The Watering Hole: June 15 — Planet Earth, Handle With Care

Now and then, I need a reminder that the political ugliness in this world is not the only thing of which we’re made, so I search out the beauty of this planet on the YouTubes.

This video is comprised of clips from the BBC series “Planet Earth,” and it helps restore my perspective, within the greater scheme of things.

My favorite part is…all of it.  In particular, I can’t help but notice the amazing and powerful effects of WATER in etching the wonderful and gorgeous features of our home.

A quote from one of my favorite movies sums it up…

Sayuri: My mother always said my sister, Satsu was like wood. As rooted to the earth as a sakura tree… But she told me I was like water… Water can carve its way through stone. And when trapped, water makes a new path.

I can relate.

This is our Friday open thread — What’s on your mind?


94 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: June 15 — Planet Earth, Handle With Care

  1. I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.

    John Burroughs

  2. “As individual animals we are not so special, and in some ways are like a planetary disease, but through civilisation we redeem ourselves and become a precious asset for the Earth; not least because through our eyes the Earth has seen herself in all her glory.”

    James Lovelock in “The Gaia Hypothesis” … the closest anyone has yet come to defining human worth and our species’ sole contribution (if that’s even the right word) to the universe.

    • But that flies in the face of human exceptionalism as created by ourselves. We created a god for ourselves and then granted it the power to make us unique, to have a ‘soul’, to go to a Valhalla of our choosing, to lord it over the other beings we share the world with….. lesser beings with no souls of their own.

      I find myself watching a dog, sleeping, dreaming of chasing something, a squirrel and stick thrown by me or barking it its sleep in joy? And I say, how can you say that such a creature has no soul…. and how then can we be so unique.

      The creation of god is the human race’s supreme conceit for itself.

      • Nicely stated TtT.
        What started out as a human attempt to explain the forces of the universe has been corrupted into an excuse for mankind to dismiss those same forces.

        • Douglas Adams, a supremely astute observer of the human condition sums up the Gaia hypothesis like this:

          “Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.

          Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.

          This planet has—or rather had—a problem, which was this: most of the people on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

          And so the problem remained; lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches.

          Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.

          And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, a girl sitting on her own in a small café in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything. “

        • God has served two purposes, both spurious:
          1) Granter of superiority to humans (males, first and foremost) over all else, and
          2) Explaining the unknown as in “There are some things we’re not meant by God to know.”

          I think God also invented money, but am not sure of the bible verse that ‘proves’ it. Mitt might know.

  3. “The West of which I speak is but another name for the Wild, and what I have been preparing to say is, that in Wildness is the preservation of the World. Every tree sends its fibers forth in search of the Wild. The cities import it at any price. Men plow and sail for it. From the forest and wilderness come the tonics and barks which brace mankind… ‘

    – Henry David Thoreau

  4. “The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls. ”
    ― John Muir

    • Ah yes, John Muir — a favorite! Here are a couple more of his “wisdoms”:

      “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
      Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
      The winds will blow their own freshness into you…
      while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

      “God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand straining, leveling tempests and floods; but he cannot save them from fools.”

      Interesting he credits God with something useful and significant. And not human, either.

      • I have always liked that first quote by Muir… seems particularly applicable to you these days, huh?

        I don’t remember the second wisdom, but it is oh so true… and it applies to the air and the waters just as well.

    • Thanks for posting this badmoodman. I was working at a company where Ace Bailey’s sister worked at the time of the tragedy. Although I didn’t work with her, or even know her by site, the whole company was shocked and saddened even more after learning of her loss.

    • I get this odd reaction from people I meet when I describe my lifestyle. They assume I’m retired, have a pension, and do the work I do just for fun.
      I smile and tell them I’ll work till I can’t any more, then quietly wander off into the woods where I’ll no longer be any trouble…
      Freedom isn’t free, it’s priceless.

      • I am so pleased to here of your exploits Raven. My wife and I were discussing the ‘meaning of life’ the other night and how we have been herded into the working 9 to 5 and hoping to retire someday mindset. You have wandered away from the herd and there seems to be no loss in joy and happiness in your life. Someday we want to join you in that freedom. Unfortunately, breaking the mold after so many years is not an easy thing to do. Meanwhile, I will continue to follow you at the Zoo.

