A Busy End to October

Boy it looks like everything is happening at once as October draws to a close!  For a start, tomorrow is Halloween, or as I like to call it, Reformation Day, because it was on October 31, 1517, that Martin Luther started the ball rolling for Protestants by nailing his 95 theses to the door of his church.  In Philadelphia, I believe they will have the third game of the World Series tomorrow, while here in Lexington, UK’s football team will play Mississippi State.  At Keeneland, this weekend marks the end of the fall races.  Normally the horses race from the first through the fourth weekend of April and October, but this month they are running a week later; I don’t know why.  Finally, we’re having what we call Family Fun Night at our church tomorrow, where everybody brings a dish for the potluck, and we watch a Veggie Tales video afterwards.  Now what are we going to do to top all this in November?

Will Global Warming Fears Create a World Government?

Last October 17, Mohammed Nasheed, the president of Maldives, held a meeting underwater.  He and his vice president and Cabinet met at desks in the Indian Ocean, wearing scuba gear.  He did that stunt as a warning of the danger rising sea levels pose to his country.  For those who don’t know where Maldives is, it is a collection of tiny islands southwest of India; the highest point in the archipelago is only six feet above sea level.  Hence, the government there is awfully concerned that the earth’s glaciers might melt and flood them.

Now it turns out that Nasheed’s fear is probably groundless.  According to a Swedish scientist, Nils-Axel Morner, from 1790 to 1970 sea levels were 20 cm (8 inches) higher than they are today.  This means that while temperatures are a bit warmer now, the sea has gone down, not up, since 1970.  What’s more, over the past two thousand years, even during the warmest periods, the highest the ocean got was 120 cm (4 feet) above its present-day level, a problem for those living on beaches, but not a catastrophic one.

Maldives’ President All Wet on Sea Level

Naturally I’m going to add those statistics to my list of reasons why we shouldn’t take global warming seriously.  Meanwhile, have you heard of Lord Monckton, a British noble who is gravely concerned about a global warming treaty that is to be signed in Copenhagen next December?  He predicts in this video that if we sign it, it will be the end of the United States as we know it:

The video has caused quite a sensation in the past week.  Then last Tuesday, Roger Diaz, the new pastor of the church I used to attend in Florida, posted a second video on Facebook, where Glen Beck interviews Lord Monckton.  Pastor Roger added this comment:

“The stuff of yesteryear’s conspiracies are today’s realities. This makes me wax nostalgic for the good old days when all of this was so easily dismissed.”

Unquote:  Over the years, I have been led to believe that a world government will arise in the end times, right before the Lord comes back, and a natural disaster like an asteroid impact would make people rush to form that government.  Now it looks like just the threat of a disaster might be enough.  Unfortunately, I don’t think a world government is a good idea; we botched it at Babel, and governments that control all or most of the known world tend to be absolute monarchies or dictatorships, not democracies.

The good news is that ocean currents have shifted in the north Atlantic.  Normally the Gulf Stream moves up the east coast of the United States as far as Long Island, before turning east and going to Europe.  But on October 20 it turned east at North Carolina instead, so that now the only part of Europe touched by the Gulf Stream’s warm waters is Portugal.  This means the rest of the continent is in for a mighty cold winter, including Copenhagen.  The Gore Effect strikes again!

The End of Geocities, and Colonel Sanders at the UN

This morning I learned that Yahoo! closed the doors on Geocities, for the last time.  This marks the end of an era in Internet history.  Launched in the mid-1990s, Geocities told web-surfers to “get your free home page,” and it offered 2-3 megabytes of free server space to each person who signed up.  That was a lot of space in those days; now it’s not enough for a good video or MP3 file.  Consequently a lot of folks built their first websites on Geocities, including me.  I still remember The Xenophile Historian’s original address:  http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/1591/ .  It was there from 1997 until 1999, when I went shopping for a new host for the site, eventually choosing Freeservers, where it is now.  At its heyday, around the end of the 1990s, I believe Geocities hosted more than 3 million websites.  That means a lot of my bookmarks won’t work anymore; I hope Archive.org can keep its promise to recover/save as much of the old Geocities sites as possible.

