Giggling toward the apocalypse

Giggling toward the apocalypse August 20, 2019

 

Guatemala City, with three volcanos
The volcanos “Agua,” “Fuego,” and “Acatenango” loom over modern Guatemala City.
(Wikimedia Commons public domain image)

 

Bill Hamblin and I published the following column in the Deseret News on Friday, 16 August 2019:

 

“Is religious faith a disease to be cured?”

 

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This is an interesting, sobering, and provocative article:

 

“How a Silent Cosmos Led Humans to Fear the Worst”

 

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And, in a different way, these articles too are sobering:

 

“At the bottom of a glacier in Greenland, climate scientists find troubling signs”

 

“July 2019 was hottest month on record for the planet: Polar sea ice melted to record lows”

 

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In its fashion, this is a related article:

 

“‘Mystery’ volcano that cooled the ancient world traced to El Salvador”

 

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Wikimedia commons image of Yellowstone's caldera
“At Yellowstone and some other volcanoes, some scientists theorize that the earth’s crust fractures and cracks in a concentric or ring-fracture pattern. At some point these cracks reach the magma “reservoir,” release the pressure, and the volcano explodes. The huge amount of material released causes the volcano to collapse into a huge crater—a caldera.” From nps.gov

 

Are you sleeping too well at night?  Have you developed an unfortunate resistance to horror movies?  Do they no longer give you that delicious old thrill?

 

If so, consider reading this article about some of the world’s supervolcanos:

 

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170724-would-a-supervolcano-eruption-wipe-us-out

 

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Continuing in the same deliciously doom and gloom vein:  From the time that I was a teenager, I loved a song called “The Merry Minuet” that I heard on an album (Live at the hungry i) by The Kingston Trio.  The album was recorded in 1958 at the legendary hungry i club in San Francisco:

 

They’re rioting in Africa, they’re starving in Spain.
There’s hurricanes in Florida, and Texas needs rain.
The whole world is festering with unhappy souls.
The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles.
Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch.
And I don’t like anybody very much!

But we can be tranquil, and thankful, and proud,
For mans’ been endowed with a mushroom-shaped cloud.
And we know for certain that some lovely day
Someone will set the spark off, and we will all be blown away.

They’re rioting in Africa, there’s strife in Iran.
What nature doesn’t do to us, will be done by our fellow man.

 

Here’s a later rendition of it — I couldn’t find the one that originally heard — that I don’t like as much:

 

 

Curiously, I suppose, one of the takeaways from both the Kingston Trio song and the “Silent Cosmos” article is how little has changed, humanly speaking, over the years.

 

 

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