        • thanks dycker…

          It’s an always interesting path, attempting to join in the flow of creation, and let the Universe decide where it wants me to be.
          Considerable sacrifice in terms of the usual creature comforts, tonight I’m stretching out in the back of the truck.
          I’m exploring the new terrain where I’ll now be working, I haven’t had a good grasp of how much actual area (square mileage) there was here in the coastal mountains. It’s very similar to the region I spent last winter up in Oregon, many miles of single lane paved roads up and over and through the forest.
          The trees are magnificent; great oaks, douglas fir, madrone and many more to learn. The redwoods are fun, the highway passes closely through them, and the drivers out here think they are in a road rally. Yikes.

          This whole unfolding of what appears to be an amazing grace has me in wonder and total attention. The folks at work have their own microcosm, some things are different, most are just the same; and I’ll do my best to join in and get some work done.

          Thanks for your interest and virtual support, it means something to me.
          Remember your dreams, the ones you first had when you were small:
          The things you wanted to do.

      • when it comes to contemplating alternatives to what makes up the ‘modern lifestyle’ – I married poorly.

  5. The work ethic of America has been perverted in the last 30 years. Actually, it has always been sort of perverted but the last 3 decades have done some serious damage. The worth of a human has been shifted more and more to a monetary definition. Liberal arts have been denigrated and diminished because they tend not to produce monetary profit on any real scale. It is evident in the slow death of arts programs in our schools.

    The main reason for this, I think, is these areas promote things like thinking, studying, learning and they downplay the drive for money. They also encourage community and cooperation where the money drive leans more to isolation and competition.

    • I’ve never been able to understand why Mozart died a pauper and Mitt Romney is “rich”. Stated another way, have never been able to figure out why a true artist is less valued by society than an asshole, considering that one fills the atmosphere with pleasantries and the other simply stinks it up. What’s the point in even the very existence of the world’s Mitt Romneys? To prove there is no God? If so, I accept already! So … what’s the remedy? How do we get rid of money? I mean, my cat is penniless, but to her that’s not a worry she’s even aware afflicts so many two-leggers.

      • Or why we have people like Brittany Spears and Lindsey Lohan foisted on us, buried so deep in money they act out like the spoiled children they are while talents like Shayne’s daughter have to work so damned hard to just get an opportunity to share their real talent with the world.

    • I had a discussion with someone once on a blog… it might have even been TP… this person was saying that we needed to spend more time on math and science and English in our schools and less time on the “arts.” I think I told him that it is the “arts” that make this world so much more livable and that I wouldn’t want to live in a world without them. Those other things are important, of course, but I don’t think that he realized that the “arts” are also tied into the maths and sciences and language — the Greeks and Romans knew this, it’s a shame that we have gravitated away from that knowledge.

  6. John McWhorter ponders the Mormon’s use of gee, golly and gosh:

    “Romney’s God-fearing, impersonal G-words … reveal him as linguistically a person of another time, in which the public mood was cooler than today’s. That can be a good thing. Even Father Coughlin would not have called an earnest young woman, or anyone else, a slut on the radio. Yet the fact remains that there are few better ways to connote the air of a mannequin in 2012 than by saying gosh with a straight face.”

    Jumping Music Night (Just ignore the last 30 seconds): feature=player_embedded&v=812fbaau7qQ#!

  7. Meanwhile; the GOoPers are doing everything in their power to turn this fragile blue marble into a lifeless waste of gasping dust and ash. All the quotes in this story are appalling but the one that really sticks out is…

    In response to concerns by pro-life evangelical Christians that part of being pro-life means protecting the unborn from the brain and nerve damage caused by neurotoxic mercury pollution, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) retorted that “[t]he life in pro-life denotes not quality of life but life itself.”

    • I like the way Obama has painted Republican opposition to this as part of the do-nothing Congress he’s running against. I wish he had done this right after the 2010 elections though, along with other things he was slow to address, but maybe he had to wait to prove his point, that Republicans won’t let good ideas move ahead.

    • I thought it was young black guys with offensive packets of Skittles I was supposed to poo my pants over?

    • think that headline is unfair to oil companies ….. they didn’t cause the climate change, we all do – but they do contribute to the unwillingness to address the issue. If they are people they are sociopaths….. why else would they see the consequences of the climate change be nothing but a bonanza to them in the Arctic oil rush?

    • I’m reminded of a poem, when I contemplate the actions of sociopathic corporations…..


