Category: Non-fiction

Jim

This weekend, I go to see my brother laid to rest. Jim, James Weldon Hall, Jr., Jimbo, Papa James. We called him lot’s of names.

Jim was my oldest brother, almost twenty years my senior. That made him different from an ordinary brother. His seniority carried more authority for me, like a mix between a brother and an uncle. Jim portrayed the best of both.

His kids were my age, so growing up, we all experienced his humor and pranks, his crankiness and even anger from knee-high on up. I never knew him when he was  kid. He was always an adult, a father and a leader. Jim filled the role my Dad left when he passed, for the whole family.

So, the hole he leaves is large. The sorrow I feel, I’ve never known.

Even when my Mom passed-away a year ago, it didn’t affect me this way. Of course, at 101 and more than a decade since her stroke, it was something I was prepared for.

Jim’s fight with cancer was always going to end this way. No illusions about that. Except for Jim, he never allowed himself to believe it. My faith in him and what he believed, I think, made the expected seem a surprise.

Part of my sorrow is for those who never had a Jim in their life. Anyone who knew him knows exactly what I mean. All his family and friends knew him in a uniquely connected way, because he was always there for them. For those who have never had someone there for them, it must be hard.

I’ve been fortunate, so this wake at the Ranch will celebrate him for all the love he had for us. All the time he spent with us. All the things he showed us. About how to be generous and have a sense of humor. How to be responsible, yet still have a barrel of fun. How to be caring, but never overbearing.

We’ll have a few beers and cigars, and wish him on his way. No one can change the way it is. We can only miss him.

He was Pa at the Ponderosa, Shackleton on the Weddell Sea, the Marine, the man at the helm, the friend we looked up to, and the leader of our pack.

Anyone who had the fortune and misfortune of a trek in the desert at night with Jim knows, he loved adventure. He liked taking people out of their boxes and seeing them challenged – stuck in sand, or high centered on a rock – and it gave us a taste of what a life lived is all about. Because he was always there to get us out.

His ashes will be blown across the desert in a place he once roared in a dune buggy. A place he loved, where adventure, fun and family, love and caring, and a machine to tinker with were the only things that mattered.

Peace, love and caring. Family, friends and caring. These are the only things of true meaning. What the hell is wrong with our world? Not enough Jim’s, that’s what.

Adios Bro, with all my love.

Willie Jo Hall

December 27, 1914 – February 16, 2016

Willie Jo Hughes’ life began on a farm in Amity Arkansas, running barefoot and riding buckboards before there were cars.

Hardened by dust bowl, depression, poverty and war, she grew strength and resilience no modern man knows… and a smokey, dark-eyed beauty, one never sees anymore…

She didn’t smile much, but boy, did she love sombreros…

She married a dashing man, who liked cool cars – James Weldon Hall, October 30, 1937…

From Dallas to Tucson, they came in 1938, to raise family – five boys, with mixed results – four retards and one prince…can you tell which is which?

With her husband and sons, she traveled the world…

But nothing in life was more important than blood. Brothers Vern and Harold, and young sister Faye…

And grandchildren and their children…. who love her, so, so very much, today…

We thought she was ours always – our matriarch, our compass and cause of our being…

But she’s gone to her Lord. Rest in peace, Mom. We love you and will always miss you…

IMG_NEW

Updates to The Daily Plasma and “Leviathan – Part Two” will publish in a week, or two.

 

 

People, Sheepdogs & Politicians

HillaryI’ll try to stick to science and humor in the Daily Plasma for the most part, but today I’m dabbling in politics. This presidential race is just too good, and I need to rant.

Who in their wildest dreams could have imagined The Donald leading the poles for the Republican Party? Or the FBI sniffing-up Hillary’s pant suit with potential criminal charges (well, maybe not a total surprise). Or the non-politician, black Republican neurosurgeon capturing so much attention.

I have a favorite. Most people do by now – even as we watch to see who flip-flops, squirms, or commands attention. It doesn’t really matter until the finalists are chosen. It’s just fascinating how it’s all playing out. No less interesting is the media and it’s role. They seem confused.

First, so you know where I stand, I call myself Libertarian. It’s my firm belief, my guiding principle, that individual liberty is essential. Anything that degrades my liberty is an offense.

I’ll compromise willingly for certain benefits to society as a whole, provided there is actually some benefit. There usually isn’t. The more we all mind our own business and get on with living, the better for everyone.

Liberals don’t think like that whatsoever, so I have little regard for anything they say.

They are driven by perceived injustice. They wear a mantle of righteous compassion for minorities – gender, race, sexuality, income – you name it. If there is a voting block to buy-off with some kind of sham, grievance-relief platform, they are on it. Add to that their boogeymen – the enemies they stand against – Republicans first and then the rest of the human race.

Seriously, man has destroyed the climate. Man is killing the wildlife, the oceans, the coral reefs, the polar bears, the whole friggin earth. We’re over-populated, over-fed, over-indulged by excess energy. We don’t pay enough money – for electricity, for taxes, for their corporate jet lifestyles. They want a world where you and I don’t exist, basically.

obamaI can’t think of any liberal idea I agree with. We are in a natural climate change driven by the Sun. The scientific evidence is overwhelming. Yet they perpetuate the lie we are causing the Earth to warm and have the audacity to say it’s the biggest problem facing mankind. What crap.

Our skinny-arm President is giving billions of our dollars to Iran. In what fucking parallel universe is this a good idea?

Take my guns away…Fuck-off! I’m going to need them for the civil war liberals are pining for.

Conservatives don’t thrill me either. They pay lip service to liberty, but don’t do anything to enhance it, at least in this country.

Adjusting corporate tax rates, or bombing Iraq some more, won’t do much to create a better world. That is why the Tea Party arose, and in spite of the biased media bullshit, the Tea Party ideology is alive and well and assimilated into the Republican Party so much they are driving the debates and the popularity of Carson and Trump.

It isn’t just that they are from outside Washington and people are tired of politicians. It’s because they say things the politicians won’t. They are outside the guidelines. They are talking about things that matter. It’s what people need to hear, not the airbrushed, committee vetted messages of the politicians whose past performance has been abysmal.

The Donald is a breath of fresh air.

