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Mendocino County Today: Monday, July 4, 2022

Light Rain | 1890 Celebration | Kelley 4th | Philo Farmstand | MCN Crises | Caspar Dance | Sexist Signs | Name Changing | Hop Festival | Mendo Protest | Girl Champs | Ed Notes | Mendo Theatre | Pillsbury Cyanobacteria | Old Ukiah | Oil Profits | Phone Lasagna | Tree War | Yesterday's Catch | 3·R Market | Ukraine | Prayer Choice | World Order | Joyous Future | Elder Vice | Guinness Good | Abortion Pills | Unbelievable Decisions | Frankie Happy | Sacred Duty | Pomolita 1950 | Hit Iraq | Kneeling Fine | Hoarding | Life Expectancy | Gun Control | Vet 100 | Fascism Bug | Human Angst | State Street | Retired Ironworker | Car Struck | Emergency Food | Other Dimensions | My Point

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RAIN ON THE 4TH OF JULY? Believe it or not, low pressure tracking offshore will bring drizzly light rain tonight through the morning of the 4th, with even some showers lingering into the evening. On the bright side, any rain this time of year is beneficial to our vegetation, as well as hydrologic and fire weather concerns.

It will not rain the entire day, with some occasional dry breaks, and the amounts will be rather light. It will be rather cool inland for this time of year as well! Any evening fireworks displays or other festivities may have to compete with clouds and an occasional shower. Dress accordingly, and enjoy your 4th of July safely.

PERIODS OF LIGHT RAIN and showers will carry into early Wednesday with an area of low pressure stalled offshore. Inland temperatures will remain well below average through the first half of the week under entrenched longwave troughing. Light precipitation chances will linger into late this week before high pressure finally builds in.

(National Weather Service)

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1890: Fourth of July celebration in Mendocino in an open field called Bank Square (later to become Heider Field). Dr. James W. Milliken is reading the Declaration of Independence. The houses in the background are the C. O. Packard house and its tank house on the left and the Henry Jarvis house and its water tower on the right. The hill behind them is empty at this time, but in 1893 a new high school building will start construction there.

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JULY 4TH PICNIC AND LAWN PARTY AT THE KELLEY HOUSE

Monday, July 4, 11 AM - 3 PM

Our biggest fundraiser is back after a two year hiatus! Visit with old friends, dance to live music from the Mixed Nuts, and watch the parade from the lawn. Enjoy chicken or veggie tacos from Miss KJ’s Bangin’ Bites food truck, plus seasoned corn, and fruit. Wet your whistle with any of our beverage options: margaritas, sangria, beer, wine, and an assortment of non-alcoholic drinks. Bring your picnic blanket for a spot on the lawn (but please leave pets at home).

Thank you to all of our marvelous volunteers who are helping us make this possible. And a shout out to our wonderful sponsors: North Coast Brewing Co. , Old Gold Jewelry, Handley Cellars, Seebass Vineyards, Husch Vineyards, Fathers and Daughters Cellars, Highway 20 Feed, Noyo Ice, Harvest Market, Miss KJ’s Bangin’ Bites.

See you there!

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THIS WEEK AT BLUE MEADOW FARM

We'€™re Open!

Walla Walla Onions, Lettuce, Baby'€™s Breath, Zucchini, Sungold Tomatoes — Anaheim, Padron Peppers and Jalapenos are also trickling in. More soon!

Blue Meadow Farm, 3301 Holmes Ranch Road, Philo, 707-895-2071

Open Daily: 10-dusk

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TRAIN WRECK AT MCN

by Jim Gagnon

Late last Friday afternoon MUSD put out the attached notice of a special school board meeting with a one line description of the meeting’s topic: "Special MUSD school board meeting next week July 7th at 7pm on ownership options for MCN."

How we got here begins with the CEO of MCN, Sage Statham, tendering the notice of his resignation. He did so months in advance, so the district embarked on the usual civil service interview process. Seems the school board didn’t like any of the people that applied in the first round. We know this much because two members of the Comptche Broadband Committee (CBC) were approached after that first round to see if we had any interest in the job. The CBC feels that MCN’s growth potential is limited for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is a risk-averse school board.

Well, it’s gets worse. Apparently, the operations person at MCN was Sage’s wife Nina. She was one of the first round applicants the board didn’t like. She found out this week that she’s not being considered for the job, so she rage quit before Sage’s last day. That last day was Friday, the end day of MCN’s DSL service (wonder if he timed it for that?). So now, MCN is headless and has a bunch of unhappy customers.

The inner workings of MCN are unknown to us, but losing the top two technical people in an eight person company can’t be good.

About DSL in Comptche: MCN was stitching together a last minute deal with an outside DSL provider to service the Sonic and MCN DSL customers that were going to lose their service. Apparently, that deal fell apart last week (unknown if it was related to the personnel matters) so now all former DSL customers of both Sonic and MCN are now internet-less. The CBC will be reaching out to the folks we know who are affected to see how they’re doing, and to see what their options for internet might be.

The last time the school board looked at selling MCN, it was quite entertaining. MCN seems to evoke a lot of pride in the Mendo crowd, so everyone turned out for public comment. We imagine we’ll see something of the same, peppered with annoyed DSL customers. Just to ensure a fun time for all, the CBC invited the flower of Mendocino’s internet community: Dane Jasper of Sonic, Michael Ireton of pacific.net, Tamir Scheinok of Further Reach and Andrew Brickweg of Etheric Networks. The CBC also put the word out in the tech community about this ownership option meeting. You’ll be sure to see the ISP vultures circling the MUSD K8 next Thursday.

In particular we know Ireton has long wanted to buy MCN. Further Reach thinks it has the inside track, as they’ve already been in contact with the school district and have offered money and expertise to keep the MCN ship afloat. Much depends upon the school board’s priorities: money, community, continuity or legacy? Don’t expect any bold initiatives, though. The day for that passed long ago. This board has been milking MCN since 2009; they’re pleased as pigs in mud as long as MCN delivers $25-50K annually to the school district budget. Not like the fat early internet days though, when MCN generated a quarter mill-plus a year like a machine.

The CBC will attend this meeting at the Mendo K8. Not as cosy as zooming on the sofa, but watching the board squirm in person will be priceless.

Jim Gagnon, co-chair, Comptche Broadband Committee, http://comptchebits.org/

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WRONG ABOUT BEING WRONG

To the Editor:

TWK was wrong when he said he was wrong. The downtown redo was beautiful when finished with the ambiance of the old fashioned lamp lights. A week later it was destroyed with two-foot gaudy yellow crosswalk signs. (Have you noticed the lamp lights since then? No?) Worst of all the signs are sexist, showing only men can cross, except at State and Magnolia.

