Monday, March 10, 2014

Watching True Detective brought up mind pictures of real places in Pennsylvania.

True Detective' Recap: A Light at the End of the Tunnel 
A familiar finale proves our obsession with the show was about the journey, not the destination
"By locating its human monsters in the countryside, far from the supposedly corrupting influence of the modern city, this horror subgenre makes the argument that America's rot spreads up and out from the core. As Errol's sister-lover might put it, it's all around us: before you were born, after you die...
Whatever its faults, and they were many, True Detective's power lies in the way it made us feel when we watched it. Like Rust and Marty, we'll always have the memory of being drawn into its dark territory."

There are places in Pennsylvania that look like scenes in “True Detective”.

They never took them out for show and tell but I knew that some of my flyfishing buddies carried a firearm in their vest. It seemed like a little much, at first.

Sometimes I drove to fishing spots on macadam, then dirt roads then just wheel tracks.

The best fishing is usually at sunrise and sunset. Which means that it’s dark when you walk in or dark when you walk out. If you let it your primal fear of the dark can take over.

I don't think there are Hoodoo believers in Pennsylvania’s countryside but there are some strange people. Like the guy who answered the female Census taker’s questions naked behind his screen door. At least he would talk. Most of the “backwoods” people in Montgomery County hid from the Census takers.

The Perkiomen flows through more civilized areas of Pennsylvania in Montgomery, Bucks and Berks Counties. There were “cross lighting celebrations” along the Perkiomen with KKK, skinheads and people with swastikas. The skinheads were or are illegal drug entrepreneurs. The “celebrations” still go on to this day slightly subdued and maybe without lit crosses because of the Perkiomen Trail.

I think the Perkiomen Watershed has about as much or more drug dealers as Coatesville does. It’s one more reason some of the locals didn’t want the Perkiomen Trail and the armed Montgomery County Park Rangers and State Troopers who patrol it.

It’s said that “Wilderness is a place where you can be eaten.” If you pay attention to the signs in places like Yellowstone Park that say “Bear in Area” I believe that wilder areas are safer than more civilized areas. It’s the civilized accessible fringes of wild areas that can be dangerous.

Maybe my flyfishing buddies had good reason to pack heat in their vests.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Got the new issue of Orion at Barnes and Noble.

Can't call it a magazine. There is no advertising. The writing, the photographs and illustrations are 1st class. The paper even feels good. It's a small treasure.

The surgeon that did my intestinal surgery finds the human gut impressive. It has it's own separate nervous system, but hardly any of it is us.

Pogo might say “Us aren’t us”.

Each of us is a society that goes 24/7. We don't eat for one or when pregnant two. We eat for trillions.
The New You
By Anthony Doerr

 LAST TUESDAY I PRESSED little white keyboard squares for eight hours, drove home, helped the kids with their homework, overcooked some chicken breasts, watched Jeopardy, paid Idaho Power, read some paragraphs, switched off the lamp, and thought: You lummox, you didn't do anything outside all day. 
Why berate myself? Because getting outdoors helps me think, feel, and sleep better. Increasingly, science has my back on this. A 2008 University of Michigan study, for example, showed that volunteers who ambled through a campus arboretum improved their short-term memory by about 20 percent. 
More recently, Japanese studies have found that regular strolls in the woods can lower depression rates, blood pressure, and levels of the stress hormone cortisol. South Korea is so convinced of the benefits of “forest bathing,” they’re building a $140 million National Forest Therapy Center. Finland is funding similar research. 
All of which is both interesting and encouraging. Yet I remain troubled by the language of my own formulation. The words I chose—you didn’t do anything outside—suggest that I didn’t leave the “Inside” to do anything in “Nature.” They imply that a world exists called “Inside” and that it is fully separable from another world called “Outside.” 
Implicit within that arrangement is the assumption that “Me” and “Nature” are discrete entities. But the emerging reality is immensely more complicated. “Me” is not some inalienable being that has to remind himself to plant a tulip once in a while before getting back to the real business of watching Alex Trebek. And “Nature” is not some elfin, rejuvenating spa that provides “Me” with a daily dose of fresh oxygen, mental health, and organic broccoli. 
Increasingly, the science of microbiology is showing that we carry “Nature” with us everywhere we go. From the moment we emerge from our mothers, we are colonized, seized, and occupied by other entities. We are not, it turns out, walking cleanrooms that ought to be shuttled into Nature for forty-five minutes, then bustled inside and bathed in hand sanitizer. 
In truth, no matter how far “Inside” we get, the “Outside” is always with us. 


