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Yet more from Colorado Bend State Park

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Here’s a last installment from Colorado Bend State Park on February 9th. The first post you saw from there showed separate views of the pool with green water and the orange-brown rocks in Spicewood Springs Creek. Today’s top photograph combines those features and throws in stark shadows for good measure. The picture below shows that I played around with abstractions. Hardly a surprise.

 What did come as a surprise was a little ice surviving at the base of a tree a few paces away.

 

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Michael Shellenberger’s timely article in Bari Weiss’s Common Sense on March 1st bears the title “The West’s Green Delusions Empowered Putin,” and the subtitle reads “While we banned plastic straws, Russia drilled and doubled nuclear energy production.” The article explains how Russia ended up in such a strong position and Europe in such a weak one.

How is it possible that European countries, Germany especially, allowed themselves to become so dependent on an authoritarian country over the 30 years since the end of the Cold War? 

Here’s how: These countries are in the grips of a delusional ideology that makes them incapable of understanding the hard realities of energy production. Green ideology insists we don’t need nuclear and that we don’t need fracking. It insists that it’s just a matter of will and money to switch to all-renewables—and fast. It insists that we need “degrowth” of the economy, and that we face looming human “extinction.” (I would know. I myself was once a true believer.)

Michael Shellenberger’s article is short yet provides all the figures needed to justify his claims. Have a look.

 © 2022 Steven Schwartzman

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 4, 2022 at 4:36 AM

More from Colorado Bend State Park

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Four days ago you saw a February 9th picture of the attractive pool on Spicewood Springs Creek in Colorado Bend State Park, along with a view of the creek flowing over orange-brown bedrock on its way into that pool. The photograph above shows how the water flowed out of and down from the pool.

I also played around with reflections in that lower portion of the creek. The white tells you the trees were sycamores (Platanus occidentalis), whose bright limbs you saw two direct views of not long ago. A little further downstream the reflections were more complex.

 

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Some of us remember the hit 1950s musical The Music Man, set in the fictional town of River City. At one point in the story a con man named Harold Hill sings a song about the potential for vice in the town, particularly from playing pool:

Trouble, oh we got trouble,
Right here in River City!
With a capital “T”
That rhymes with “P”
And that stands for Pool.

Notice how the song makes a thing out of the first letters T (for Trouble) and P (for Pool). Now, in a strange jumping forward to today, Harold Hill’s initials, HH, came up in a February 21st speech given by Canadian Liberal MP—more initials, this time for Member of Parliament—Ya’ara Saks. According to Yahoo! News:

“Canadian Liberal MP Ya’ara Saks stated Monday that the onomatopoeia “honk honk” was a coded message meaning “heil Hitler.”

Saks gave her testimony before Parliament on Monday, where she lamented perceived government inaction regarding the truckers.

“How many guns need to be seized?” Saks asked from her podium. “How much vitriol do we have to see of ‘Honk Honk’ — which is an acronym for ‘heil Hitler’ — do we need to see on social media?”

“Honk honk” has become an unofficial slogan of the Freedom Convoy — a reference to the protesters’ use of horns to pester and annoy residents and government officials until pandemic mandates are lifted.

Saks claimed the onomatopoeia was an “acronym” for “heil Hitler,” a phrase historically used by neo-Nazis as a declaration of support for White supremacy. It is likely that Saks misspoke — acronyms are an abbreviation of a phrase by the first letter of its words.

Saks received strong backlash on social media from users accusing her of fabricating the hypothesized link between “honk honk” and “heil Hitler.”

However, Saks doubled down on her assertion the same day on social media.

“For those who think that ‘Honk Honk’ is some innocuous joke. I’ll just leave this here,” Saks wrote Monday.

Unlike the MP, I won’t leave this here, folks, no siree. Do you see how the cryptic apostrophe in the name Ya’ara has foiled what would otherwise be two consecutive A’s in the first name of the MP? Hmmm: definitely suspicious. And notice how there’s yet another A at the end of her first name, and how even her family name contains an A. No doubt something profound’s going on here, but so far even my Sherlock-Holmes-like prowess hasn’t let me penetrate that secret code.