Jon Telschow

Ukiah

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SCOTT TAUBOLD: I support the changing of the college name from Hastings’ college to “Powe no’m” which means “one people” in the nearly extinct language of the Yukis, I would like to mention that I was on the Fort Bragg committee regarding changing the name of the Northern California town for eighteen months and was satisfied with the outcome of the committee for not recommending a name change. The issues of the two justice measures differ quite a bit. The local tribes in Mendocino County did not support the name change and had no proposed name if it was due to be changed. Canceling culture or restorative justice is not a simple issue and an across the board measure is not appropriate for every circumstance and location. It brings up many very complex issues.

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Hop Festival, Ukiah, 1913

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MENDO DOES THE 4TH

Protest March 4th of July

We won’t go back!

The theme is to protest the reversal of Roe v Wade.

Meet up at Crown Hall, 45285 Ukiah St, in Mendocino before 11:30

Express your outrage by carrying intelligent and funny signs, coat hangers, costumes.

Tell your friends, let's make a peaceful showing of our outrage.

No dogs please

No need to sign up.

All genders welcomed!

Here are the details:

Wear white.

Parking gets crazy so carpool and get to town early and park, bring or get your coffee and hang out and then

Wear comfortable shoes, bring water, stay hydrated.

Wear a hat and sunscreen, it can be a long hot march.

Concerned about COVID? Take care of each other, bring a mask and respect each other's space & who are wearing masks.

Adriane Nicolaisen <adriane@mcn.org>

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ED NOTES

GOOD to see Mike Geniella back in the journalo-saddle after a decade-long exile in the Courthouse basement as DA Eyster's point man. Prior to the Courthouse dungeon, Geniella had the hardest media job on the Northcoast as the Press Democrat's man north of the county line, Hopland to Eureka, a vastness with so much happening the paper assigned Geniella an assistant reporter. 

I SAY the guy had a “hard job” because he had to remain civil with people he wouldn't otherwise have willingly associated with, and he had to write about them dispassionately, “objectively” as the naive put it. 

GENIELLA covered the Northcoast at a particularly difficult time — 1985-2010. Giant outside corporations were cashing in the forests for short-term profit-taking, destroying this area's primary industry as they went. The opposition was pretty much confined to, well, people outside the prevalent conventions, loose as they were by the late 1980s. And Geniella's job was to write fairly about this impossible gamut of impossible people.

TRY WRITING “objectively” about characters as disparate as the diva of dissent, Judi Bari, and that thug in a five thousand dollar suit, Harry Merlo. It wouldn't be an unusual day behind the desk of the Press Democrat's Ukiah Bureau, that Geniella would take a call from Merlo or one of his local surrogates demanding “better” (uncritical) coverage, then Judi Bari and her ragged entourage would barge through his door, also demanding “better” (uncritical) coverage.

BUT he brought it off. Reading through my archive from that time, Geniella's reporting holds up as a reliable guide to that volatile time, especially his truly brave reporting on Louisiana-Pacific and it's ruthless boss, Merlo whose forest rapine was so profitable Merlo hired Luciano Pavarotti to sing for a company event in Portland where L-P made its headquarters.

MERLO, a great patriot, was very unhappy when Geniella revealed on the front page of the Press Democrat that L-P had dismantled their entire Potter Valley mill and shipped it to Mexico where they were going to convert Mendo redwood to lumber milled for half the labor costs in the USofA. But Geniella had traveled to Mexico (not far south of Ensenada) and brought back the irrefutable story complete with map-diagram, final confirmation of the great economic crime L-P and Georgia-Pacific had committed against the several thousand local working people the Northcoast's woods and mills had once supported at living wages.

GENIELLA took his lumps. The editorial churchmice at Santa Rosa headquarters removed him from the timber beat, the primary beat at the time, because he was seen as too close to anti-corporate forces. When Judi Bari was blown up by a car bomb in Oakland in May of 1990, Geniella, who was close to her, wasn't given the support by his newspaper the event should have gotten.

GIVEN a full-time investigator and allowed to pursue the truth of what really happened, we'd have known who did what if Geniella hadn't been employed by a spine-free paper. As it turned out, Steve Talbot, best known for his excellent work for PBS, was given an investigator and a modest budget by KQED, and came up with Bari's ex-husband, Mike Sweeney, as the likely perp, a finding Talbot later confirmed when he revealed that Bari herself had told him she believed Sweeney had tried to kill her. The PD, incidentally, claimed they'd “lost” a key piece of evidence, evidence they'd given the FBI in the first place. And the FBI declared the case was “closed” because “nobody would talk to us.” 

WITH HIS ARRAY of local contacts, Geniella would have found the truth, but what we got was a constant din of propaganda that continues to this day from the great speakers of truth to power at KMUD, KZYX and KPFA, all of whom pretended and still pretend his work on the case doesn't exist.

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CYANO WARNING FOR LAKE PILLSBURY

Lake County health officials are reporting that recent testing has found concerning levels of cyanobacteria in Lake Pillsbury.

Cyanobacteria — also known as blue-green algae — are microscopic organisms that naturally occur in all freshwater and marine aquatic ecosystems.

Cyanobacteria or blue-green algae is not to be confused with green algae (i.e., phytoplankton), which is beneficial, nontoxic, and always present in Lake Pillsbury.

Regional health and water resource officials are reminding those enjoying local lakes and streams to maintain awareness of cyanobacterial blooms and take appropriate caution.

As is the case with all large, biologically rich bodies of water, Lake Pillsbury is dynamic in water quality.

Recently, during a preholiday assessment, water quality technicians observed cyanobacteria in the water column throughout the area, appearing as small grass clippings, strings, and clumps.

The preholiday samplings collected at Lake Pillsbury on June 20 were recently analyzed.

Moderate to low densities of the following cyanobacteria genera were identified by microscopy: Aphanizomenon, Woronichinia and Dolichospermum. The following cyanotoxins were not detected: Anatoxin-a, Cylindrospermopsin, Microcystin and Saxitoxin.

Blooms can rapidly appear, dissipate or move depending on waterbody conditions. Updated water quality sampling results will be available next week after the July 4 holiday.

Usually, cyanobacteria concentrations are low and not harmful to humans and animals. However, under certain conditions (high nutrients and warm weather), these organisms can rapidly grow, forming visible colonies or “harmful algal blooms.”

The toxic chemicals sometimes produced by these algal blooms are referred to as “cyanotoxins.” Exposure to these toxins causes sickness and other severe health effects in people, pets, and livestock.

