Tuesday, August 26, 2014

You are my sunshine.

Magge pye hagiolatry & Northrop Frye Inc.
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Get Up! Stand Up!    Don't Give Up The Fight!
People's Climate March: September 21 2014 NYC.
The People's Climate March website is replete with good information. 350 Toronto are coordinating bus transportation from Toronto and lodging in NYC including on-line ticketing.

Ballard Street: Breadcrumbs.

Of all the far-fetched nonsense I have written this may be the flightiest: adding 2 plus 2 and getting some prime number or other greater than 17. It began a few posts ago: A kernel of truth in a bushel of vicious nonsense with thinking about urbanity.

Northrop Frye Inc.:   Haggister or Magpie: A common bird of the family Corvidæ (which includes the genus Corvus/crow), having a long pointed tail and black-and-white plumage; known for noisy chatter, pilfering and hoarding.

"Hardy are Haggesses, but yet giuen to prate," (OED citation).

Any connection with a sheep's stomach I wonder?

Looked at:
    John Ayre, 'Northrop Frye: a biography', 1989
    Joseph Adamson, 'Northrop Frye : a visionary life', 1993
    Robert Denham (editor), 'The correspondence of Northrop Frye and Helen Kemp, 1932-1939', 1996
            Volume 1 1932-1935 0-8020-0772-4, Volume 2 1936-1939 0-8020-0773-2
    Robert Fulford, review of 'The Correspondence ... 1932-1939' in the Globe, February 12 1997
    Margaret Burgess (editor), 'A Glorious and Terrible Life with You: Selected Correspondence ...', 2007

['Looked at', 'consulted' even, but I don't want you to get the wrong idea and go thinking that I actually 'read' any of them.]

When I saw "possible to dispense here with all but the most rudimentary scholarly apparatus" in Burgess' Preface ... "Well," I thought, "Let's throw the baby out with the bath then and go the whole-hog Gonzo shebang!" Where her title 'A Glorious and Terrible Life With You' comes from I don't know; though along with Robert Fulford's 1997 review in the Globe and John Ayre's inane & pretentious prose, it was a primary bit of the yin machinery that led to this post.

[Yes, it was terrible. Maybe it always is. Why, having the temerity to put it into the title, does she let it drop?]

That said, they are all and each of them orders of magnitude more knowledgeable and competent than I - Ayre in particular providing several essential clues though his prose is like sawdust pretentiously pretending to be feathers). My only claim is that reading Frye (in the accidentally eloquent words of those purveyors of the mediocre & superficial, viz. The Beatles) 'got me through the night' more than several times in the 80s when things were difficult (having been turned away from him by my friend Keith in the halcyon hippie days when he might have done me some real good).

Alton Wilson & Anetta Morley, 1931.Smiling into the face of the 'dirty thirties' ... of course that will be nothing beside what they will call the 2030's when the shit really begins to hit the fan.

Before a photograph can be printed in a printing press it must be 'screened' - that is divided up into quase pixels; and by the time you scan these already-screened images and re-publish them on the Internet they begin to dramatically lose ... resolution.

And that is as it should be (it seems to me).

Was it Herman Hesse who wrote about 'the price of admission' being your mind? ... Anyway ... Not an original thought. Civilization then, and the price of admission is your mind.

"Now religion and art are the two most important phenomena in the world; or rather the most important phenomenon, for they are basically the same thing. They constitute, in fact, the only reality of existence." So he wrote in an early letter to his Helen.

Urban academic arrogance that just don't know sheeeit!

Very comparable stuff from George Lakoff in 'Metaphors We Live By' 1980. If the mythopœic bible is U-shaped from Genesis through travaile and fear to Revelations, then this cognitive schema is just some other kind of arc: -shaped: up through (temporary & contingent) quase-scientific enlightenment and then down to the wall (I would say). Either way about the same.

Helen Kemp, 1934.
Northrop Frye, 1933.
Tarot #6 'The Lovers'.[1932:] In a magazine profile, Frye quipped, "It wasn't love at first sight, but it was a very effortless operation." It took about another year before they were commonly identified as "steady."

