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East of the Sun, West of the Moon

Friday, April 21, 2006

Hello And Goodbye

Okay, it's time to make an announcement.

I'm moving this website to a new domain. I know it seems like I just moved the site, though that was over a year ago now. Sorry for the hassle, but change happens. I am pretty excited about the move; I'm finally moving off of Blogger and onto WordPress, which gives me all sorts of flexibility and functionality I didn't have before. Hellooo, plug-ins...

Moving Van

Don't worry - all the great content is already imported into WordPress and all four years of my blogging are available at the new site, already integrated into the archives. The new site is still in transition and will be a little rough around the edges for a few days while I settle in. I'll leave this site up until the domain expires in December, but get used to going to the new site; update your bookmarks, change your feeds, whatever you need to do. There will be no further posts here at East of the Sun, West of the Moon. I will leave this domain up until the registration expires in December to give y'all plenty of time to find the new page.

So without further ado, let me introduce my new blog;

Tales of Brave Ulysses



Hope I see everybody over there.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Earth Week: Interlopers In Paradise


Guam EPA Earth Week 2006 - Logo from CJ Santiago of GW High School

I recently read a very good book on invasive species, Out of Eden by Alan Burdick, which begins with a lengthy exploration of Guam's own infamous ophidian, the brown tree snake. It's a fascinating book, especially the portion about invasive species in coastal waters around the world.

One thing struck me from the book though; ecologists have realized there is no such thing as a pristine environment. Environments are always changing and dynamic. Species come and go, and while humanity has helped spread many organisms around the world, it is really impossible to untangle the web of life and extricate unpopular species. The brown tree snake is here on Guam; live with it. In the long run birds will return, just not the original birds but new species will develop that can adapt to predatory pressure from the snakes. It might take a million years, but that is a drop in the bucket of evolutionary time scales.

Salon has another interesting story about invasive species, this time in North America. The taming of the American wilderness proved a boon for one cunning canine; coyotes are booming across the entire continent. I mentioned a couple months ago how coyotes are thriving in Chicago. Well they're doing quite well in New York City too. This is an unprecedented success story, an inadvertent effect of the taming of the American landscape.

In the early nineteenth century the coyote, Canis latrans, roamed the prairies and deserts of the American West, hemmed in by cougars and the wolf packs in the eastern forests. As the old growth forests fell to the axe and plow, the wolves and mountain lions were extirpated and the lowly coyote suddenly found itself the top predator across most of the continent. Coyotes pushed north and east into the farmlands and the Eastern seaboard, getting bigger and smarter all the time.

Today's coyote is twice the size of his ancestors in 1850 and instead of lone scavengers, they now hunt in packs, colonizing the suburban and urban landscapes of man with aplomb. They've learned to negotiate traffic, hunt at night, listen for voices and scavenge from garbage cans. The coyote, like the brown tree snake, has taken an opportunity afforded by mankind and run with it, becoming one of the most successful colonizers of the last century.

Perhaps they are invaders, or maybe they are just filling an ecological niche. Like I said, the environment is ever changing and dynamic, it is only our hubris that demands a static and unchanging nature separate from civilization.

Dragon's Lair

Wow. I remember Dragon's Lair. Looked great, but terrible gameplay. There was this total disconnect between the controls and the game. I fed a great many quarters (and this game was an ungodly 50¢ at the time too) into this game and never got anywhere at all. I don't think I ever made it past the burning ropes at the beginning. It's good to finally see a complete walkthrough of the game.

Apocalyptic Story From - Jack London?

Yeah, it's a new one to me too. Mr. Call of the Wild Jack London wrote The Scarlet Plague in 1912, painting a bleak future for a world decimated by a worldwide pandemic. Only a few humans remain, and the wilderness reclaims the works of man. An elderly grandfather, the last man alive who recalls the heights of civilization, relates the fall of humanity to his disbelieving, half-savage progeny.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Random Links

Fresh from the depths of the internet, scoured out by me for your pleasure.

Earth Week: Kiribati Struggles With Global Warming

Guam EPA Earth Week 2006 - Logo from CJ Santiago of GW High School

A couple weeks ago I mentioned a piece on Living On Earth about climate refugees from Tuvalu that relocated to Auckland. Yesterday Living On Earth continued their series Early Signs with a long story on another Pacific atoll nation facing the rising waters of global warming.