Sensitive individuals, including young children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems are most at risk of adverse health effects attributable to cyanotoxins.

Individuals are most often exposed while swimming or participating in other recreational activities in and on the water.

The most common routes of exposure are direct skin contact, accidental ingestion of contaminated water, and accidental inhalation of water droplets in the air (e.g., while water skiing).

Symptoms of exposure to cyanotoxins include rashes, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, or wheezing. More severe symptoms may result from longer or greater amounts of exposure.

Those who plan to recreate in or on Lake County waters should look for informational signs posted throughout the county and avoid contact with water that:

• looks like spilled green or blue-green paint; 

• has surface scums, mats, or films; 

• has a blue or green crust at the shoreline; 

• is discolored or has green-colored streaks; or 

• has greenish globs suspended in the water beneath the surface.

If you are concerned you have symptoms resulting from exposure to cyanotoxins, immediately contact your health care provider, or call Lake County Health Services at 707-263-1090. Please be sure to report the timing and details of the exposure.

If you see or think you see a cyanotoxin bloom, please contact Water Resources at 707-263-2344 or Environmental Health at 707-263-1164.

Anyone can report a cyanotoxin bloom or receive additional information at the California Harmful Algal Blooms Portal here:

www.mywaterquality.ca.gov/habs/ 

Keep pets and livestock out of the water when harmful algal blooms are present. Do not allow pets and livestock to drink from the water and do not allow them to lick their fur after swimming in water containing cyanobacteria. If you or your pet has contact with water you suspect may include a cyanotoxin bloom, rinse off with clean, fresh water as soon as possible.

If your pet experiences symptoms that may be the result of exposure, contact your veterinarian immediately and inform them of the timing and details of the exposure.

To find the most current information on Lake County’s water quality, and where cyanotoxin blooms have been identified, visit the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians’ cyanotoxin monitoring webpage here: www.bvrancheria.com/clearlakecyanotoxins

For additional information about cyanobacteria and harmful algal blooms, please visit the following sites:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): www.cdc.gov/habs/index.html 

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): www.epa.gov/cyanohabs

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State Street, Ukiah, 1918

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MAKING OIL REFINERS DISCLOSE PROFITS IS ONLY FIRST STEP

by Jim Shields

As I reported to you last month, there’s a proposed law that would require oil refiners to disclose their per gallon profits on a monthly basis. The bill recently already passed out of the California Senate by a vote of 22-4.

It’s now in the state Assembly where this week it cleared the Natural Resources Committee by a vote of 8-3.

The bill, SB 1322, requires the oil refiners to disclose monthly their refining profits — the difference between average cost they pay for a barrel of crude oil and the average price they charge for the finished barrel of gasoline, minus their expenses.

With 42 gallons in a barrel, the public will know exactly how much oil refiners make per gallon of gas in California. Californians currently pay $1.40 more a gallon for their gasoline than the average in the other 49 states. Environmental costs add about 60 cents per gallon.

State Sen. Ben Allen, sponsor of the proposed law, said the bill would require the refineries to report their profits every month. It’s time for transparency, he said, because “costs at the pump in California are inflated compared to neighboring states” yet it’s a “big black hole when it comes to data” about why it’s so costly.

“We ask the oil companies on behalf of California drivers: Let’s end the games of smoke and mirrors. Open your books and show the public your true costs of doing business,” Allen said.

“Consumers deserve to know how much oil refiners are making off their pain at the pump,” said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog. “Recent quarterly profit reports suggest California oil refiners are pocketing $1 per gallon off the recent price spikes at the pump. That’s unconscionable.”

According to Consumer Watchdog, refining margins are typical industry measures. In fact, California refining margins are already published quarterly by two of California’s five oil refiners — so this is information that is already public. PBF Energy, one of the largest independent petroleum refiners and suppliers of unbranded transportation fuels, publishes refining profits from its San Francisco and LA refineries, which show that it made 78 cents per gallon on the gasoline it sold in the first quarter of 2022. That’s double its profits from other parts of the country. Valero also publishes its margins for its West Coast refineries, which are exclusively in California. The other refiners publish Western regional margins.

“Requiring oil refiners to post their profits per gallon monthly will allow the public, regulators, and legislators to pinpoint periods of gouging and have the opportunity to respond,” said Court. “When people have to choose between gas and food, it’s time we heighten our scrutiny of oil refiner profits. Ultimately we need a new price gouging law to stop oil refiners from turning California into an ATM.”

The Western States Petroleum Association that represents refiners has faced off with Court and his organization before. Kevin Slagle, speaking for the association, dismissed Court’s claims as “theatrics” and said the major reason for the cost of gas at the pump is the high cost of the crude oil used to make it.

As for what the future holds, Slagle said, “Experts recognize that unforeseen events — as we are seeing in Ukraine and around the world today — can have significant impacts.”

Court argued that it’s wrong for prices to rise when most oil is bought on long-term contracts at lower rates than the current market price.

“Every time crude oil costs go up, gas prices go up, but oil companies don’t buy crude oil that day or they don’t buy it on the spot market,” he said. “They buy crude oil on long-term contracts. They are paying a lot less than what the world price is now.”

According to Protect Earth, a newsmagazine that covers how America is addressing climate change, “These industries reported bumper profits, without raising the cost of extraction but increasing the price of gas. These industries not only get a free pass to emit heat-trapping gases that exacerbate extreme weather and climate disasters, they continue to get tax-payer funds. In 2020 the coal, oil, and natural gas companies received $5.9 trillion in subsidies.”

I say it’s way past time for this state to put together an actual anti-gouging law, so the Attorney General, Rob Bonta, who so far has done nothing to make life uncomfortable for these Big Oil Gougers, will be forced to protect citizens from these corporate predators.

This proposed profit disclosure bill is merely a first step.

It’s time to take a giant leap forward.

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, observer@pacific.net, the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District, and is also chairman of the Laytonville Area Municipal Advisory Council. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org.)

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PG&E'S ATTACK ON FORESTS

Editor,

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is devastating our forests with no corresponding benefits to us. After reading the enhanced vegetation management program details and doing the math after I checked out the recent report posted online by the Sierra Club, it seems to me that PG&E plans to eventually remove most tall trees within about 100 feet of distribution lines in forested areas.

The program defines most mature pines as weak, citing the likelihood that they have small imperfections or fungus on them. Most are marked as being subject to removal. I think this will leave long cleared areas along roads where many of the newly exposed trees on the edges will be blown down in storms.

In following the Sierra Club’s research, it is clear that PG&E’s own data shows this program is completely ineffective in reducing wildfire ignitions. The Sierra Club task force recommended that the California Public Utilities Commission require PG&E to stop widespread tree removals and instead switch to the policies being used by Southern California Edison with great success.

