Coping: With Being Eclipsed, Prediction Notes

A long-time reader of ours, Caroline, sent me a note  reminding us about the partial eclipse of the Sun coming this afternoon to a large portion of the South.

“begins in Nashville area 4:51 to sunset — don’t look directly into…”

An in depth look at the details of it can be found on the site here.

Apparently, she’s not the only one who’s aware of it.  I noticed that Panama Bates, my brother-in-law, had wandered out from his apartment out into the woods Wednesday and was busily throwing knives at the dead “knife tree” we use for such things.  It’s also a pistol backstop when we’re too lazy to walk over to the 100-meter range.

He’d picked up a set of five throwing knives (stainless steel, at that) and was throwing them about 20-feet, or so.  I wandered over and gave it a try, sticking the very first one out of five.  Bates had been running three out of five or better.

As Jim Bowie, Jr. (moi) tried to throw, Panama mentioned that we should see about a 60% level, but I wasn’t too clear on whether that was 60% dark or 60% light,  Didn’t honestly pay it much mind; it was much more important at the time not to slice my hand off as I worked out the intricacies of a handle throw, versus the tip throw. 

After a while, I worked up to where absolutely none of my throws were sticking in the dead tree, and I made a note to tell my liberal friends that I’d come over to their side, at least on knives.

Panama, shook his head with a kind of hang-dog look, went back to throwing 3 or better out of 5 at 20-feet.  Then he revealed that his lady-friend was doing 2-for-2 with a pair of throwing knives she has.  Worse, she did it under-hand.  None of this “rear-back, see it coming” stuff, for her.

I’ll stick to writing, but it was some first-hand experience in being eclipsed.

One worry, though, if your meds haven’t kicked in yet:  I always thought (and you can check me on this) that there ought to be more of a relationship between eclipses and major earthquakes.  Just seems logical to me that when the gravity of Sun, Moon, and Earth all line up, there should be extreme tides and plenty of earthquakes.

Apparently, I’m not the only one who is drawn to this alignment problem.

Michael K. Lee is reportedly a teacher of religion and history out in Hawai’i and somewhere along the way of studying how the Kahunas work their stuff, he did some work and Presto!  Out popped some working earthquake predictions.

I’m not the first guy to notice his work.  Graham Hancock (great fan of his work) had a write-up on it a while back.  Apparently, the EQ risk is greatest after the eclipse has gone by.

So not to be eclipsed by events – and since everyone is a predictor of the future, anymore – I’m going to step out on a limb and predict a 7.0 earthquake somewhere in the eclipse area in the next three days.

Lee’s work, notes a Hawaiian earthquake site, has windows after an eclipse that can go for upwards of 16-days.

So if a quake comes along, is a biggie, and happens in the eclipse path, and happens in the next two weeks, or so, remember where you heard it first.

And, if it doesn’t happen?  Well, the odd thing about humans is they easily recall successful predictions.  But the number of bad ones sheds off them like water off a duck.  Which is why I’ve taken to writing down not only when people make predictions, but also religiously scoring them when they fail to appear.

The results are often a slightly better than chance success rate, but if you know enough “precursor” events, such as Lee’s observations about eclipses and quakes, you can oftentimes get better than chance future predictions…hence our quake prediction this morning.

While predictions and futuring are fun, they are only of value if you can really act on the information provided.  So, if you take something like the “Lee Window” here for the next couple of weeks, the problem is what?  Obviously, everyone can’t move out of the eclipse path and wait under the quake window closes.

But, you can at least think about it just in case.

Me?  yes, we live in the eclipse path – or off to the side of it.  But we won’t move.  Besides, I’m having lots of fun with much shorter term (and more profitable) predictions like this one from Peoplenomics yesterday morning before the market opened:

“Now, since the market closed the S&P 500 at 1941.28 yesterday, we have a pretty good chance of a good pullback beginning today”

Turns out that was a worthwhile prediction, huh?  But that was yesterday and today we should bounce.

Had Steve Allen Found God?

Earlier this week, we were having a discussion about whether Ruler of All/God/Master of the Universe, used planets as incubators to hatch out new ultra-beings.  And we naturally asked if the emergence of the mass consciousness of the Web might be the latest Ultra-Being learning to speak and express?

For reasons that are never clear to me, I happened across a reference in my studies this week to the vox  populi..

And therein lies a fascinating tale that you can find on a dusty shelf of Wikipedia:

American television personality Steve Allen as the host of The Tonight Show further developed the “man on the street” interviews and audience-participation comedy breaks that have become commonplace on late-night TV. Usually the interviewees are shown in public places, and supposed to be giving spontaneous opinions in a chance encounter – unrehearsed persons, not selected in any way. As such, broadcast journalists almost always refer to them as the abbreviated vox pop.[citation needed] In U.S. broadcast journalism it is often referred to as a man on the street interview or M.O.T.S.[

Pretty cool, huh?  But is it vox pop from Allen or vox populi?