Flooding in South Tarawa, Republic of Kiribati (Photo: Alice Leney)Kiribati, also known at the Gilbert Islands, is a small island nation lying athwart the equator about 2100 miles to the southeast of Guam. The total land mass is a little over 500 square miles, but it is dispersed through 33 atolls covering 2.1 million square miles.

I just mentioned Kiribati when I applauded the creation of a vast marine preserve in the Phoenix Islands. Looks like the accelerated loss of glacial coverage in West Antarctica and Greenland will inundate the low lying atolls of the Pacific and turn that preserve into a lost world.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, estimates that a 1 meter rise in sea levels will submerge 63 square miles of Kiribati. In 2003 the IPCC reported that sea levels rose almost an inch per decade in the 20th century and will likely rise between 3 and 9 feet in the next 100 years.

Wave crashing over sandbags on South Tarawa, Republic of Kiribati. (Photo: Alice Leney)What is frightening is that these estimates are now highly conservative. The IPCC did not account for the rapid glacial melt-off that is occurring in Greenland and West Antarctica. A study published this February in Science concluded that the glaciers of Greenland are melting faster than predicted in response to global warming and predictions of global sea level rise could be severely underestimated. The author of the Science report says the IPCC predictions "are probably low," and that sea-level rise is likely to be two to three times as great, which could mean a rise of anywhere from six to 27 feet in the next hundred years.

The average height of the Gilbert Islands is six feet above sea level. It looks grim for Kiribati and other low lying nations. Even before the atolls succumb to the waves, wave action will cause massive erosion and what little freshwater exists on the island will become tainted with salt, poisoning crops and trees. These things are already happening, and it will only become worse. Life is becoming unsustainable on these low islands

Flooding at the Lagoon Breeze Hotel, South Tarawa, Republic of Kiribati (Photo: Republic of Kiribati Ministry of Environment, Lands, and Agricultural Development)The accelerated loss of the Greenland ice sheet is just one of a number of startling changes in the Arctic. The polar regions are becoming warmer, in a deadly feedback loop. As the snow melts, the region becomes warmer, the warmth prevents more snow from forming, and things just keep getting warmer. It is a controversial conclusion, politically charged for certain, but despite political posturing, the scientific facts are becoming incontrovertible. It is getting warmer, and the people living on atolls will become the first casualties in a growing list of climate refugees.

Carabao On Parade?

Guam is borrowing an idea from Chicago and will begin placing decorated carabao statues all over starting next month. Chicago had their Cows on Parade a few years ago, and this seems to be a local variation featuring water buffalo. The gist of the story is that most of them will be located at the GPO shopping mall as part of a marketing campaign I guess. Still, sticking water buffalo around the island's public places is a good idea and I hope it prospers and thrives. And GPO is certainly a very public place. I eat lunch there several times a week and it is always hopping.

Photo © Masako Watanabe/Pacific Daily News

The carabao are the idea of Jennifer Ada, who is opening an art gallery next month in the Ada Arcade Building. She is starting off with 28 statues which will be decorated by local artists and delivered to Monte Mesa, general manager of GPO. Good luck to them both, the island could use a little spicing up.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Earth Week 2006 Kick Off

Guam EPA Earth Week 2006 - Logo from CJ Santiago of GW High School

It's Earth Week 2006 here on Guam and I thought I would feature an environmental story of local or regional flavor every day this week, leading up to the big Island Pride Festival this coming Saturday at Ypao Beach Park.

First off, a subject that's been on my mind lately. Believe it or not, I'm something of a geek. And I have a collection of decrepit old computers, printers, monitors and assorted electronics lying around my place. A couple Dells, an Mac LC 575 (complete with System 7.5), my old Quadra 950 (the thing weighs a ton), and an ancient Pentium Pro (running Windows 95). Junk basically, and it needs to go. But where?

Computer recycling is a pressing issue. Those innocuous computers and cell phones are full of some noxious compounds and metals. Salon ran an expose on the shadowy world of electronics recycling last week. In short, most of the old computer and monitors discarded every year wind up in sub Saharan Africa or China, where people strip the machines apart in Dickensian conditions of squalor and poverty. And much of the waste comes from the United States, the only major nation in the developed that has not ratified the Basel Convention, an international attempt to limit the flow of scrap and waste from the developed world upon the poorer nations.

