From the New York Times website:
More than a quarter of the country’s 2.4 million bee colonies have been lost — tens of billions of bees, according to an estimate from the Apiary Inspectors of America, a national group that tracks beekeeping. So far, no one can say what is causing the bees to become disoriented and fail to return to their hives.
As with any great mystery, a number of theories have been posed, and many seem to researchers to be more science fiction than science. People have blamed genetically modified crops, cellular phone towers and high-voltage transmission lines for the disappearances. Or was it a secret plot by Russia or Osama bin Laden to bring down American agriculture? Or, as some blogs have asserted, the rapture of the bees, in which God recalled them to heaven? Researchers have heard it all.
The rapture of the bees is just too cute! Maybe that's what's happening to all those extinct animals that environmentalists would have us believe are our fault! It's not oil, it's the Rapture, stupid! Bald Eagles? Rapture. Gorrillas? Rapture. Dodo? Rapture.
It all makes sense now! Phew. And here I was, worrying about my Eco-Footprint. Time to go rapture a cow for dinner.
I'm so excited! The Twitch is doing a South Island quick tour in early May (Chch, Dundas, Qtown) and I get to go with them (I'm such a groupie) - mainly cos I happen to know Fleur Jack, their lead singer, and she was saying to me about costs and stuff, so I offered them the use of my car and a free bed or 4 in Chch.
Check out the Twitch on www.myspace.com/thetwitchnz
I'm really looking forward to it. Should be a neat experience, I don't know anyone else who has been on tour with a band!
Plus, Fleur is hot. But spoken for.
Anyone know anyone in Qtown with a large lounge we could camp in for one night?
ANZAC Day is full of mixed emotions. On the one hand I think it's really good to make people focus and learn about history. On the other hand I think it's pointless to get up at 5 in the morning to remember people who would be dead now, anyway (if you were born in 1918 you'd be 89 now) and whose spirits have long moved on into other lifeforms. If they don't know I'm there, does anybody care?
Do we have dawn services for ourselves, rather than for the lost soldiers? I think so. We like to look around at other cold people in the dark and tell ourselves - these are the good people. No bad person would come to a dawn parade. Bad people like to sleep in. And so the assembled crowd of good people mumble their frozen lips over the unfamiliar words of "God Save The Ruling Monarch" and more confidently "God Defend New Zealand" which seems so deeply ironic: God almighty, as we gather here today to commerorate the millions of your supposedly adored chldren slaughtered in wars between Christian nations, we ask ourselves; where the f*ck were you?! Asleep? Blinking? Watching a more interesting planet?
I chose to commemorate those brave/resigned/forced young men this year by having a drink and reading a book on boy soldiers in the Allied forces. It's probably what they would have wanted.
Today being rather lovely I went to the beach twice with Sock for nice long rambles. I have got into the habit of picking up plastic trash while I'm walking - it makes the walk more interesting for us both, and since I'm walking along with plastic bags anyway, it just makes sense. It feels good too, we picked up 6 shopping-bags full today, which is just a teency fraction I know, but it's still better than leaving the problem there.
So many people seem not to understand how insidious that plastic junk is. It's death incarnate for the marine eco system, because not only does it trap and drown mammals like dolphins, it gets mistaken for food by fish, turtles and mammals. Once they eat it, they often die from intestinal constiction, and then as their bodies rot the plastic bag comes free and floats off to repeat the cycle. The Sydney Aquarium reckoned about 10 animals can die from one plastic bag before the bag degrades.
The other thing that happens, if they don't die immediately, is that marine birds eat fish that have plastic in their stomachs. Then the bird dies, or (even sadder) it feeds the fish to its chicks and the chicks' stomachs fill up with plastic bits that can't be passed by their systems and they starve to death... with full stomachs.
And if you can stomach that and still walk past plastic on the beach, perhaps you should check to see if you remembered to turn on your humanity this morning. People are the cause of the problem and it's only us that has the opposable thumbs to fix it!
It's also incredibly dangerous to human swimmers to have plastic in the water, because it becomes so heavy. I got tangled in a sheet of plastic that must have blown off the wharf in Wellington. I was about 50 metres (if that!) off shore in Oriental Bay, and I almost drowned. If I hadn't been so paranoid and taken a diving knife with me, I probably *would* have drowned.
There's snow on the Alps, which is hauntingly pretty, because the snow stands out and the lower slopes of the mountain melt into the blues of the sky so it just looks like the peaks are floating in a purple haze over the plains.
Today on the beach I found a lot of plastic bags and blue strapping (which went in the bin) and a large, hand-size piece of natural sponge, which is really cool and so is lying on the windowsill. Maybe later I will try it in the shower.
I am reading a book of quotes. Favourites so far:
Everything is possible except biting your own nose - Netherlands
Beware of the door that has several keys - India
Justice becomes injustice when it makes two wounds on a head that only deserves one - Republic of Congo
Of all of the thirty-six alternatives, running away is the best - China
A father is a banker provided by nature - France
Most... christian... household... ever! It's causing me to think in ellipses.
Thus far I have:
I need a backing theme song and a laugh track to make my sit-com hilarity complete!
I'm so pagan, I'm so pagan, how 'bout you? How 'bout you? Well not really pagan, more just really pissed off, yes I am, yes I am...