Edison is upgrading to triple-insulated distribution lines and adding computerized circuit breakers in areas with high fire danger. That program has been very successful and it is less expensive than the PG&E vegetation management program.

Please ask our county supervisors to demand that PG&E stop damaging our forests and instead adopt the Edison policies for hardening equipment.

Bob Johnston

Inverness

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 3, 2022

Barragan, Barrows, Camacho, Jordan

AURUELIO BARRAGAN, Ukiah. DUI.

SAMUEL BARROWS, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.

DAVID CAMACHO, Talmage. Failure to appear.

DUSTIN JORDAN, Willits. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, county parole violation.

Laberdie, Redmill, Smith

WILLIAM LABERDIE, Ukiah. DUI, parole violation.

PATRICK REDMILL, Ukiah. Parole violation.

MIKI SMITH, Branscomb. DUI.

Solomon, Workman, Wright

SARAH SOLOMAN, Arcata/Ukiah. Brandishing weapon other than gun.

SHANE WORKMAN, Laytonville. Vandalism, assault on police officer, probation revocation.

TODD WRIGHT, Ukiah. DUI.

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3-R Market, Ukiah, 1949

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UKRAINE TODAY, SUNDAY, JULY 3RD

'Overwhelming firepower': Russia is wearing down Ukrainian forces in the Donbas.

Russia has taken control of Lysychansk, the last city in the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine that was still under Ukrainian control.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin that the military had taken over Lysychansk and a number of nearby settlements on Sunday, according to the country's Ministry of Defense.

Ukraine's military announced Sunday that it had been “forced to withdraw” from the critical city.

In his nightly televised address to the nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the retreat from Lysychansk was motivated to save the lives of Ukrainian troops.

“We will rebuild the walls, we will win back the land, and people must be protected above all else,” he said. 

Luhansk is one of the two regions that form Donbas, the eastern part of Ukraine where the conflict between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists started in 2014. The area has become the key centerpiece of Putin's military ambition in Ukraine after his troops failed to take over Kyiv earlier this year.

(CNN)

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ENTER POVERTY TO SUPPORT UKRAINE

The White House has told Americans they must continue to endure crippling high gas prices in order to preserve the “liberal world order” and support Ukraine.

The comments were made by Biden advisor Brian Deese during a CNN interview when he was asked about the cost of living crisis.

“What do you say to those families that say, listen, we can’t afford to pay $4.85 a gallon for months, if not years?” the host asked Deese.

“This is about the future of the Liberal World Order and we have to stand firm,” Deese responded.

Countless Americans couldn’t care less about preserving the “liberal world order” in support of Ukraine, and would undoubtedly rather put America first. Indeed, polls have shown that whenever they’re told the consequences of ’supporting Ukraine’, appetite for American involvement plummets: informationliberation.com/?id=62976

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AND IN THE END, A MARLBORO

by Tommy Wayne Kramer

Someone said “the unexamined life is not worth living” but if we scrutinized our own we’d mostly realize the whole existence thing was hardly worth the bother.

Examine this: Why does it take so long to grow up? 

It took a hundred years to get to be 16 and when I got there I had pimples. It took another decade or two to reach my 20’s, which produced a long stretch of subsequent amnesia, regrets and apologies because I spent those years as a brain-dead hippie. Was there something called Zig Zags?. 

It took another five years to get to 40, which didn’t seem much different than 30, and five months later I turned 60. The next day I woke up 70 years old. Amid the scattered calendar pages was a so-called lifetime of family obligations and a career to flounder through, until I at last reached an age I could look back and examine it all, but realized it had hardly been worth the bother. Or did I already say that?

Meanwhile I’m here in the land of the broken whining elderly, wondering why nobody told us what this getting old stuff would be like. I had no idea. Well, I had a few, but they were always wrong where it mattered most.

My dumbutt boomer generation thought becoming a senior citizen meant you went to Florida, played shuffleboard, drove around in a golf cart and ate dinner at 5:30 with a coupon for half-off.

Like hell it is. 

Being old is to wake up in another land, a world of crappy music, dangerous politicians and baseball replaced by soccer. Getting old is long stretches of boredom interspersed by flashes of monotony and big naps.

Old is wishing you’d followed through on your promise to live fast, die young and have a good looking corpse. A bit of the ol’ self-examining puts you at 0 for 3 in those categories, and that’s with a generous official scorer. 

I’ve managed few points in my lifetime, the occasional victories being several good dogs, a wife I don’t deserve, any time some of my kids aren’t in prison, and a cool ’60 Thunderbird. Go ahead: examine my debris-riddled empire all you want.

Then someone chirps “But what about the joys of getting older?”

I like that. “Joys.” As if there might be more than one. Like a Bucket List of future happy accomplishments.

You know: climb mountains, learn French, hike the South Pole, read Ulysses and paint watercolors. How about I stab my eyes out and learn Braille? Rob banks and see what prison life has to offer?

Pleasures are in short supply among the frail and elderly and I think a quick, easy, inexpensive way to bring a little fun and enjoyment into our lives is for us all to start smoking. Why not Marlboros as a hobby? Pipes, cigars, chewing and vaping all offer entertainment options we can enjoy alone or in groups.

I don’t know of anyone who has ever smoked cigarettes who doesn’t long to do it some more, except for the addiction part, the icky cancer stuff and the general social shaming of filthy smokers. That won’t be us.

We’re too old to get dependent on tobacco, and if we die at least we’ll have saved the world from having to buy us loads of expensive medical procedures as we get even older than we are now, which strains belief.

But I’m just warming up.

Why not crack cocaine? You say it’s bad for our health, and that our hair and teeth will fall out? Let those thoughts percolate a moment, then check a mirror. 

And as long as we’re up and about, scoring crack in an alley near the train tracks, let’s get a bag of fentanyl. Bad for your health, etc? See previous paragraph on long-term health / cost benefits to our children and all taxpayers. 

“B-b-but it’s illegal to do drugs and stuff,” someone is sure to point out, but how could a bunch of geriatric old gaffers possibly fall under the radar of the county’s Major Crimes Task Force? They’ll suspect our family dogs are using heroin, opium and methamphetamine long before they think of targeting us.

And really now, could DA Dave Eyster, he of the walnut-sized heart and flinty disposition, bring himself to prosecute or send to prison such a sad gang of hopeless old losers? Once convicted we’d probably all die before transportation to San Quentin could even be arranged.

Now pass the pipe, assuming that’s how we’re supposed to freebase our crack and fentanyl. Might be a snort, or syringes and spoons.

