Tuesday, 29 January 2013


      I had started on an essay of similar thoughts when my computer screen was enhanced with this essay from my friend, Tom Kupecz, also retired RCAF, but residing in Trenton, Ontario, where he, now as a civilian, trains RCAF personnel not only in how to fight a war but how to clean up the mess afterwards. Thank, Tom, for saving me the time and echoing so well my thoughts:

      I have somehow got on the mailing lists of some rather interesting organizations that are engaged in saving us from the nefarious forces that seek to enslave us all. The e-mails are reasonably well written, grammatically correct (something I believe is essential to good communication) and fraught with almost pathological paranoia.

       Where does this fear of others come from? In a democracy, the foundation of our system is the trust in our fellows - almost anyone can run for office, except President of the Unites States (where did that come from, in a nation of immigrants?) and we trust the winners to govern us all in the spirit of the law and in good will. Well, the trust is tempered by a knowledge of human nature, hence the complicated system of checks and balances that keep the politicians from succumbing too egregiously to the lobbyists. But overall it is trust and good will that makes our system function.

     But what is it that makes some people create vast conspiracy theories and inflict them on us relatively normal folk?   I realize that solving a good mystery is an enjoyable pastime, and a very fruitful profession for talented (and not so talented) authors, but how can people bend reality so far in such an apparent belief in their ideas?

      The latest missives try to persuade me that the horrendous massacre in Newtown was, in one of them, a hoax created by some government force bent on disarming the populace, or in another a real massacre perpetrated for the same nefarious purpose. Each claims proof in citing "facts" that are dubious at best, and ignore the overwhelming preponderance of evidence that we have seen from many irreproachable sources.

      Both use history to back up their claims: Hitler disarmed the Germans so he could take over the country, Mao disarmed the Chinese, Stalin disarmed the Russians, and so on. Ignored is the fact that they actually armed and enabled hoards of paranoid citizens to cow and suppress the rest, and used the real or imagined threat of foreign aggression to keep the population in line.

      I would like to believe that they are just having fun to see what reaction they can rouse, but when voice@freedom.com writes this sort of thing: "It was a made for TV drama to try to ram through the gun control laws, because they want to kill the American people and they can't kill armed people," he goes beyond fun. And when you see the likes of Alex Jones fulminating on Piers Morgan Tonight, you might begin to wonder from whom we need protecting.

      It is a matter for some concern that a significant proportion of the population of the greatest nation on earth, a country that has worked to export its system of government around the world, is so distrustful of their government and fellow citizens that they need to arm themselves to the teeth. And they have a constitution that enables them!

      Do we need to train more psychiatrists?

Tom Kupecz

Friday, 4 January 2013



     Honestly, girls, you should be flattered not annoyed at my intense gaze. Numbers bewilder me as I seek how your 30,000 genes placed so well your individual allotment of the 7x10 27 atoms we have all acquired. That is 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms each. I will not ask you to let me count and add your protons, neutrons, electrons, etc in each of your atoms as you have already made me think about numbers and about where you and I stand on what appears to be an endless gradient we named to put us in the middle:
YOCTO: 1/1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
ZEPTO:  1/1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
ATTO:    1/1,000,000,000,000,000,000              
FEMTO:  1/1,000,000,000,000,000                    
PICO:     1/1,000,000,000,000
NANO:   1/1,000,000,000                                 
MICRO:  1/1,000,000                                        
MILLI:   1/1,000 

KILO:     1,000
MEGA:    1,000,000
GIGA:     1,000,000,000
TERA:     1,000,000,000,000
PETA;     1,000,000,000,000,000
EXA:       1,000,000,000,000,000,000
     This puts a virus in the 10 attogram range and the E.coli bacteria at 655 femtograms.
At last count there were 7.5x1018 grains of sand on this planet, but they just lie there. In our universe there are 3x1024 stars that engage in a fiery dance as they race out into new space that seems to be created as they race along. This number of stars equals the number of cells in the 6 billion humans we now have.
     While engaged in all these thoughts, 10 normal drops of water dripped from my kitchen tap. Guess what? - they contained the same number of H2O molecules as there are stars in our universe.
     I am bewildered with counting so please allow me to forget the possible billions of universes in the Multiverse. That still leaves more bewilderment - I just wondered where all these thoughts are coming from. Some of you do concede that I have a brain even if it cannot survive out of my body which is only 10% human. Do the 90%, bacterial cells, contribute 90% to what I call my intelligence? How do I count the trillions of electrical impulses that interact with each other to produce thoughts?
     I should stop as I am getting that drowning feeling. How many molecules of lifeline can you throw me? If you do rescue me, do tell me why, when we are so complex, that we are allowed, on average, less than 100 rotations around our sun before we must disintegrate to join some other association that will, we suspect, remember nothing of this Association. Is that not an inexcusable waste or just good riddance?
     Is inevitable change desirable? It seems fairly certain that our universe, this time around, is 13.7 billion years old, yet our current telescopes can see near the edge of it which is 46 billion light years away, due to universe inflation. Moving along at 300,000 km or 186,000 miles per second, light photons, in the 31,536,000 seconds that exist in a non-leap-year, traverse 9,460,800,000,000 km per year (9.4 terakilometres). Why the rush? What the purpose? From our galactic centre our sun is 30,000 light years, or, if you prefer, 30,000 x 300,000 x 365 x 24, x 60, x 60 kilometres. It is speeding along at 792,000 kmh (495,000 mph), taking 235 million years to make each of the 20 orbits it has made in its 4.6 billion year lifetime.
     Now, that current galactic journey adds up to 9,460,800,000,000 x 235,000,000 = 22,232,883,000,000,000,000,000 km (22,232 exakilometres) of which you and I get to traverse only .00000042%. So much to see, yet we are given so little time. Can we appeal?
     So, girls, can you see why all this bewilders me when your few 7x10 27 atoms are so difficult for us men to understand when, really, our atomic arrangements are so slightly different (mais vive la diffĂ©rence!). But, then, do you really understand us? Come to think about it - I do not understand either you or us, so could I convince you that our respective atoms are here to console each other and to ease our passage?