This is not a new problem, but it is growing every year. Steps are being made to reduce the amount of hazardous waste in electronics, but that doesn't help me with my problem today. Apple offers a take back program for their computers, but the program is not valid for people on Guam. I need somebody on island to take my aging computers and decrepit electronics.

The Guam EPA comes to my rescue. The agency put out a Guam recycling guide with names and phone numbers of local recyclers and what they will accept. Looks like there are two companies on that list who take computers and electronics. It's too late in the day to call them now, but tomorrow I will check both companies and see what they can do for me.
  • Island Scrap Yard, Barrigada: 637-1687
  • Triple Star Recycling, Harmon: 648-2910/11
What we could really use is another Hasso Guam! campaign by the Guam EPA to collect hazardous wastes.

There's been talk about developing a recycling program on the island, but so far I haven't seen any concrete steps taken to address the waste flow problem on island. But that's a post for later in the week...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Fanumnangan

We need rain.

Everything is crispy around Guam. Fires bust out every day the ground is hard as a rock. The island is drying out and vegetation is turning brown under the pitiless glare of the tropical sun. Hard to believe we average 100 inches of rain a year. It just doesn't fall during the dry season. The swordgrass is brown, trees look desiccated, even the dirt is completely without moisture. We need rain, a good long drenching to soak into the soil.

Of course it is not all bad. The bright, cloudless days are perfect for getting outside and enjoying the island's natural resources. I've been hiking, biking, swimming and generally enjoying the sunny days every weekend. And the cloudless skies and steady breezes make for cool nights.

Disappointments

I busted out my hiking boots this week to give them a nice rubdown with the old mink oil to keep them supple, and I got a nasty surprise. I bought these boots in December of 2001, a little over four years ago. I've worn them on a couple trips stateside and my two trips to New Zealand. Not exactly heavy use, and no real backcountry hiking or camping was involved. Yet these Merrell Grand Traverse boots are falling apart. They are falling apart exactly like the Nikes that I so loathe; the outer sole is delaminating from the last and the upper. Damn, I plunked down some serious ducat for these boots and I am extremely disappointed in Merrell. I expected these boots to last me a decade or more and the damn things are crumbling away in their box. I am going to call their support number this week and talk to somebody, though I doubt it will have any effect. The warranty is only 1 year; they'll probably tell me to suck it up and buy another pair so it can fall apart in my closet too. Just another company that cares about sales over quality or customer satisfaction.

A little more troubling is my iBook. For the last month it was dog slow; dog slow. Like 45 minutes to boot up slow, interminable spinning beach ball of death slow. Last weekend it finally crapped out, but mercifully I pulled most of what I needed off onto an external FireWire drive. Looks like the internal hard drive is kaput. Another Apple product failing on me, after the iPod a couple months ago. And both are just out of warranty too. Guess I'll be dropping some money with Apple service and support, so never mind getting that Bigha as a reward. I'm still debating whether I should go with Apple support or just dive in and replace the hard drives myself. At least these things are repairable, unlike the crumbling, shoddy boots I bought from Merrell.

Goal Seeking

I really want one of these. But it is ridiculously expensive. But I still want one. I doubt I could ride this thing of Guam though, I'd get run down in the streets. Guess I'll just continue to pedal around on my Cannondale.

I'll let y'all in on a little secret; when I first started this diet (yes, I am still dieting folks) I held out a Bigha as my carrot/incentive to drop the pounds. Well, I'm getting closer and closer to that goal. Guess I ought to look into it at least.

Religion In The USA

Interesting series of maps showing the dispersal of different Christian faiths across the USA. No real surprise that Mormons are in Utah, Baptists in the South, and Lutherans in Minnesota, but still some fascinating stuff.

A Cello Journey

While I don't watch usually watch video podcasts, I stumbled upon Cello Journey a few days ago. It is wonderfully simple; a guy sits in his basement with a video camera and plays his cello. If you like cello music, you'll like this.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Photography Writ Large

Excellent photo gallery site: Terra Galleria, the gallery of professional photographer Quang-Tuan Luong. Just mind boggling beautiful photos. I got lost for about an hour in his site.

One Of These Days, Alice

POW! Right to the moon!