Anyhoo, it seems like our future days, and even weeks if we’re lucky and don’t OD first, will be a lot more fun than we would have thought likely a few minutes or paragraphs ago.

Next Week: Tequila Days, Whiskey Nights, Breakfast Beers. OR: How much abuse can 75-year old livers absorb?

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In Hawick, Scotland (photo by Randy Burke)

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‘THE MORAL PROPERTY OF WOMEN’: BRINGING ABORTION PILLS TO THE USA

by Steve Heilig

In late 2021, it was reported that just over half of all abortions in the United States were done via oral medications. Now these pills are a central element in the political battles over abortion. And therein lies a story.

Way back in the late 1980s, scattered reports begin to appear in the European medical literature about an oral medication that could interrupt early pregnancy both safely and effectively. It was called RU-486, for the French pharmacological company Rousell Uclaf that developed it. From these earliest papers it seemed clear this could be an extremely significant development. Abortion was of course a highly politicized issue, and for years those opposed to it had found ways to make it hard to obtain safely, and even mounted physical attacks on clinicians – some of whom were murdered – and clinical settings where it was provided. Such a medication would make it difficult to target those who provided or took it. And of course most women, given the choice, would prefer a medication option to a surgical one, even if that surgical procedure was the most common one in the nation.

At the UCSF campus newspaper, I began to cover this developing medication, publishing some of the first stories on it in the country. The Europeans were far ahead of us and soon RU-486 had garnered enough evaluation to be approved in nations such as France and England. At the San Francisco Medical Society I drafted a policy resolution stating that American women and physicians should have access to this medication already approved overseas. The California and and AMA soon adopted it too – the latter garnering some national media stories. I also published a survey of California OB-GYNs indicating that many would prescribe the medications if allowed. We drew up a research protocol to confirm what was already known about the pills in France, a scientifically but not medically-indicated effort, for RU486 had already been called “the moral property of women” by the French minister of health.

At the same time, a small group of physicians and other health advocates began to meet at the medical society headquarters, seeking to find a way to speed approval of this breakthrough medication in our politicized nation. Working with a veteran New York abortion rights advocate, Lawrence Lader, we hatched a rather audacious plan: We would find a pregnant woman who wished to use RU-486, fly her to Europe to pick up the pills, fly her back, and intentionally have her “busted” for smuggling an unapproved drug into the United States, with major media there to cover it. It was also the time of a heated Presidential election between Bill Clinton and incumbent George H.W. Bush, and we wanted to insert this issue into the campaign debates if possible too.

In short, this “stunt” worked just as planned. The patient was detained, her medications impounded, and the story hit the front pages and television news nationwide, vastly expanded awareness of this medical option and the politics surrounding it. Court battles ensued, expedited due to the patient’s condition. The Supreme Court, convened just for this case, denied her the pills but declined to prosecute her or us (we heard Federal officials were considering indictments for illegal drug smuggling, but soon seemed to decide that would be very bad PR for them). Clinton vowed to bring RU486 to American women, and other leading figures weighed in in agreement. Back home, we had to hide the patient from massive media interest – we’d tried to protect her name, but one theory was that an enterprising reporter bribed the airplane seating chart out of an airline employee - but she got the care she needed. Time magazine then called RU486 “The Pill That Changes Everything.”

This big event occurred 30 years ago around Independence Day, 1992 (not our plan, honestly; it just turned out that way). However, due more to political than medical factors, it still took eight years, until 2000, for the FDA to approve mifepristone/misoprostol in this country. That was better than delaying forever, as many feared would occur, but even when approved there were restrictions attached many experts felt unwarranted by evidence, and still do, for now vast clinical experience has shown such regulatory barriers aren’t needed. Primary care providers can safely use them with patients, and many now even believe they should be available over-the-counter. Thus there is concerted research into how these medications can be used safely and effectively without such restrictions, and new advocacy for increased availability, especially in light of Roe v. Wade being overturned and very many patients in need living in areas where abortion becomes unavailable and having to travel for care. About 15,000 women per year are expected to arrive in California for this purpose; that flood of needful, often frightened and desperate women has already begun. The “right to life” radicals just don’t seem to care what their efforts mean for living, breathing women, especially poorer and disadvantaged ones.

The pills women can safely take to achieve a safe and effective early abortion have now taken center stage in the post-Roe abortion battle. Anti-choice extremists are trying hard to restrict access to them - again, much more difficult to do than for surgical abortion. They have done so in some cases, but they won’t win on this front. Three decades on, it is ironic, frustrating, and sad that all this effort is still necessary at this late date. But we won’t abandon what is right for those in need.

* * *

FREE COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

Letter to the Editor,

I have been processing as the Supreme Court continues to make one unbelievable decision after another and I'm just going to let my current thoughts spill out here. I feel like separation of church and state shouldn't be this hard, but here we are. The religious opinions of SC justices now determine what women can and can't do with their bodies and if children will be subjected to prayer in public school. If your Christian kid was in school and was told to participate in Jewish or Muslim prayer, how would you feel then? Not everyone in this country is a Christian and everyone should be allowed to live by their own set of personal morals without imposing them on others. I am so sick of this.

Being a Jewish woman I feel my choices and autonomy are taken away, and as a woman I feel I am more regulated than a gun. You want to make sure your kids are safe in school? How about allowing them to practice or not practice their own religion on their own time and I don't know... gun control? If any of this was really about caring about babies or children, several things would be different. The formula shortage would be of higher concern. The foster care system wouldn't be a terrible mess. It wouldn't cost an arm and a leg to adopt. Businesses would be required to give parental leave. Gun laws would change to keep kids and minorities safe. A couple years ago when I was considering going back to synagogue to connect with my local Jewish community, I then saw in the news there was a shooting at a synagogue that day. 

I haven't gone to a synagogue since out of fear. We now live in a country where in many states, a child who is raped, or a woman whose baby may be born with 0 quality of life or be stillborn, now have to carry to term. So many women who are raped or in poverty will have to give their babies to a foster system where there are already approximately 424,000 kids in foster care. Many of these children are never adopted because it is unaffordable and there are not enough willing families, and many of these children are also abused in their foster homes. A large percentage of these poor children are minorities or special needs. This country is only the land of the free if you're a straight white Christian man.

Rachael Duncan

Spanaway, Washington

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* * *

CRIME & PUNISHMENT

Dear Editor,

The 200-year tradition, the peaceful transfer of power in the United States, was very nearly overturned on January 6, 2021. It is clear by the testimonies of an Arizona Speaker of the Arizone House, Speaker Rusty Bowers and that of Shaye Moss, a former Georgia election worker and ner mother, Ruby Farmer, how evil were the actions of former President D.J. Trump were. Droves of long time impartial election workers like MS Moss have been forced to resign.