[1936:] Frye quickly advises her to see a doctor when she returns to Toronto from Gordon Bay, adding that she shouldn't "jump to conclusions quite so quickly this time—I've been away two weeks, remember." Kemp writes again from Gordon Bay with the news that she "may have to have some kind of treatment" for she seems "to have missed a month," and the subsequent letters confirm what they both suspect—that Kemp is pregnant, apparently for the second time. "I keep telling myself," Frye says in his next letter, "that I can't have caused it both times, that there must be something else the matter, but that doesn't work." On 27 August, Kemp, having gone back to Toronto with her mother, sends Frye the news that she has had an abortion, performed by a doctor who has learned a new method in Germany. Abortion was illegal at the time, but Kemp's mother, working through a nurse who was "very competent, experienced and sympathetic," is able to make the necessary arrangements.

Everything's over but the shouting — the curse started in last night. I'm still in bed and feel the odd pain here and there. The nurse was in this morning and says the doctor uses a new method that no one else in Toronto knows about. He learned it in Germany two years ago. He uses no instruments and it's absolutely safe, so there's nothing to worry about.

[Nothing to worry about!? Right.]
Helen Kemp & Northrop Frye, 1937.

[1940:] And Helen, rationalizations notwithstanding, never really came to terms with the situation. Her barrenness later became a festering psychological wound.

[He uses no instruments and it's absolutely safe!? And this is her own MOTHER sellin' her this horsecock! Her mother, who don't know shit from shinola.]

[1957:] Because doctors discovered fibroids in Helen's uterus, she was hospitalized for a hysterectomy in mid-September.

Northrop Frye, 1959.[1979:] Helen had been suffering from enough anxiety and insomnia the past couple of years that she had started to see a psychiatrist. Her anxieties continued to increase, however, and she began to display resentments and hostility at home. While some of this could be tied to an accumulation of lonely years with a man who worked so hard under tremendous pressure, her moods became more irrational. ['Tied'?]

[1986:] When Helen came off the five-hour flight from Sydney, however, she collapsed and had to be rushed to the hospital. She'd earlier noticed shortness of breath and her collapse proved to be the result of an embolism in the lungs. It appears that when older passengers, particularly overweight smokers, are unable to move around and get the circulatory system moving on long transoceanic flights, blood clots in the legs can break away and get trapped in the lungs where they can kill. ['Appears'?]

[1987:] In midsummer, though, they decided quite suddenly to throw caution aside. With just five days between decision and ceremony, it was the nearest thing to an elopement.

Letter from Dad, December 1980.My father (on the other hand) chased my laughing mother round the house 'til she was taken away to Whitby with the Alz'. I have reproduced this letter of his from that epoch, and six months later he died of a broken heart (I surmise).

A golden moment:   Entwined with two friendly whores: Mariá (with the accent on the final syll-able as indicated) and Monek (a rendition of Monique that she used). There was a tiny bit of white paper stuck to Maria's clitoris. "Just look! She has a price!" and we all laughed for a long time. And now, today, long after the money ran out, we are still friends.

I remember Dad one day saying to me, "Hello sunshine.":   'You Are My Sunshine' was a hit on the radio at the time. It might have been the original by Jimmie Davis but that was in 1940 and my memory can't be earlier than sometime after 1950. Things moved more slowly then. Wikipedia fails to list covers. Oh well, something like that. Doris Day maybe. I crossed the park to and from elementry school singing it at the top of my lungs.

It feels like yesterday that I finally understood the whole story for the first time. "When I awoke dear, I was mistaken, and I hung my head and cried." Hard to believe I didn't get it at the time. Just a kid. Everybody wants it both ways ... but you simply can't.

One day I decided to go home for lunch. Wasn't supposed to. Had a packed lunch in a bag. Grade two maybe. When I got there she was dressed up and going out somewhere and angry with me for being in the way. Sent me back to school but by then the allotted time had passed so I threw the bag in the bin and had none.

Aesop: Fox & sour grapes.

