Look Who is Back

  

Janet said, “Come quick, the squirrel is back looking for more peanuts.”  Jeremy said, “Honey we just got that letter from our homeowners association which prevents us from providing any critters with food either purposefully or accidentally.”  Janet said, “Screw them, that squirrel is so cute and I would just love to nestle up with him and I am sure that giving him a few peanuts will not harm anyone.  No matter how heavily populated our neighborhood is, some wild animals are going to live in the surrounding woods and we must learn how to share the space with them peacefully.”

Jeremy said, “Baby I am happy that you are exerting your maternal instincts, but the most effective way to coexist is to have appropriate rules in place and let the wild animals be wild.  If we start to feed one of the squirrels, then he will probably tell all of his buddies where they can get a free meal and then numerous squirrels will start to amass in our back yard and they may even create a ceremony around it.  They may seem cute, but squirrels are wild animals, so you can never predict their behavior as it could become deleterious.  This particular little guy with that white bushy tail has been absent for a few days and he is looking woebegone, but perhaps he is just parched as it has not rained in a while.  Fill up a bowl of water and I will take that out to him.  Get hopping bunny, before the poor creature dies of thirst.”

Janet said, “While you may think that your acerbic tone is funny, it is not helpful and I don’t appreciate your humor.  I wish I had a magic button that I could press anytime I wanted you to be muted.  Take some peanuts with you when you go out with the water.”

Written for Rachel Poli I Read I Write I Create Time To Write: Picture Prompt 17 and Randomness Inked Scribbling the Unspoken Let it Bleed Weekly Prompt Challenge 20 with the prompt magic and Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle #198 #Wordle #MLMM #amwriting and the Daily Post where the prompt is ceremony.

Quite Right

“You can do it,” she whispered.  Sally continued, “I know that it is awkward, but I can’t find the last word if you see it let everyone know! If not go with Mellow.”  George replied, “OK mellow it is, like Donovan’s Mellow Yellow.”  Sally said, “I do like that Donovan song, however I never actually understood what the hell he was singing about.” George said, “That song comes from an escapist view of life, someone who doesn’t live in the real world, but dreams, wishes, and fantasizes instead.  It’s about being cool, laid-back, and also the electrical bananas that were rumored to get you high from smoking their dried skins and suddenly they were appearing everywhere on the hippie scene, but others thought that they were ladies’ vibrators.”

Sally said, “Thanks for explaining that. BTW did you know that the neurochemical serotonin plays a key role in determining your mood, and that bananas improve mood because of their serotonin content.”  George replied, “I am not a freaking dietitian, but that seems very appropriate as I feel that mellow is a mood and maybe this points out the untoward reason for Donovan bringing up bananas.  It is quite possible that I have been looking at this song with a negative viewpoint.  Being mellow doesn’t have to come from drug use, as it can be achieved through meditation.  Meditation does not mean sitting down and doing nothing and the practice does have an actual amazing variety of neurological benefits.  Did you know that McCartney dropped by the session and was captured on tape saying “Mellow Yellow” and doing some rapid cheering somewhere in the mix at the end of the song amid the revelry?”

Sally said, “You seem to know a lot about this song, I wonder if you scraped the fibers off of a banana skin and cooked them over a low fire to release the hallucinogenic qualities that were supposed to be in this material.  Maybe you even went to the Gap and purchased some corduroy pants, which came in shades of saffron and yellow to make yourself feel like an absolute beast.”  George said, “Nope, but I did drink that new soda called Mello Yello when it came out that was designed to compete with the Pepsi product Mountain Dew, but I only drank it offscreen, as I was not paid for an endorsement.  I can see Donovan being mad about a girl named Saffron and also saffron is a spice, and one that people could become quite mad about, although too much will definitely ruin the dish as I found out when I made paella.  The sequence of events in this song keeps changing until it winds up with a fourteen-year-old girl exploring her sexuality and getting to the point where she will soon start using a vibrator.  I actually wondered if that fourteen year old line makes Donovan come off as being a pervert, but some people think that I am weird as I enjoy looking at Amaryllis, because I think that they are pretty.

Written for three different prompts, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle #197, Let It Bleed Randomness Inked ‘You can do it’ and the Daily prompt awkward.

