Disappearance of Ambrose Bierce

"As to me, I leave here tomorrow for an unknown destination." December 26, 1913

In a letter before he disappeared, Ambrose Bierce’ last line is a curious exclamation point placed on his life, and his increasing devotion to the supernatural. More prominent just after the Civil War, a writer and contributor to the San Francisco literary scene, one of Bierce’ works was “The Difficulty of Crossing a Field” in which a farmer endeavors to cross his pasture, only to disappear into another dimension.

Published in 1888, his short work was set around Selma, Alabama. That fact alone, makes his short work of fiction a bit of a dimensional transportation to the 19th century a town that would gain fame of a different nature in another era.

And then, the fact of his mysterious loss to the world.  1913 was the time of Pancho Villa, just prior to World War 1, Woodrow Wilson had become president, following four years of Taft who had followed four years of Teddy Roosevelt, the rough rider. The Park System had become a part of the Federal fabrique, the independence of Cuba from Spain, and in 1910, almost a century after Mexico’s independence the Mexican Revolution began. Fed by an uprising against a plutocrat named Diaz, Villa joined forces with Madero to topple the elitist regime. Villa became a warlord of the northern Mexican lands, and a threat to American interests as he descended into a Marxist dictator, siezing private lands, raiding villages north and south of the border and promising free land for all (as long as he was dictator).

Bierce was interested in the revolution, a bit the sucker for the populist notions of Villa, and wrote that he wanted to journal the exploits of Villa’s army. Some evidence points to his joining the Villa forces as an observer and even witnessed the Battle of Tierra Blanca (White Lands). Southeast of Mexico City, the fighting occurred a month before the date of his mysterious letter, nonetheless it puts Bierce in Mexico with Villa’s army. 1914 was a less eventful year for the Mexican revolution, and Bierce may have lacked compelling subject matter to send home. 71 years old, following and attempting to hang on to Villa, he may well have just expired and been buried, with little regard, by a Mexican Army more interested in their revolution than the rantings and self importance of Bierce. An interesting man meeting a dull end has left some to invent more exciting theories.

Tau Ceti

The closest unary type-G solar or star system to earth is thought to be the Tau Ceti system. Dustier than our solar system, the ‘inhabitable zone’ of this system would seem to be more prone to collision, and lacks a rocky, metallic planet of a mass capable of generating Earth’s gravity and holding an atmosphere such as ours. Tau Ceti is in the constellation Cetus.

Tau Ceti is a star similar to the Sun, 20% smaller. 12 light-years from Earth, it is the closest star similar to the sun. A multitude of types of stars have been discovered from brown dwarfs to red giants, and many stars form binary and tertiary star systems, which would seem not to allow a planet to orbit in the habitable zone with earth type gravity. So we have become more interested, in 2014, to stars like our Sun in unary stary systems and of an age between two and six billion years. In travel time, at the speed of light, with a rapid acceleration and deceleration, it would take at least two decades to reach the Tau Ceti system.

The Tau Ceti system is more gaseous and less rocky and metallic than our solar system. Evidence of five planets orbiting Tau Ceti with one in the habitable zone has been recently found. Tau Ceti can be seen without a telescope. Tau Ceti is only about half as bright as our sun, so the habitable zone would be closer to the star than in our solar system. Scientific calculations put the optimal habitable orbit for the Tau Ceti system to be roughly equal to the orbit of Venus in our solar system. The magnetic field of Tau Ceti also seems to be weaker than our sun. The magnetic field of the sun shields the inner planets from high levels of cosmic rays. The level of asteroids, comets and general debris in the Tau Ceti system is much higher, even ten times higher than our solar system.

It is exciting for us to learn so much about a class G unary solar system just 12 light years from Earth, but difficult to imagine life as we know it evolving there. Nonetheless, in the search for Extra-Terrestrial intelligence, or SETI, Tau Ceti is a fascinating aiming point for listening. Even Frank Drake chose Tau Ceti for research. Drake pioneered the Drake Equation, an infamous postulate for the likelihood of life elsewhere in the universe. Other SETI scientist, notably Turnbull and Tarter, have listed more than 17,000 theoretically habitable nearby star systems. Plans are in the works to search more carefully five candidates like Tau Ceti, all within 100 light years of Earth.

Conyers Chiropractor

Expectant mothers wishing to delivery natural and not surgically want their babies to be in the head down back left position, most other fetal positions are called breech. Mothers can employ many gentle techniques for helping babies turn from a breech position to the natural position for safe child birth. Midwives are often experienced at determining the position of the baby, but with the advent and widespread use of ultra-sound the in-disputable postion of the fetus is now a matter of record. Expectant mothers employ many means of helping the baby turn to a more natural position, two of the most gentle and logical methods being swimming and gentle belly jiggling.

While midwives have helped expecting mothers for many years with these techniques, more and more mothers are delivering at hospitals and with the aid of medical PPO plans where in the normal course of pre-natal care mothers see the OB-Gyn early in the pregnancy and seek frequent ultra-sounds to check on the development of their growing unborn infant. Sadly, too few know of the help that a certified Webster Techniquie chirporactor can provide for mothers with babies in the breech position.

More and more the medical community is cooperating with the chiropractic community on health issues, but not always do the pre-natal health and care attendents know that mothers can seek a natural and gentle professional technique. So many people are familiar with chiropractic care for spines, necks and joints. Today’s chiropractors are better trained than ever before and have state of the art X-ray and diagnostic equipment incuding access to more sophisticated and modern scanning techniques. Bringing your ultra-sound of your unborn baby to the chiropractors office is just one example of the modern marriage of the gentle and un-invasive science of Chiropractic and the traditional field of Medicine.