My daughter thinks I'm a misogynist - and it's a tribute to what's between us that I know it. I'm not one but you can get trapped in explanations; and yes, it's complicated, subtle; bears on the 'a' in temperament (which makes it into a kind of blended colour).

Sour grapes:   Where the challenge of creating order is gradually replaced with the challenge of accepting chaos.

It's sour grapes gentle reader, and nothing more. I was alive (even briefly 'attended' Rochdale College) when Northrop Frye, Donald Coxeter, and Marshall McLuhan were all at the University of Toronto. I might have stayed, met them. Who knows? I got a few aces in my results at an eminent Toronto high school, I might have started there. Instead they moved my father to Montreal midstream and there it was, gone. That, getting mumps at nineteen, and two days unconscious with a fractured skull in ... [wait, it will come to me - sure enough, several weeks later up floats 'Valleyfield'] ... following a highway accident might have been enough.

Really this is all about my father. He taught me to read at least one newspaper every day and especially liked the comics. He had a grade five education and as can be seen in the letter he indulged disingenuous bourgeois euphemisms to the max; lied about his children (we all turned our backs on him). But (at least) he never accepted (graciously declining) the worst nonsense. He was urban but brought up on an (almost) farm and later in the (almost) country. I have a picture of him with the takings of a trap line that he ran on the Montreal mountain in the 20s.

Somewhere I wrote a poem about his wilderness heart. ... If and when I can find it I will slide it in here to close this (silly) thing off.
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Thursday, August 21, 2014

It's enough to turn someone cynical.

(Victory Gin and feet of clay.)
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Be There Or Be Square!
People's Climate March: September 21 2014 NYC.
The People's Climate March website is replete with good information. 350 Toronto are coordinating bus transportation from Toronto and lodging in NYC. Please give them your support in this important work.

Nick Anderson: Robin Williams.
Take #1:

Ballard Street: Nice Day.What horrible thing was going on in Gaza in 2011? Can't remember? Neither can I ... but we all know whatever it was goin' on was horrible, right?

So, sometime late in 2010 Ana Carbajosa (by her name she might be a Brazilian woman and as any readers of this blog know by now I have a soft spot for Brazil) manages to interview some Gazan youth who have published a manifesto which begins: "Fuck Hamas. Fuck Israel. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA! And the story is published in The Guardian in January, 2011.

Those who do not agree wholeheartedly with these young people will at least understand them. Eh? Y'know, in a see-where-they're-coming-from kind'a way, eh?

Four years+ later,in July just passed, we get this from Kalle Lasn of Adbuster fame: Fuck Hamas. Fuck Israel. The Gaza Youth Breaks Out Manifesto (sic).

What's the problem?

Oh ... nothin'.

Alberto Benett: Kraken.

The manifesto itself requires careful reading. There appear to be embedded fnords. It doesn't quite stand up to rigorous washing. Even so, my second or third thought after that careful reading is a huge interior


Nevermind The (fricken') Guardian. What else can they do but sell out to the likes of AngloAmerican?

Eventually I get around to asking what Kalle Lasn is really up to and the answer comes back apostasy: He's busy selling magazine subscriptions.

You may notice that most of these cartoons are Brazilian too (except for a few from Amsterdam and one from Chattannooga):

Amarildo Lima: Palestine vs. Israel.
One day son, this will all be yours.

Fernando Balão: Retelling Job.Adão Iturrusgarai: Selfie.
So how's it going?         Great, but humans are fucking up your project.

Clay Bennett: David & Goliath.Joep Bertrams: Mobilizing the doves of peace.

One thing the Palestinians and Israelis agree on is watermelon. I saw this when I was there in the 70s. Yep, all of 'em do love watermelon.

Alberto Benett: Compaixão (my title).
Alberto Benett: Pax / Peace.
Steal, beat up, torture, kill, descriminate, segregate, mutilate, thrash, judge, humiliate, despise, exclude, demean, flay, break, destroy, crush, oppress, crush, massacre.
Only in this way will we, people of good will, make peace son.
Joep Bertrams: Mop Break.