The former president must be indicted for his crimes: sedition, inciting an armed insurrection and attempting a coup against the United States. Most recently the Supreme Court, for a long time an independent branch, has been politicized.

The Justice Department, by not indicting this former president, purveyor of lies and “the Big Lie” (the false claim the 2020 election was “stolen”) is itself guilty of evasion of its sacred duty to the Constitution of the United States.

Frank Baumgardner 

Santa Rosa

* * *

Pomolita 8th Grade, 1950

* * *

WHAT I HEARD ABOUT IRAQ

by Eliot Weinberger

In February, 2001 I heard Colin Powell say that Saddam Hussein “has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors.” That same month I heard that a CIA report stated: “We do not have any direct evidence that Iraq has used the period since Desert Fox to reconstitute its weapons of mass destruction programs.” In July of 2001 I heard Condoleezza Rice say: “We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.” On September 11, 2001, six hours after the attacks on the World Trade Center, I heard that Donald Rumsfeld said that it might be an opportunity to “hit” Iraq. I heard that he said: “Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.” I heard that Condoleezza Rice asked: “How do you capitalize on these opportunities?”

(London Review of Books, February 3, 2005)

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* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

When I’m hoarding, I buy one or two of the target item(s) every time I go to the store. I also, start hoarding at the first sign of societal collapse so as not to be in a rush as everything is disappearing.

Using this strategy, my canned or boxed stash doesn’t all expire at the same time. I hoard until my oldest stuff is about to expire, then I start eating my stockpile, while still adding to it. Basically a two-year rolling stash.

Ideally, produce from the garden will eventually replace the store-bought stuff – but not this year. Guess I need a little more pain – as well as topsoil.

* * *

* * *

GUNS, an on-line comment: We already do gun control in California. To purchase a handgun you must pass your handgun safety certificate test ($25), wait for it to be processed (a week or more), then return to a store and pass a background check ($32? Can’t remember) and then wait a compulsory ten day period to pick up said firearm. 

We already have enough firearm purchasing safety protocols in place. And guess what? It’s not law abiding people like myself that you have to worry about.

* * *

REMINISCING about his time in the Marines, Tampa Bay veteran Carl Spurlin Dekel said that while fighting in World War II was his biggest pride, slain soldiers had not died for the America of today. “People don't realize what they have,” Dekel told Fox13. "The things we did and the things we fought for and the boys that died for it, it's all gone down the drain. Our country is going to hell in a hand-basket.” Dekel became inconsolable as he spoke about the contrasts between the America he grew up in and the current state of affairs in the country. 

— Daily Mail

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CHRIS CALDER: Funny, it was about 20 years ago that California realized White people weren't going to be in the majority here forever.

Republicans - still a functioning political party in CA back then - and a lot of 'middle of the road' voters who just happened to be White - because It. Is. Not. About. Race, - were pretty concerned because...well, just because.

First we got Republican Pete Wilson, elected Governor for promising to “do something about the border”. Pete rode in like Marshal Matt Dillon and rode out like Elmer Fudd. Border 1, Pete 0.

Next we got Gray Davis, a passive Democrat who looked and sounded like an undertaker. Bush II got elected (he lost) president and, gee whiz, that summer Texas companies plundered California's energy market and saddled us with billions in bullsh*t overcharges that we're still paying off. Somehow Gray Davis managed to get himself blamed for the skyrocketing energy prices and was recalled.

Enter Arnold Schwarzenegger. CA Republicans were over the moon. Didn't matter anymore that the GOP was a permanent minority in the state. Shrub was War President and Guv Ahhh-nold (R) was unstoppable. The Terminator was going to remake California politics.

And boy did he. For some reason, since throwing all their hopes behind a Hollywood macho man who they thought was just fascist enough to help them take over state government forever, Republicans in CA have been unable to field anyone but professional clowns and obviously, um, challenged individuals to run for statewide office - any office, not just governor. They have won a statewide office in CA exactly zero times in the 20 years since The Terminator's reign.

They got the fascism bug and it took them down. Looks like it's catching again:


A HARVARD/HARRIS POLL shows Harris the choice of 41% of respondents, with DeSantis at 38% and 20% undecided... 

DeSantis was the winner of a non-Trump field, carrying 25% of support from Republican leaners, 10% ahead of former Vice President Mike Pence. In third place with 9% was Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Ambassador Nikki Haley had 5%, good for fourth place ahead of Sen. Marco Rubio, who had 3% support in the non-Trump field. While some surveys of the race show DeSantis more competitive against Trump and more dominant without him, straw polls tell an even more tantalizing story for those seeking a changing of the guard. A straw poll of activists at the Wisconsin state Republican convention showed DeSantis ahead of Trump last weekend. And a straw poll of Jacksonville voters showed the same result.…

floridapolitics.com/archives/527669-kamala-harris-edges-out-ron-desantis-in-another-2024-poll/

* * *

BODYMIND SPIRITUALITY

AVA,

I have previously referenced “not having clear cellular fluency” to be problematic. Alternatively, bodymind spirituality is a path, an inward path to fundamental clarity. In 1982 G Colombetti, F. Lenci and Song, P.S. wrote: Sensory Transduction in aneural organisms - which was published by Plenum (NY/NY). Sensory transduction is the process by which stimuli within our external and internal environment become encoded as physiological events. I applied that process to internal human cellular activity. Briefly; Columbetti et.al. theorized cell membranes in aneural organisms act as agents of sending and receiving information with contiguous other cells (as agents of transmission) - said information stored in the cell nuclei. I suddenly realized this is an identifiable organic foundation of our unconscious mind underlying our basic conscious awareness. By its very nature the resulting transmissions (within and between cells) cannot directly interface within neurological systems (being outside the neuro nets) and consciousness producing organization commonly perceived as conscious reality.

Orienting Preface - BodyMind Allusional Spirituality: Venturing through our Allusions to Learning

Our spirituality must certainly include - perhaps even be derived from our organic nature and its mindful qualities. As spirituality arises, it can become a compass that guides us. Perhaps it is the heart of a path unfolding into compassionate peacefulness. When we explore this possibility we can do so as religious or independent seekers. Then, our growth begins as we eschew fruitless agitating banality and rather, spawn our life's blending flow of nature's presence while accepting Carl Jung's assertion “The unconscious is nature.” p.186 (1968 Analytical Psychology-The Tavistock Lectures).

With the introduction of this expression of secular faith we lovingly say: amen.