I admit that it is making me start thinking about reading the ostentatiously 'left-lying-around' leaflets regarding the 'truth' about the occult and psychic readings, just because to know thine opponent is to be able to freak them out. I'm getting pretty good at doing cold readings of people and getting them to believe I have eeeeerie powers just from glancing around their living rooms.
I shouldn't stir. I remember what it was like to be a christian and have to maintain the patently absurd in the face of obvious evidence to the contrary.
I have an actual bed, it's so cool and soft! And distinctly less poky than the stretcher bed, and much less hard on the back than the pull-out couch with the foam squabs that tended to seperate gradually during the night and leave me on the rather hard concrete floor.
On the bright side, I *can* sleep on just about any surface now. My bones have changed shape. The heavy drugs probably help also.
Oooh! And the floor has carpet and doesn't smell like a mix of engine oil and housepaint! Ahhh. Luxury is...
I think I'm in love with the Aircard tcom sold me. *shudder* After that thing with the ADSL I swore not to fall for another technology, they only break your heart! But Aircard is so sexy and mysterious...
You know, I always move flat chaotically and at breakneck speed:
I moved out of home at 17 by announcing I was moving out the next day...
I moved out of the squat in around two weeks...
I moved out of my next flat by making someone else do all the work...
I moved out of my next flat in little under a week...
Found a new place from the next flat in 3 days...
Moved out of the shitty flat I lived in and back up north in a bit under 2 weeks...
To get back down south, about ten days, although I only found the flat I'm in currently on day 9...
And now again, I've found a new flat within 3 days of deciding to move on.
I'd love to claim efficiency but it's really just that I usually feel rather at breaking point when I leave a place and desperate enough to grab anything in my price-range just for the sake of continuity!
I'm moving into a sit-com in some ways:
A vegetarian/vegan (with a dog) living in a immobile housebus
A committed Christian (with a dog) who is also the landlord
A guy employed at the meat-works (with a dog) who the landlord hardly sees
And me, a cynical agnostic (with a dog) who will finally have a real bed to sleep on after, um, how many flats did I say I'd lived in?
Suggestions on show titles? The Original QuadCouple is gone, I'm afraid, and so is Animal House :)
Today my painting group went to Lyttleton to sketch, paint, etc. for end of term. It was awesome - the house is on top of a hill, surrounded by Reserve land and so has a great view and no close neighbours. The best view, however, was definitely close up.
It was a spider of some sort. Not a whitetail, just a garden spider of some kind. A young kowhai tree pressed up against the window and the spider had used the tender plant to sew together a silken nursery.
She'd stocked the waterproof, climate-controlled balloon with a caterpillar for the developing brood to feast on. She stayed in perfect position over the silk for an hour and a half while I drew her (her body not counting legs was about as long as the top joint of your thumb - enormous!) and protected her babies from the light rain - and then the sun came out, and she conscienciously moved her brown and black body to the sunward side of the nursery bubble, to shelter them from becoming too hot...
Far out it was cool to watch. Go mama spider!
Also today I signed up for a weaving course, traditional Maori weaving from an actual master weaver, she's a lady I met thru the sketching group.
Tomorrow I will have hungi for lunch, yes I will. Sooooooooo goooooood. Nothing tastes as good. Best. Food. Ever.
*** NEWSFLASH ***
I think I have found a place to live. It's not too far from here, in Parklands/North Brighton. It's got its upsides (the girl seemed relentless cheerful) and its downsides (the girl is relentlessly Christian) and its could-be-good-or-bad-sides (3 other dogs on the property, and 2 are *dogs* not *bitches*... but there is a good chance my flatmates will look after Sock when I'm away). 2 guys and 1 girl at the moment, I think, so I will even it up.
It's got to be warmer than this garage.
I hate moving. Stupid moving. I'm not even going to think about you until the landlord pulls down another wall.
(Seriously. The landlord has stripped all the cladding from my flatmate's bedroom. She's still got a month on her lease!)
*** RETURN TO NORMALFLASH***
What is the name for a thing that should be but is not? Today is Jo's 24th birthday, but she will never be 24. It's a birthday with no-one to wear it, like a marker for the unknown soldier.
You know, I'm surprised that no-one gets upset about people scattering ashes in the environment. Ever since we scattered Jo's ashes at Otaki beach I've been very conscious of the thought of other people doing the same at whatever beach I'm at - why doesn't it make the whole area tapu or something? I mean, we've diverted roads for taniwha.
It has certainly changed my feelings for the beach, and I'm hardly a spiritual type.
Me and my flatmate are not getting along. She won't even answer me when I say "Good morning" and she keeps leaving notes around. Example: I put in a half or three quarters load of washing (in cold water) and go outside. Come back in, and she has stopped the machine and left a note saying "Wait until there is a full load!!!"
Apparently, I can't even dry dishes correctly. Apparently sometimes the cutlery has 'water marks' on it. For fuck's sake, it's not silver!
So I am now officially looking for a new flat in Chch. If anyone has any friends down here who might be looking for a flatmate and don't mind having a trained service dog on the property, PLEASE let me know asap. I would just leave and live in my tent if the weather were just a bit warmer.
I hate living with people when I know they would rather I weren't there. It reminds me far too much of living with my parents when I was a teenager. Although at least as a teenager I was getting the accommodation for free!
Apart from that, everything is pretty quiet. Sock's paw is fully healed, can't say the same for my bank balance tho... sigh. Vets seem expensive because we're spoilt by the public health system.