I don’t even know everything he stands for yet, or know whether I agree. I just love to hear him poke a stick in everyone’s eye. He twists the media around his little finger. He’s not a politician, he’s a promoter. He’s two steps ahead of everyone around him. I love that.

trumpHe doesn’t offer some tweak to the tax code that is supposed to make everything better, which we all know won’t make a hill of beans. He says he’s going to negotiate our financial strength back from China and some of the third world toilets we pump our money into. He knows countries like India are on the move and want to keep going, which makes them a good partner. Invest in success.

He’s not saying that out of an over-fluffed ego. It’s because he knows the U.S. government is failing the people. We are giving away welfare to others when we need to fix things here, only to buy allegiances that are as thin and worthless as a wet noodle. Look at what a decade in Iraq got us.

The things everyone expects from Trump – the showman promoter and real estate hustler – is all there…but no one expected his sincerity and intelligence. I hope he’s in the race to the bitter end for the nomination. He stimulates the entire event.

Ben Carson is the opposite.

I really like Ben. He’s the one talking about the things that matter most, to provide our nation the best possible future for ourselves and our children. He’s got the long view and the big picture. Without doubt, he is the smartest of the candidates. He’s so low key, though. I’m surprised anyone even hears him over the din of the others. Yet when he speaks, people listen.

From a purely crass political standpoint, Ben Carson is the best thing the Republican’s could hope for – they just don’t seem to know it. I hate to point out the obvious, but he’s black. The black vote is a given for Democrats. Democrats cater to racial angst and have, for decades, fooled black voters into thinking they have their best interest in mind and Republicans hate them. Of course, Republican’s don’t hate them, and the Democrat’s policies haven’t done any good – the demographics haven’t changed. Blacks are still poor and under-employed, and all the same grievances still hold. No hope, or change for the better. Blacks have caught on to this, and are ready to hear a credible voice with better ideas.

carsonCarson is the credible candidate who can do that. If he’s on the ticket, Republicans will win black votes and it will change longstanding paradigms. Carson can shed daylight on the Democrat’s sham like no white person ever can.

They sham everyone, but nowhere is it more evident than with blacks. Carson is a living example of courage and common sense, unafraid to stand on his own beliefs and speak, unfiltered about how to improve our lives, instead of harping about injustice and inventing some legislative band-aid to fix it. He’s making liberals shit their pants.

He doesn’t manage the press like Trump. He let’s them ask their “gotcha” questions and he answers, with perfect clarity and common sense, and let’s the press twist in the wind trying to make his words sound bad. The media ends up sounding stupid – because they are – and he rises in the poles.

Just look at the flap when he said he wouldn’t vote for a Muslim President. He never said, or even implied a Muslim couldn’t run for President. He just said he didn’t want to see one elected. Well who does? A real Muslim follows Sharia law over any other laws of the land.

I know “moderate” Muslim’s will argue this, but they aren’t in charge of anything and don’t really matter. They may call themselves Muslim, but they won’t go to the Middle East and attempt to change Islam to this “moderate” viewpoint, because if they did they would be killed in an instant – by real Muslims.

A real Muslim – real in the eyes of their Prophet, and leaders, and followers, and doctrine, and Koran – is required to follow Sharia law and that is not compatible with a job description to uphold the laws of our Nation. Ben Carson pointed that simple fact out. He never said that disqualifies a Muslim from running for President, but that is what the Media tried to portray. Why?

Obviously, the people understood Carson quite well. It should be obvious the media did too – they know the English language. They dishonestly reported in an attempt to discredit him. A Black Republican is not allowed.

wolf-blitzer1The media’s prejudices are exemplified in discredited journalist Dan Rather. Its intellectual honesty is exemplified by liar, liar, pants-on-fire, Brian Williams. It’s fact checking competence comes from John Stewart – a comedian.

They are all cut from the same bolt of cloth. Trying to be sheepdogs, herding us into their line of thinking. Hear what they say, but don’t believe it.

Ben Carson made CNN’s Wolf-man look like a twerp. He is a twerp, so that wasn’t hard. Carson challenges conventional wisdom. Everyone knows deep down, at some level, regardless of party affiliation, that conventional wisdom is just convention now. The wisdom isn’t there.

I’m not religious. Hard line fundamentalists scare me. Ben Carson is the most religious – and unafraid to say so – of the whole field of candidates. Yet it does not bother me.

Being Christian in action is the best thing one can do, regardless of literal belief in the Bible, or not. Regardless if the “brand” of Christianity is some flim-flam, new age prophet, or even Talmudic Judaism. Or if like me, say, “I doubt it, but let’s do more science to figure things out.” The Christian values still hold. Christian values are the best social medicine ever invented.

Ben Carson understands that better than any other candidate. He may interpret a few things different from the way I do, but everyone has a convention. Everyone has a line they believe divides what is okay from what is not okay.

Carson doesn’t want to legislate morality. That’s a liberal gig. He wants to bolster the family with Christian values, which is what we need more than anything. Legislating morality doesn’t work. Liberal and Conservative attempts have only unhinged everyone, resulting in divisive craziness. It has to come from moral individuals  – we all need an internal compass to guide our actions and fix the core of all problems – raising children.

Children raised right won’t be racist. Children raised right won’t enter a gang, or think drive-by-shootings are hip, or walk into a classroom and machine gun their classmates. Children raised right will be good parents and pave a world for their children to thrive in. They will know how to think for themselves and not let someone do it for them. Children raised right won’t have the unobtainable goal to be a celebrity and own glitzy things, and spend their lives miserable they can’t get them.

Parents who care about their children will not let the schools be the nanny, continually abusing the education of our children for the sake of their bureaucracy and self-serving ideologies. We can teach every one of our kids a Bachelor’s Degree education with the best teachers in the world, right in their own homes with the internet. It can be done for chump change.

Parents who care about their children will vote to forge military supremacy and foreign policies that don’t require us to send the kids to war, unless we must to protect ourselves. And that is when we use our military supremacy to maximum effect. Shoot to kill.

Actually, we will never have a professional politician leadership that is truly smart and concerned. Their concern is in being professional politicians, winning the next election and building their power. People need to understand this is fundamental. Don’t rely on government, or professional politicians – they will fuck us and make things worse for everyone the more control we give them.

ben-carson-tight-crop-restricted-large-169We need gentleman statesmen, and women. The kind who built the country, like Franklin…or Washington – who they had to beg to become President.