But I’m pleased to announce that my Sherlock-Holmes-like prowess has led me to penetrate the truckers’ cryptic semantic veil. Yesterday morning it came to me in a coup de foudre that honk honk is actually code for beep beep. Oh, those sneaky, insidious, wily, truckers! Beep beep gives rise to the alliterative initialism BB, which was once a familiar designation for the SS—not the Nazi Schutzstaffel (euphemistically a ‘Protection Squad’), but the Sex Symbol Brigitte Bardot, who gave up movie acting in the 1970s, became an animal rights activist, and is still alive at the age of 87. And what is her nationality? French!! And what is Justin Trudeau’s heritage? It’s French!!! Do you get it now? Not yet? The truckers were indeed putting out a dog whistle—BB is well known as a dog lover—for Brigitte Bardot to come to Canada, stage a coup d’état—look at that French phrase!—and replace Justin Trudeau as the country’s prime minister. Aren’t you just barking mad at yourself now for not having figured that out on your own?

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman

 

 

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 24, 2022 at 5:42 AM

Colorado Bend State Park

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Not having been to Colorado Bend State Park in probably at least 15 years, on February 9th we drove the hour and three-quarters northwest to get there. After such a long ride, we unfortunately discovered that authorities had closed the rugged trail down to Gorman Falls due to residual ice and mud that made the going treacherous. To compensate, we trekked a level and easy trail to a part of the park along Spicewood Springs Creek that we hadn’t seen on our long-ago visit. There we found a pool whose water looked deliciously green in the day’s bright sunlight. That contrasted with the orange-brown bedrock over which the creek frothed on its way into this pool, shown below at 1/1250 of a second.

 

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I have never in my adult life seen anything like the censorship fever that is breaking out across America. In both law and culture, we are witnessing an astonishing display of contempt for the First Amendment, for basic principles of pluralism, and for simple tolerance of opposing points of view.

That statement by David French—versions of which I, whose adult life is decades longer than his, have also been making for the past two years—comes from a February 6th article that includes relevant quotations by Frederick Douglass and John Stuart Mill, along with links to other good articles. I do hope you’ll read David French’s “Our Nation Cannot Censor Its Way Back to Cultural Health.”

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 20, 2022 at 4:32 AM

Red Rock Canyon Open Space

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Just a mile south of Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs is Red Rock Canyon Open Space. While its formations aren’t nearly as well known nor as extensive or impressive, the rocks do offer up some pleasant colors and intricate patterns. Here are two panels of stone that caught my attention on June 7th. As far as I know, the hole in the center of the second picture is natural.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 3, 2017 at 4:49 AM

After the rain

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After the rain started on the afternoon of June 6th at Garden of the Gods, we went and looked at the exhibits inside the visitor center, then drove northeast to the other side of Colorado Springs so we could check into our hotel. A couple of hours later, when the sky seemed to have cleared up somewhat in the west, I called the visitor center and was told that the sun had indeed broken through over there. We drove the 8 miles back to Garden of the Gods and took advantage of the remaining late-afternoon light. You won’t be surprised to hear that for me that usually means taking more pictures. Other visitors had the same idea, as you can see in the photograph above. (I may cast a long shadow as a nature photographer—oh, the conceit—but my shadow isn’t among the ones included here.)

The remaining daylight gradually dwindled, so I staked out a place and waited to see if we got a good sunset. Slowly some colors crept into the early evening sky. The photograph below gives you an idea of the peak colors we saw.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 9, 2017 at 5:02 AM

Racing the rain

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A little after 2:00 in the afternoon on June 6th we arrived at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. The sky looked ominous, so we wasted no time in making the rounds of as many formations as we could. Gradually the sky grew more threatening, until eventually a few drops began to come down. We took those drops as a signal and headed back to our car before the real rain hit.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 8, 2017 at 4:56 AM

Helen Hunt Falls

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On June 7th we visited North Cheyenne Cañon (or Canyon) Park on the west side of Colorado Springs. One of the main attractions in the park is Helen Hunt Falls, named not for the actress but for Helen Maria Hunt Jackson.

Just downstream from the base of the falls, part of North Cheyenne Creek rushes over a smooth area of rock, concave up, that shoots the water diagonally into the air. Below is a view of that splashing dynamic at 1/4000 of a second, with the water moving from right to left.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 2, 2017 at 4:33 AM

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