Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my 65th birthday. I was born on this day in 1947 ce at 7:17 am. Hooray for me!

Me in 1965

Me in 1965

     

Me in 1984  Me in 1994

                                            Me in 1984                        Me in 1994

Me in 2004

Me in 2004

I don’t seem to have any recent pictures of myself, but I am still probably fairly recognizable as the person shown above.  Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to me! I wish my income tax refund would come so I could go buy myself a present. 

Also, Happy Birthday to the Imperial woman Sabina, wife of the Emperor Hadrian. We do not actually know the date of Sabina’s birthday, but today has been assigned to her as the date of her apotheosis by the Ekklesia Antinoou. The recognition of her divine status can be regarded, in a manner of speaking, as her birthday among the Gods. Ave Sabina!

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Published in: on March 21, 2012 at 11:09 am  Comments (2)  
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Up With Global Warming

This post is not related to Classical Studies or Graeco-Roman religions. Some years ago, the idea of global warming was invented and since then various segments of the population have been running around in a panic proclaiming the end of the world. The general attitude expressed by these people is something like this: “The planet is getting warmer! Oh Woe! The ice caps are going to melt! The ocean levels will rise! Beach houses and cities at sea level will wash away! Oh Woe! It’s the end of the world! What should we do? We must stop global warming at all costs!!!!!”

To which I say: Get real, people. The climate is going to change. The climate reached an unstable situation a couple of million years ago and even geologically minor events can now cause warmer and cooler conditions. Human activities have apparently pushed the world climate towards warmer temperatures. This is good. If the climate was not getting warmer, it would be getting colder. Colder is bad. About 15,000 years ago the place where I am sitting right now was buried under a sheet of ice half a mile thick all year round, and it had been that way for many thousands of years. Sometime between 15,000 and 10,000 years ago the ice melted. The exact date, and the reasons that it happened, are currently a matter of acrimonius disputes,err, um, scholarly discussions among scientists. The point is that we do not know why the ice melted and that the natural trend is for the ice to come back. That would be very bad. We will lose coastal areas to rising ocean levels in the coming years, but that is much better than having most of North America, Europe, and Asia covered with gigantic ice sheets and arctic style tundra.

Some, if not all, of the changes in flora and fauna that could come here to Wisconsin in the future might be pleasant: palm trees instead of pine trees, mahogany trees instead of oak trees, oranges instead of apples, dates instead of cherries, parrots instead of crows, peacocks instead of geese, orchids instead of dandilions. Some changes would be more or less even in nature: jaguars instead of wolves, cobras instead of rattlesnacks, alligators instead of badgers. Some changes would be less pleasant, with creatures moving here that we don’t presently have: such as termites, fire ants, killer bees, giant hairy spiders, bigger bats to eat the bigger bugs. But, overall, global warming will bring more benefits than losses.  

Los Angeles would become a lagoon and the mountains of Beverly Hills would become tropical islands. I don’t know if that is good or bad.

Anyway, bring on those tropical breezes!

Published in: on February 28, 2012 at 8:53 pm  Leave a Comment