Lifelong politicians are corrupted by their profession and ambition. They only have the one avenue, which is to be part of the establishment with all it’s flaws. So they will never correct the flaws. Carson and The Donald are the kind of gentleman statesman we need.

Few people will agree with me on specifics, I’m sure. Don’t worry, I’m not the one with my finger on the button. But a lot of people agree we need an out-of-the box thinker and doer in the White House. Somebody who will inspire and lead us to find our individual spines, get off our hind-ends and clean-up our act, because nobody is doing it for us. Carson isn’t promising to make things right for us. He’s offering to show us how to do it ourselves.

I think that is the point I want to make. That is what people are looking for. We are like kids who know Dad is right, but don’t like it. For the good of our society people are understanding, even if it means going against some personal preferences and showing individual responsibility. We need a leader with a real, working moral compass.

That’s what I get from Ben Carson. The government is us, so let’s keep it and use it wisely before the chance slips away.

Electric Universe And The Political Debate

Electric Universe Theory could become a topic in politics. Republican Candidate Ben Carson has expressed his doubts about the “Big Bang” theory in interviews this past week. “Science” bloggers have tried to make him into a “flat earth” crazy for having his doubts. We need to set the record straight.

ben-carson-tight-crop-restricted-large-169Far from being an ignorant flat-earther, Ben Carson is on the cutting edge of science. He is best known for leading one of the most complex neurosurgeries ever performed. In 1987, he directed a team of seventy doctors to successfully separate twins born co-joined at the head.

He was named one of the nation’s 20 foremost physicians and scientists by Time Magazine and CNN, a “Living Legend” by The Library of Congress, and was awarded the Presidential Medal and the Ford’s Theater Lincoln Medal by President George W. Bush.

There is even a made for TV documentary about him, “Gifted Hands,” starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. His scientific credentials far exceed those who criticize him.

He isn’t questioning Big Bang theory out of ignorance. He questions it because he’s a scientist. Few people outside the scientific community know this, because you won’t hear it from media, or scientists, but Big Bang cosmology is in serious trouble. It simply does not describe the Universe we see and cannot be validated.

The theory predicts a multitude of strange matter and energy that is not evident anywhere in the cosmos. New observations usually result in setbacks for the Big Bang, finding things it does not predict and not finding the things it does.

15-066The theory predicts that the Universe we see, with telescopes scanning space in every wavelength of the spectrum, is less than 4% of what’s out there. The other 96%-plus is assumed to be composed of “dark energy” and “dark matter.” They are “dark,” because they can’t be found. Dark energy and dark matter aren’t only invisible, scientists don’t know what they are.

Dark matter is thought to exist in a cloud around galaxies. They believe this because their model cannot explain spiral formation in galaxies without inventing something to hold them together. Yet they cannot find, or even describe what this dark matter is – they are just guessing.

Dark energy is believed to exert a force expanding the universe. Yet they can’t find it, or describe it’s properties. They can only say what it isn’t. Again, they are just guessing.

They have been guessing for almost a century now. Are we to believe in a theory that cannot describe 96% of the Universe? What kind of science is that? It’s nothing more than a plea of faith that the scientists know anything at all. Don’t we already have religions for that?

Big Bang theory predicts many things we can’t see and have found no direct evidence for: black holes, gravitational waves, wormholes, space-time, time travel – all great science fiction stuff – and all pure guesswork.

It cannot explain what gravity is, or why the Sun and the Earth interact instantaneously through gravity in order to maintain a stable orbit. There is no time lag for interaction at the speed of light and they can’t explain why.

0105-4x5color.aiIt cannot explain large scale filaments of electric current that connect galaxies across the Universe. It cannot explain the behavior of many “pulsars” and “gamma ray bursts” witnessed in deep space. It cannot explain the presence of “quasars” in galaxies that, according to their theory, are supposed to be billions of light years apart. It cannot successfully explain the behavior of the Sun, the most observed star in the Universe, or many of the properties found on planets and moons in our solar system.

General Relativity cannot be reconciled with other physics. The quantum behavior of nuclear physics can’t be explained in terms of General Relativity and attempts to reconcile it with quantum mechanics have never come close to succeeding. Everyone knows something is missing.

Even the few things General Relativity has “predicted” can be explained by simpler means. Phenomena that is purported to prove General Relativity, such as gravitational lensing, cosmic background radiation, planetary motion, time dilation of clocks sent into space – can be explained by alternative theories that nullify any unique proof of General Relativity.

General Relativity is conceived on the notion of space-time – Einstein’s cosmic fabric of four dimensions. Dimensions are just measurements. Measurements can be manipulated with mathematics to create a landscape, like a topographical map. But a map only describes the landscape – it doesn’t tell you what’s in it, what it’s doing, or what it is. Some of our scientists have confused the map with reality.

Look at reports from any NASA team after they obtain new observations. They begin with, “We didn’t expect this..,” or “Team is surprised…” Of course they are surprised. The “Where’s Elmo?” theory fails to predict anything real – only unknown, unseen “holes” and “dark” stuff.

Ben Carson is right. It’s time to rethink.

There is alternative science that explains our Universe with elegance and predictive accuracy, and without inventing imaginary matter and energy. The amazing thing is, it’s all classic physics. The Universe is full of electromagnetic energy – we see it on the Sun, we see it in comets, we see it on Pluto and every other planet and moon in the solar system. It is the organizing power we see all around us. Plasma is the reason.

IDL TIFF filePlasma is a fundamental state of matter, like solid, liquid or gas. It is the fourth and most abundant state of matter. Plasma is what we see in a flame, a lightning bolt, the aurorae at Earth’s magnetic poles and neon lights on beer signs. It’s a mixture of electrons and ions. An ion is a particle with one or more electrons stripped away, making it positively charged. Because plasma always has electrical charge in its electrons and ions, it produces magnetic fields.

As anyone who has used a magnet knows, they have the ability to pull things together and force them apart. Two like  charges push each other apart with great force. Two unlike charges, one positive, one negative, attract each other. That’s why a magnet sticks to the refrigerator door on one side, but falls off if it’s turned upside down. The force of even a small refrigerator magnet is able to overcome gravity with a force trillions of times stronger.