Building Blocks

The theories and discoveries of thousands of physicists since the 1930s have resulted in a remarkable insight into the fundamental structure of matter, which has boils down to the fact that everything in the universe is found to be made from a few basic building blocks called fundamental particles, governed by four fundamental forces.  The Standard Model of particle physics was developed in the early 1970s, and it has successfully explained almost all experimental results and precisely predicted a wide variety of phenomena.  As theories go, the standard model has been very effective, aside from its failure to fit in gravity.  Over time and through many experiments, the Standard Model has become established as a well-tested physics theory and it has given us more insight into the types of matter and forces than perhaps any other theory we have.  Virtually everything we know about the laws of physics falls into one of two piles.  In one, there’s quantum mechanics, from which we’ve developed the ‘Standard Model’, and three of the four interactions that include electromagnetism, and the weak and strong nuclear forces.  In the other pile, there’s Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, which describes the fourth force, gravity, and gives us black holes, the expansion of the universe, and the potential for time travel.

There are two types of fundamental particles, those being matter particles, some of which combine to produce the world about us, and force particles, one of which, the photon, is responsible for electromagnetic radiation.  Matter particles are split into two groups, and among them are quarks and leptons, there are six of these, each with a corresponding partner.  Leptons are divided into three pairs.  Each pair has an elementary particle with a charge and one with no charge, one that is much lighter and extremely difficult to detect.  The heaviest of all the leptons is the Tauon (also known as the Tau Lepton or Tau Particle).  The lightest of these pairs is the electron and electron-neutrino.  The charged electron is responsible for electric currents.  Its uncharged partner, known as the electron-neutrino, is produced copiously in the Sun and these interact so weakly with their surroundings that they pass unhindered through the Earth.  The other two neutrino pairs (called muon and muon neutrino, tau and tau neutrino) appear to be just heavier versions of the electron.  The electron is a truly fundamental particle (it is one of a family of particles known as leptons), but neutrons and protons are made of smaller particles, known as quarks.  Quarks are, as far as we know, truly elementary.

Most of the matter we see around us is made from protons and neutrons, which are composed of quarks.  There are six quarks, but physicists usually talk about them in terms of three pairs, those being the up/down, charm/strange, and top/bottom.  Also, for each of these quarks, there is a corresponding anti-quark.  A quark is any of a number of subatomic particles carrying a fractional electric charge, and they are postulated as the building blocks of the hadrons.  Quarks have not been directly observed, but theoretical predictions based on their existence have been confirmed experimentally.  A quark is a type of elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter.  Quarks combine to form composite particles called hadrons, the most stable of which are protons and neutrons, the components of atomic nuclei.

Fermions are one of the two fundamental classes of particles, the other being bosons.  The Standard Model includes 12 types of elementary fermions, which are six quarks and six leptons.  A fermion can be an elementary particle, such as the electron, or it can be a composite particle, such as the proton.  Quarks and leptons, as well as most composite particles, like protons and neutrons, are fermions.  Baryons are fermions, while the mesons are bosons.  Gluons mediate the strong interaction, which join quarks and thereby form hadrons, which are either baryons (three quarks) or mesons (one quark and one antiquark).  Protons and neutrons are baryons, joined by gluons to form the atomic nucleus.  Baryons, and Mesons are included in the overall class known as hadrons, the particles which interact by the strong force.  Baryons are made of two up quarks and one down quark (uud), protons are baryons and so are neutrons (udd).  Neutrinos are ghostly things and billions of them stream through every cubic centimeter of space every second.  But because they feel only the two weakest of the four fundamental physical forces, gravity and the aptly named weak nuclear force, rather than electromagnetism and the strong nuclear force, they hardly interact with the rest of creation.

Each of the four fundamental forces in the universe, those being gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong nuclear forces is produced by fundamental particles that act as carriers of the force.  The most familiar of these is the photon, a particle of light, which is the mediator of electromagnetic forces.  This means that, for instance, a magnet attracts a nail because both objects exchange photons.  The graviton is the particle associated with gravity.  The strong force is carried by eight particles known as gluons.  Finally, the weak force is transmitted by three particles, the W+, the W , and the Z.

