Category Archives: Mayan Calendar

The Pencil Today:

HotAirLogoFinal Sunday II

THE QUOTE

“Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.” — Bertrand Russell

Russell

REALITY CHECK

Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: There is no Sasquatch. AKA “Bigfoot,” the creature does not exist.

There are people who call themselves scientists — but who’ve abdicated their privilege to the title — who’d love to get you to believe nonsense.

Ketchum

Dr. Melba Ketchum: She’s Wrong — Trust Me

Move on with your life. Ponder all the new exo-planets being discovered virtually every day. Stop running around and trying to do everything in the world by noon and listen to the birds in your neighborhood — all of whom are real. If you take a drive on SR 37, glance at the rock wall cutouts along the side of the road and, noting all the layers of sediment, consider that you’re actually looking at millions of years of history.

But, once again, push the notion of Bigfoot out of your mind.

Because if you do believe in Bigfoot, you are indeed out of your mind.

LOTTERY LOSERS

Here’s another piece of advice. The next time there’s a ginormous Powerball payout, you will not win it.

121130050650-01-mo-powerball-1130-story-top

Statistically Speaking, These People Do Not Exist

Recent calculations indicate that the odds of winning the average Powerball prize are 1 in 175,223.510. And because last week’s half-billion-buck purse attracted so many new players, those odds shot upward.

So save your dough. Or better yet, just send it to The Electron Pencil; we’ll put it to better use than you blowing it on a racket in which your chance of winning, in essence, doesn’t exist.

DOOM

Let’s stick with the bunk. Admit it, that whole 2012/End of the World thing rattles around in your braincase every once in a while.

Mayan Calendar

The Mayan Calendar

As we approach December 21st, the target date for all our lives to go kaputnik (don’t try to find a definition for this word, I just made it up), you can be sure our corporate media newsbeings will be covering this “story” with either a smug, knowing smirk or flat-out idiotic credulity.

I’m dying to see how Fox News covers the impending apocalypse.

To that end, NASA has issued an advisory explaining why our interpretation of the Mayan calendar is screwy. Here’s space scientist David Morrison explaining why you’re a loon if you give even an iota of credence to this end of the world scenario.

Not that this well-thought-out, expert, fact-based argument will make a molecule of difference for the credulous.

TRUST ME

Speaking of credibility, I have next to none left after announcing several baker’s dozen times the new Ryder website and the attendant marriage of this site with that one.

Swear to the god I don’t believe in we’re only days away from that long-awaited debut.

Ryder

Almost There

I know, I know — you don’t want to hear about the labor pains, you only want to see the baby, so I won’t tell you what an heroic ordeal it’s been to get this thing off the ground. My technical and diplomatic skills have been tested to the extreme, but winners never quit, or so said someone like Dick Nixon, who eventually quit anyway.

So stay tuned and we’ll be making our grand announcement before you know it.

ONLY TRUST YOUR HEART

Believe Astrud.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later.” — Mark Twain

THE END

When I was a kid, magazines often carried cartoons featuring a robed, bearded guy walking the big city streets and carrying a sign that read, “The End Is Near.”

Usually the punch line would be delivered by a couple of passing businessmen, one of whom would muse to the other on how that end would affect his promotion or raise or his wife’s meatloaf.

Looking back, I suppose those cartoons reflected our need to deal with the specter of nuclear annihilation. On a less literal level, the general uneasiness over the burgeoning civil rights and women’s movements caused people to realize the world they were familiar with really was coming to an end.

May As Well Laugh

By and by, the Soviet Union collapsed and blacks and women began taking their rightful places in society. Lo and behold, the world didn’t end.

Now, we’re back to wondering if the end is near again. Climate change, our own vulnerability in the wake of 9/11, a crashed economy, internet panics, genetically modified foodstuffs, a black man as president, gay marriage, and even the Mayan calendar silliness have caused many to wonder if these are the last days.

They’re not. As George Carlin observed, we give ourselves too much credit. We can’t destroy the Earth, he said. It’s been here for billions of years and our societies have only been around for a few tens of thousands of years.

Carlin

The world has been struck by comets and asteroids, it’s been convulsed by earthquakes, it has experienced droughts and floods and been scoured by Ice Ages. Still it spins and life on it continues to grow and diversify.