NASA's gonna drive a rocket stage right into the moon and watch what happens. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) got a larger rocket booster than originally planned, and NASA took ideas about how to use the extra lifting capacity. The winning proposal is LCROSS, or Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite. Basically the upper stage booster for the LRO is going to the moon instead of being discarded after firing. A small monitoring spacecraft will piggy back on the booster and observe the impact of the rocket booster into a crater at the moon's south pole. Sounds pretty cool, let's hope they actually find water ice for future astronauts to use.

In other space news, check out Venus this week in the morning sky. With a good pair of binoculars, the patient observer will be able to pick out Uranus right next to the brilliant morning star. The best dates to catch this will be next Monday to Wednesday, April 17th to April 19th. I'll probably be out there on Tuesday morning, when Venus and Uranus will be separated by less than half a degree.

Faking Rockwell

Breaking Home Ties; Norman Rockwell, 1954. © Collection of Trachte FamilyHere's an odd little story: When cartoonist Donald Trachte's sons loaned his Rockwell painting, Breaking Home Ties, to the Norman Rockwell Museum in 2002, there were questions about the painting. It did not seem to exactly match the tear sheet from the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in 1954. Certain details seemed off, especially in the face of the young man depicted in the painting. But the provenience of the painting was exact; Mr. Trachte purchased the painting in 1960, and it hung on his wall until it was loaned to the museum in 2002.

Well actually it remained on the wall until last month. Turns out Trachte created a near duplicate of the painting, and displayed that on his living room wall. He hid the actual painting, along with several others, behind a false wall. Trachte and his wife divorced in the 70's, and he probably made the fake at that time to hide his true assets. His children uncovered the deception when another original painting Trachte owned revealed discrepancies with earlier photographs. They searched their father's house and came across photos showing two versions of the Rockwell painting. That prompted a detailed search of the house for more clues and the discovery of the hidden cache of paintings in the living room. And so a lost painting was recovered, even though nobody ever suspected it was missing.

Carnival

Since Jimbo tossed this out there last week, this song's been playing in my head. There are certainly worse things to keep thinking about. Mark Lanegan is way cool, and I just smiled when I read Jimbo's stream of consciousness post. Whiskey for the Holy Ghost is great album, as somber and elegiac an album as was released in the '90s, and this is probably the best song on it.

Carnival

Where in the world have you been
It's as strange as I've ever lived
So you're comin' along to the sideshow
I'll be fallin' all over like dominos
For girls are sad in their eyes
They're all standin' around bein' hypnotised
And walkin' me back to the firin' line
Ya smile to get in the door
Ya can't keep it closed anymore
Tell your ma that you're gone to the freakshow
I'm crawlin' all over the carnival
Just scratchin' a stitch in a skin
I'm moanin' for more of the medicine
In the mornin' you're wonderin' where ya been
Just turnin' your back to the ghost
And tryin' to look like you just might know
That all of the good that you've seen
Just went down and into the drain
Oh kids am I straight out for now
In the mornin' I'm gonna find it on out
What in the world can it be
It's as strange as I've ever seen
The girls are dead in their eyes
Just standin' around like they're hypnotised
Who'll follow me back to the freak show
I'm crawlin' all over the carnival
And I am gone
The kid's in a straight out for now
In the mornin' I'm wanna find it on out
What in the world can it be
It's as strange as I've ever seen
The girls are dead in their eyes
Just standin' around like they're hypnotised
Who'll follow me back to the freak show
I'm crawlin' all over the carnival
And I am gone

The Great Quake Of 1906

I've been through some massive earthquakes; they are seriously not cool. Maybe that's why this centennial interests me.

Next Tuesday marks a century since the Great Quake of San Francisco. On the morning of April 18th 1906, San Francisco was jolted awake by an estimated magnitude 7.8 earthquake that left over 3,000 dead in the rubble of a city. The area remains extremely susceptible to quakes and tremors due to the hundreds of fault lines crisscrossing the Bay Area. Scientists say the area is ripe for another big quake.

Of course the West Coast is not the only area prone to earthquakes. My home state of Missouri is also located on a dangerous fault line. Three massive earthquakes in 1811 devastated the region around New Madrid, and a recurrence of that quake would spell disaster from Memphis to St. Louis.

