About Timo

Poet, Onewheeler and floater, paddler, surfer, sailor, Earth system scientist, and concerned citizen

Eventorum – Warning Sirens…

Thinking on the anomalous weather across North America this past December, capped by a tragic, drought-fueled, out of season wildfire in CO…

Nature is sounding the alarm; her civil defense sirens are blaring.

Humanities’ response is to design better hearing protection.

Photo of the Marshall Fire, Boulder County, CO on December 30th, 2021: by J.S.

Copyright ©️ 2022 T. Schneider All Rights Reserved

Eventorum – Whither the Whales?

Image: a North Atlantic Right Whale with her calf. See: “New Research Helps Explain a Sudden Population Crash for Rare Whales”, in the NY Times, By Catrin Einhorn, Sept. 1, 2021 (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/01/climate/whales.html)

Right whales, wrong time. Human activities are leading to the demise of these majestic beings. Only 356 individual Northern Right Whales are thought to remain. Global warming (which affects their food supply and reproduction rates), ship strikes, and entanglements in fishing gear are the primary culprits. Every choice we make, every single day has impacts and implications that range far beyond what is immediately evident.

Copyright ©️ 2021 T. Schneider All Rights Reserved

Eventorum – Fat Cat Diversionary Tactics

Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:The Subsidised Mineowner.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:The_Subsidised_Mineowner.jpg&oldid=523838343 (accessed February 21, 2021).

As long as society continues to debate the minimum wage; we are not confronting the gross inequities in the system. We should be discussing the maximum wage; that is how much wealth those at the top are garnering, and the ridiculous difference between what most people earn and what those “at the top” make (in all forms of wealth).

Copyright ©️ 2021 T. Schneider All Rights Reserved

Eventorum – Of Unstable Idiots

The events of January 6th, 2021 and the preceding four years will live on as indelible black marks in the history of the United States of America.

All of this vividly and undeniably belies the notion of American Exceptionalism, and is in fact vivid proof of the converse (think, ‘welcome to the Banana Republic’). January 6th proves this point emphatically. Another case in point, our very own self-proclaimed “very stable genius”, has in fact proven himself to be a very unstable idiot. As for his followers and enablers… you are the fake news you consume and inhabit a fictive world.

Suffice it to say that anyone who issues self-proclamations of greatness is suffering from a form of “little man syndrome.” For example, the bigger the pickup truck the smaller the occupant. Or how about the guys with the fragile egos who have large metal bull testicles hanging from their trailer hitches.

In this blog I try to avoid labels and the politicization of issues. It’s not helpful as a rule. However watching events slide over the past many years (and especially the last few months), I had to comment.

For all of that, let’s embrace a better future. Listen, love, heal. We do not have to hate each other, we can be reasonable and we can reason, let science and fact help to guide us. The only thing we should not tolerate is intolerance.

Copyright ©️ 2021 T. Schneider All Rights Reserved

Eventorum – Adaptation

Got heat? Global warming, it’s what’s for dinner.

The only viable form of mitigation to “climate change” at this point, is adaptation and resiliency. And a good place to begin is through cooperation and collaboration. The alternatives, competition and violence –the normal “go to” human response– are disastrous for everyone.

Another manifestation of mitigation, would be to reduce the human population. It would make all of the challenges we face today, and will face in the future, more manageable.

Copyright ©️ 2020 T. Schneider All Rights Reserved

Eventorum – Resistance

History teaches us that those who submit to oppression, suffer and die. Those who unite and resist, survive.

It is hard to say ‘all lives matter’ until one can say honestly that all lives matter equally. I suspect that there will always be racists. But we must not allow it to be institutionalized in any of its guises, and we can never condone it.

Copyright ©️ 2020 T. Schneider All Rights Reserved

Eventorum – Why go Back?

