Friday, December 26, 2003

Slumped in front of the Boxing Day TV, I just saw Joss Stone singing "It's A Man's World" for James Brown at the Kennedy Centre Honors. What a voice, Janis Joplin but with such a sweet pitch, she doesn't need to cheat with grate and growl, and to think she's a teenager from Devon, England, home of dangerous cider and my mother's family. Blues turns up in extraordinarly places, and I am now a shameless fan.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

XMAS 2003

Got no sleigh with reindeer,
No sack on my back
You're gonna see me coming
In a big black Cadillac

-- Elvis Presley, Santa Claus Back In Town

Christmas 2003, which would seem to be a paradox within itself. I said a lot of what I had to say last week in LA CityBeat and a year ago in Spook Links to a little literary Xmas album, I guess.

Right now it's raining in LA which rather suits the mood.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003


Hister 333 comments on “Beam Me Up”

That was freaky. It got me thinking, what if it's like the 'net, and it's not YOU that travels, but your genetic information. That would mean you would be reassembled by the sub-atomic particles there. It wouldn't be too much of a leap to say you could travel to two places at once, and end up with two bodies. It could easily reach the point where there's no point in even existing, because there's millions of us everywhere, and any one of them dies can be replaced. One thing I can be sure of, is that it makes my brain hurt.

QUOTE OF THE DAY (well...actually yesterday)

"Why do they want to look at my medical records? They didn't look at Bill Clinton's medical records." -- Rush Limbaugh

Welcome to the War on Drugs, Rushie. After $60 million and years of raking, all they could come up on good ol' Bill was some ill-considered sex. You, on the other hand, have been tagged as popping more pills than Jerry Lee Lewis in his prime, and now the DEA are wondering you've been junkie-hustling every silk-suit, $200-haircut croaker in the market share for OxyContin scripts. Ain't no conspiracy, Fat Boy, just how us narco-evildoers have been forced to live for most of the past century. Feel lucky you ain't being held in county. You ain't Elvis. Word?

BTW -- This Doc40 blog, like Erebus, has reached the point where it's started to eat its own tail. But the posts from before the start of time aren't lost. You can look under "archive" which, I think, is just over on the right there >>>>

Oh yeah, and if you're a stranger reading this, and want to comment, well, I ain't down with the comment tech yet, but I can be emailed at...

Monday, December 22, 2003

Kaymo the novelist replies to the previous post...

Most likely it just an "excursion"-- a massive tongue of superheated core material, heavy with iron, that's working up into the Mantle. But, it could be the beginning of a reversal. In which case compasses aren't gonna work very well for a few thousand years. We'll have lots of "little poles" and they'll migrate around etc. If that had happened during the 16th century etc. I think we might all still be in Europe, and the Injuns would have been left alone to get on with it.

Sunday, December 21, 2003


I have heard about this before on the websites and in the small press publications of the extremely paranoid, who seem to think that this situation would bring down every computer, communications device, and even simple electric motors, and plunge us all back into a new and probably well deserved stone age. I even wonder what it might do to the pick-ups on the average Stratocaster.


Article Published: Friday, December 12, 2003
By Douglas Fischer Oakland Tribune

SAN FRANCISCO - The Earth's magnetic field has weakened so fast in the past 150 years that scientists suspect the planet's magnetic poles are on the verge of flipping, a chaotic process that could dot the planet with multiple poles for centuries until two stronger poles again emerge. The change would wreak havoc with satellites and navigational aids and leave the Earth exposed to blasts of charged solar particles normally deflected by a strong magnetic field. Speaking Thursday at the American Geophysical Union, an annual international scientific gathering, scientists
cautioned that much is still speculation.
Any flip of the Earth's magnetic poles would happen over several thousand years. More likely, they said, turbulent forces deep in the planet's molten core are sending an errant but not unusual "excursion" to the surface that will ultimately fade and disappear, restoring the planet's protective magnetic field."Chances are this is going to die out," said Jeremy Bloxham, chairman of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. "Reversals are pretty rare." But history is rife with examples. The magnetic field has flipped between 200 and 300 times in the past 150 million years, based on studies of sea floor sediments.
The poles last flipped 780,000 years ago. But the rate of decay scientists are measuring is consistent with a reversal, Bloxham added. More worrisome is that a large patch over the South Atlantic has already reversed and is interrupting some satellites. A change wouldn't be catastrophic, at least as far as scientists can see. No mass extinctions have been tied to past reversals, said John Tarduno, a geophysics professor at the University of Rochester in New York. Typically during a reversal, the Earth loses its two traditional poles and weaker multiple poles pop up and fade away, powered by convection flows deep within the Earth's core, said Tarduno. Compasses would not point "north" but to the closest, strongest field, be it over sub-Sahara Africa or Des Moines. Then, after about 1,000 years, two stronger poles would emerge.