Laerte: Fat old man among the sun and moon and stars.Berkeley Breathed. Bill The Cat.
Simon & Garfunkle's fighter who 'still remains'. "I am leaving. I am leaving." Trying to quit this logorrhœic horse shit ...

... not succeeding wise or otherwise.

Oh yeah. I know. I know. ...

But. (Take #2)

Let's try that again from the top:
Ballard Street: Nice Day.I don't go out much anymore but I was at a meeting of activists involved in the Enbridge STOP LINE-9 campaign. Not invited, an interloper. Really I went because it was a pleasant summer evening and the meeting was being held almost within walking distance from where I live and because I heard about it on a posting by the single individual in Toronto who doesn't turn her back when she sees me comin'.

I make a firm resolution not to speak but when the Fee & Dividend method of carbon taxation comes up I decide to try to point out the clear thinking of Jim Hansen on the issue: An Honest Effective Path, and more recently on his website at Columbia University.

Turns out that of the twenty or so people attending at least several have never heard of Jim Hansen before and are ready to publicly defend that ignorance; and of those who have heard of him at least one feels strongly enough about his endorsement of nuclear energy to vehemently reject anything and everything the man has to say.

I sit there smiling and shut the fuck up.

Just like this post eh? Trashing Kalle Lasn for a (really rather) minor editorial slip. And just like myself generally: When George Monbiot turns pro-nuclear a few years ago I am one of those who goes off ballistically ad hominem on 'im.

Almost don't even watch his 'The Pricing of Everything' speech earlier this year, and when I do ... I find myself having to eat post-prandial crow. :-)

Ballard Street: A legend in his own mind.Jaysus!   I sure hope I don't have to find some reason to begin liking Bill 'a-legend-in-his-own-mind' McKibben!

I have been looking at Daniel - especially chapter two and 'feet of clay' - but I find these scriptural myths take a very long time to soak in since I gave up on certain underpinning beliefs. So ... maybe someone out there can give me the Robert Bly 'Iron John' take on all this please? I would sure appreciate it.

Since it seems to me to bear on the question of why the fricken' Environmental Movement generally ain't movin' (despite small pockets like the STOP LINE-9 group whose meeting I recently attended who definitely are).

[I do admire Bill McKibben up to a point. I went all the way to Washington (by bus!) to stand with him in 2011 and get arrested. I just wish he would stop insisting that he wrote the first book when he didn't; and I wish there were someone close helping him through the dead-end ditches he seems to love to get down into.]


They all just think I'm a nutbar off 'is meds!

Yep. That could be it.
And I'm not even on meds ('cept the Allopurinol for gout).
Benett: Porta/Door.Nothing to be said then, is there? Nothing to be done. Costica Bradatan's Mauer im Kopf is about the Berlin wall. We have all seen images of the eloquent curves and windings of the Israeli wall. Some of us in Toronto remember the G20 fence.

How about the wall at the edge of Frye's mythopœia? At the edge of Lakoff's seamless cognitive concepts? What's on the other side? Scary stuff. Liable to put the good burghers off talkin' 'bout shit like that.

I go along to the picnic and (mistakenly, like a fool) sing Anita's song; no idea what it sounds like - no one says anything (which is a clue you can't run from). There is a bought-and-paid-for musician there the whole time; I should know better. I try to explain but that's just another mistake.

Oh well. Don't read. Don't listen. Don't ask. Don't reflect. Don't speak.

And especially, whatever you do, don't ever tell a nutbar what you really think - it might be useful to 'em.
Anyway ... this started out about Gaza & environs. Here're a few words from Gwynne Dyer for a finale. And later on another few. Not the last words by any means. Cynics have feelings too. So do crazy old men with broken teeth, stranded without love.

It's all good.
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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bakken Kraaken Lac Mégantic et cetera.

Updated: October 16 2014 to include derailment and fire at Clair, Saskatchewan.
Updated: February 21 2015 to include Gogama, Ontarion & Boomer, West Virginia.
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People's Climate March: September 21 2014 NYC.
The People's Climate March website is replete with good information. 350 Toronto are coordinating bus transportation from Toronto and lodging in NYC. Please give them your support in this important work.