Particle accelerators look for new stuff by slamming beams of old stuff together.  But a new particle accelerator observation has managed to be important while doing almost precisely the opposite of what we’d expect.  Physicists have found evidence for hard-to-detect stuff by, well, not slamming particles together.  A team of physicists at the ATLAS experiment of the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva Switzerland have found direct evidence that photons, or particles of light, scatter off of each other.  Classical high school physics expressly forbids this from happening, but the quantum mechanics theory governing light particles has since determined it should.  Two light waves should superimpose onto one another into one wave when they come into contact.  But light, in its smallest unit, can also act as a particle.  While studying how electromagnetism works for individual particles, physicists realized that photons could come into contact with one another, exchange information, and then scatter.

Written for Randomness Inked Scribbling the Unspoken Let it Bleed Weekly Prompt Challenge 18, where the prompt today is “Scatter”.

Rules Are Made To Be Broken

I entered this dimly lit basement and this guy starts saying, “The first rule of Fight Club is that you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is that you DO NOT talk about Fight Club!”  I had heard about this place the other night when I was hanging out in the pool hall, so clearly somebody was not good at keeping secrets.  I had a promising career as a mixed martial arts fighter, till that one incident and now my agent dropped me because he said he was not able to book any more fights for me.  I was undefeated with a record of 4 and 0 going into my last fight and I had this guy, I was winning.  I had him down on the mat and my powerful legs had him in a scissor lock and I was waiting for him to tap out.  Adrenaline was running through my veins, and this rapid flatulence just took over, hey we have all done it from time to time.  This was the wrong time, because the crowd watching the fight heard me blast off into this guy’s face.  He tapped out immediately and now my record is 5 and 0, but that ended my career.

This guy in the basement approached me and said, “This is quite a big crowd here tonight, this place is really getting popular” and I nodded because this was my first time here and I did not know how else to respond.  He started telling me how happy he was that he found this place, because he really enjoyed fighting.  He looked like a fighter as I saw that he had several noticeable bruises, a few missing teeth and it appeared like his nose was broken.  He said that his name was Joe and that he was happy to be part of this masculine rebellion against the confines of society.  I told Joe that my name was Jim and that I had been a student of martial arts since I was a teenager.  Joe asked, “How many people did you tell?”  I responded, “I know how to keep my mouth shut and I understand that it is never any good to let the cat out of the bag or let anything else out for that matter.”

Written for Randomness Inked Scribbling the Unspoken Let it Bleed Weekly Prompt Challenge 17, where the prompt today is “How many people did you tell?”

Thirst For Water

Early man developed the ability to reason and he realized that food, water, sex and sleep are good things and that pain, hunger and thirst were undesirable.  Long before human beings had the ability to control fire, before man started wearing clothing and before man invented the first wheel, they thirsted for pure drinking water.  The need for water is a basic human essential for maintaining life, without it, no civilization would have prospered.  Water has always had a great affect on humanity and civilization because water is so absolutely vital to our body systems.  Human beings are entirely dependent upon water, in fact, this simple substance, more than any other factor, guided the formation of civilization.

Dying of thirst was a real threat for early man so man needed to devise ways to measure water because he was concerned about how much water he would get versus how much was given to others.  Early man needed to learn how to share handfuls of water with the rest of the tribe and this was probably how primitive man first measured a defined volume of liquid.  When early man was near a stream or lake they bent down and cupped their hands to drink water when they got thirsty and they stopped when their thirst was met.  Skins made from the hide of a goat were probably the first receptacles used for water drinking vessels.  Early man probably toted water with them when they journeyed away from their villages.  Earthen ware drinking vessels eventually replaced skins for drawing and holding water, once man discovered the art of making pottery.  Having a standard size cups and bowls for water made it more convenient to drink, sell and trade according to liquid volume.