January 21, 2014

Summary: Editors Jennifer Sahn and Andrew Blechman discuss the contents of the January/February 2014 issue of the magazine, 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Do you think Corbett’s fracking companies are fracking the PA countryside so Pennsylvanians can cook with gas?

By Simon Tulett

Business reporter, BBC News

Those pipelines running through your backyard in Chester County will be carrying PA fracking gas to Cove Point, Maryland to be supercooled into liquid natural gas and shipped on LNG tankers to wherever they can get the highest price on earth. That price, set on the international market, will be the price that Pennsylvania homeowners pay for gas. 
 “Dominion, an American energy company long focused on U.S. markets, hopes to begin an expansion worth billions of dollars at its Cove Point complex on Chesapeake Bay later this year. As part of the plan, compressors fired by a new power plant would cool gas to -260 degrees F (-162 C) until it becomes the hot global commodity known as liquefied natural gas, or LNG.”

LUSBY, Md., March 2 Sun Mar 2, 2014 10:00am EST

Once Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale gas is converted to liquid natural gas and shipped on the world market your gas-heating bill will soar.

There is one major obstacle to be reckoned with before Dominion can get their LNG super cooling and shipping dock in operation.

LNG storage tanks and LNG tankers are prime terrorist targets. They have the explosive power of an atomic bomb.

The people living near Cove Point Maryland may need to be moved before Dominion can operate their dock.

When he was Governor of Massachusetts Governor Romney had this to say about a different LNG site:

"There is simply no way that it makes sense to site an LNG facility in this location in the post-911 world," Romney wrote. "A thorough review would confirm this conclusion."


by Mark Reynolds, originally published by Providence Journal  | SEP 20, 2004

U.S. regulators don't share the concerns of the top official at the world's second-largest commercial insurer. A terrorist attack on an LNG tanker "would have the force of a small nuclear explosion," according to the chairman of Lloyd's, a British insurer of natural gas port facilities like the ones being proposed in Fall River and Providence… 

Monday, March 3, 2014

A triumph of democracy over Governor Tom Corbett, PA Republicans and big gas company corporate power

February 27, 2014 | 0 Comment
To The Editor,

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has rejected Tom Corbett’s request to reverse the Act 13 decision, which struck down key provisions in the natural gas drilling laws as unconstitutional.  
Locally, Newlin Township, the little township that could, stood up, fought back and won in 2012 when these provisions of Act 13 were first struck down. Now all of Pennsylvania has won because of the decision not to reverse the previous decision.

Under Tom Corbett and the Majority Leadership, Act 13 would have undermined local democracy and taken away local government’s zoning authority.  Communities would have been mandated to allow drilling in all sections of a town; near schools, playgrounds and hospitals. Unfortunately we’re not done yet with Act 13.  Although this ruling means this decision is final, the matter will return to the Commonwealth court as they try to hash out what will happen with other controversial provisions, including the physician’s gag rule regarding fracking chemicals."


Now if  "We The People" could only fight an even larger corporate lobby, the meat production industry, and allow local communities to regulate the amount of pig shit coming into their local water supplies from factory farm manure lagoons:

"These factory farms expose the public to dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria, generate enormous amounts of manure, create foul, unhealthy air pollution, pollute ground and surface water and drive smaller farms out of business. Local governments are severely limited in how they can respond, and local property owners can't take action to protect their health and property values."