According to new theories coming from a rogue group of scientists from the world of applied science, rather than the institutionalized echo-chamber of theoretical cosmology, electricity and magnetic fields energize the Universe we see. It’s obvious what they propose makes good sense. All of the stars, and all of the galaxies, and all of the bright nebula, and all of the filaments of energy we see in the Universe is plasma. And all of it contains electromagnetic energy.

Big Bang cosmology disputes this, believing the weak force of gravity alone makes the universe work to create stars and galaxies. They assume all the ions and electrons cancel each other out, so they don’t have an effect on anything. This notion is absurd if you think about it. And adhering to it in the face of evidence makes it obvious theoretical physicists are just protecting their interests.

Snow Angel courtesy of NASALook at photos from the Hubble telescope and you will see bright, multicolored objects – planetary nebula, stellar novas, galactic nebula and spiral galaxies. They are all neon bright clouds of plasma, often forming organized patterns – spirals, hourglass figures and thousands of light year’s long beams of plasma. Gravity can’t do that.

What ‘Where’s Elmo?’ science does not recognize is the fact plasma does not allow the electrons and ions to cancel each other out. The positive and negative charges have magnetic fields that push and pull them around. The particles can’t fly in straight lines, running into each other like billiard balls, cancelling each other out. They are pushed and pulled in directions that separate the charge. The more they move the stronger the magnetic fields become, and particles organize into regions of magnetic fields and current flow, rather than dispersing like an inert cloud of dust.

Plasma is unique in it’s ability to self organize, creating sheaths of magnetic fields around current. Of course it’s a bit more involved than that, but I’ll let plasma physicists explain the details. This is a phenomena that electrical engineers and plasma physicists in applied science work with every day. It is known science developed by Nobel laureate scientists, backed by a century of repeatable experiment and observation. Big Bang theorists just refuse to consider it, preferring instead to support a theory they have invested their careers and our tax dollars into proving – without success.

Ben Carson is 100% right to question them.

For more information about Electric Universe theory, visit Thunderbolts.info

The Galapagos of the Southwest

North America’s Western Cordillera, from Alaska to Southern Mexico, is a wall of mountain. Except for a low point called the Deming gap, between the Rocky Mountain’s end at the Mogollon Rim, and the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico.

Chihuahua Desert grasslands spill west through the gap to mingle with cactus in the Sonora Desert. Both deserts span the area between Rockies and Sierra Madres, including southeast Arizona and northern Mexico.

nitro.biosci.arizona.eduPuncturing the desert are mountains ten thousand feet high, where rainfall doubles, snow falls in winter, and alpine forests thrive. This confluence of temperate and tropic, grassland and cactus, dry desert and pine-capped mountain creates one of the most amazing places on the planet.

It is the Madrean Archipelago. ‘Madrean’ is the floristic region’s name, derived from Sierra Madre. ‘Archipelago’ because forty distinct mountains poke through a sea of desert, each an environment of unique complexity. These are the Sky Islands of the Madrean Archipelago. Here’s ten amazing facts.

Northern Canada’s Southern Border

Their names, Penaleño, Galieuro, Huachuca, Chiricahua, Santa Catalina, Rincon and Santa Rita evoke the Spanish influence on the region. They rise abruptly from the valley floor. Piles of granite extrusion, caverned limestone and volcanic flow – wrinkled, faulted, folded earth. Each is an ecology of it’s own, or more precisely, several.

saguarosDrive Mount Lemmon Highway to the 9,157-foot summit of the Santa Catalina’s for a bio-tour from Mexico to Northern Canada – in just twenty-five miles.

Leaving Tucson, you begin in creosote chaparral, typical of Sonora. It’s so dense with plants you wouldn’t think desert if there weren’t needles to remind you. Barrel cactus, prickly pear and cholla grow thick, and thermometers read triple digits the entire summer.

A forest of Saguaro and occotillo blanket the slopes as you begin to climb. Within minutes, these yield to grasses, juniper, yucca and cooler breeze. It’s like Chihuahua.

A few miles farther are pine-oak woodlands. Pine-oak woodlands cover every Sky Island in the Madrean Archipelago; they come from Mexico’s Sierra Madre.

Above seven thousand feet are forests of ponderosa pine, denizens of the Colorado Plateau that marched down the Continental Divide.

Chiricahua

On the tallest sky islands are glades of fern, forests of aspen, spruce and fir, and temperatures thirty degrees cooler than the desert below – just like Canada.

Steeply gorged canyons collect snowmelt and rain into riparian ecosystems. Sycamore, willow and cottonwood fill the lower reaches, and streams tumble down cataracts to pool in box canyons, creating enchanting microclimates.

One can experience eight of the worlds twelve bioregions in a single day’s hike, and walk past a thousand different plants. This vertical variety of ecosystems is compared to the Galapagos Islands for its diversity.

The Most Critters In The U.S.

Twice as many mammal species than Yellowstone Park inhabit the region – 104 at last count. From common black bear to boar-like javalina, black-tailed prairie dog to tropical coati mundi, the region is one of the most diverse in the world.

There are 29 species of bat, alone. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recognizes the Sierra Madre and Madrean Archipelago as one of three biological “mega diversity” centers on the planet.

jaguarMany species are threatened. One hundred and fifty-three are listed as vulnerable. Man eradicated grizzly bear, but Mexican grey wolf, reintroduced decades ago has returned to some Sky Islands. Bighorn sheep have also been reintroduced to replace lost herds.

In 2013, a jaguar, largest cat of the America’s, and third largest of the worlds big cats, was photographed in Arizona’s Santa Rita’s. Ocelots have been photographed in Arizona, too. Both cats retreated far into Mexico, it was thought. These have come back, or perhaps they never left.

ocelotWhich raises a significant issue with a border fence. Many Sky Islands are in Mexico. The greatest diversity of creatures on the continent migrate hopscotch between them, and the border cuts their path. It is a significant issue in debate about the border to ensure protection of their migratory routes. The critters can’t apply for visas.

But Even More Birds

There are places on every birder’s bucket list. The Chiricahua Mountains are at the top, because half of all avian species in North America are found there.

The San Pedro River flows north from Mexico, to join the Gila. It is the most significant free flowing stream in the southwest. Flanked by the Dragoon’s and Chiricahua’s on the east, and the Huachuca’s on the west, it forms a corridor birds fly in migration, which makes the Dragoons, Huachuca’s, Chiricahuas, and the valleys between, their home every year.