Around 3000 BC, the Jewish Old Testament is filled with references to springs and wells, and they developed laws regarding drinking water.  The basic rule was one of common property, stating that water which came from rivers and streams and water that formed springs belonged to every man, because water from natural sources was “provided by God”.  Many important sources of water came from wells, however, where human labor was necessary to gain access to the water, this drinking water was managed as a common resource, though not an open access resource.  Within each community, Jewish law prioritized access according to use, giving the highest priority to drinking water, then irrigation and grazing.  The very highest priority access was granted to those in need, regardless of whether they belonged to the well’s community of owners or not.  This is called the “Right of Thirst” and was written “Let all you who thirst, come to the water!”  Thus any traveler in an arid region could foresee a situation where he or she might need water from strangers for survival.  In satisfying the Right of Thirst, rules of access still applied, for villagers’ necessary drinking requirements took priority over outsiders’. But outsiders’ thirst took precedence over local grazing and other uses.

A camel can go without drinking longer than any other domestic animal.  In the cooler part of the year, a camel may not drink water for up to six months as it gets all the moisture it needs from its food.  Even during the blazing hot summer months, a camel may drink only once a week.  A camel conserves water so well that it can lose up to 40 percent of its body weight and still live.  When camels drink, they consume enormous amounts of water at one time.  A thirsty camel can drink over 5 gallons of water in one minute and a very thirsty camel such as one that has just finished a long, hot caravan trip can gulp 35 gallons of water in six minutes.  When a thirsty camel smells water, it rushes to the water, fights, and struggles to overcome anything in its way.  Sometimes watering troughs are broken or knocked over from frenzied camels rushing for water.  When a camel goes too long without water, it’s eyes fill with tears, they refuse to graze, and they begin to moan.  As the camel dehydrates, part of its hump wastes away.  The hydrogen contained in the hump is released, combining with oxygen to create water for the camel.  When the hump is wasted away, the camel dies.

Solomon had a harem of over 700 wives and concubines, yet he was enamored by a young Black virgin from Ethiopia. Solomon wished to plant his seed in Makeda ‘the Queen of Sheba’ but according to Ethiopian tradition, the Queen must remain chaste.  The shrewd king conspired to conquer the affection of this young queen with whom he had fallen in love.  Solomon invited Queen Makeda to a magnificent dinner at his palace and the meal lasted for several hours and featured hot, spicy foods that were certain to make all who ate thirsty and sleepy, as King Solomon had planned.  Since the meal ended very late, the king invited Queen Makeda to stay overnight in the palace in his quarters.  She agreed as long as they would sleep in separate beds and the king would not seek to take advantage of her.  He vowed to honor her chastity, but also requested that she not take anything in the palace.  Outraged by such a suggestion, the Queen protested that she was not a thief and then promised as requested.  Not long after the encounter, the Queen, dying of thirst, searched the palace for water.  Once she found a large water jar and proceeded to drink, the King startled her by stating, “You have broken your oath that you would not take anything by force that is in my palace.”  The Queen protested, of course, that surely the promise did not cover something so insignificant and plentiful as water, but Solomon argued that there was nothing in the world more valuable than water, for without it nothing could live.  Makeda reluctantly admitted the truth of this and apologized for her mistake, begging for water for her parched throat.  Solomon, now released from his promise, assuaged her thirst and his own, immediately taking the Queen as his lover.

Around 775 BC, a remarkable story is told of king Soüs, who was besieged by the Clitorians, the inhabitants of Kleitor in ancient Arcadia in a barren spot where it was impossible to get freshwater.  His soldiers were suffering from thirst, so the king agreed that he would restore to the besiegers all his conquests, provided that himself and all his men should drink of the nearest spring.  King Soüs called his soldiers together, and made an offer for a reward to any man that would forbear drinking. Not a man among them was able to forbear, in short, when they had all drunk their fill.   When all were satisfied, Soüs approached the spring, and, in the presence of his own soldiers and those of the enemy, merely sprinkled his face; then, without allowing a drop of water to enter his mouth.  The king marches off in the face of his enemies, refusing to yield up his conquests, stating that the articles of the agreement were unfulfilled, because himself and all his men had not drunk of their water.

Tantalus, a Greek mythological figure was welcomed to Zeus’ table in Olympus, where he misbehaved by stealing ambrosia and nectar to bring it back to his people, and reveal the secrets of the gods.  For his crimes, he was condemned to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches, with the fruit ever eluding his grasp, and the water always receding before he could take a drink, so he was never able to quench his thirst.   A different version of this story tells how Tantalus did one of the most disgusting acts in Greek mythology, killing his son Pelops, cutting him up and roasting the pieces of his body and then serving him to the Gods at a dinner party.  However, the Gods understood what was going on and they refused to eat.  The punishment of Tantalus was an eternal punishment, much like Sisyphus suffered.  When someone is tantalized, that person can’t get what they need or desire because it is always out of reach, or too hard to get.