Expecting mothers have a certified chiropractor east of Atlanta in Conyers Ga certified in the Webster’s Techniquie for turning babies, and can reach Dr. Ken at Conyers Family Chiripracotic on Salem Road in Rockdale County Georgia by calling 770-922-8187.

Chiropractors Decatur Ga

Lithonia Chiropractic

Conyers Chiro

Chiropractor on Salem Road Covington Georgia

Big Crunch or Maximum Entropy

Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark are proposing that a ‘phase transition’ envelope will spread through the universe, making matter more massve and leading to a big crunch. Since the advent of the Big Bang theory some scientists have put the notion up that the expansion we think we see will come to an end and the universe will once again collapse to a point of singularity.

Other scientists have postulated that the universe might continue to expand, reaching for maximum randomness, until gravity itself cannot hold particles together. The universe, and even physics as we know it will be overcome by a sub-zero space where even the packets of energy we know as protrons and nuetrons will unravel. However, the latest mathematics announced in the Daily Mail out of Denmark lean toward the opposite.

Should scientists at University of Southern Denmark be correct, a “shift in the forces of the universe will cause every particle in it to become extremely heavy”. Research and calculations now account for the famous Higgs boson, now being studied with glee at the CERN accelerator. Scientists can’t say where or exactly why, but their numbers lead them to believe an ultra-dense “bubble” might appear suddenly in a certain place of the universe at a certain time. “The bubble would then expand at the speed of light, entering all space … all elementary particles inside the bubble will reach a mass much heavier than if they were outside the bubble, and they would be pulled together to form supermassive centres.”

Other research, of course, has postulated that the Big Bang expanded faster than the speed of light, and scientist admit that discoveries beyond the Higgs Boson would probably lead to new theories and calculations.

Georgia Guidestones

50 miles northeast of Athens Georgia are the Guidestones, purchased by persons unknown and sculpted and erected by the Elberton Granite Finishing Company.  Visible on Google Maps, the structure is nearly twenty feet tall and weighs over 100 tons. Inscribed with some odd philosophy in several languages, the Guidestones also contain some interesting astonomical features.

Noon indicator; a hole in the capstone shines a ray of sun that indicates solar high noon year round. During the earth’s rotation each day, the apex of the sun in our sky is captured when the sun’s ray aligns with the noon marking.

Celestial pole; a hole through the center stone points to celestial north.

Equinox slot; a slot in the center stone around eye level that allows the priestly pretender to calculate the northern and southern equinox of the sunrise and sunset. Vernal is the spring point at which the earth’s tilt is at the center of the southernmost and northernmost extent. Autumnal is the fall, or autumn centerpoint.

In modern times, we tend to pay more attention to the shortest and longest days of the year. In the northern hemisphere, December 21 is the shortest day of the year, also known as the winter solstice. March 21 is the vernal equinox, June 21 is the summer solstice and September 21 the fall equinox.

As the earth tilts during it’s orbit around the sun, one year elapses to complete the trip. The Georgia Guidestones provides an example of how we can use stationary monuments to measure the earth’s path in that orbit.

Brown dwarf stars

Just 6.5 light-years away, a pair of brown dwarf stars have been documented. The sun is less than ten minutes from earth, but our solar system extending to belts of comets and asteroids might have a diameter of a light-year. Now we have discovered the closest star system discovered since 1916. WISE J104915.57-531906 is the third-closest star system to Earth after Alpha Centauri (4.4 light-years away) and Barnard’s star (6 light-years away). Brown dwarfs are often referred to as “failed stars” because they are too small and generate gravity shy of what is needed to produce the pressures needed to cause hydrogen fusion.

WISE is a designation for Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, a kind of telescope used by scientists to survey the night sky. Scientists had thought there were larger quantities of brown dwarfs, but this WISE system has put real numbers on their postulates.

The history of skinny banjos

We all know of the famous scene from the Burt Reynolds movie that bore rise to the ‘Dueling Banjos‘ song. Deliverance was published in 1972 and also starred Ned Beatty and Jon Voight as a set of adventurous blokes from Atlanta taking a canoe trip on a wilderness river before a dam that was in the process of being built turned the raging rapids into a docile lake. The fictional Cahulawassee river was the backdrop for a tussle with folk probably inspired by the stories of the Hill People along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Chattooga River between Georgia and South Carolina was used as a backdrop when filming this classic movie. But more about Banjos.

The Banjo has four or five strings and instead of an acoustic box such as that in a guitar, the strings excite a circular bit of parchment or animal hide (usually pig or bore skin) or plastic much like a loudspeaker. The simpler form in the video may be like the primitive African instruments fashioned by indenturees in pre-colonial America, i.e. when the continent was colonized by France, Spain, Portugal and Great Britain.

The banjo is common in country and folk music but also has taken a shine to Irish and even pop music. Steve Martin, a comedian, was a proficient player of the banjo. African roots to banjo music may have been the foundation for country and bluegrass.

The banjo is often played with a set of picks on the fingers. Modern picks are sold in the left and right thumb configurations. Players that strum with their right hand would get a right hand set where the thumb pick is tailored to the right hand thumb. The finger picks are interchangeable between hands. A thumb pick and two finger picks for most players are the complement of picks that acouter a banjo picker’s strum hand. Most modern banjos are strung with stainless steel for the high note strings and a thicker but lighter and more flexible metal alloy to produce the lower tones. Bronze, an alloy primarily of copper and tin, is a common material used in lower tone strings of four and five string banjos.

Banjos come stung with anywhere from 3 to 10 strings, but five is most common. Instruments related to the banj o with a similar sound might even have one string or 12. We can al picture the old washtub with a stick of would levered to pull one sting tightly, we have a vibrating drum and a sting making this a crude form of banjo but the deft touch to apply the correct pressure to tune the sting and still have the slack in the timpani of the washdrum is not as easy as it looks.