will God 2.0 Be Indispensable in Ten Years?”
How can one help God hit the off switch? Any job (or is that Job?) worth doing, is worth doing right. So the proper gift choice for Him would be a couple of cans of Hosa D100S-2 CAIG DeoxIT Contact Cleaner – 2 oz. That off-switch will work, if we have anything to say about it.
We just can’t stand dirty switches and DeOxit also cleans us scratching volume controls nicely.
7. Climate Catastrophe
Last, but not least, Hawking is worried about climate. The good news about climate jitters today comes from NOAA this morning which reports that the California Drought is not caused by Man, but rather it’s a periodic natural cycling.
Nevertheless, a selection of items to make climate change more acceptable might be an assortment consisting of Devoted Creations Flex Dark Tanning Maximizer with Skin Firming Cocoa Butter 7 oz , a selection of Nike Windproof Umbrellas, a pair of Salomon Men’s Quest 4D GTX Backpacking Boot,Autobahn/Black/Flea,10 M US, and the ever-popular Revere Offshore Commander 6 Valise Liferaft. Toss in a down jacket to complete this ultimate climate worriers kit. Oh, some Polaroid sunglasses and a bottle of oxygen, too, then.
A gift cert to a shrink wouldn’t be a bad option, either, along with an assortment of fun coping drugs from your local dealer. An indica with high CBD levels for optimum health while we run out the clock would be our choice if we engaged in such….
This being Texas, Sativa Claus was shot down north of Amarillo, last year coming in from Colorado…
Flying with a Parachute?
Speaking of flying (which we did a little of yesterday, though crappy visibility): This is the kind of question that comes up when G2 (my son) begins making plans to come down in January.
On the surface, it’s “Great to come down and visit you guys…”
More’n likely, though, it will turn into “Hey Dad…can I get the pickup keys…going down to Skydive Spaceland for a a few days…”
But that got me to thinking: Does TSA let people bring their own parachutes into the passenger cabin of commercial jets? I know that’s an odd question, but seems to me that if I put a parachute through areas (baggage and baggage claim) where it was out of my sight, he’d have to have it repacked before it could be jumped with high confidence. Same for the reserve ‘chute.
Turns out I’m not the first one to ask: Yes, you can bring a parachute as carry-on, but add 30-minutes on the front-end of travel for additional inspections if required.
Now to me, that’s some interesting trivia that most folks around the coffee maker won’t have thought about. Have we learned anything from the DB Cooper case? Uh…not especially….but who has aft airstairs anymore…
OK, off to de-ravel the drivel in the news… Peoplenomics tomorrow considers the economic stimulus of sports and asks some embarrassing environmental questions about sports, as well…we expect burning of jerseys in the front yard by the time we’re done…or maybe a Holstein…(rim shot)
Write when you break-even