The path we are now exploring leads us to a further realization; Our habitual angst is informational feedback. Too many thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations (most importantly) not having clear cellular fluency. They come together with conflicting neuro-pressures. So their collective definition is not a blend, but like trout caught in a pool of diminishing size their collective and individual being produces undefined energy loss which is neither expression or desperation. It is involuntary life release preceding organic, structural collapse. In humans this angst may be intermittent and relief may occur spontaneously or through life facilitating practices; the latter being (for example) BodyMind Allusional Spirituality.

Greg Sims

Boonville

* * *

State Street, Ukiah

* * *

JOE, THE IRONWORKER 

In Manhattan (mostly) -- Trump's condos + Hemsley's hotels; also, the monster projects of Tishman Spear, Durst, Silverstein Properties, JDS Development, Zeckendorf, Vorando Realty Trust + Ian Schrager -- your high iron was erected over blocks + columns of cement forced into place by union men like you...I understand: buildings are first formed in the human body by the proper pain; numbers + letters from blueprints + plans are stapled to muscle + bone. 

Now that you're retired, you play with two pet white rabbits, as white as apple blossoms, down by the East River near Sutton Park Place. They love you. 

Nothing is as it was before. Your legs are bowed with arthritis. Your hair is white, and you wear it in a short ponytail. Your hands tremble, seeking the familiar -- steel -- but find fur instead. 

God bless you, Joe. Happy July 4th. You built America! 

John Sakowicz

Ukiah

* * *

THE CARS THAT WERE

by Herb Caen

Cadillac, “American Standard for the World,” may be making a mistake in its slick and glossy magazine ads. In the foreground we see the latest 1975 model looking for all the world, give or take a chrome strip or two, like the 1974 and 1973 and 1972 models. (We've come to a pretty pass when all Cadillacs look alike, but there's the pass, and isn't it pretty?) In the background is displayed a Cadillac from the early 1930s representing a phenomenon impossible to explain satisfactorily. Why in the depths of this country's worst depression were the truly classic US cars being produced? The Pierce-Arrows, Duesenbergs, 12 cylinder Packards. Lincolns and Cadillacs of that era were marvels of elegance and luxury in a time when 15 million Americans were unemployed. 

The “old” Cadillac shown in the latest ad is a 1931 phaeton whose spirited and rakish style puts to shame the “new” ads, which simply appear lumpish, oversized and lacking in imagination. The 1931 model is long and lean, its aristocratic profile set off by a graceful, flying radiator ornament. With its sidemounted wire wheels, its great chrome lamps, the luggage rack and true white sidewalls, this car is alive, even now, with romance, the lure of the open road, the promise of adventure.

Cadillac Phaeton, 1931

It exemplifies what the experience called “motoring” as opposed to just getting there was all about. Built at a time when most people couldn't afford even a used model T, these great automobiles represented Detroit's finest hour. They were a shining goal to strive for “when our ship comes in” and the “bad times” were over. Americans still believed prosperity was just around the corner in the dazzling form of that 1931 Cadillac phaeton.

Cadillac: pinnacle of the American dream (since subject to change) and symbol of having Made It. What ever “it” was. A very recently barefoot boy with cheek from Sacramento, I found myself buying my first Cadillac much to my amazement in 1921.

Oh, unforgettable day: I was driving up Van Ness Avenue in my used 1940 Buick when I saw the dream car in the window of Don Lee, then the Cadillac distributor here — a bottle green convertible with a vast tan top, green leather upholstery, a proud chrome prow topped by a full breasted chrome lady, hair streaming in the wind. I parked (parking was easy in those days) and walked inside to admire this unattainable perfection at closer quarters. The price tag: $2,250.

Don Lee's chief, Fred Pabst, strolled through the showroom just then. “Why don't you buy it, kid?” he grinned. “Can't afford it,” I sighed. “What are you driving now?” he asked. When I pointed to the faded Buick he said, “I've got to be crazy, but I'll give you $1,250 for that car. Do you have $1000? I nodded dumbly. (Actually I had $1,037.) “Okay,” said Fred, “write me a check for $1000 and you can drive it out of her in this Cadillac right now.”

I did so. All this and $37 too!

1941 Cadillac convertible

No car since has given me such a boot. I drove straight to the Marina Green where I parked and got out to study this incredible work of art, I sprawled on the grass, gazing at its multifaceted perfection. I walked across the street to admire it from afar. It was love. “It's perfect,” I said to myself. “I will keep it forever. Nothing could possibly be better than this one. I will never change it.” Since then I've said the same thing about wives, friends, houses and other cars, meaning it is sincerely every time.

My generation may have been the last star-struck one where cars are concerned, or do I mean car-struck? The annual auto shows of the late 1920s and 1930s were great events with elaborate shows headlining Paul Whiteman, Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Maurice Chevalier, Eddie Cantor. Incredible as it seems now, the models changed every year — completely. We could hardly wait to see how the 1929 Chrysler compared with the 1928, how different the 1932 Buick would be from the 1931, what new tricks they would come up with at Franklin, Graham-Paige and Marmon.

The decline and fall of the car as symbol has been particularly traumatic for most of our crowd. In our salad days there was no television, radio was in its infancy and only the car and the movies symbolized glamour and excitement. In our dreams, the top was always down on the raciest car ever built and we were behind the wheel, the cigarette dangling insouciantly from our lips, Constance Bennett (or Clara Bow or Laura LaPlante) snuggling at our side.

The dream dies hard. The car today is more enemy than friend, even though we are still addicted. Worse, they all look alike. The cigarette is a killer. Constance Bennett turned out to be fickle and the world is running out of resources. And yet — we are still being urged to buy Cadillacs. I can resist. After all, I had the best back there in 1941.

* * *

* * *

WE HAVEN’T BEEN ZAPPED OUT OF EXISTENCE YET, So Other Dimensions Are Probably Super Tiny

In theory, other dimensions aren’t big enough to form black holes and consume our universe or it would have happened already

by Jason Daley

The world as we know it has three dimensions of space — length, width and depth — and one dimension of time. But there’s the mind-bending possibility that many more dimensions exist out there. According to string theory, one of the leading physics model of the last half century, the universe operates with 10 dimensions. But that raises a big question: If there are 10 dimensions, then why don’t we experience all of them or haven’t detected them? Lisa Grossman at ScienceNews reports that a new paper suggests an answer, showing that those dimensions are so tiny and so fleeting that we currently can’t detect them.

It’s difficult to completely explain the mathematics behind string theory without putting on a graduate seminar or two, but in essence dimensions five through ten have to do with possibility and include all possible futures and all possible pasts including realities with a totally different physics than those in our universe.

