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Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Weather (3)

The Electronic Mistress in all her glory
As I was sitting at "My Bloody Electronic Mistress" my beloved mentioned something about the weather, and I gathered from her tone that she expected an intelligible answer, not the usual Anonymous Grunt (see yesterdays post for elucidation).
"What was that Dear" I said
"It's not surprising there was an earthquake in Christchurch, it's been hot, humid and still all day." she said,
"It's earthquake weather".
"What? (tones of disbelief creeping into my voice)
"It's typical earthquake weather"  she said (in a tone which suggested that everyone knows this)
Still, Hot and Humid

I just stared incredulously at my beloved, my eyes bulging slightly.
Then I remembered that this was my beloved of 34 years I was staring at.
I did what most men would do in this situation.
I lied.

"Yes Dear" I said, "You're so right"

Now don't get me wrong, I have the utmost respect and love for my beloved, and I respect her right to believe in anything she wishes, but this latest idea is insane.

I've understood her need to attend church on a regular basis.
I've agreed to our kids going to catechism classes and attending church. (I don't think they go much anymore, being successfully infected with that great leveler RATIONALITY)
I even accept her need to say grace before meals (I don't join in but stay quiet, respecting her belief in her God, and my belief that I won't be getting frisky if I interrupt.)

How in all the levels of Hell has this idea been propagated.  Talking to friends and acquaintances, it became clear that amongst the older generation at least, it's an article of faith that earthquakes occur on still, hot and humid days.

Now let me see if I understand the premise.

An increase in the partial pressure of H20 combined with absolutely no atmospheric movement (which implies zero air/ground momentum/energy transfer) and a temperature of about 5°C above the norm causes a catastrophic movement of sections of rocks massing in excess of 1010 kilos and existing over 5000 metres below ground level.

There is absolutely no scientific reason for this sort of effect, and it beggars belief that an intelligent human being can actually believe that there is a causative relationship between such weather and an earthquake.
A real picture of ghosts at a basketball game and not a double exposre. Supposedly.

Mind you some people also believe in the "tooth fairy", Astrology, Tarot, Ghosts, Mediums, God (in his/her/its many manifestations of non-existence) Scientology, Faith Healing, Homeopathy, the Divine Right of Kings, the inherent superiority, beauty and intelligence of their offspring (which could actually be a racial survival trait, as it prevents us strangling the little sods when they decide on a cuddle in the martial bed just as things are getting frisky.

The whole idea of an afterlife, spiritualism and some sort of method of communication between the living and the dead (while being a comforting illusion) has absolutely no evidence to support it.  Many generations of con-men (and women) have made their living by syphoning money from the grief stricken relatives of the recently departed.  Some of these people may actually be sincere and merely delusional, but most are out and out tricksters and despicable crooks.  One of the best sources for understanding many of the tricks that are used is that excellent novel by the Scottish author Christopher Brookmyre, Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks.  I urge you to get it and read it.  It's very funny (very dark humour) as well as well written and informative on what these conniving bastards get up to.

On an aside, any Scottish ladies reading this post may really enjoy his earlier novel about a 40(ish) Scottish Mum who rescues Husband and Son from a raving psychopathic hoodlum, breaks up an international gun-trading cartel, joins a clandestine government (sort of) approved counter espionage organisation, all on the way home from the gym after going to Tescos.  If this type of novel may interest you, try All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses an Eye.

However, back to the Earthquake Weather.  There are many apocryphal stories about earthquake prediction, some of which may actually be true.  A sudden quiet, as birds stop singing.  Cats suddenly acting strangely, dogs howling for no apparent reason. Cattle and sheep milling about and panicking before we are aware of the quake.  All of these could be explained by subsonic/infrasonic/supersonic precursors to the full-blown earthquake, which the animals senses, different and probably more sensitive at some wavelengths, may be able to detect seconds before we humans are aware of something happening.

No, Timmy's not stuck down a well, neither is Johnny trapped down a mine, the  bloody house is going to collapse
But weather actually causing an earthquake?

It's as likely as a man actually listening intently and being really interested, as his partner expounds in great and horrific detail her closest friends gynaecological history, mishaps and misadventures.


  1. Ha, my old mum used to often talk about earthquake weather. It may be true that those animals can sense things before we do, but I think we have to take Fluffy (of RBB) out of that equation. While other animals are being clever, he would be fast asleep on my bed - well, it used to be my bed, but now I'm more like a third party. Sorry to drop my own problems onto you. It could just be that I'm effected by the earthquake weather.

  2. "Sorry to drop my own problems onto you"

    That's OK Richard [of RBB],I care as much about your problems as Ringo does for mine

  3. I believe in earthquake weather. When I lived in Wellington in the 50's, 60's and 70's and there were a lot of earthquakes there seemed to be a correlation with the weather being hot, humid and still. I go along with your beloved on this one.

    On another matter from your post - "....a cuddle in the martial bed...".

  4. Ungrateful Comeinyourpants, let's hope he's not wearing his son's underpants when the 'cuddle in the martial bed' arises as a possibility.

  5. I have Christopher Brookmyre's first book. What's not to love in a book whose opening words are 'Jesus Fuck!'?

    I shall peruse the rubber duck one with great pleasure.

    Now, TSB, something that you may not realise about me is that I'm the CHAIRMAN of the Tarot Association of The British Isles and I am about to expound to you. Feel free to look away now :-)

    *offers cup of tea*

    When a client comes to us, quite often it's because they need to talk to someone who is not a friend or family.

    When someone sits down in front of me and they feel helpless or hopeless about a particular issue, I aim to provide them with a reading that empowers them; encourage them feel less hopeless about things; help them create a coping strategy.

    Sure, we use a pack of cards to help us - but it could just as easily be random inkblot images or let them draw images themselves.

    If I want to know the weather, I'll look out the window, not consult the cards. But if I want to find a positive focus for a rainy day, I'll use the cards :-D



    PS - 'What can we do for Christchurch?' yielded the 2 of Cups. The image is of people sharing food and drink. This card is traditionally associated with love (not the lovey dovey stuff, the wider stuff - respect, equality etc. for me this means that it is time to step up to the plate and actively share what we have - knowledge, skills, goods, services - with the people of the region.

    Over and out.

    Ali xxxxxxx

  6. Alison, Christopher Brookmyre's second book has the opening lines ...

    "If Nicole Carrow was being absolutely honest with herself, her most substantial reason for believing Thomas McInnes was innocent was that he had made her a nice cup of tea."

    - 'Country of the Blind' - 1997.

  7. Now, THAT'S another stellar start to a novel, is it not?!

    Ali x

  8. The Curmudgeon: My "Freudian Slip"wasn't too bad. Sometimes the best things happen after a fight.

    Richard [of RBB]: Just leave my son's underpants alone thank you very much. I double check the sizes now.

    Ali X: I suspected that you had some sort of connection with Tarot, as I think I remember reading a ciuple of references to them on your great blog, but I didn't realise that you were the Chairperson of the Tarot Association.

    *bows humbly and touches forelock*

    I didn't quite realise that the methodology you utilise is more like a gentle form of psychotherapy rather than out-and-out fortune telling. It's the fortune telling component that I get a bit agitated about, but you sound as if you act like a friendly shoulder to cry on, rather than a prognosticator.

    Thanks for your expressions of suppoert for Christchurch, we're getting help from all around the world, and it's nice to know that people care.

    I'd forgotten about that first line, must read it again.

    Be good
    if you can't be good, don't get caught.


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