Brian Gable: Train Bomb.
Are they moving this oil because their fellow citizens will be cold without fuel oil? Or will have to walk to the store? No.

They are moving this oil for EXPORT. Dig it!

These are TRAIN BOMBS, nothing less. A cell of Al Quaeda operatives couldn't do better.

And of course these people (these entrepreneurs and adherents, both men and women y'unnerstan') are increasingly DESPERATE because their pipeline plans are being frustrated.

Desperate for what? (One may well ask.)

Lac Mégantic, Québec - Saturday July 6 2013:
Saturday July 6 2013: Lac Mégantic, Québec.Saturday July 6 2013: Lac Mégantic, Québec.Saturday July 6 2013: Lac Mégantic, Québec.
A runaway train of 72 tank cars loaded with a volatile crude oil crashed and exploded in the centre of Lac-Megantic, Que., killing 47 people and destroying half the downtown area. The train, owned by Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, was unmanned at the time.

Gainford, Alberta - Saturday October 19 2013:
Saturday October 19 2013: Gainford, Alberta.Saturday October 19 2013: Gainford, Alberta.Saturday October 19 2013: Gainford, Alberta.
Thirteen CN tanker cars - four laden with petroleum crude oil and nine carrying liquefied petroleum gas - came off the rails just after midnight in the hamlet of Gainford, about 80 kms west of Edmonton. At least two explosions and a massive fire followed. No injuries.

Aliceville, Alabama - Friday November 8 2013:
Friday November 8 2013: Aliceville, Alabama.Friday November 8 2013: Aliceville, Alabama.Sunday November 10 2013: Aliceville, Alabama.
Thirty (of ninety) cars of a crude oil train on the Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway - one of the 45 former RailAmerica lines Genesee bought for $1.4 billion - derailed and exploded in western Alabama. Some dozen of the cars went up in flames that only finally died down by Sunday in the most dramatic U.S. accident since the oil-by-rail boom began. No one was injured or killed but the isolated wetland area is drenched in crude oil.

Casselton, North Dakota - Monday December 30 2013:
Monday December 30 2013: Casselton, North Dakota.Monday December 30 2013: Casselton, North Dakota.Monday December 30 2013: Casselton, North Dakota.Monday December 30 2013: Casselton, North Dakota.
A westbound BNSF (Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway) Railway train carrying grain derailed first Monday afternoon, possibly due to a broken axle, and a portion of it fell onto an adjacent track carrying the eastbound BNSF oil train. Eighteen cars on the 106-car oil train derailed half a mile from the centre of town and several burned. No one was hurt, but many of the 2,400 residents in nearby Casselton temporarily evacuated due to potentially unsafe air.

Wapske (near Plaster Rock), New Brunswick - Tuesday January 7 2014:
Tuesday January 7 2014: Wapske (near Plaster Rock) New Brunswick.Tuesday January 7 2014: Wapske (near Plaster Rock) New Brunswick.
17 cars of a 122-car train derailed and caused a huge fireball near Plaster Rock. The petroleum products originated in Western Canada and were destined for the Irving Oil Refinery in St. John, because in the wake of the Lac Megantic derailment the MM&A line through Lac Megantic can no longer be used to transport dangerous goods. As a result, Irving Oil uses the CN line from Montreal through Quebec City that crosses over the bridge to the South shore through Rimouski and Matane and then through Plaster Rock to St. John. Nobody was injured during the blaze but about 150 people were evacuated.

Lynchburg, Virginia - Wednesday April 30 2014:
Wednesday April 30 2014: Lynchburg, Virginia.Wednesday April 30 2014: Lynchburg, Virginia.Wednesday April 30 2014: Lynchburg, Virginia.
CSX derailment: 15 tankers carrying crude oil derail and catch fire in Lynchburg, Virginia, striking fears of water contamination in the local area and beyond.

