_20200531_160329

Bees…

Apparently they are more and more at risk. Bees pollenate the vast majority of flowering plants on the Earth, and their counterparts including hoverflies are also under threat.

What with? Insecticides, that are used to control insect pests. These include Neonicotinoids that have been found to disorientated bees (as well as killing them) so they cannot find food.  Without them we would not have fruit and vegetables. But unfortunately big pharmaceutical companies keep wanting to sell insecticides. There have been court cases that stopped their use. But they fight back.

If only we could use non invasive alternatives. Biological treatments that would eat pests. Like nematode worms, for instance. The problem is humans need quick solutions to save crops from things like locusts. But I think we should use these things sparingly. There are many ecological and moral questions and problems. I hope we can sort it out.

Hit the wrong button!

DSC_2349 (2) (2) (2)_optimized

I’d written a poem about nature and autumn. But my phone won’t save drafts of my posts. I hit the wrong key. So I’ve lost it. It no longer exists. Like summer moving into autum then onwards, the poem has gone into the aether, lost for all time. I could try rewriting it, but the sentiment is lost, the feeling has gone. I’d done some nice rhymes, but I’m not going to easily remember them.

And when we get to this time next year? The world will have moved on through space and time. We never come back to the same place. The Earth turns, spiralling around the sun, which in turn moves around the galaxy…..

Bye words, take care xxx

The end of the World as we know it?

DSC_2662

A spiky plant in our garden, a bit like the shape of a virus.

This virus though? I was just thinking this is like a zombie apocalypse movie- except there are no zombies (and no apocalypse)! I didn’t think the survivalists were right, and I still don’t. This is not the end of ‘Independence day’, or ‘Deep Impact’, or even ‘The Day after Tomorrow’ No president ‘hero’ is going to save the day. No bulldog like prime minister will defeat the army of viruses, its just not like that,

Blame them, if you need to, for that old cliche, of shutting the door after the horse has bolted. All of us, the whole world, is affected by this. But there are no zombie dead walking the streets, but a mass of our loved ones, gone before their time.

I hope I don’t sound flippant. I don’t want to. I DO NOT think this is the end of the world, although some people will be wishing it is. There are too many things that  can destroy this world, with bombs and bullets, starvation and lack of clean water. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think mans damage of the Earth is going away, we have had a brief respite, but that does not solve climate change.

So there you are, that is what I think the real problem is, mans inhumanity to man and our planet. Scientists are calling this era the ‘Anthropocene’ where the impact of billions of humans on the Earth is visibly changing things. Remember the hole in the ozone layer? The massive oil spills over the last century, glaciers and Ice floes melting. Oceans full of plastic, the air so polluted in some places that their populations have been in their own lock-downs to survive them.

Mankind fights wars over so many things, religion, resources, rights to water and food. There is no ‘sharing’ with the other people on the other side of the mountain. Mankind ( and womankind) would rather be selfish and keep everything for themselves. Survival of the fittest? or greediest? Maybe we can’t work together?

But we can TRY. When people say we are all in this together, they need to realise we actually are.

When I was a child, there were probably about four billion people on the Earth, I learnt a fact that if you took every person alive they would fit on the Isle of Wight. (Look it up, its a small island off the south coast of Britain, separated from the mainland by the Solent). Even now you could probably fit most of them on the island when the tide is out….

I often think that the Earth is the host and we ( the human race) are the virus or bacteria attacking it, making its glaciers run, clogging up its pores with plastic, making it cough with pollution and greenhouse gases. Its time for us all to be the good, health giving bacteria, the pro and prebiotics that add health to the world, not something that is trying to kill it off.

No doubt that when this is over there will be calls to push ahead with growth, to make up for lost time. But can we in all conscience accept that? Maybe we should choose our leaders wisely, give them the task of sorting it out? But I think it is in our own hands. We have to say something, not accept the status quo.

 

Poppy

_20200531_160250

A poppy painting I did a while ago.

This recent warm sunshine is bringing all the poppies out into flower. We walked into town, and where the pathways have not been sprayed with weed killer, all sorts of plants, including oriental poppies, are springing up. Mother nature is taking over.

But… In places where people have been allowed to meet up, the beaches, and parks, the main growth is in litter. People do not take their rubbish home with them. Why are humans such a filthy, messy, species. I thought we were giving the earth breathing space. But people’s ethos seems to be having what they want, and ignoring the damage they create.

I don’t think humans deserve this wonderful world. Really.

Moon up

FB_IMG_1555027908516

Yet when they looked back, the gods saw the world was beautiful.

