By Jeffrey the Barak. Let’s say you are hanging out near Hilo on the big island of Hawai’i and wondering what was going on in the neighborhood, oh let’s say, 82 million years ago. Well if you had a time machine and went back 82 million years or so, you might find yourself in a…… Continue reading That Hawai’ian trip, 82 million years ago
By Jeffrey the Barak. Time is a cruel bedfellow. It never goes backwards and we can only lose it. As it goes on, we get older and older, and eventually die. And yet how we love it so. We have defined it, reinvented it, measured it and subdivided it. I myself feel a great warmth…… Continue reading A Passion for Time
By Jeffrey the Barak. The Anti-Theist Anti-Theists don’t just look away from religion and beliefs, they stand up and speak out about how such beliefs are false and wrong. They feel strongly enough about it to be impolite or confrontational, not out of hatred or intolerance, but out of the desire for truth and logic…… Continue reading The Various Types Of Non-Believers
By Jeffrey the Barak. All writing is important, as are all subjects. One magazine or blog cannot solve the problems of the world. This is why the-vu expounds on subjects as diverse as drums, cars, scooters, abandoned highways and many other topics of specialized interest. Obviously, while we do this, there are criminals in charge…… Continue reading Unimportant Subject Matter?
By Jeffrey the Barak. Most Westerners live in one of two types of house. Either it is masonry, solid, strong, but not much good in an earthquake, or they are in a wood-frame cage with the gaps filled in with drywall and stucco. High rise dwellers may instead be in a steel cage with concrete…… Continue reading Are we building the wrong way?
By Jeffrey the Barak. __ I used to be Hawai’i I am the Detroit Tablemount. I am two and a half thousand meters under the sea. To my East is the West, Attu Island, the edge of the USA. To my North is the East. Ostrov Mednyy, the edge of Russia I used to be…… Continue reading I used to be Hawai’i
By Jeffrey the Barak. When a city or a state runs out of money, it takes longer for potholes to be fixed in the roadway. It takes even longer for sidewalks to be repaired, despite their upheaval due to short-sighted tree planting decades ago. But far behind on the priorities, are the service alleys. Behind…… Continue reading The alleys turn to dust
By Jeffrey the Barak. As usual, I spent a few minutes today playing with my trusty vacuum cleaner and also a Swiffer duster. And as usual, the vacuum and the duster each had plenty of dust to pick up. Sometimes I cannot see dust without putting on my eyeglasses, but that’s another problem altogether. So…… Continue reading What is in that dust?
By Jeffrey the Barak. Have you ever seen a time zone map? Its a rectangular projection of our globe, like most maps, where small distances at the poles are stretched for thousands of miles and large distances at the equator look tiny by comparison. But my preference for globes is not the focus of this…… Continue reading One time everywhere in the world
By Jeffrey the Barak. The State of Hawai’i is the only place in the United States in which you can lose your shadow, outside, in the middle of the day. when there are no clouds. In Hawai’i this is known as Lahaina Noon and it happens twice a year, but on different dates, depending where…… Continue reading Lahaina Noon in Hawai’i
I wonder if we will call this coming year twenty-ten or the more cumbersome two thousand and ten. I think we should have called 2001 twenty-o-one, just like they did in nineteen-o-one and eighteen-o-one. Personally I will from this day make that change, and no longer refer to twenty-o-four, as two-thousand and four. And what…… Continue reading End of the Uh-Oh’s
By Jeffrey the Barak. At times, we wander the galleries and see pieces of art that look as if they could hurt someone, or kill someone, but in a way this has actually happened. I refer to a place commonly known as Easter Island. This is its modern name, given to the place by Christian…… Continue reading How Art Almost Killed An Entire People
By Jeffrey the Barak. Geologists would say that the Los Angeles Basin is like a huge bowl of sand The geologic center for the Los Angeles Basin is the place where the Los Angeles River and the river known as Rio Hondo merge in South Gate. At this central point, sand, silt, clay and other…… Continue reading Los Angeles, what are we standing on?
By Jeffrey the Barak. Nomadic tribes move independently of each other and occasionally come together to interact through trade, war, sport, cultural exchange, intermarriage, murder etc. In the dense jungles of South America and Africa and Asia, the boundaries formed by geographical features such as ridges and valleys are all it takes to keep two…… Continue reading The hazards of imagining countries
Just a reminder that even though we all love our hours, minutes, seconds, months, weeks and centuries, none of them are real. One year is real, but it does not necessarily start on January 1st. It’s just one whole orbit around the sun. One day is real, but it does not necessarily start at midnight.…… Continue reading Before you celebrate new year….
By Jeffrey the Barak How would you like to spread Napalm on your face while releasing questionable propellants into the ozone layer, and then put a stack of eternal plastic into a landfill? Doesn’t sound like something you’d want to do does it? And yet if you use aerosol shaving gel, it contains the very…… Continue reading The Green Shave
By Jeffrey the Barak Nake Islet, part of Millenium Island, formerly known as Caroline Island, now in the Republic of Kiribati, is the closest point of land I could find after moving the Google Earth globe around to a spot that showed the least land. The only significant continental land visible at the edges of this hemisphere…… Continue reading The least continental place
By Jeffrey the Barak New things are better than old things and new gadgets are better than old gadgets, right? Wrong! Sometimes the impetus for tools and gadgets to evolve is not to make them better, it’s to change the marketplace to receive more expensive goods. There is no better example of this than the…… Continue reading Shaving – The Old Fashioned Way
By Jeffrey the Barak Far from the million dollar science grants and laboratories of Pasadena, and Los Alamos, in a village in Romania, and in the kitchen of a most unattractive apartment building, Gnelj stumbled across the secret of gravity control. Impossible you say? Isn’t the attraction of mass as inevitable as a slowing satellite…… Continue reading We Don’t Need No Steenkin’ Gravity