Often quoted as, Vox populi, vox Dei /?v?ks ?p?pju?l? ?v?ks ?d??/, “The voice of the people [is] the voice of God”, is an old proverb often erroneously attributed to William of Malmesbury in the twelfth century.[3]

Another early reference to the expression is in a letter from Alcuin to Charlemagne in 798, although it is believed to have been in earlier use.[4] The full quotation from Alcuin reads:

Nec audiendi qui solent dicere, Vox populi, vox Dei, quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit.[5]

English translation:

And those people should not be listened to who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of God, since the riotousness of the crowd is always very close to madness.[6]

The usage indicates that the phrase had long since become an aphorism of common political wisdom by Alcuin and Charlemagne’s time, since Alcuin advised Charlemagne to resist such an idea.[7] Of those who promoted the phrase and the idea, Archbishop of Canterbury Walter Reynolds brought charges against King Edward II in 1327 in a sermon “Vox populi, vox Dei”[8]

But wait!  I look around at the blind, the lame, the sick, the pained, and the suffering and I wonder aren’t the acts of God pretty close to madness, too?  Was Steve Allen right in bringing out the vox pop which is evermore present on the web?

We had a dandy pile of comments on the post “Reproduction of the Gods” and I’ll try to get some of the better comments distilled down into summary form for tomorrow’s breakfast.

In the meantime, I’m working on a hunk of software that will text-to-voice postings from the web.  At last!  We can get sports-talk radio off AM radio.  We can instead listen while driving to the latest posts off the HuffPo, Drudge, and GLP…all played to be beat of the Princeton EGGS…

Continuous Improvement Dept.

Here we go, again.

A number of readers have asked over the years that all of a day’s writings and scribbles be on one page so you won’t have to click so much. 

Amazingly, there is an attribution rate over time (slow, but persistent) because people just can’t be bothered to click a couple of times to go sniffing around for pieces of UrbanSurvival.  You and that other guy are the only readers left, but it has saved us a bundle on bandwidth charges.  Very Dilbert of us.

So effective this morning, the website displays the two most recent epistles on the very first page.  Elaine thought the index at the top would be useful, too.

If you have any friends who – at least of the sort that left the fold because they were too damn lazy to click a couple of times, please send them email explain that UrbanSurvival is now de-clicked. 

Seems that’s where we’re going as a species:  One click thinking, not two or three.  My misjudgment.  (Not my first, BTW. Took me 50-years and three tries to get marriage right.  When comes down to it, I’m slow but Ure.)

Limits to Tech

And that gets me around to another thought du jour:  About the limits of technology.

We know where that is in the aerospace business:  But we have idea where that is on the web.

In aerospace, we know that people will take the comfort of an extra-wide recliner with a kick-out footy stool over the cramped, barely reclining seat on the Concorde.  Which (along with some safety issues) is why the skies are not operated at supersonic speeds.

I don’t know how many times you flew the Concorde, but when loading, they had to do the middle of the plane, first.  Then fill in the back.  The balance points on the delta wing were that important.  And the seats were narrow as heck.

So that’s how the vox pop figured out technology should give way to comfort.

On the web, in AppLand and in desktops and news sources, we haven’t quite gotten there yet.  But what is Kurzweil (the Singularity dude) is wrong?

What if as technology starts to whack jobs and such, the vox pop wakes up one morning and decides we really don’t like voicemail and we’d really rather deal with a human being than a machine?

I got a nice call from my dentist’s officer this week.  They were calling a whole week ahead of time to make sure I was still on track for my scheduled tooth cleaning.  Yep.

“:Will you call again, the day before?”:

“Oh sure…love to do that…we’ll see you then….bye”

Ah!  Humans.  (Putting on my best Blacklisted/Reddick voice).

I can hear how a machine call would have gone:

“Hey, social security number 555-55-5555 this is you Dentist’s office calling.  Are you still stupid?”


“Be here in a week and prove it.   Bye.”

Yep, humans do have their place.

Like in aerospace, we might wake up one of these mornings and remember how important comfort is.  Boeing got there…no reason the rest of us can’t.  Reading glass and a magnifying glass for your “smart” phone?

# # #

Speaking of Dentists:  I’m starting a one man campaign to change their abbreviation from DDS to FBD.  Food and Breath Doctor.

OK speaking of breath, then:  Leftover Italian for breakfast, Chinese for a lunch meeting, and Yankee pot roast for dinner.  I haven’t thrown in with the Globalists,. but there is something to be said for diversity, perhaps.

Write when you break-even…

Mr. Cholesterol (#73)