Arizona-Sonoran-Desert-Museum-BirdSome birding hot spots:

  • Miller, Carr and Ramsey Canyons in the Huachuca’s. Thirteen species of Hummingbird are documented every year inRamsey Canyon. Birders can witness the Elegant Tanager, Eared Quetzal, Rufus-capped Warbler, Aztec Thrush, Brown-backed Solitaire, and others rarely, if ever seen elsewhere in the U.S.
  • Cave Creek Canyon in the Chiricahuas is famous the world over. Of special interest are wintering raptors. It is not uncommon to check 100 birds of prey off your list in a day, including the rare Ferruginous Hawk, Northern Harrier, Harris’s Hawk, Prairie Falcon, Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, and Red-tailed Hawk.
  • The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, is a 56,000-acre preserve along the upper San Pedro River. An estimated 4 million migrating birds travel there each year. It is home to over 100 indigenous species, including forty percent of all Gray Hawks in the U.S.

Needless To Say…

gila_thumb_0The area has the most reptiles, bees and ant species in the U.S. There are 135 types of snake, lizard, toad, and turtle living there.

The finest place to see and learn about the diversity and splendor of plants, reptiles, birds, mammals and insects that inhabit the region, is the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. It’s located in the natural desert environment, next to Saguaro National Park, west of Tucson.

It’s ranked one of the Top 10 Museums in the country by TripAdvisor.com and contains 98 acres of zoo, aquarium, aviary, botanical garden, art gallery, mineral exhibit, and natural history museum.

Famous For Rocks

It’s not just plants and animals that define Madrean diversity; it’s the rocks too. The Sky Islands exhibit more mixed geological composition than any other place on the planet. Formed 13 million years ago from continental rifting, the mountains did not rise so much as the valleys sank away, leaving the hard rock standing.

roock The Chiricahua Range is a single massive volcano, whereas the Santa Catalina’s, Rincon’s, Penaleño’s and Dragoon’s have metamorphic cores of gneiss and granite. The other Sky islands are predominately limestone. This mixed composition presents a variety of soils types, which contributes to the wide diversity in plants.

No wonder Tucson is home to the largest Gem and Mineral convention in the world, with over forty show arenas throughout town, anchored by the prestigious Tucson Gem and Mineral Show held each year in February.

Its Where The Anasazi Disappeared.

The region is a crossroads for people as well as flora and fauna. It is the scene of one of the greatest mysteries of antiquity – the Anasazi, who left castles and cliff dwellings, roads, farms and kivas in the Four Corners area in apparent hurry in 1,300 A.D.

We may not know why they left, but we know where they went. They came here.

The Anasazi were only one group of Pueblo Indian. Puebloan culture extended from southern Utah and Colorado, throughout Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico. Cultural cousins to the Anasazi were the Mogollon, Salado, Paquime, Hohokam and other Puebloan people.

When the Anasazi departed Mesa Verde, Kayenta, Canyon de Chelly and other Four Corners pueblos, they fled south and joined these groups. Some followed the Rio Grande, or joined clans on the Mogollon Rim. Others passed through and found a home in Paquime, in Mexico. But many came to reside with the Hohokam, who lived along the rich riparian canyons of Sky Islands, and built sophisticated catchments and irrigation canals to water their crops.

Coronado’s Conquistadors Arrived

Portal_Peak_in_the_Chiricahua_MountainsThe San Pedro River Valley was a causeway for trade and travel to the Pueblo Indians, who traded with the Aztec. Artifacts spanning centuries from Chaco Canyon to Kayenta include Macaw feathers, obsidian mirrors and hammered copper that came from Aztec culture deep in Mexico.

When the Spanish arrived, they took the same trail. In 1540, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and his conquistadors entered what is now the United States in the San Pedro Valley, near the Huachuca Mountains. They traveled north in search of “seven cities of gold” and found one hundred Indian pueblos, the Grand Canyon and Kansas before giving up on gold.

Today, several Sky Islands compose the Coronado National Forest.

Home For Eskimos

Before Spaniards arrived, Eskimo’s came to the Sky Islands. Navajo and Apache are of Athabascan origin. They migrated from Canada, like the spruce and fir that populate the mountains, and are genetically linked to today’s Eskimo.

GeronimoBands collectively known as the Chiricahua Apache made the Sky Islands home, and fought 150 years of war to stay there. The most seminal event of the Apache Wars occurred when Mexicans killed the wife and children of a man named Goyathlay. Today we call him Geronimo.

The crime fostered his vicious guerilla approach to warfare that had Mexican and American soldiers scouring the entire region. The complexity of the geography aided Geronimo, making his renegade band impossible to find.

General Nelson Miles, who captured Geronimo in 1886, built a heliograph station in the Penaleño Mountains to signal troops in search of the Apache. The place is still called Heliograph Peak. At one time, 5,000 troops hunted Geronimo and his band of a few dozen warriors.

Geronimo lobbied to the end of his life to allow his people to return to the Chiricahuas. President Theodore Roosevelt denied him, saying it would raise fear in the “local” people.

Astronomy Capital Of The World

NOAO_AURA_NSF
Kitt Peak. Credit NOAO/AURA/NSF.

Today, Sky Islands are home to more peaceful pursuits. There are twenty-five active observatories located on their peaks. Clear, dry desert air, low light pollution and peaks that reach seven to eleven thousand feet above sea level make this place tops for astronomers. That’s why the University of Arizona in Tucson is a renowned institution for optics and astronomy.

The Santa Catalina Mountains, north of Tucson are home for the Mount Lemmon Observatory, and the Mount Lemmon Sky Center, affiliated with the University. South of Tucson, in the Santa Rita Mountains is 8,550-foot Mt. Hopkins and the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

Above the town of Safford brood the Penaleño range, tallest of the Sky Islands, where several observatories reside atop 10,720-foot Mt. Graham, including the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope, the Large Binocular Telescope and the Mount Graham International Observatory.

Most famous of all, and the largest collection of optical telescopes in the world, is Kitt Peak National Observatory, at 6,875 feet in the Quinlan Mountains southwest of Tucson.

These connect the Sky Islands with researchers around the world, bringing the entire universe into focus, making it the greatest crossroads on the planet.