They flew on into space, leaving the blue planet, its fascinating surface, watery and dry, cold and hot.

They had seeded it with bacteria and viruses. They had given it a satellite, called Selene. So the water flowed back and forth, and would eventually encourage life to flow onto the land.

They knew billions of years would pass and agreed to return when, and if, a major species grew up and made efforts to fly beyond the world.

They called the planet Earith, home, Gaia, and waited to see if their seed bed grew.

In May 2020 they returned.

They saw the oceans polluted, the mountains denuded of snow. They saw the glaciers melting and the oceans rising. They could see all the problems.

But they were gods, they could will things to change, eradicate the major species, allow the wilderness to return.

They agreed that this was not possible. Man must learn from its mistakes. Let us return in two millenia and see what has happened they said.

They left, wondering what they would find on their return.

X

Seeing Saturn

sketch-1585179837682

Digital sketch…

Years ago I had the pleasure of using a low powered telescope. I managed to find Juiter and then further away in the darkness was Saturn. It was amazing, the Rings were tipped up so they were much more visible than when they are in the a more horizontal plain. It was tiny, so small, but I could see it wavering slightly in the night air. I think Galileo thought it looked like it had ears?

To see planets with your own eyes, however small they appear is wonderful. The time it takes for the light to get to us means you scan look into the past. So it’s almost like time travel too!

If you ever get the chance, look up and see the sky….

In other news..

sketch-1584608662732

Digital illustration of a comet. Didn’t want to use someone else’s copyright photo. This is just to give an impression of its colour….

I get alerts from Spaceweather.com about all sorts of astronomical events. I got this alert about a comet this morning. As we are in ‘interesting times’ I thought I would let you know.

Here is a short excerpt with the link:
COMET ATLAS IS BRIGHTENING FASTER THAN EXPECTED: Get ready for a wild ride. Comet ATLAS (C2019 Y4) is plunging toward the sun and, if it doesn’t fly apart first, it could become one of the brightest comets in years. Amateur astronomers are already getting fantastic images as the comet brightens even faster than expected. Visit Spaceweather.com for the full story.

I don’t think the link will work from here, but it’s an easy address to find.

X

World

_20200303_224853what would happen if the Earth was tipped up on its axis?

The world would spin so the equator was spinning at nintey degrees or so to where it is now. Every twenty four hours it would still spin West to East as it does now, but the Sun would not rise and set every day. I think it would only do that when the Earth was mid way between when either pole faced the Sun. Because the Earth rotates round the Sun. So the North or North East or North West would face the Sun for half  of the year and the South, South East and South West for the other half.

So what would happen to the poles? Even now, because the Earth is tipped at an angle and doesn’t rotate vertically, we get summers and winters. So there  twenty four hour days in the polar summer, and twenty four hour nights in polar winter. If the Earth was tipped over more the twenty four hour days and nights would last for months. The side away from the Sun would be colder, the side towards it would be hotter. Perhaps all the ice would melt at one pole and freeze much more at the other? Who knows? I’m sure scientists would have the answer. Thankfully we don’t face that question. Sadly we do face climate crisis. We need to sort out the current situation. How? I don’t know the answer to that. But perhaps we should follow what teachers put on school reports. We must try harder?!

How to tell the earth is a sphere…

sketch-1579765873048

So how can you tell the Earth is a sphere? The ancient Greeks worked it out ( I don’t remember the name of the person who did).

The experiment was to put a stick in the sand at or near the equator, so it would have a tiny shadow directly underneath the it at mid day as the Sun was directly overhead.

If you place a stick upright, at 90° to the Eaths surface either North or South of the equator, the stick casts a shadow at mid day. (Look at the hands of a clock the hands move round in the same way). Say the equator is 3pm and the Sun is overhead, you would get no shadow, then as you go further away from the stick at the equator you get increasing angles (see diagram). Eventually at the poles the shadows would be at their longest.

So how can you tell its a sphere? The angles add up. You can calculate the curvature of the planet from these simple experiments. The ancient Greeks got very close to calculating the circumference of the Earth. Their calculations were only a small percentage out on their measurement.

 

Tee design

©sketch-1579274176395

 

Day 17 of the challenge on Facebook, today it was an ethical tee shirt design. I said I would like the world to concentrate on finding peace, and supporting nature by cleaning up the environment and taking the climate crisis seriously. I did think of adding flames but that seemed too much. My only concern is the tee shirts would have to be ethically sourced, carbon neutral and any workers paid a living wage. Too much to hope for?

X