Closer to home, there’s an interesting story concerning the most famous person in Kentucky’s recent history, Colonel Sanders.  No, it’s not the real Colonel; he hasn’t been in the news much lately because he died 29 years ago.  It turns out that Bob Thompson, the former mayor of Lawrenceburg, KY (a town 30 miles west of Lexington), got hired by Kentucky Fried Chicken to impersonate the Colonel, when he won a lookalike contest after he got tired of being mayor.

This week the “Colonel” goes to the United Nations for a commercial stunt, claiming he is there to get the “Grilled Nation of Chicken” admitted as a UN member.  A Libyan diplomat, the current president of the General Assembly, recognizes the Colonel, though they don’t have any KFC restaurants in Libya.  The diplomat posed with his family and Colonel Sanders-Thompson for pictures, and invited the Colonel inside the building for a tour, before guards sounded the alarm.  Now they are claiming that a major security breach took place, and that it’s in bad taste to use the UN for advertising anyway.  Obviously they forget how powerful capitalism is here in the West.  In my former home of Orlando, for example, the home court of the Orlando Magic was originally called the Orlando Arena, until an investment firm paid enough money to rename the place the T.D. Waterhouse Center; since that contract expired, the place has become the Amway Arena.  Will the UN resist a billion dollar offer from some big corporation, in return for the right to rename the UN?

KFC “colonel” dupes UN security

Meanwhile, Debbie Schlussel, a conservative Jewish columnist/blogger, is impressed, and wistfully asking why some terrorists didn’t think of disguising themselves as Colonel Sanders first, if it is so easy to get into the UN that way.

Punk’d of the Week: Wishing Terrorists Had Tried the Col. Sanders Ploy @ the UN

We Are Wimps

So says Peter McAllister, an Australian anthropologist who just published a book called “Manthropology:  The Science of Inadequate Modern Man.”  According to him, we are far weaker than our ancestors, thanks to the industrial revolution, which allowed so many of us to go through life without exerting ourselves much, and thus took away opportunities to build our muscles.  Well, I knew that Neanderthal Man had bones twice as thick as ours, but only thought of it in a defensive way; he could have survived a blow that would have done in one of us.  I didn’t consider the possibility that he would have had superhuman strength for the same reason.

Anyway, McAllister compared Neanderthals with primitive men like the Aborigines, and with modern men, and concluded that physically, we are a sad case.  He began his book with these provocative sentences:

“If you’re reading this then you – or the male you have bought it for – are the worst man in history. No ifs, no buts — the worst man, period…As a class we are in fact the sorriest cohort of masculine Homo sapiens to ever walk the planet.”

He goes on to state that even a Neanderthal woman would have been strong enough to take on Arnold Schwarzenegger in an arm-wrestling contest, while an Aborigine could keep up with our fastest trained runners, and throw a spear as far as 110 yards, farther than today’s javelin-throwing champions.  Furthermore, Roman soldiers could march almost 40 miles in a day while carrying half their body weight in arms, armor and gear, and Tutsi men in Africa could do a high jump of 2.52 meters, beating today’s record of 2.45 m.

Of course I am adding a footnote to Chapter 5 of The Genesis Chronicles, to cover the new point of view about us vs. cave men.  Yes, we live longer, have more powerful tools and weapons than our ancestors, and have access to all kinds of luxuries that were unavailable in the stone age, but apparently that progress comes with a price.  When I wrote in another history paper about the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, I speculated that from a spiritual standpoint, mankind has lost as much over the centuries as he has gained.  Now it looks like he has lost much physically as well.

Neanderthal Woman Could Whup Schwarzenegger

Modern Men Are Wimps, According to New Book

Mixed Up by DST Again

This morning when I woke up, the clock said it was a few minutes after 7 AM.  It was brighter than usual when I came downstairs, but I did not think much of it, because the weather forecast called for a sunny day–for a change.  It was only forty-five minutes later when I looked at a clock again, and it said it was almost 9!  Only then did I realize what happened; my “smart clock” had moved itself back an hour last night, so I woke up at 8, not 7.

This also happened in 2007 and 2008, thanks to an act of Congress that messed up when Daylight Savings Time begins and ends.  I’m still not sure how the new schedule works, except that we’re supposed to go back to Standard Time on a Sunday in November.  The clock didn’t get the message, though, so it still switches back on the old date, the last Sunday of October.  Don’t you hate it when that happens?