Here are some handy links:

 http://www.terrain.org/articles/21/skroch.htm

[Ref 2] http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_rm/rm_gtr264/rm_gtr264_006_018.pdf

[Ref 3] http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_rm/rm_gtr264/rm_gtr264_036_059.pdf

[Ref 4] http://www.cbsnews.com/news/rare-jaguar-seen-roaming-southern-arizona-mountains/

[Ref 5] http://wildsonora.com/content/ocelots-arizona

[Ref 6] http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_rm/rm_gtr264/rm_gtr264_036_059.pdf

[Ref 7] http://sabo.org/

[Ref 8] http://www.checklist.org.br/getpdf?SL122-08

[Ref 9] https://www.desertmuseum.org/about/

[Ref 10] http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_rm/rm_gtr264/rm_gtr264_006_018.pdf

[Ref 11] http://www.tgms.org/show-2015/

[Ref 12] http://www.desertusa.com/ind1/ind_new/ind11.html

[Ref 13] http://arizonaexperience.org/remember/coronado-expedition

[Ref 14] http://www.indians.org/welker/geronimo.htm

[Ref 15] http://www.go-astronomy.com/observatories

Electric Siberia

Is there strange energy in Siberia? It is a strange place.

First take a look at the featured image above. The image is courtesy of ESA/NASA, and depicts the Earth’s magnetic flux on July 14, 2015. It is showing the Earth’s magnetic poles splitting from a dipole to a four-pole arrangement, an expected development for the pole shift that is well underway.

The mean magnetic north rests somewhere in the sea between the dark red shaded regions of high flux over arctic Siberia and Canada, and it’s rapidly tracking towards Siberia. But it now looks like there are two poles forming at both ends of the planet – four poles – the Southern hemisphere looks much the same. And the deep red blotch over Siberia is gaining strength.

Siberia. Now let’s zoom in to look at some weird stuff.

The Patomskiy Crater – one of many mysterious features in the Taiga.
Siberian Times
Image credit: The Siberian Times

Discovered by a geologist in 1949, this limestone crater is about 150 meters rim to rim. It has a rounded mound in the center. Locals refer to it as  the “fiery eagles nest,” because that’s what it looks like – with an egg. Russian geologists suspect it was formed by a meteorite 250 years ago. Many people doubt it’s a meteorite, although tests reveal a high density, electromagnetic anomaly below the crater.

Prevailing theory today is that it has a geological cause, although many scientists still think it is an impact. This shape is similar to many seen on Mars and moons in the solar system.

As a matter of fact, there are a dozens where I live in Arizona. Wait…ours don’t have the egg in the middle. Apparently that makes all the difference, because no one seems to have high confidence they know what it is.

Other features of the crater:

  • No radioactivity is measured today, but analysis of trees nearby show high radioactivity at the time geologists believe it was formed, around 250 years ago.
  • Visitors report it is exceptionally hot inside the crater.
  • They also report it swells and subsides, like it’s slowly breathing.

I especially liked hearing that last one. Now let’s take a look at some other oddities in the region.

The Valley of Death – this one is spooky.

Unaccountable metallic hemispheres have been reported in the Upper Viliuy River basin – if you watch Ancient Aliens, you’ve heard of them. I know, that’s no reason to believe they are there, or that they aren’t somebody’s abandoned Volgas, but it’s Russian scientists reporting in this case.

tunguska56A team of eight researchers, including geologists, an engineer and an astrophysicist, located five, sunk a few feet below water. But they walked on them and felt them and said they are definitely metallic, with a surface smooth to the touch, and sharp points along the edge. They are about nine feet in diameter just as locals have always claimed.

The first official report of the cauldrons dates from explorations over one hundred and fifty years ago, when the cauldrons were still partially above ground. Local stories abound. Witnesses say the metal appeared to be made of copper or bronze, but they could not dent or scratch the material.

Two of the researchers on the team got sick. This seems to be expected on a visit to the cauldrons – local Yakut people stay clear of the area. Stories by people who claimed to camp beneath them before they sank in the swamp reported sickness and skin lesions, like exposure to radiation might cause.

tunguska58The region is known locally as Uliuiu Cherkechekh – Valley of Death. According to Russian geologists, the region experienced a cataclysm some 800 years ago, much like the Tunguska event, toppling entire forests and scattering stone fragments across hundreds of square miles. Large craters, believed to be ancient meteor impacts are nearby. In fact there is a lot of stuff nearby.

The Tunguska event happened there. You know the story. In 1908, a huge flash of light in the sky, trees bowled over in some tremendous shock wave that left ears ringing and people complaining of symptoms of radiation. Early visitors to the site reported the ground was heaved in waves like water at ground zero. But it left no crater.

Tunguska is a little south of the Valley of Death. The size of the blast is estimated to be on the order of 15 megatons. It flattened over 800 hundred square miles of forest.

A little know fact, in 1908, German Professor, Herr Doctor Weber of the University in Kiel, was monitoring the magnetosphere for auroras. As he recorded in the Astronomische Nachrichten (Astronomical News), no auroras were detected, but he measured a constant, steady vibration in magnetic declination for several hours over the same daily time periods, three evenings prior to the Tunguska event. The signal ceased after the event. He ruled out local interference.

It was as if the meteor was communicating it’s arrival to earth. And he was picking up the signal from space every evening when Earth’s rotation brought it overhead as it was heading our way.

In 2002, a meteor exploded over the Vitim River basin estimated to produce a 5 kiloton blast. Researchers found a 40 square mile area flattened much like Tunguska, where the meteor was found to have exploded overhead. Most unusual, the area was suffering a power blackout during the strike, but when the meteor flashed overhead, the grid was activated by the electrical field of the meteor. Residents’ lights flickered on a few seconds, while crackling was heard in the sky and electrical discharges sparked along the tops of metal fences. Many people reported effects of radiation.

Three more invaders from the cosmos have approached the area recently, including the big, bright screamer that exploded over Chelyabinsk in February, 2013. The original estimate of it’s size had to be upped by a factor of 1000 when data streamed in showing it was 30 times more powerful than Hiroshima, on the order of a 500 kiloton blast. They said it was a once-in-a-hundred-year event.

The following year it happened over Yakutia. Another exploded near Murmansk in April, 2014, one month later. Witnesses said it looked like an electric flash. It’s as if the area has an energy of it’s own that amplifies the energy of the meteors.