Carlin even mentioned the crazy glut of discarded plastic bags accumulating in our oceans and across the land. He said the Earth, as it’s done since it came together eons ago, will just come up with a way of incorporating them into itself.

Part Of The Earth Now

We can’t end the Earth, Carlin concluded, we can only end ourselves.

And, I’d add, even that’d be awfully tough to accomplish. We tried our damnedest to wipe ourselves out back in the 1930s and 40s. World War II was the most violent spasm humanity has ever gone through. Anywhere from 60 to 100 million people were slaughtered during the hostilities. Yet here we are.

We’ve figured out a lot of things since the first hominids swung down from the trees and began branching off into proto-humanity. One thing we haven’t figured out, though, is perspective. Sometimes it seems we’re even regressing on that front.

In the 1960s, people who warned that the end was near were considered cartoon characters. Today they’re called in by the cable news channels to offer expert opinions.

GOIN’ TO THE CANDIDATES’ DEBATE

Remember that line from Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson”? Make sure to catch the vid at the bottom of this post.

Just a reminder: get yourself over to Bloomington High School South tonight for the debate between the five Democratic candidates for US Congress in Indiana’s 9th District.

BHSS is located at 1965 S. Walnut Street. The debate begins at 7:00 and runs for an hour and a half.

If you can’t make it, at least visit the candidates’ websites:

The primary is Tuesday, May 8th. The winner takes on Republican Todd Young in the November general election.

SINGING THE NEWS

Got two pieces of news at Bloomington Information Central — AKA the Book Corner — yesterday.

First, Maarten Bout, one of the big chiefs over at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, was brimming with the news that the first show of the 2012-2013 season has been set. Rufus Wainwright will play the venue on Tuesday, August 7th.

Wainwright

A few minutes later, Tom Roznowski ambled in, wearing his trademark fedora and a smart gray-on-gray retro ensemble. Bloomington’s storyteller, singer, author, and general custodian said he’s got a show lined up Saturday in Greenfield and his next hometown gig will be Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13th, 6:00 pm at The Player’s Pub.

Roznowski

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

◗ Bloomington, Citywide — IU’s Arts Week Everywhere 2012; Ongoing, various times

The Kinsey Institute Gallery “Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze,” exhibit, art by women examining men; Ongoing, 1:30-5pm

Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibition, “Esse Quam Videri (To Be Rather Than To Seem),” featuring Muslim self-portraits; 9am-4:30pm

Grunwald (SOFA) GalleryIU MFA & BFA Thesis 3 Exhibitions; Noon-XXX, through May 5th

Sembower FieldIU Baseball vs. Miami of Ohio; 4pm

Myers Hall, Indiana Molecular Biology Institute — Seminar, keynote speaker Dr. Don Ennis, University of Louisiana, “Mechanisms of Mycobacterium Marinum Transmission between Fish”; 4pm

Puccini’s La Dolce VitaYoung Professionals of Bloomington monthly meeting; 5:30-8pm

The Venue Fine Arts & GiftsGreg Jacobs presents “The Art of Wellness — Finding Wellness in a Health-Challenged Society”; 5:30pm

Bloomington City Hall, McCloskey Room — Erin Asher Meager presents “Creative Healing,” South Central Arts WORK Indiana meeting; 5:30-7pm

First Christian ChurchMoney Smart Week & the Indiana Attorney General’s office present “Schemes, Scams, and Flim-Flams”; 5:30pm

Jake’s NightclubKaraoke Tuesdays; 6pm

Patricia’s Wellness Arts Cafe & Quilter’s Comfort TeasUnfinished Object Night & Up-cycle Evening; 6:30-8:30pm

Bloomington High School SouthDebate, Democratic candidates for US Congress, Indiana’s 9th District; 7-8:30pm

Cafe DjangoJazz Jam; 7-10pm

First United Methodist ChurchSymphonic Bells of Bloomington Spring Concert; 7:30-8:30pm

Show-Me’sPoker; 7:30pm

The Player’s PubBlues Jam; 8pm

Farm Bloomington, Root Cellar — Tuesday Trivia; 8-10pm

The Palace Theatre of Brown County, Nashville– Cowboy Sweethearts; 8pm

Madame Walker Theatre CenterAuditions for “Queen Esther: A Fearless Shero”; 6-8pm

Max’s PlaceScott Bender’s Showcase; 8pm

AS PROMISED

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