LaSalle, Colorado - Friday May 9 2014:   A DUD!
Friday May 9 2014: LaSalle, Colorado.Friday May 9 2014: LaSalle, Colorado.Friday May 9 2014: LaSalle, Colorado.
Six of 100 cars in a Union Pacific crude oil train derailed west of LaSalle, about 45 miles north of Denver. The spill was contained to a ditch and didn't reach the nearby South Platte River.

Clair, Saskatchewan - Tuesday October 7 2014:   RIGHT ON SCHEDULE!
Tuesday October 7 2014: Clair, Saskatchewan.Tuesday October 7 2014: Clair, Saskatchewan.Tuesday October 7 2014: Clair, Saskatchewan.
Canadian National Railway (CNR): 26 cars of a 100-car mixed-freight train derailed Tuesday about 190 kilometres east of Saskatoon and about a kilometre away from the centre of Clair, Saskatchewan. Several 111-style tank cars carrying petroleum products ruptured and caught fire. The town (population 50) and surrounding farms were evacuated. CN spokesman Jim Feeny claims that “We are required to operate them [111-style cars]. We have no choice in that matter.” Was Stephen Harper himself there holding a gun to Jim Feeny's head then I wonder? I guess so.

Gogama Ontario - Saturday February 14 2015:
Saturday February 14 2015: Gogama Ontario.

Boomer, West Virginia - Monday February 16 2015:
Monday February 16 2015: Boomer, West Virginia.Monday February 16 2015: Boomer, West Virginia.Monday February 16 2015: Boomer, West Virginia.Monday February 16 2015: Boomer, West Virginia.

In any event, the central issue is not the safety of the cars but the safety of assisting in the consumption of petroleum fuels which may be the death of our species.

Basically once every couple'a months they blow the fuck out of a bit of real estate; and if you are unlucky a bunch of people die. We could call it Train Bomb Roulette then eh?

And the volume shipped is increasing dramatically: In the US crude shipments went from 9,500 carloads in 2008 to more than 400,000 in 2013 (more than doubled every year); in Canada 144 carloads were shipped in 2009, 53,000 in 2012, and 128,000 in 2013 (about three orders of magnitude increase, 1,000 times, in four years).

An interesting prespective: Grain Piles Up, Waiting for a Ride, as Trains Move North Dakota Oil.

And those above are just the train bombs that detonated. The list of (simple?) derailments is much much longer - once or twice a week - and any one of the derailments could be as awful as Lac Mégantic just by changing one or two arbitrary factors (say, a minute earlier or later and a spark).

[This list is a work in progress. ... ]

May 21, 2013: Five cars on a CPR train derailed near the village of Jansen in southeastern Saskatchewan and one of them spilled more than 91,000 litres of oil. There were no injuries.

May 23, 2013: Police in the southern Alberta community of Okotoks had to respond to an unusual call when a runaway train car rumbled through town. They said the wayward train car was empty and eventually stopped when it bounced off the tracks. No one was injured.

June 27, 2013: Seven cars derailed as a bridge over the flood-swollen Bow River in Calgary collapsed as a CPR train tried to cross it. Five cars carried petroleum products, one was filled with ethylene glycol and one was empty. No spills or injuries were reported but Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi demanded answers.

July 8, 2013: An ammonia leak from a train caused the evacuation of roughly one-quarter of the population of the small northern Ontario town of Gogoma. No one was injured.

July 27, 2013: A CPR locomotive and seven tanker cars carrying oil left the tracks in Lloydminister, which straddles the Alberta-Saskatchewan boundary. Some diesel spilled from the locomotive and was contained. RCMP said nothing spilled from the cars, no one was injured and no evacuations were necessary.

September 11, 2013: Eight cars of a Canadian Pacific Railway train carrying a diluting agent used in oil pipelines derailed at a rail yard in southeast Calgary. There were no injuries and no leaks from the cars, which were left lying on their sides. More than 140 homes were evacuated briefly.

September 25, 2013: Seventeen CN rail cars, some carrying flammable petroleum, ethanol and chemicals, came off the tracks near the village of Landis, in western Saskatchewan, in the middle of the night. A nearby school was closed as hazardous material crews cleaned up spilled oil. No one was injured.