In 325 BC, Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) Macedonian King and conqueror of one of the largest empires in history, led his men through the Gedrosian desert a mountainous country along the northwestern shores of the Indian Ocean in search of Darius a Persian king, where the water was scarce and he and his army also had to battle sandstorms.  They covered four hundred miles in eleven days, and Alexander and his soldiers were nearly dead from thirst.  Some Macedonian scouts had gone ahead to select a camp-site and when they returned they brought back a few bags of water from a distant river, so they offered Alexander a helmet full of water.  Although his mouth was dry so much that he was nearly choking from thirst, he gave the helmet back with his thanks and explained, “There is not enough for everyone, and if I drink, the others will faint.  I cannot bear to drink alone and since it is not possible for me to share so little with everybody I will have to wait.”

Alexander’s army plodded on the next day suffering from the heat and raging thirst and finally in the evening, Alexander reached the Oxus river, but most of the troops were unable to keep pace with him.  Alexander lit up beacons so that his men could see their way to the new camp.  Those that arrived first, were quickly revived by having something to eat and drink, and then they were ordered by Alexander to fill skins, or any vessels that could find for carrying water, so they could bring relief to their comrades that were still marching there.  But some of these men gulped the water down too greedily and died from blockage of the windpipe.  Alexander stood at the point where the troops were arriving, and he did not leave and would not take any food or drink, until his entire column had passed him.

Jesus went through Samaria on the way back from Judaea to Galilee, and He arrived at the town of Sychar, near the field Jacob gave to his son Joseph.  Jesus, was tired from walking so He sat down by Jacob’s well.  It was the middle of the day, when He saw a Samaritan woman with a bucket, come for some water, and Jesus said to her, “Please can I have a drink.”  The woman replied, “What, you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan, for a drink?”  Jesus answered, “If only you knew what God gives and who I am, you would ask me, and get water for life.”  “But sir,” she said, “you haven’t a bucket, and it’s a deep well.  How can you get water of life?  Jacob gave us this well, his family used it and watered their animals here.  You don’t claim to be better than Jacob, do you?”  Jesus said, “Anyone who drinks this well water will be thirsty again, but if they drink the water I supply, they will never be thirsty again.  My water is like an internal spring, always supplying the kind of water that leads to real life.”  The woman asked, “Please give me your kind of water!  Then I will never be thirsty, and won’t have to fetch water again.”

Around 610, Muhammad (570–632) Arabian founder of the religion of Islam, accepted by Muslims throughout the world as the last of the prophets of God, chose his foundation mares by a test of their endurance, courage and loyalty.  The hot desert wind blew against the tent, driving the dust inside.  His daughter Fatima walked softly in, carrying an earthenware jug full of cold water, and handed it to the Prophet.  “Please, stop tormenting yourself, Mohammed,” she said, “drink some water!”  “I will drink when the test is over, and then the horses can drink, too.  I cannot drink knowing they are thirsty,” said the Prophet.   “I do not understand this test, nor do I like it,” said Fatima angrily.  “Depriving the horses from drinking for three full days is cruel.  I cannot believe you would do it, a man who loves animals better than himself!”  “I must.  Allah commanded me, would you have me disobey God?  The spread of Islam depends greatly on the loyalty and strength of our horses.  The best of these horses, said Allah, will be honored till the end of time, but it is the evening of the third day now, so let us go to the horses and conduct the test.”

He took a horn that hung at the tent’s entrance, and walked toward an enclosure where about a hundred horses were confined, a little distance from the water hole of the oasis.  The horses looked reproachfully at their beloved master as he quickly opened the gate.  Tormented by thirst, the horses galloped to the water hole, but before they could reach it, Mohammed raised the horn to his lips and sounded the call for war.  The horses ignored it.  They were so thirsty that perhaps they couldn’t even hear it, and went on galloping toward the water.  But not all of them.  Five mares stopped.  Without hesitation, they turned around and returned to Mohammed, ready to do whatever was required of them.  The Prophet stroked their silky manes, with tears in his eyes as he led them to the water and envisioned the glorious future as they drank.  He knew that these mares would foal the finest of Arab horses, the only horses of pure blood, the horses that would help bring Islam to every corner of the Earth.

