Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

224. Walls in Space, TRAPPIST 1


Aliens will pay for the space wall because, I’m sure, they don’t like what they see.

As more countries are flushed down the socio-political sewer by malformed, cowardly, inadequate individuals who, somehow managed to grab power, you have to guess that any aliens with telescopes stronger than ours will be thinking, “shit – we have to keep these idiots away from us.” Do you think they are looking at Assad, Trump, Mugabe, Duterte, Erdogan, Kim (Jong-Un not Kardashian) and thinking – we should invite them to tea??? No.

NASA ‘found’ seven new exo-planets orbiting the dwarf star TRAPPIST 1. Three are earth-like, potentially habitable worlds. My youngest daughter and I watched the announcement in awe. She certainly felt it was as significant as the 1969 “giant leap for mankind”.

What becomes immediately obvious is that doubts about the potential for life out there, suddenly diminish. That isn’t to say that little green humanoid entities are wobbling round on other worlds waiting for Star Trek type visitors. But the idea that, within the reach of our current telescopes and mathematical equations, there are already three exo-planets that have the physical properties to support water and which also may have earth-harmonious temperature, is huge. Out of the seven new worlds three are in what NASA scientists refer to as The Goldilocks Zone – not too hot, not too cold.

This is tremendously exciting for me for a different reason. My new Sci fi – dystopian novella Zero One Zero Two published last November is predicated on exactly this kind of discovery. OK my book is also a monumental rant about how we’ve trashed our own planet with a wee bit of romance, poetry and lots of death…But in my novella, following earth’s destruction, a mission is sent to a distant solar system which has never been visited but which scientists calculated using hi-tech telescopes and mathematical data so they know it exists ‘in theory’.

My belief in our planet’s uniqueness has not altered. I do not think for one moment that there is a parallel universe somewhere with another ‘me’ on it clicking away on a keyboard freaking out about the dangerous idiots who are trying to take humanity over a cliff. I do not believe there is a similar ecosphere where the dominant species literally have the world at their feet but choose to crap on it and on each other at every opportunity. Why would they? Why do we?

Life does not necessarily mean sentient beings or flora and fauna we would recognise as such. I know no more than the next person about the formation of our world or the evolutionary steps that brought us to where we are today. But clearly, those events were so extraordinary and extreme and also not extreme (when it mattered) that replicating the process, statistically, would be billions to one.

On the other hand…

One thing is for sure – if there is advanced life out there and it is observing us right now there are many reasons intelligent Aliens may not want to make contact.

On discovering they’ve been discovered – who knows – those aliens may, right now, be getting together in an inter-galactic alliance to build a space wall to keep humans OUT.

The fact that aliens have not contacted us may be the proof of their real intelligence.

*


                          NASA poster      Zero One Zero Two
N.B.
Amanda is available for public speaking / lunch or dinner comedy-entertainment /panel discussions etc. Inquiries to Caro Day - edinburghfft@gmail.com

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

223 Good Stuff (2)


Some people care.

Ok – I am digging deep (that is a pun, you’ll see why) because I promised you two weeks of positive out of the current insanity.

So, as the Washington farce continues and the UK Brexit Danse Macabre goes ga ga and Marine Le Pen has political orgasms over the possibility of inflicting the same carnage in France – here is a scintilla of good stuff.

Here in Scotland there is evidence that some movers and shakers care about the planet.

While ex-Oklahoma senator and Attorney General who ignored calls to regulate fracking - Scott Pruitt - is now head of America’s Environmental Protection Agency, I have better news from Edinburgh. Yes, though Scott Pruitt, who presided over a 10-fold increase in  serious earthquakes in Oklahoma is now employed to look after the environment in the US, here in Scotland there is evidence that people want to keep the world habitable.

This evening (Feb 21st) I’ll be performing at a ‘Speak up for the Environment’ event in the Scottish Parliament. The week-long programme will involve politicians and delegates from charities and organisations at the forefront of environmental protection.

As well as some adult satirical poetry, I’ll be reading a section from Casey & the Surfmen my epic poetry tale about wrecking the land for profit. In this story, Casey, with the help of the ancient surfmen, triumphs over the digger men, their corruption, greed and lies (we can all dream!)

*
Also, thanks to those who heeded the call to buy from bandcamp on Fri Feb 3rd when bandcamp were donating their proceeds to American Civil Liberties.
Check Casey & the Surfmen out https://amandabaker.bandcamp.com

*

Satirical business as usual next week.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

222. Good Stuff (1)

Ok - out of the current swamp of horribleness, I fished out some good stuff for this week (and hopefully next week).

Regular readers will have read my Mixed-race magic post a while back,celebrating the fact that in the climate of populist bigotry, prejudice and hatred, people of different creeds, colours, castes and races are getting it together, falling in love and making lovely babies.