In the 1950’s, the Soviets tested nuclear weapons in the the Valley of Death – years after locals had already reported effects of radiation sickness – so their bombs didn’t cause it. The unusual thing is one test produced a blast that far exceeded the explosive power of the bomb being tested. As reported by the German Radio Station Deutsche Welle in 1991, a small 10 kg nuclear device tested in 1954 registered an astounding 20 to 30 megatons, and was recorded by seismic instruments around the world. This has been a puzzle ever since.

Back to the Yakuts – they aren’t surprised. Strange things around the cauldrons have happened for centuries. According to ancient lore, fiery spheres soar into the sky from the cauldrons trailing a column of flame and a succession of thunderous booms. Over decades it happens with increasing intensity, until a huge fireball, fiery whirlwinds and sheets of lightning streak the sky and cataclysmic explosions lay waste to the land.

Legend says these things happen every six, or seven hundred years, time and again. That would match the frequency of every other grand solar minimum. I mention that since we are entering one. Legends aren’t too specific on dates, so I don’t know if there is any correlation in timing.

Now let’s talk about something very recent.

The Siberian “What the Fuck” holes.

That’s right, those giant vertical holes that just appeared on the landscape. This one is 60 meters across and no one knows how deep. Like the other six recently discovered on the Yamal Peninsula, it’s filling with water so no one has seen the bottom, but they say it’s at least 200 feet deep.

YAMAL-CRATERS-7
Image credit: The Siberian Times

Residents in the area claimed to see a cloud of smoke and a streak of bright light in the sky before this hole appeared out of nowhere. Mainstream science dismisses these sightings as mass hysteria phenomena. They always say that about people who actually witness the event. Apparently only scientists are allowed to believe their own eyes.

YAMAL-CRATERS-15
Image credit: The Siberian Times

They are blaming these things on Global Warming. So let’s forget how scary they are and put up more windmills. We have a politically correct answer, so science achieved its goal.

They say permafrost melted, releasing frozen methane bubbles that burst out, possibly igniting at some point in the process. That could only happen once the gas reached air and a source of ignition.

Unfrozen methane would have to be contained where it could mix with air and ignite to blow plugs out of the ground like this. This shear vertical shaft must be the result of shock waves from an explosive event. Look at the surface of the crater walls. Can you see the circular pits? Something spauled shallow, smooth pits on the walls. The flare at the top is very strange, too.

And where did all that earth go that was displaced? That’s a big plug of dirt, and there isn’t much debris on the crater rim or around the area – the crater rim looks like just the top soil pushed-up. Some speculate a big ice plug was in there, and warmed from faults below, methane popped it out like a champagne cork. A giant ice spear like that would leave an impact crater of it’s own wherever it landed. It didn’t just ooze out of the hole, or there would be evidence on the crater rim.

There is gas in the region. There are more drilling rigs than reindeer in Siberia. And there are lot’s of circular holes in the ground. It’s natural in permafrost for ice lenses to form below ground in a formation called a pengo, and then collapse, leaving thousands of round pools. But they aren’t 200 feet deep with vertical sides and crater rims.

On the other hand, I wonder if a pengo’s ice lens could look and feel like a metallic dome.

 These things are very strange, so let’s look at the region. Perhaps there is another explanation.
Siberia box
Click to enlarge

Notice Lake Baikal near the bottom of the boxed area. That’s the largest volume of fresh water on the planet. It doesn’t look that big, but it’s deep. The slot it’s in is the deepest rift zone in the world, where Asia is ripping apart.

The water is a mile deep, but there is another seven miles of sediment below that. It holds 20% of the worlds unfrozen fresh water, more than all the Great Lakes combined.

The area is seismically active, and it’s well established that electrical phenomena occur in seismic zones. In other words, there are anomalies in the electric ground potential in the region. Now look again at where the heavy red blotch is on the magnetic flux map above. That means a heavy anomaly in space too.

Image credit: NASA
Image credit: NASA

I don’t know about bronze cauldrons, or crater eggs. I do believe the flashes and columns of light were witnessed. I tend to believe people know what they saw and remember when it’s something really astonishing. From ancient times to present, balls and shafts of light in the sky are a recurring theme. For recent news on atmospheric phenomena, including some incredible video, go to: SuspectSky

Some theorize these events to be caused by electricity, not meteors or comets. A powerful lightning bolt from space, or a plasmoid of electrical energy from the sun. We know these things have occurred in the past. Ancient petroglyphs, without doubt, depict massive plasma displays in the sky, from what can only be cosmic electrical events.

Watch David Talbott and Wallace Thornhill describe the evidence and the consequence of what our ancestors witnessed thousands of years ago at Thunderbolts.info. While you are there, look for my Thunderblogs, were I’ve written about the evidence of electrical scars on the planets and moons of our solar system.

The fact is, we live under an electric sky.

It gets its climate, weather and energy from the sun – not just from it’s radiant heat, but from its electric field. Don’t believe it, look at the Northern Lights. That is exactly what they are – neon lights charged by electricity from the sun.

Lightning bolts don’t just come from clouds. We can witness the giant plasma discharges that take place above storm clouds as electric current flows down from space. The lightning that strikes earth looks different, because the atmosphere it pierces constrains it. So in space we see neon shapes, but below our storm clouds – those big capacitors sitting between Earth and space – the discharge is ‘squeezed’ into a lightning bolt. There is no limit to the size and power one of these things can deliver. It’s just a consequence of the charge differential and the resistance between. Current flows in space with very little resistance.

I think Tunguska and the other events were meteors, but the energy of their blast was magnified due to electrical discharge when they reached the Earth’s atmosphere. After all, the beautiful Northern Lights we see is our magnetic field funneling the Sun’s current into the Earth. Throw a large body from space, with it’s own electric potential into the middle and sparks are bound to fly.

Could the WTF holes be caused by lightning? I don’t see why not. There have been lightning fulgurites found as long as 30 meters and a foot in diameter. No reason they couldn’t get bigger. Permafrost should be a good conductor, passing current straight through to the bedrock. The material in the hole, much of it water-ice in permafrost, would be vaporized and carried away in the 2000° Kelvin heat of an electric discharge.

