In 1982 I read Aeschylus’ Oresteia, which starts with a night-guard on the roof in Argos, watching for a signal fire from Troy. He’s been watching for ten years: ‘I know the stars by heart, / the armies of the night, and there in the lead / the ones that bring us snow or crops in summer, / bring us all we have’ (lines 4-7). He may have died in the events that followed, but up on the roof for a moment he was filled with the ‘immensities of the universe’.
After weeks confined to a hole in the ground, captive journalist Mellissa Fung was marched and made to sleep outside on the hard ground. Though she thought she was going to die, she marvelled at the night sky. She too was filled with the ‘immensities of the universe’.
Supermoon and solstice pictures from The Atlantic.
Also, it’s National Canoe Day!
Samantha Bailey of Global Power Shift writes that climate organisers ‘are in Istanbul for Phase 1 of Global Power Shift … to prepare for a wave of national and regional Power Shift actions in coming months, and the connections to people across the world [that] will give us the vision to translate that energy into international action.’
• went to chloe’s grad, which is a shift, too.
Prof Homer-Dixon writes, ‘The oil sands industry is relentlessly twisting Canada into something many Canadians don’t recognize and don’t like. Our country is starting to exhibit the economic and political characteristics of a petro-state. In the absence of a full and open conversation about the oil sands, we behave like a gambler deep in the hole, repeatedly doubling down on our commitment to the industry.’
Saturday Serious Stuff
David Suzuki writes, ‘The personal and societal benefits of getting out of your car and onto a bike are well-known: better mental and physical fitness and reduced health-care costs, less pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, often speedier commutes and significant cost savings, to name a few.’
Hard to believe a hundred years ago plastic didn’t exist. Seems like it’s been around forever, partly cuz it lasts forever. Sarah King writes, ‘Zero Plastic Week has come and gone, and it’s left me feeling mainly inspired but also a bit depressed. Inspired because there is a growing plastic free movement, full of amazing, passionate and dedicated people. Depressed because dramatically reducing plastic consumption really isn’t as hard as you’d think. Why is that depressing? Because we need more people doing it.’ She offers 9 tips. (thanks to sh)
• 3 generations: visited my ex, her mom, and our son. our youngest daughter was at work. our oldest daughter was in europe. on her last night, she writes, ‘The point of our trip was first and foremost to learn about humanity–ours, others, and the interaction of people and place both now and in the past so that in the near future we can become active and engaged adults with lots to offer our communities. Bumps, hiccups, bad parts–all these things were just as revealing as the amazing things, although in not so pleasant of a way.’ they returned sunday night and we spent canada day afternoon with them.
• Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side.
• Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip? To get to the same side.
• Why did the turkey cross the road? Because it was the chicken’s day off.
• Why did the dinosaur cross the road? Because chickens didn’t exist yet.
• Why did the duck cross the road? To prove he’s no chicken.
• Why did the gum cross the road? Because it was stuck under the chicken’s foot.
• Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide.
(happy canada day!)
Mike Ford continues the tradition of Canadian historical song-smithing. Ford has a fine pedigree, having sung/played with Moxy Früvoüs (that’s him bouncing in black). Now he’s solo and singing about 1812 (including comical British plans to build a bigger boat) and other historical events. (thanks to ta)