October 7, 2013: Four empty tanker cars that had been used to carry jet fuel went off the track in Brampton, Ont. A CN employee suffered minor injuries and the derailment caused commuter delays for GO Train travellers.

October 17, 2013: Residents in the northwestern Alberta town of Sexsmith were forced from their homes after four CN rail cars carrying anhydrous ammonia left the rails. The cars remained upright and there were no leaks.

January 2014:
        07 Plaster Rock, NB - KABOOM!
        20 Philadelphia, PA
        26 Edmundston, NB
        28 Molino, FL
        31 New Augusta, MS
February 2014:
        06 Sedalia, CO
        11 South Shore, KY
        11 Jacksonville, FL
        13 Vandergrift, PA
        19 West Jordan, UT
        20 Westford, MA
        22 Covington, KY
        23 St-Henri, QC
        27 Great Falls, MT
        28 Selkirk, NY
March 2014:
        11 Mortlach, SK
        14 Clifton, AZ
        20 White Pigeon, MI
        21 Proctor, MN
April 2014:
        07 Glens Falls, NY
        09 Philadelphia, PA
        12 Slateford, PA
        14 Nairn, ON
        30 Lynchburg, VA - KABOOM!
May 2014:
        08 Estevan, SK
        09 LaSalle, CO
        12 Albany, NY
        23 Fort Frances, ON
        31 Tulsa, OK
June 2014:
        07 McKeesport, PA
        09 Pictou County, NS
        16 Tuscaloosa, AL
        20 Winnipeg, MB
        22 Blytheville, AR
        23 Phoenix, AZ
        23 Navasota, TX
July 2014:
        01 McKeesport, PA
        02 Sewickley, PA
        03 Superior, MT
        04 Whitecourt, AB
        10 Brockville, ON
        13 Three Hills, AB
        16 Mortlach, SK
        17 Everett, WA
        18 El Paso, TX
        20 Slinger, WI

Sources: See Wikipedia for a List of rail accidents (2010–present) and here and here and

Cuba (again, again, again, again):
Brian Gable: The Oil-Cuba connection.
The question is not, "Why ship to such a faraway totalitarian communist regime when there is one much closer to hand?"

Neither is it, "Oh look! Aren't Stephen Harper and his cronys a bunch of greed-head hypocrites?"


The question is:

"Why are we not emulating and repeating the successful experiment which was run in Cuba several decades ago to see what happens when you just turn off the oil?"

WTF Is Wrong With You People?

Kraken.Kraken.On a lighter note there is of course no connection between Kraaken & Bakken beyond alliteration. Ho hum. Kraaken is a mythical sea monster Hafgufa (sea mist) from 14th century Iceland & Scandinavia (see Wikipedia); and Henry Bakken was a North Dakota farmer in the 1950s (see Wikipedia).

More tenuously (stretching and reaching but not grasping) Tennyson gives us "Far, far beneath the abysmal sea ... the Kraken sleepeth," which might divert us into Tolkein's trilogy (is his Watcher in the Water a Kraaken?), even A.S. Byatt's Ragnarök and the sea snake Jörmungandr.

"Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean - roll!" is Byron; but what I remember is Ivy Richards, a white-haired old lady who taught us English in high school - she would recite certain passages in her wonderful voice, and this was one of those certain pasages. "Like a drop of rain, he sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan." [Man that is, humankind.]

We might also consider the Leviathan of Job and Isaiah and go from there to Captain Ahab's nemesis, the great white whale. In his single-minded arrogance Ahab easily conjures up our Captains of Industry driving their train bombs, spewing neonicotinoids &c. (and may they suffer similar fates). "Will he [Leviathan] make a covenant with thee?" asks God, and we all know he won't (though we go right on calling Earth our Mother).

 :-)None of these figure anywhere (that I know of) as 'one-eyed trouser snakes' so we can transcend both God and feminist correctitude in a single imaginative leap.
Be well gentle reader.
[Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.]
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