We may see many unusual events in the sky and here on Earth as our magnetic pole flips, and as our sun goes to sleep. To get comprehensive daily space weather, Earth weather and earthquake reports, and to learn more about the Sun-Earth connection, please visit: Suspicious0bserver

I would like to see more of our science experts get on with understanding electric fields in space, how they interact with Earth, and preparing us for the dangers. Fortunately, there is growing awareness due to a few courageous and observant scholars who are unafraid to look beyond convention and believe their own eyes. Please visit the websites I mention and join me here at this website, as we peel back the veil of ignorance.

A.D. Hall

Happy Birthday, Mom

Photo on 2015-05-27 at 12.29 #2It’s three AM and I’ve been writing. I’m tired and ready for bed, but before I lay down, I check. She lies awake.

She can’t sleep the night through. Awake, alone in the dark, I don’t know how long she’s lain like this. I give her water and kiss her head.

She sips a drink to wet her lips, not interested in swallowing. Her legs are crossed, her hand clutches the rail, and she is sideways in the bed. She’s been writhing. It’s another rough night.

I straighten her out, stretch her leg and feel the tightness. A Charlie-horse is in her thigh that never goes away. I try to imagine what that is like.

I put ice in her water and raise her head to let her drink through a straw. I know she likes the cold water. No one gives her ice anymore.

She drinks the whole glass, and whispers, “That’s good.” Then rests her head.

That’s all she’ll say, I don’t expect more. Her brain was split apart by stroke, half of it dead more than a decade now. The stroke shut her mouth.

She’ll have lucid times on a good day, if she’s stimulated. She rattled-off five short sentences one afternoon, totally coherent communication, but that happens less often. Most days, there isn’t much stimulation.

We get her up at nine for the bathroom. Then at noon for coffee and cookies – that’s her favorite. Oatmeal and banana for breakfast, sitting in the wheelchair. Mid-afternoon we move her to the Big Chair, where she naps until five. Then it’s coffee and cookies again before dinner and to bed about eight. That’s her day.

Except for the meals and the transfers, she sits like a piece of furniture, barely animated, barely awake, as we go about our business. The room is calm and quiet, with the TV usually on a station the health care worker watches.

The lovely woman who helps care for Mom will not be here today, so I’ll do these things, plus take her to the bathroom, clean her ass, wipe the piss off the floor, dress her in a clean gown and scrub my hands before serving her cookies.

If she can’t get back to sleep, I’ll have to get her up to the bathroom and then the Big Chair. This gets her leg bending so it eases the muscle and she can sleep. The Big Chair reclines.

The prospect of this at three in the morning angers me. I’m running on ass-dragging empty. I want to lie down and catch a few precious hours of sleep before this routine begins. Right now, I don’t want to lift sacks of potatoes and wipe piss off the floor.

She won’t sleep. She looks at me and pulls crab-like on the rail, pulling her body sideways in the bed. I slide her back in place. I’m not patient about it and she slaps my arm as I push – a strong backhand.

I toss covers off her leg and she says, “Covers!”

“In a minute Mom. I’m going to stretch your legs.” I do the right first, bending her knee and growl at her, “Push…push your leg out, Mom.” She makes an effort and I can feel the muscle begin to ease-up. It never fully relaxes anymore.

Her hand scratches for the sheets to pull them over her bare legs. This, believe it or not, is because she’s modest about her yoo-hoo. She shouldn’t worry. I ain’t lookin’.

I do the left. She doesn’t push with the left. That’s the dead one, where the muscles are drawn into rigor. My tone with her is harsh. “Is it easy now?” I want her to tell me it’s okay, so I can go to bed. She can respond when she’s alert, like now. I’m gruff because she won’t.

She looks at me, her eyes brighter than usual at this time. She’s fully alert. I pull the rocking chair close and sit by her. I raise the bed so she sits upright. That stretches her hip and legs and I get more ice water for her.

She’s happy I’m there. She doesn’t want to be alone. I want to go to bed.

“You know, we can’t do this forever, Mom.”

I am the youngest of five sons. When she had the stroke, it was our decision to keep her at home. My brothers, the best heeled of the bunch, took the financial burden on themselves for Mom’s care, and we all take turns on “Mom duty.” There was never a question of putting her in a home. She had a home.

“You’re like a cockroach, you know that?” I say. Her body won’t quit. She grew-up barefoot in Arkansas while World War One raged in Europe. She’ll be one hundred and one on her birthday. By cosmic coincidence, I was born on her birthday. We share that.

She learned to type and moved on her own to live and work in Dallas. That’s where my Dad met the pretty, sweet, but independent young woman.

They came west in the years of Depression, and raised chickens and five boys. Dad passed away. The boys retired, except for me. I’m just out of work.

The oldest son can’t come to see Mom anymore. Cancer has him. It may be Mom outlives him. I don’t want to see that.

Mom’s health is faltering. She can’t exercise anymore. But she slides down the slippery slope very slowly. Jim’s catching up fast. Not that I want the race to end, I just don’t want him to win.

I give her more water. “I’ll lay you back down,” I say. “See if you can sleep.” She closes her eyes as I lay the bed low. I leave to brush my teeth. Out of the room, I scream, “For fucks sake God, take her away! Why leave her hurting like this?”

I’m not expecting a response from him either. The worthless fuck.

I check one more time. Her eyes are closed. She’s pretending. I sit by her side. “You’re not sleeping,” I say. Her eyes open, still bright. She knows I want to leave.

I know she doesn’t want me to leave. She doesn’t like to lay by herself in the dark…hurting. She doesn’t want me to be mad though.

I lean close to her. She turns her head. She is embarrassed and does not want to breathe on me. She knows her breath is awful.

I don’t care. “Mom,” I say. “This is crazy. You need to let go. This isn’t good for anybody.”

Her eyes are bright and she reaches out to me. I feel her soft, warm hand on my ear. She sticks her finger in.

Tears well from somewhere I haven’t been in a very long time – a little boy with his mother pinching his ear.

I bow my head and cry. She pinches me again, still looking at me. Still caressing my ear.

I’m in a place I never want to leave.

I look at her. I don’t see her mouth hanging open. I don’t see her drooling. I see my Mother, who taught me to listen, to cook and to love. I remember now. I love her. I love her so much that it hurts.

I say, “Let’s get you up to the Big Chair, Mom.” She smiles her crooked smile and I know that’s the thing that she needs. As gently as I can, as patient as I can, with all the love I can, I do all the things that entails. I have no more anger. I’m with her. I want her as long as I live.

A.D. Hall 6.28.15