So you can read my books

Monday, December 17, 2012



Mark Twain's ghost is having a field day with 12/21/12.

He stabs at a newpaper article with his smoldering ghost cigar:

"The apocalypse is surely near when Ramzan Kadyrov emerges as the voice of reason, Roland."

I read the paragraph he was pointing out:

The ruthless leader of Chechnya is among dozens of Russians officials, priests, doctors and psychiatrists aiming to calm an anxious populace frantically preparing for the end of the world later this week.

"People are buying candles saying the end of the world is coming," Kadyrov said in comments published on his official website last week.
"Does no one realise that once the end of the world comes, candles won't help them?"

Mark Twain points to NASA and other "experts" braying that the world as we know it will not end then. 

He coughs and says, "When you find yourself on the side of the majority in anything, son, it is time to re-think the situation."

Mark points to all the Doomsday movies where the world's governments lie to their citizens to prevent mass panic and riots.  "'Course our government would never lie to us, would they, Roland?"


Mark's ghost chortles, "Ah, yes, the Mayans, a bloodthirsty race that were good at two things:

Building highly accurate astrological equipment out of stone and sacrificing virgins.

Personally, I figure they picked 2012 'cause by that time they'd seen there would be flat no more virgins to sacrifice.  But that's just me."


Mark sighs to me, "Forget about the folly of changing horses in mid-stream son.  Right soon, the whole blamed world is about to switch something mighty worse: magnetic poles."

I caught him looking at me forelornly and he spoke low, "We all know the Earth is surrounded by a magnetic field that sheilds us from most of the sun’s radiation, son.

But what you might not know is that the magnetic poles we call north and south have a nasty habit of swapping places every 750,000 years or so –

 and right now we’re about 30,000 years overdue.

Scientists have noted that the poles are drifting apart roughly 10-20 miles each year, much faster than ever before, which points to a pole-shift being right around the corner.

While the pole shift is underway, the magnetic field is disrupted, don't you know?   And  it will eventually disappear, sometimes for up to 100 years. The result is enough UV outdoors to crisp your skin in seconds, killing everything it touches.

Ah, Roland, what's the strongest sunblock they sell these days?"


Mark's ghost wraps an arm around my shoulders and ...

the world blurs around me.
"This here is the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. On the fourth floor, just inside the entrance to the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs, you'll find a chunk of Montana dirt with dark and light bands layered like Neapolitan ice cream.

Not very exciting compared to the huge critters on display nearby. But one thin, grayish-beige layer might explain what exterminated these great beasts:

It's the impact residue of a 6-mile-wide asteroid that struck the Yucatán 65 million years ago. In its aftermath we see extinctions of everything from single-celled organisms to the largest dinosaurs."


I stumbled as the world becomes bright and uneven.  We're standing in Yellowstone National Park, right in front of Old Faithful.

"This pup will one day do a reverse Old Yellar, son, and kill a whole passel of folks.  Every 500,000 years or so, the super-volcano underneath this thing explodes something fierce. 

An eruption 250 million years ago in Siberia, Roland, released enough carbon into the atmosphere to cause the largest mass extinction in earth's history, the Permian-Triassic them scientific types call it, which wiped out 96 percent of all life.


Mark Twain's ghost asks me, "How much do you trust our blood-thirsty military, son?"

"Not very much, sir."

He nods sagely, "Cost for making new kinds of germs go down every year.  And the Big Brass thinks the best way to fight a terrorist bug attack is to make our own bugs with the antidotes to go with them.  'Course those viruses mutate when you least expect them to."

He puffs sadly on his cigar a moment.  "How long do you think before those boys screw up and let out a germ or two ... if they haven't already?"

Mark looks out into the darkness, "The last big influenza pandemic, the Spanish flu of 1918, is estimated to have killed more than five times as many people as World War I. A terrorist scientist could make hisself his own kind of smallpox."


Mark Twain's ghost fades. 

"Just 'cause things have gone on for a few thousand years or more

don't make it certain that the rapids aren't just around next week. 

The whole blamed solar system is sailing through space."

All that is left of him is ghost cigar smoke. 

"Sail all your life around the equator,

you might get to thinking the whole blamed ocean is warm.

  Sail a few hundred miles north and ice will be your tomb.

What if a different sub-set of rules apply to the space we're flying into, son? 

Quantum mechanics say the laws we think concrete are switched about in the micro-verse.

What if next week finds us in cosmic shark-infested seas of space?

Been an honor knowing you, Roland."

Not even his cigar smoke remained ... only darkness.



  1. I think the Mayans just ran out of room on their calendar. Besides, they never saw their own demise coming.

  2. Yes, what Alex said.

    That comment about germ warfare reminded me of 'The Stand', Roland. All antidotes are usually kept in the top secret bunkers for the elite few.

    I knew about the magnetic poles. I follow articles and news at NASA. Perhaps they will invent reflectors of some type.

  3. Alex:
    Neither did the dinosaurs. We never see the bullet that gets us. The Mayans predicted the exact date of winter soltice thousands of years in the future.

    Mark Twain's ghost snickers that predicting the world will end is a sure thing ... it's just the date that's iffy!

    We are so linear that it is hard for us to see consequences in critical areas that we overlook as minor or never even notice at all.

    My experience with Army Intelligence makes me leary of trusting any of the high Brass with anything globally lethal!

    I am sure what gets Man will catch him by utter surprise and without any warning at all.

    Look at that asteroid that whizzed between Earth and the moon not too long ago. It caught NASA by surprise. THAT is scary! :-)

  4. Pretty trippy post--just the kind I was in the mood for-thanks!

  5. Catherine:
    I was in the mood to write a fun post, and the ghost of Mark Twain is always willing to lend a spectral hand! He's happy you enjoyed it. :-)

  6. I have no doubt that this planet will end some day. All things die; nothing is infinite. I'm of two opposing thoughts about the end of the world.

    You know, its been predicted over and over; in my life I've lived through at least four - and that doesn't count the couple dates the Bible predicted Armegeddon. So The world will end either in a very predictable fashion; meaning I will literally be able to see it ripping apart, or scientists all over the world will be tracking a solar flare, or comet, or astroid, or alien invasion or even a the warming and shifting of the earth's core. As Mark says, scientists are already tracking the polar drifts, and when the slide is imminent (like withing 5 years or so) I'll start to worry.

    Or; the world will end in an unexpected gamma burst from outer space, an alien race with sneak up on us, a superVolcano will unexpectedly erupt; or one side or the other will start nuclear war.

    So we'll go out in an unexpected blaze of glory and light in the universe, or we'll self implode as a natural progression of aging.

    No old book of predictions (yep I've followed both the Bible and Nostradamus), or some scientists calculations of how old the Earth is, is gonna set the fear of anihilation in me.

    Like I said earlier; everything dies, everything ends. I won't assist the end, but I won't fear it either.

    Hmm; I'm taking a moment to think I shouldn't post this controversy. But you brought up some excellent philosophy points Roland/Mark, and I just love a good debate. Although most of this seems to agree with my own world view :)


  7. Donna:
    You and Mark Twain are right: something will end Man ... the exact date is the only thing unclear!

    The smart thing is to just squeeze all the healthy enjoyment out of each moment. Have a healing, happy Holiday Season! :-)

  8. Hi, Roland,

    SO true. LIFE of any kind is fleeting and we need to appreciate every second we have.

    Keep friends and family close and that God everyday for glorious new day. We have no control over THIS kind of future, but it doesn't hurt to keep your eyes WIDE OPEN.