This is my friend's wee daughter reading my mixed-race fairy story. Her dad is English (geordie) and her mum is Gambian.

Beautiful.

*
N.B.

Amanda is available for public speaking / lunch or dinner comedy-entertainment /panel discussions etc. Inquiries to Caro Day - edinburghfft@gmail.com

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

221. Corbyn is also dangerous....


The gap between reality and media soundbites is increasing in the UK. This problem is compounded by the lack of a functioning opposition. Jeremy Corbyn is less use than a teacup in a Tsunami. I’ve railed against the ineffectual clown Corbyn while the left was still swooning over him. They are not so keen now and it’s got much worse.

‘Turkeys voting for Christmas’ was a phrase used about Brexit supporters. For the non-US or non-UK reader, turkeys are traditionally eaten at Christmas / Thanksgiving. In the US, turkeys were given to European settlers by the Native American Indians to keep the white invaders alive through winter. Those same Europeans then wiped out the Indians, as we know, so there is a whole other dimension there that I won’t go into now. But you get the analogy.

Here, as in America, fear and xenophobia triumphed. Many areas of the UK which benefited most from EU membership voted heavily to leave the EU. It’s done. But it is hard to swallow the sickly, repeated refrain that everything is fine.

It is not.

As the reality gap in the UK gets ever larger, people are falling into the crevasse. And just as the formal opposition failed miserably to provide leadership during the referendum campaign, the dysfunctional Labour party continue whining from the side-lines while being 100% ineffectual.

One beautiful result is the grass roots protests, marches, huge displays of solidarity, defiance and anger against the fascist populism infecting both the US and the UK. If you want to lift your spirits view some of the marches, the numbers of them the extent of them, the mix and wondrous variety of people taking part. The banners are sometimes personal, imaginative and often downright hilarious. We need that.

But the people who were not taken in by the vile propaganda and blatant lies and those who were are being let down badly.

I can’t decide if Prime Minister Theresa May is a rabbit caught in the headlights or a headless chicken in a coop full of headless chickens.

The foundations on which our economy is based are ephemeral. See blogs 202 – The Tat Economy or blog 208. The Cannibal Economy.

Personal debt is an enormous partially submerged iceberg.

Xenophobia is out of control (thanks Farage). This matters because, for example, applications from the EU to our universities are down, massively cutting revenue. The NHS is struggling to recruit staff. And so on.

Meanwhile, Uncle Jez Corbyn and his limp crew repeatedly fail to not fail. They are worse than hopeless. Yes, Trump is a dangerous, lunatic conman, elevated by lizard woman Kellyann Conway. But when the leaders are bonkers or out of touch, formal opposition matters. As has already been proven, the courts and the people can be trampled.

The UKs opposition party, led by another lover of wedding cake, Jeremy Corbyn, is useless. Pathetic. And right now, not having an effective opposition is dangerous.

So, I listen in the morning to some BBC news (in between the sport and the bovine chit chat) and the people they choose to interview (when they are not platforming Nigel Farage) are banging on about how well the economy is doing. Then I go to my local supermarket and a single item that I bought a few weeks ago, for 65 pence is now 89 pence. You clever people can work out the % increase.

The disconnect is messing with my head.

I want to go and visit one of my daughters and I find the ticket price, despite the appalling state of the UK rail network, makes my eyes water.

A family friend who works in the banking sector and who is facing redundancy, is currently training the workers who will be doing his job when it is shipped abroad as the banking sector abandon a sinking ship. More of my friends, lucky enough to have jobs, are doing increased workloads for ever decreasing pay.

Homelessness is at a record level and if you include families living in insecure accommodation, it is epidemic.

One of the worst UK energy providers (and I should know as I was once an N-Power customer) just announced a 10% price hike.

Yet, folk in-the-know keep telling us everything is groovy. So, it must be, mustn’t it? 

I hate to be a killjoy but I’ve been right about other stuff that politicians – the media – even professional pollsters have got very wrong – like election results. I see the Empire Zombies taking us over a cliff and my stomach is in my chest as I sense the drop.

There are one of two things going on here. Either I am living in a parallel universe, which is always a possibility or we are being fed dishonest shit by the government and the mainstream media.

Time will tell.

One thing is for sure – the turkeys who voted for Christmas are being led by headless chickens and Jeremy Corbyn is a lame duck...

*
THANK YOU to everyone who responded to the bandcamp shout out last week and, by purchasing a download of Casey & the Surfmen, contributed to those attempting to oppose Trump's hideous policies.
*

The Guardian published my letter on the Corbyn chasm on 5th Feb 2017 if you want to take a look.
My books can be found here - https://plus.google.com/collection/UNSKRE