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AMERICAN DIGEST





Last Build Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:20:41 -0800

Copyright: Copyright 2017
 



Formed by Megafloods, This Place Fooled Scientists for Decades

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:20:41 -0800

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In the middle of eastern Washington, in a desert that gets less than eight inches of rain a year, stands what was once the largest waterfall in the world. It is three miles wide and 400 feet high—ten times the size of Niagara Falls—with plunge pools at its base suggesting the erosive power of an immense flow of water. Today there is not so much as a trickle running over the cataract’s lip. It is completely dry.

Dry Falls is not the only curiosity in what geologists call the Columbia Plateau. Spread over 16,000 square miles are hundreds of other dry waterfalls, canyons without rivers that might have carved them (called “coulees”), mounds of gravel as tall as skyscrapers, deep holes in the bedrock that would swallow entire city blocks, and countless oddly placed boulders. All across southeast Washington, fertile rolling hills border eroded tracts of volcanic basalt, as if Kansas farmland and Utah canyon land had been chopped up and sewed together into a topographic Frankenstein.

The first farmers in the region named the rocky parts “scablands” and dismissed them as useless as they planted their wheat on the silt-rich hills. But geologists were not so dismissive; to them, the scablands were an enigma. What could have caused this landscape? It was a question hotly debated for several decades, and the answer was as surprising and dramatic as Dry Falls itself.

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For that matter, so was the source of that answer: a high school science teacher named Harley Bretz. In 1909, the Seattle teacher visited the University of Washington to see the U.S. Geological Survey’s new topographic map of the Quincy Basin, a large area on the west side of the Columbia Plateau. He was 27, with no formal training in geology, but when he looked at the map, he noticed a striking feature: a huge cataract (much like Dry Falls) on the western edge of the basin, a place where water appeared to spill out of the basin and into the Columbia River, gouging a canyon several hundred feet deep. The falls would have been bigger than Niagara, but there was no apparent source of water for them—no signs whatsoever of a river leading to the cataract.

Bretz asked faculty in the department about the feature, called Potholes Coulee, but they had no answers for him. Nor could they explain many of the other unusual features of the region. That’s when, as legend has it, Bretz decided to become a geologist. He earned his Ph.D. in geology from the University of Chicago four years later, changed his professional name from Harley to “J Harlen” to sound more respectable, and in 1922 returned to eastern Washington to take a closer look at the plateau and its scablands. And after two seasons in the field, his conclusions shocked even himself: The only possible explanation for the all the region’s features was a massive flood, perhaps the largest in the Earth’s history—“a debacle which swept the Columbia Plateau,” ripping soil and rock from the landscape, carving canyons and cataracts in a matter of days. “All other hypotheses meet fatal objections,” he wrote in a 1923 paper.

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Much more.Read the whole thing @ -- National Geographic




Not to Brag, But I’m Totally Intellectual Enough to Be Brutally Murdered By Fascists

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:18:59 -0800

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It’s easy to imagine how the fascists would come for me.

Jackbooted stormtroopers would descend upon the university, scanning the student body for the best and brightest FSU has to offer, only to find yours truly as worthy of their ire. They’d probably look right past Jennifer even though she was recently asked by the university to come on full-time. Instead they’d track me down in my office of the main campus in a basement of the engineering building annex. Or if it’s a Monday, Tuesday, or Friday evening, the on-campus Starbucks where I sometimes hold office hours. Then they’d pluck me out of the crowd and pound my smart face and brain into ground chuck before hauling me away to a black site prison. - - McSweeney’s




Lucid Dreaming

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 00:02:58 -0800

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Empty is only the warp of our tapestry,
part of our pattern, is only the interval,
only the silence that shapes our pale music
remembered when drifting from dreams
in that sleep-darkened tent
where our souls slake their thirst
for the new, for the novel,
and the stone still rolls
down the thousand-year cliff,
to the doorsteps of dream, the red heat of the plains,
the search for safe shelter, the consuming of carrion,
the spotted flicker in the grass that cannot be the wind,
the million year from the hand ax to atom.




Earth Hour: Click to Fade

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 23:17:10 -0800

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[Sigh: It's that time again. The global dementia continues. The good news is that most of the Earth missed it this time around as the boredom increases.]

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The Eiffel Tower before and during Earth Hour in Paris, France on March 28, 2009.

It looked as if a night of dark intent
Was coming, and not only a night, an age.
Someone had better be prepared for rage.
There would be more than ocean-water broken
Before God's last Put out the Light was spoken.

-- Robert Frost, "Once By The Pacific"

In 1914 Sir Edward Grey said to a friend one evening just before the outbreak of the First World War, as he watched the lights being lit on the street below his office: "The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."

In that instance, it was the Great War that loomed. Now the Great Forgetting looms and, from time to time, it washes across the world. "Earth Hour" is such a dark moment as millions either choose to, or thanks to their compliant or complacent local governments suffer through, an hour in the dark.




Patience Please. Rome Wasn't Burned In a Day.