Humanity’s grip on the planet eases… In The Guardian Article “‘It’s positively alpine!’: Disbelief in big cities as air pollution falls’, a series of then and now pictures are presented, contrasting major urban areas before and during the COVID-19 driven lockdowns. I think the article’s title sums it nicely. The only question is, why would we want to go back to the “before?” If humanity is as clever as claims to be, we will find a way to embrace the new and sustain ourselves.

Image: New Delihi’s India Gate war memorial on 17 October 2019 and on 8 April 2020. Photograph: Anushree Fadnavis/Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Copyright ©️ 2020 T. Schneider All Rights Reserved

Provocations #18 – A Little Less Pressure

Silver linings…

I was doodling one day recently, and came up with this image. I can usually feel the pressure of humanity, sense it’s painful impact on the planet. In these days of “Stay at Home” orders, a forced pause in our normal frenetic routines, there is just a little less pressure on the planet. And it is nice. It reveals itself on the trails, which are full of people experiencing nature and health, parents are out in their yards playing with their children, there is less noise, less pollution, less traffic. It is more pleasant. If only we could institutionalize this and return to a new normal; albeit one without runs on toilet paper and libraries and coffee shops open for business.

Copyright ©️ 2020 T. Schneider All Rights Reserved

Provocations #17 – What’s in a Name? A Pair of Scissors

Image from the Wikimedia Creative Commons 2.5 Generic license.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2scissors-clean.jpg

While I usually occupy myself with heavy topics in this blog, or so they seem so to me, I have a light question to pose instead: Why do we refer to scissors, which is to say the things we cut with, “a pair of scissors?”

A wise friend said it is because there are two blades.  There is a logic to that I admit, and it is the correct answer (read on). 

I must say however, that I don’t like this explanation.  Scissors entered the English lexicon in the 15th century. Merriam Webster defines scissors (noun) as “a cutting instrument having two blades whose cutting edges slide past each other.”    In a sense, the name “scissors” is defined by its action; it can only operate as intended if there are two blades.  You can no more cut with a scissor-like motion with one blade, than you can clap with one hand.   

Delightfully, Meriam Webster has a web page, “What’s the Singular of ‘Scissors’?”, devoted to this question. It turns out that scissors “is an example of a plurale tantum,” which is a word that uses a plural form to represent a singular object.  In explaining the origins of the phrase a pair of scissors, the article asks rhetorically, how does one distinguish between one scissors and a whole pile of them?  It turns out that the precedent was set a century before by reference to a pair of shears, and this is now the standard for all plurale tantum (glasses, pants, etc.). Thus my friends explanation is correct according to an authoritative source.

I’m glad I asked, but the contrarian in me likes standing on the wrong side of history, and I’ll continue to take exception to referring to a “pair of scissors” (even if I slip up occasionally and use this long engrained expression).

It seems self evident at this point, but interestingly, the use of the noun scissors predates the use of the verb scissor; as in ‘she scissor kicked the ball in mid air’.

Copyright ©️ 2020 T. Schneider All Rights Reserved

Provocations #16 – A Year of Unconditional Compassion

Image from NPR story The Science of Compassion (The Hidden Brain, 20 October 2015).

Yesterday, the first of December, I saw a women and her children standing in a snowbank asking for help. Her sign said that her husband has been detained (presumably by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE). I found myself asking how could we, a nation of immigrants, reduce ourselves to breaking up families that are simply seeking a better life? Yes, I recognize that this is a complex issue, but in real human terms that is the essence of it.

On a Personal Level

As I thought about this family’s circumstances and all that is implied and implicated by it, I realized how often I have failed to show compassion. I thought about the people who work for ICE that must do the detaining. This must trouble their souls. I thought about the people who live in fear of strangers and those who are different. And even the simple and mundane things that frustrate me, such as the guy going 10 miles under the speed limit in the left lane.

I came to the conclusion the that only possible response is universal and unconditional compassion for all. So I am dedicating myself, beginning with that moment yesterday, to try to see and respond to all things through a filter of compassion.

Copyright ©️ 2019 T. Schneider All Rights Reserved