      Much to his Mum and Dad’s dismay
      Horace ate himself one day.
      He didn’t stop to say his grace,
      He just sat down and ate his face.
      “We can’t have this his Dad declared,
      “If that lad’s ate, he should be shared.”
      But even as he spoke they saw
      Horace eating more and more:
      First his legs and then his thighs,
      His arms, his nose, his hair, his eyes…
      “Stop him someone!” Mother cried
      “Those eyeballs would be better fried!”
      But all too late, for they were gone,
      And he had started on his dong…
      “Oh! foolish child!” the father mourns
      “You could have deep-fried that with prawns,
      Some parsley and some tartar sauce…”
      But H. was on his second course:
      His liver and his lights and lung,
      His ears, his neck, his chin, his tongue;
      “To think I raised him from the cot
      And now he’s going to scoff the lot!”
      His Mother cried: “What shall we do?
      What’s left won’t even make a stew…”
      And as she wept, her son was seen
      To eat his head, his heart, his spleen.
      And there he lay: a boy no more,
      Just a stomach, on the floor…
      None the less, since it was his
      They ate it – that’s what haggis is.

      – M. Python (esq)

  8. QOTD:

    “Much of Mr. Adelson’s casino profits that go to him come from his casino in Macau, which says that obviously, maybe in a roundabout way foreign money is coming into an American political campaign… That is a great deal of money, and we need a level playing field and we need to go back to the realization… that we have to have a limit on the flow of money and corporations are not people,” – John McCain.

    • Must be a good dementia day.
      I don’t mean that in a hateful way, but Sen. McCain seemed to be clearly impaired during the 2008 campaign.

      • But he keeps showing up on the TV … you don’t see Al Gore or John Kerry on the TV every week. Why do we have to see McCain?

  9. Oh, now the liberal media is going to get its panties in a twist over the reasonable conservative reporter just trying to do his job by interrupting the uppity black president when he was saying something we didn’t like. Why do libbies hate so?


  10. If you haven’t read Jane Mayer’s new profile of Fischer, do yourself a favor. Things I learned: Fischer does not believe HIV causes AIDS, believes that Muslims should be barred from immigration, and that non-Christians “have no First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.”

    When Mitt Romney had to face down this raving lunatic, in the case of his openly gay national security spokesman, Ric Grenell, Romney blinked. That’s worth knowing.

    • I really, really, can’t understand why the “librul media” keeps treating this vile freak as if he’s relevant.

    • “It was the first time I’d been around a real muscular Christianity,” he told me. “It had a kind of strength and virility to it that would appeal to men.”

      Come out of the closet Fischer. You’ll feel so much better about yourself.

  11. Hey! I’m not alone! Thom had a caller named Rhonda from Huntsville, Ala. watching on Free Speech TV!

    • There might be others, I know that I tend to make assumptions about people living in this Red state…

      • I know I’m part of the 38 percent here, but this lady was a Hartmann listener! That’s what I was reacting to. There’s a gal in Blountsville who calls in pretty often, but she’s 50 miles away.

  12. Mittens has been strangely silent on Obama’s mini-DREAM act. His only comment was “I happen to agree {with Marco Rubio.}” Rubio fundamentally endorsed Obama’s move.

    Ooops, did someone tell the base that? Rick Perry, call your office. Romney lied in order to defeat you. He does that kind of thing.

    • Mittens will just say the exact opposite tomorrow. Just once I would love to hear someone from the “librul media” ask; “were you lying yesterday or are you lying today?” The ironic part is that his answer, if he didn’t just evade the question, would be a lie.

    • He can hardly come out and say: “Hey! Me Too!” And from what I see, Mittens hasn’t exactly solidified his base yet — and they’re a bunch of xenophobic racists.

  13. Joe Stiglitz is good on The Young Turks on Current tonight. his segment is in the last :12 of the show. If there’s a video later I’ll link it.

  14. On The Ed Show, Ron Christie tries to compare the jerk interrupting Obama today to the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoe at Bush.

    • I only caught about half of that, but the shoe thrower was the part I saw. What a lame fucking comparison. And he was pissing and moaning about Sam Donaldson being an actual journalist with Reagan — and Donaldson didn’t fucking interrupt the president in the middle of a speech.

    • Don’t look for a Rachel Show tonight, MSNBC went straight to prison at the end of The Ed Show.

  15. Munro claimed that he wasn’t trying to heckle the president, “I always go to the White House prepared with questions for our president. I timed the question believing the president was closing his remarks, because naturally I have no intention of interrupting the President of the United States. I know he rarely takes questions before walking away from the podium. When I asked the question as he finished his speech, he turned his back on the many reporters, and walked away while I and at least one other reporter asked questions.”

    Fucking sniveler and liar. He interrupted the President mid-sentence.

  16. Joy Behar is subbing for Spitzer all next week, and John Fugelsang is subbing for Jennifer Granholm too. Behar will have a full time show starting in September on Current.

    Michael Eric Dyson had his wife Marcia on The Ed Show tonight. The Dysons’ academic status probably exceeds that of the Obamas.

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