In 1095, Peter the Hermit a radical monk led an unofficial Crusade.  When his small army arrived in the Holy Lands, thousands perished because they were in need of food and water.  Some of the crusaders were saved by dogs that had followed them back to their camp.  When these dogs arrived at the camp, the thirsty people noticed they had muddy paws, and figured that the dogs must have found water.  They followed the dogs’ tracks and came to water.

In 1402, Timur, also known as Timur the lame or Tamerlane (1336-1405) Central Asian conqueror was known for his intelligence and military skill was able to conquer an empire stretching from Russia to India, and from the Mediterranean Sea to Mongolia.  Timur decided to strike at the Ottoman Empire and he realized that a meaningful supply of water was essential to both armies.  After receiving reports from his scouts, he developed an ingenious plan to give him an advantage in the coming conflict.  While waiting for the Ottomans to appear, Timur used his large corps of engineers and his 32 trained elephants to build a diversion dam across Çubuk Creek, the only major water source in the area, with the exception of a few wells.  A gap was left in the diversion dam, to give the approaching Turks the illusion that the creek still flowed unimpeded. Then, a canal of about one and a quarter miles in length was dug parallel to the creek.  The canal then made a northwest turn along a smaller tributary creek which ran through a small but deep valley.  Finally, a somewhat smaller diversion dam was constructed to temporarily contain the diverted water in a reservoir after the first diversion dam was closed.

As the hot, thirsty, and nearly worn out Turkish army approached the battlefield from several days of forced marches they saw the Mongolian forces arrayed in battle formation along the banks of Çubuk Creek just south of the town.  Then, before their very eyes, the Turks saw their main source of water reduced to a trickle, and shortly disappear altogether.  Frantically searching for an alternative source, the Ottomans found a single well, but it had, been fouled by the Timur’s men.  With no other source of water available, the morale of the Ottoman army plummeted.

In 1895, Booker T. Washington (1856–1915) African-American spokesman and leader gave a speech before a predominantly white audience at the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta.  His ‘Atlanta Compromise’ address, as it came to be called, where he noted that one-third of the population of the South is of the Negro race became one of the most important and influential speeches in American history.  Washington said, “A ship lost at sea for many days suddenly sighted a friendly vessel.  From the mast of the unfortunate vessel was seen a signal, ‘Water, water; we die of thirst!’  The answer from the friendly vessel at once came back, ‘Cast down your bucket where you are.’  A second time the signal, ‘Water, water; send us water!’ ran up from the distressed vessel, and was answered, ‘Cast down your bucket where you are.’  And a third and fourth signal for water was answered, ‘Cast down your bucket where you are.’  The captain of the distressed vessel, at last heeding the injunction, cast down his bucket, and it came up full of fresh, sparkling water from the mouth of the Amazon River.”  The Amazon River is so huge that it pushes fresh water far out into the ocean.  The Amazon is responsible for a fifth of the total volume of fresh water entering the oceans worldwide.  Offshore of the mouth of the Amazon, potable water can be drawn from the ocean while still out of sight of the coastline.

Written for Randomness Inked Scribbling the Unspoken Let it Bleed Weekly Prompt Challenge 16, where the prompt today is “Thirst”.

Till The Cows Come Home

It was already too late to make any more hay bale decorations, as the judge would be here soon to bestow the hay decorating prize.  The cows will also be wandering up this way as soon as we open up this field for them to graze.  Cows are notoriously languid creatures that usually go along at their own unhurried pace.  The cattle that are let out to pasture are usually expected to return to the barn for their milking the next morning, as otherwise their udders will feel like they are bursting with milk, which would make them very uncomfortable.

100 Words

Written for Randomness Inked Scribbling the Unspoken “Let it Bleed” Weekly Prompt Challenge 15 and Princess Joy Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers 164th Challenge.