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 20:12:30 -0800

Heav'n from all creatures hides the book of fate,
All but the page prescrib'd, their present state:
From brutes what men, from men what spirits know:
Or who could suffer being here below?
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed today,
Had he thy reason, would he skip and play?
Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flow'ry food,
And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood.
Oh blindness to the future! kindly giv'n,
That each may fill the circle mark'd by Heav'n:
Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.

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An Essay on Man: Epistle I by Alexander Pope




London Calling

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:45:06 -0800

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London calling to the faraway towns
Now war is declared and battle come down
London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls
London calling, now don't look to us
Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling, see we ain't got no swing
'Cept for the ring of that truncheon thing

The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growin' thin
Engines stop running, but I have no fear
'Cause London is drowning, and I, I live by the river

- - London Calling, The Clash

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Something Wonderful: Phases of the Moon

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:21:26 -0800

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Please....




Today in Awwwwwwwwwwwwww!

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:02:55 -0800

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Today is National Puppy Day - The Atlantic

Hey, every day is National Puppy Day!

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Welcome to London: We can say we’re not afraid, light candles and make hearts of our hands but the truth is that we can’t go on like this

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:22:05 -0800

[ Excerpts from Reaction by Katie Hopkins on the London terror attack ] This is us now. This is our country now. This is what we have become. To this, we have been reduced. Because all the while those forgiving fools in Brussels stood with their stupid hands raised in hearts to the sky, another mischief was in the making. More death was in the pipeline. As the last life-blood of a police officer ran out across the cobbles, the attacker was being stretchered away in an attempt to save his life. London is a city so desperate to be seen as tolerant, no news of the injured was released. No clue about who was safe or not. Liberals convince themselves multiculturalism works because we all die together, too. An entire city of monkeys: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Blind. Deaf. And dumb. These people may have left their lands. But they have brought every tension, every conflict, every bit of fight here with them. The Afghans hate the Somalias who loathe the Eritreans. As it was before, it is now. London is a city of ghettos behind a thin veneer of civility kept polished by a Muslim mayor whose greatest validation is his father's old job. Son-of-a-bus-driver Sadiq. I see him now, penning a missive about how London is a beautiful and tolerant city, how we are united by shared values and understanding, and how we will not be cowed by terror. Sure enough, there he was, saying exactly that, just now. Fool. Please, no hashtag, no vigil, no tea lights. I am begging you not to light up Parliament in the colours of the Union. Because we are not united. We are wrenched asunder. The patriots of the rest of England versus the liberals in this city. The endless tolerance to those who harm us, (while the Home Office tries to shift the focus of public fear to white terror) — versus the millions like me who face the truth, with worried families and hopeless hearts, who feel the country sinking. We are taken under the cold water by this heavy right foot in the south, a city of lead, so desperately wedded to the multicultural illusion that it can only fight those who love the country the most, blame those who are most proud to be British, and shout racist at the 52%. Please, no hashtag, no vigil, no tea lights. I am begging you not to light up Parliament in the colours of the Union. Because we are not united. We are wrenched asunder. The patriots of the rest of England versus the liberals in this city. The endless tolerance to those who harm us, (while the Home Office tries to shift the focus of public fear to white terror) — versus the millions like me who face the truth, with worried families and hopeless hearts, who feel the country sinking. We are taken under the cold water by this heavy right foot in the south, a city of lead, so desperately wedded to the multicultural illusion that it can only fight those who love the country the most, blame those who are most proud to be British, and shout racist at the 52%. This is why there is no anger from me this time, no rage. No nod for those who pretend we will not be cowed, even as they rush home to text their mum they are safe. No surprise that the city of which I was so proud is now punctured by fear, and demarcated even more formally by places we cannot tread; there were always parts in which a white woman could not safely walk. Now I feel only sadness, overwhelming sadness. I will walk over the river tonight and look to the Thames, to the Union flag lowered at half mast, and the Parliament below, and I will wonder, just how much longer we can go on like this. [...]



Into the Silence [For "World Poetry Day, March 21, 2017"]

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 17:33:39 -0800

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1.
The last sound heard before the silence
Wrapped around my flesh in wisps,
Was the shriek of frozen ambulances
Carved in sharp, revolving red.
Then two holes in my skull sealed shut,
And on my tongue I heard the tang of brass.

At first a ringing whine rose high and faded far,
Then bells began, each dun and laced with smoke,
And merged with walls of wind on water raised,
Bloomed high in white, white only, drifts
Of falling snow that falling softly
Blurred beneath all shapes of sound and speech.

Music's memory remained, and moving lips
Became the only signs of sound that I could see
And all my mind stormed not with silence,
But with dark brushed deep on deeper dark
Within which all stars died, and dying threw
A single trace of song beyond all song.

It moaned and chittered, groaned and sighed.
It grinned at me, inscrutable and blank
As shells evicted by the sea are spurned
By waves and parch above the sand,
Polished first by dust, then honed by rain,
Into white basilicas of bone.

2.
Made new, I loved large gestures.
Marked furrowed face and curl of lip.
Memorized the signing hands that stripped
My half-guessed comprehension bare,
And learned at last to wait upon a glance,
Upon small words scratched on slate.