Radio Bikini

Despite being awarded hundreds of millions in 2001 for the thermonuclear destruction of their home, Bikini Islanders are still a dispossessed people. The US has not paid even one percent of the amount awarded to the people of Bikini, so now they are suing the United States for their compensation.

I cannot stress enough, watch Radio Bikini. We deliberately took a paradise untouched by war, and annihilated it just to see what would happen.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Hello, Peak Oil

Shell raised their prices to $2.9799 yesterday, a day after Mobil stations increased their price for regular unleaded to $2.9699. I don't think it will ever go back down again.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Still Thinking About Sakura

Thoughts of spring are still on my mind, along with other things.
Untitled Joseph Cornell (Oriental painting of bird with cherry blossoms

Untitled Joseph Cornell (Oriental painting of bird with cherry blossoms)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Fast Food Nation

Anyone else catch this story about long distance order taking at McDonald's? Pretty weird, and it seems to signal something terribly wrong to me...

And then I listen to Terry Gross interview Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, and my disquiet grows.

Koyaanisqatsi.

What's On My Mind...

Got some things on my mind.

I was surprised to find out you can send email to people in hospitals. That's pretty cool.

Venus Express Safely In Orbit

Europe's first mission to Venus is safely in orbit around the hellish world. It will transform the initial elliptical orbit into a much tighter orbit while it studies the thick, broiling atmosphere of our 'evil twin' world.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Boy In The Bubble

I remember David Vetter. He was an object of fascination in my childhood. A boy just a couple years my junior; he lived his entire life inside a sterile plastic bubble.

I never knew what exactly was wrong with him, or his eventual fate. It is peculiar how a tragic life can be reduced to a line in a Paul Simon song, or a gag on an episode of Seinfeld.

Cherry Blossom

My good friend Kirino, who is living in Tokyo now, sent me a couple nice pictures of the cherry blossoms in Japan that he took on Sunday.
Sakura

Sakura Closeup

I have to say his camera phone beats the hell out of mine. Look how crisp those pictures are compared to that fuzzy shot I took with my Sanyo last week at the Bestseller Newsstand store. Maybe that DoCoMo buyout of Guamcell will bring some of this cutting edge keitai culture to our island.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Space Milestones

The Venus Express spacecraft is about to enter orbit around the planet Venus. This will be a great mission to our near neighbor in the night sky.

And last week New Horizons crossed the orbit of Mars, hurtling in the opposite direction towards a rendezvous with Jupiter and Pluto.

Taum Sauk Report Cites Poor Design

A damning report about structural inadequacies at the Taum Sauk Reservoir came to light this week. The report by engineering consultants from Paul C. Rizzo Associates cites improperly installed water level sensors and faulty backup systems in place by AmerenUE along with serious design failings in the construction of the dam itself in the 1960's.
  1. On many days, water was pumped to the edge of the concrete retaining wall around the reservoir.
  2. The dam foundations was not scraped clean of soil.
  3. The rock fill was not compacted during construction.
  4. Too much fine grained fill material, in excess of 25%. Modern rock fill dams require less than 5% fine grain fill.

Basically the dam was structurally deficient and dangerously run, and it was only a matter of time before it burst. I guess Missourians should be happy nobody died in the flood. I hate to think what might have happened if the reservoir collapsed during a summer weekend. Johnson's Shut Ins State Park was a perennial favorite for weekend campers and day trippers; hundreds could have been caught in a wall of water.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Zombie Ships Of China

Sounds like the Chinese fishing fleet consists of rusting hulks. Some of the pictures are pretty appalling.

Abramoff Tied To Guam Election

The big news swirling around the teapot that is Guam politics this week was a story in the Wall Street Journal detailing how Jack Abramoff attempted to influence the 1998 gubernatorial election on Guam by instigating a Congressional investigation of Carl Gutierrez by Tom DeLay's office just weeks before the election. To quote from the KUAM article that first broke the story on island,
The WSJ piece further states, "In the fall of 1998, Mr. Abramoff wanted to help a Republican, Joe Ada, get elected as governor in Guam, even though he was trailing incumbent governor Carl Gutierrez badly in the polls." Ada was running with current Guam governor Felix Camacho.

After lunch on October 26, 1998, Abramoff emailed Rudy wanting to know if Congressman DeLay could call for an investigation of the misuse of federal funds on Guam by Gutierrez. The WSJ went on to state that Abramoff suggested he would draft a statement for DeLay, and Rudy could "issue a press release and letter requesting an inspector general, from the Department of Interior, to investigate these matters", saying it should have a major impact on the election next week.