If two protons smash together at high enough speeds, they have the ability to create a tiny black hole that would exist for just a fraction of a second before disappearing, according to a new study, which hasn't been peer-reviewed, on the preprint server arXiv.org. The collision would open up a little bubble of interdimensional space where the laws of physics are different than ours, leading to an event known as vacuum decay. In quantum physics, vacuum decay implies that if the interdimensional space was large enough, we’d be toast. With enough gravity to interact with our world, the newly formed “Cosmic Death Bubble” would grow at the speed of light, rapidly change the physics of our universe, render it uninhabitable and effectively zap us out of existence.

“If you’re standing nearby when the bubble starts to expand, you don’t see it coming,” the study’s co-author, physicist Katie Mack of North Carolina State University, tells Grossman. “If it’s coming at you from below, your feet stop existing before your mind realizes that.”

Ultrahigh energy cosmic rays are bashing into each other all the time with enough energy to start this process. If extra dimensions were large enough to allow the death bubble to form, the researchers found, it would have happened thousands of times already. The fact that we still exist is one circumstantial piece of evidence that other dimensions are ultra-tiny. The team calculated that they must be smaller than 16 nanometers, too small for their gravity to influence much in our world and hundreds of times smaller than previous calculations, Grossman reports.

The new study comes on the tail of another study about extra dimensions published in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics published in July. Mara Johnson-Groh at LiveScience reports that one of the big questions in physics is why the expansion of the universe is accelerating. One theory is that gravity is leaking out of our universe into other dimensions. To test this idea, researchers looked at data from recently discovered gravitational waves. If our universe was leaking gravity through these other dimensions, the researchers reasoned, then the gravitational waves would be weaker than expected after traveling across the universe.

But the researchers found they didn’t lose any energy on their long journey, meaning other dimensions either don’t exist or are so tiny they don’t affect gravity very much, if at all.

“General relativity says gravity should be working in three dimensions, and [the results] show that that’s what we see,” physicist Kris Pardo of Princeton, lead author of the July study, tells Johnson-Groh. The latest study also concludes that the size of extra dimensions is so small that it precludes many theories about gravity leaking out of our universe.

Cosmologist Ian Moss of Newcastle University in England tells Grossman that the latest paper is thorough and he doesn’t see any glaring flaws, but there are still too many unknowns to say that the 16 nanometer limit is for certain.

(smithsonianmag.com)

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9 Comments

  1. Kirk Vodopals July 4, 2022

    Of course we have gun control in California. Of course we don’t need to worry about law-abiding gun owners like you. That all makes logical sense. The real regulation comes in keeping guns away the violent and insane. Seems simple at face value. But the concept breaks down quickly for those who feel that an untrustworthy central government might end up taking their guns away. I’ve always chuckled at that self-defeating loop of: I don’t trust the government so I need lots of guns cuz the government might see me as a threat and want to take my guns away so I need more guns cuz I don’t trust the government… Rinse, repeat

    • Joseph Turri July 4, 2022

      CHICAGO SHOOTINGS:
      CHICAGO — At least 55 people have been shot, seven fatally, in 4th of July holiday weekend shootings across the city, Chicago police said. Last year, 19 people were killed and more than 100 people were shot over the long Fourth of July weekend.
      They still have today to match last year’s numbers.

      It is not the lack of laws, it is the lack of enforcing the ones we have (due to personnel shortages) and keeping the criminals locked up after they are arrested.

      • Marmon July 4, 2022

        Whoever the shooter is, he certainly doesn’t like America or those who celebrate it.

        Marmon

        • Stephen Rosenthal July 4, 2022

          From NBC News re the Highland Park mass shooting “person of interest”:
          A video posted to Crimo’s YouTube page on Jan. 2, 2021, appears to show Crimo among a throng of protesters cheering for Trump’s presidential motorcade outside an airport. Crimo is also seen draped in a Trump flag in a June 27, 2021, post on Twitter.

      • Kirk Vodopals July 4, 2022

        I think a few more smart gun laws wouldn’t kill amyone

        • Joseph Turri July 5, 2022

          The shooter was not stopped by the numerous ones [he/she] broke, so breaking a few more most likely would not have stopped [him/her] . I will bet however we find the shooter is a repeat offender that was released before having served the maximum/imposed sentences for previous crimes.

  2. Stacey Warde July 4, 2022

    Feeling no thrill or enthusiasm for Fourth of July in a country where half its citizens haven’t the freedom to choose.
    #fourthofjuly2022

  3. Gary Smith July 4, 2022

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2aSa3qITR6c&feature=youtu.be

    That is a link to a big July 4th extravaganza held on the 1st in Rocklin CA. My daughter and family got trapped in there before realizing it was not the municipal display but put on by one of several megachurches there. Go to minute 59 and listen to that crazy pastor rave on about CRT and Obama and 2000 mules, and more. I gotta think this sort of thing is going on in all these faux churches. How can this “church” not have its tax exempt status revoked? These nuts influence millions of gullible voters.
    I was compelled to skip around and look at the rest of it. Every bit of it is blatant partisan propaganda and transparently aimed at the ignorant.

  4. Deborah Byron July 4, 2022

    NATO
    (melody borrowed from Suzanne by Leonard Cohen)
    * from comments to nakedcapitalism.com

    NATO takes your money to make wars that have no ending
    They say they can’t protect you if your country won’t keep spending
    Buying weapons for the warehouses and soldiers for the borders
    And it promises you your safety if you follow all their orders
    And just when you want to tell them your economy is dead
    NATO buys your politicians
    And they let the White House answer that we all must push ahead

    And you want to feed your people and you want to keep them warm
    And they want to live in freedom
    But NATO says your country must rearm

    And Jesus was a sailor when he walked upon the water
    When he led his twelve disciples and he led them not to slaughter
    But to peace among all nations, and to peace between all brothers
    And happiness to children, and honor unto mothers
    But NATO needs your taxes to fight China for Taipei
    And it isn’t any wonder if you wonder whose directions you’ll obey

    And you’d like to see some sanity before the next black swan
    But NATO has priority
    And NATO needs a fight over Taiwan

    In ninety days comes winter, and it looks like we’ll be freezing
    And inflation will be endless from our quantitative easing
    We’ll have ration cards for everything but NATO’s ammunition
    Ukraine will stay a meat grinder, a battle of attrition
    There’ll be heroes in the headlines, there’ll be no negotiation,
    As everything gets hollowed out till nothing holds its station
    While NATO claims the high ground

    And our planet’s getting hotter, that’s a fact that we all know
    And we ought to save our species
    But NATO says that China’s got to go

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