Saturday, 3 December 2016

The Roaring Forties And Sechin Alto

Apart from reading Flecker, Alston wants to:

"Watch an iceberg heel in the Roaring Forties..." (p. 387)

What is it for an iceberg to "heel"? I tried googling this but found (see here).

Alston also wants to see condors above:

"...the towering painted pyramid of Sechin Alto in Peru." (p. 388)

In the twentieth century, this is an archaeological site. It reminds us, or at least me, of Machu Picchu, used as a hideout by Exaltationist time criminals in the Time Patrol series.

With a book and a laptop, I can:

read the text;
google the (to me) obscure references;
blog about them.

Thus, it takes forever to read a book or even a chapter. I still do not know how the sea battle in On The Oceans of Eternity pans out. Shortly, I will:

watch a Smallville dvd;
sleep;
check emails and blog over breakfast;
walk;
eat lunch;
visit Ketlan in hospital;
meditate;
maybe eat again before visiting Ketlan again;
maybe read and blog some more;
watch another Smallville;
and so on.

Life could be a lot worse.

16 comments:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Commenting on your last sentence: life could be a lot worse for both of us! Something I need to keep in mind whenever I fret about my relatively trivial troubles. I have a dire feeling, however, that we have in Westernized, advanced nations may well prove to be only a transitory phase. I simply hope we somehow manage to avoid anarchy, chaos, collapse, etc.

I would feel more hopeful of our future if only we had some REAL colonies and bases off Earth, on the Moon, Mars, asteroid belt, etc. It's insane of us to persist in keeping all of our eggs in the only basket we have, Earth.

Sean

S.M. Stirling said...

"Heeling" in a nautical context means "bending to one side under the pressure of the wind". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailing#Heeling

Paul Shackley said...

Mr Stirling,
Thank you. There are many nautical terms in the text. That was just one that I happened to quote! Sometimes I google. Sometimes I just accept that here is a technical term that I can check out if and when I want.
Paul.

Paul Shackley said...

On reflection, "heeling over" sounds familiar.

Paul Shackley said...

Why does Alston say, "Do Jesus"? (p. 395)

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

THAT I think I can answer. "Do Jesus" is a South Carolina back country Negro dialectal exclamation. Analogous to how some of us might blurt out "Jesus!" in moments stress. Altho I prefer not to and manage not to do so out of respect for the Name.

Sean

S.M. Stirling said...

Sean's right: it's Low Country/Gullah dialect.

S.M. Stirling said...

Alston grew up speaking Gullah; as an adult she speaks General American, but with a moderately strong Gullah accent, and when startled may fall back into Gullah expressions.

ndrosen said...

Kaor, Sean!

Regarding your dire feeling, I worry too. Let's hope for the best, and work for the best, and to some degree prepare for things to go very bad.

Best Regards,
Nicholas

Paul Shackley said...

Nicholas,
When I wrote "Life could be a lot worse," I thought of adding something like "Of course, it could all too easily get worse." Sean effectively did this for me. He is so right.
Paul.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Nicholas and Paul!

One reason I think like this, besides my black Irish Catholic pessimism, was the work of John K. Hord, as summarized and publicized by Poul Anderson. His theories on how and why civilizations rise and fall are alarmingly plausible. And PA's comments on how well the Hordian pattern fits the real world US from 1913 onwards was even more disturbing. Because the US is running out of the time needed for repairing the damage which started in 1913. I can't help but think a collapse of the US might well drag down the rest of the West. It would be like a colossal sinking aircraft carrier sucking down lifeboats which were too near it.

Sean

Sean M. Brooks said...

Dear Mr. Stirling,

Thanks! I was not familiar with the word "Gullah," but I did recognize "Do Jesus" as more likely to be found in the southern US, or S. Carolina, than in MA.

Sean

ndrosen said...

Kaor, Sean!

I too recall that article by Poul Anderson. I haven't been able to find out enough about Hord's ideas to come to a definite judgment, but we know that one highly intelligent man was impressed, and regardless of just how well Hord's ideas fit human history, I do think there are some worrisome trends and possibilities.

Then again, there always are, and we have nonetheless made some real advances since Sumer.

Best Regards,
Nicholas

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Nicholas!

And I have tried to find out more about Hord's work, without much success. A few articles and comments by others here and there, that's about it. I'm puzzled why John Hord does not seem to have published a definitive exposition of his thought and theories on the rise and fall of civilizations. The best summary I know of is still to be found only in Poul Anderson's article "Concerning Future Histories."

If a great man and genius as Poul Anderson was SO impressed by Hord's theories then that alone means I have to take them seriously. I was so impressed, in fact, that I copied out by hand Anderson's summary of Hord's theories into a notebook I pretentiously call the CODEX ANDERSONIANUS. I agree, of course, there are many disturbing trends and possibilities we are seeing in our times.

I would feel more reassured about our "advances," if we only had REAL off Earth colonies and bases!

Merry Christmas! Sean

S.M. Stirling said...

Gullah and Geeche are local terms for a very divergent Creole dialect (or set of dialects) spoken along what was once the Rice Coast of South Carolina and Georgia -- the Sea Islands are part of that area, and it was centered on Charleston (and to a lesser extent on Savannah, Georgia). It's much more "African" than most forms of Black English in the US, because African slaves were overwhelmingly dominant demographically there for most of the colonial and antebellum periods, concentrated on the large rice, indigo and sea-island cotton plantations of the area. My character Alston comes from that region, though she left home to join the Coast Guard fairly young.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Dear Mr. Stirling,

Thanks for your interesting explanation about the Gullah/Geeche dialects of the Rice Coast/Sea Islands regions. Yes, I have seen mention of how, in some ways, Marian Alston was more "African" than, say, McAndrews.

Sean