Rudy and Scanlon released a statement from DeLay, along with a letter to the DOI's inspector general, calling for a full federal inquiry into Gutierrez. DeLay said in the letter, "The allegations and materials I reviewed point to serious corruption." The article goes on to state despite their efforts, Ada lost the race and the Department did not conduct an investigation.
The '98 election was a heated one, with all sorts of bad blood between the two parties following the election. The fact that this embroils current governor Felix Camacho and candidate Carl Gutierrez in headlines with current political scape Jack Abramoff is really whipping up the flames. Seems like everybody was talking about this last week, and every day new facets were uncovered. Camacho said it was a political assassination attempt on his administration, former senator Mark Charfauros said he asked Abramoff to open the investigation, Bob Underwood jumped on the bandwagon and said Abramoff sabotaged his campaign in 2002 with a letter sent to Guam's Filipino community, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars the Superior Court paid Abramoff for lobbying efforts a few years ago. And of course the kicker in this story is how US Attorney General Fred Black was replaced by a Bush appointee when he started investigating Abramoff's involvement with Guam's politics.

The Gospel Of Judas

This week the National Geographic unveiled their translation of a Coptic fragment known as the Gospel of Judas. The manuscript offers a radical reinterpretation of Judas Iscariot; rather than the damned betrayer of Christ, Judas was Jesus' closest, most favored disciple; only he could be trusted with a terrible task, to deliver Christ in the hands of his oppressors.

This is not exactly a new idea. In fact, the manuscript was discovered twenty years ago in Egypt. But I first read this two decades ago in Nikos Kanzantzakis' The Last Temptation Of Christ, it also is the central theme in Three Versions of Judaas by Jorge Luis Borges, and it is a common Gnostic theme that Judas was sent by Christ to betray him. Hell, Gore Vidal's ridiculous Live from Golgotha has Judas nailed to the cross instead of a fat, waddling Christ - who presumably emigrates to Gaul with Mary Magdalene and fathers a line of French kings...

Anyway, the timing is impeccable. Holy Week is upon us, and the opening of The Da Vinci Code is looming on the horizon. Looks like National Geographic is trying to cash in on the Apocrypha rage.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Cherry Blossom

Sakura watching in Kyoto.

From Alive in Kyoto.

A Visit To Trinity

On the first Saturday of April and October of every year, the Trinity test site in White Sands, New Mexico is open to the public. Joshua Ellis, of the website Zen Archery, went this year from Las Vegas to Trinity, with a stopover in Los Alamos. His essay about the road trip, Dark Miracle, is now available on his website.

Interesting factoid I learned from this essay: all tobacco on the planet is radioactive now. Tobacco readily absorbs polonium 210, one of the radioactive ingredients of fallout. For a pack a day smoker, the additional radioactivity is like several hundred chest x-rays a year.

Ashes and Snow

Nice little photography exhibit online: Ashes and Snow. It's big, and it's Flash, but there is an html version.

There's even a DVD of the exhibit for sale.

Friday, April 07, 2006

He KNEW He LIED (Again)

Of course he knew, of course he okayed the smear campaign.
But will anything come of this? Not for the apathetic American populace. He's been caught in a bald faced lie before and nobody seemed to give a damn. Why should this be any different?

A Climate Of Hope, Or Global Warming Goes Big Time

Looks like things are hitting a critical mass with the perception of global warming in the general public. Was it Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth? Or was it the rampant success of hybrid automobiles like the Prius that made climate change suddenly hip? Whatever the reason, seems like the media and people are finally acknowledging the elephant in the room. Even Time Magazine joined the growing chorus of alarm last week, running a very good issue on the problem of global warming. Of course, some people still refuse to admit our activities are altering the planet but their objections are sounding shriller and more irrelevant everyday. but more and more people seem to be getting the message and embarking on a positive mission to heal the damage. It will be a great challenge, the test of future generations, a trial for humanity. In his Salon article, Kevin Sweeney compares the crisis looming before humanity like a diagnosis of cancer. Grim news certainly, but a survivable condition that offers a chance to focus our purpose and reexamine our values. I hope we survive it. This is the only planet we've got, I'd hate to lose it.