As days to years enlarged their rule,
All records writ within my skull were smudged,
All songs and music drifted off to send
Pale emblems of their realms as tribute
To that stone that once had formed a throne,
Crowned now with unsensed pleasures shrugged.

All treasure spent, all gems decayed,
All metals melded into dust, all trace of walls
Where once the filigreed firebird sang,
And drums of heroes' skins were stunned,
Were now but shadows strewn as faint
As lines of light on planets seen from space.

And then, with time, all that ... erased,
And sands and seas swarmed over all,
And ruled at last alone a globe of frost,
Of ice, of snow, of sheaves of glass,
Until along that farthest strip of polished shore
One distant crystal glinted, gleamed, and chimed.




The Boomer generation is going out in a fit of frenzied self-recognition

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 11:39:47 -0800

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"When we all wish to be victims, there are too few oppressors to go around.

Or perhaps the Boomer generation is going out in a fit of frenzied self-recognition: It enjoyed all that was given to it, did not accomplish much itself, and left a mess to its successors. Its metaphor is California’s Oroville dam: Aging greens believe that it never should have been built; but since it was, it came in handy for the good life; but no one should spend any money on its repair; but when it nearly fails, we were all warned that it was never a good idea. And so no more dams will be built for our children." - - Victor Hanson, Americans Retreat When There’s No Escaping Politics




Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Overdoing

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:00:34 -0800

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Courtesy of the ever-popular BSBFB The Borderline Sociopathic Blog For Boys -or- I Wish This Guy Spoke English, So I Knew What Was Going On. But Hey; Cool Fire Tornado, Brah




No Atheists in Foxholes. No Feminists in Ice-Storms. But Who's Counting?

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 11:55:16 -0800

It is an absolute outrage how so many pampered, affluent, upper-middle-class professional women chronically spout snide anti-male feminist rhetoric, while they remain completely blind to the constant labor and sacrifices going on all around them as working-class men create and maintain the fabulous infrastructure that makes modern life possible in the Western world. Only a tiny number of women want to enter the trades where most of the nitty-gritty physical work is actually going on—plumbing, electricity, construction. Women have played virtually no role in the erection of those magnificent towers in every major city in the world. It’s men who operate the cranes or set the foundations or wash windows on the 85th floor. It’s men who troop out at 2:00 AM during an ice storm to restore power to neighborhoods where falling trees have brought down live wires. It’s men who mix the stinking, toxic cauldrons to spread steaming hot tar on city roofs. Last year in a nearby town, I drove by a huge, chaotic scene where emergency workers in hazmat suits were struggling with a giant pipe break, as raw sewage was pouring into the street. Of course all those workers up to their knees in a torrent of thick brown water were men! I’ve seen figures indicating that 92 per cent of people killed on the job are men—and it’s precisely because men are heroically doing most of the dangerous jobs in modern society.... The bourgeois blindness of feminist leaders to low-status working-class labor by men is morally corrupt! Gay men, on the other hand, have always shown their awed admiration of working-class masculinity and fortitude. It's no coincidence that a buff construction worker in a hard hat was one of the iconic personae of the gay disco group, the Village People, during the Studio 54 era!
Much More at Camille Paglia Discusses Her War on 'Elitist Garbage' and Contemporary Feminism | Broadly



It's Golden: Not only the best rectangle in the world, it's the schematic on which the layout for this page was made.

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 10:51:30 -0800

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I not only love this rectangle, I used it 14 years ago. Right here.

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UPDATED [as per Eskyman]:

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Chuck Berry: You were a magnificent mean weird wonderful hack genius AMERICAN.

Sun, 19 Mar 2017 10:35:05 -0800

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Chuck Berry's dead. He was 90. Bonne chance at Saint Peter's gate, Chuck, you're going to need it. You were a magnificent mean weird wonderful hack genius AMERICAN.

He was all those things, surely. He wasn't American. He was AMERICAN. Only America could possibly produce him. The rest of the world loved him, as you can see by watching this video from France in 1965. Europe loved him, but they could never cobble a guy like that together. The important part of his career was already over when this video was made, though few knew it at the time, including Chuck. Europe was already an off Broadway production.

Europeans sent us a bronze broad to stand in the granite harbor outside Ellis Island. It was allegedly a gift, but I suspect they sent it so they'd have something familiar to look at after they bolted the doors on their dusty museum of cultures and fled. We sent them Chuck Berry records in return as a way to show them This is how we roll. ..... To Europe, America has always been a bad man. The pecksniff attitude their governments have always heaped on us has a dash of cowardice in it. Chuck was a bad man. It made him all the more American to a toff, I imagine. I don't mean he was a bad man in just the figurative sense, though. Chuck was a real live criminal. If you read Chuck's bios, you're bound to find fans desperately trying to pooh-pooh his criminal background. The gun he used in a carjacking was broken, so it doesn't matter........ RTWT, no, READ THE WHOLE THING AT Sippican Cottage: Chuck Berry Has No Particular Place To Go ... BECAUSE.... Sipp knows.