Archive for the ‘Earthquake’ category

CIVILIZATION ON A TIME-WAVE

September 7, 2016

A few days ago I was browsing my archives,  looking for something,  when I came across an old posting in my “WHAT’S IT?”  series.   (Soon as I learn how to add “pages”  to the Spruce Tunnel I’ll set up a whole page for all the “WHAT’S IT”s  –  they’re fun!  Right now you’d just have to use the Search function.)

Here’s the one I found:

chart-civilizaiton-jpg

Usually a WHAT’S IT  will be interesting, but have no name, no explanation.    But this one has a name, sort of,  and it has sort of an explanation too, if you’re a math genius.

This is a Time-Wave chart for civilization.  The explanation:  

The Timewave theory.     . . . If you’d like  to prove or disprove it, you’d need to use some of this:
L(k) =  abs( ((-1)^trunc((k-1) /32))* (h[k-1 Mod64] – h[k-2 Mod64] +h[-k Mod64] – h[1-k Mod64])
  + 3*((-1)^trunc((k-3) /96))* (h[trunc(k/3) -1 Mod64] – h[trunc(k/3) -2 Mod64] + h[-trunc(k/3) Mod64] – h[1-trunc(k/3) Mod64])
  + 6*((-1)^trunc((k-6) /192))* (h[trunc(k/6) -1 Mod64] – h[trunc(k/6) -2 Mod64] + h[-trunc(k/6) Mod64] – h[1-trunc(k/6) Mod64])  )
 + abs( 9-h[-k Mod64] – h[k-1 Mod64] + 3*(9-h[-trunc(k/3) Mod64] – h[trunc(k/3) -1 Mod64]) + 6*(9- h[-trunc(k/6) Mod64] – h[trunc(k/6) -1 Mod64] ) ) . . .

Well, it goes on. . .     Someone used it to figure out the rise and fall of human civilization in general;  not any specific one, just the ability of humans to create a civilization.  What the author of this wave chart didn’t expect as he projected his calculations forward in time is that the line on the graph would fall to  ZERO! 

Some day civilization will just end.    It won’t go on forever.    Humans, on their own, can’t sustain civilized life, at least in this Age of the World.    

(The ancients determined that there will be Seven Ages of the World.     If I remember correctly,  we are  nearing the very, very End.    I shall have to compare this to Enoch’s Ages . .  . )

 

This structure lasted for about 1,400 years:

monte-cassino-in-ruins

Nothing says “end”  like seeing Monte Cassino in ruins!      We “had”  to do it, we said,  because the Nazis were there,  using it as an effective headquarters to kill the Allies who were defending civilization.    (The National Socialists – Nazis –  came out of barbarism,  not out of a civilized mindset.)     Like civilization, it had been sitting there, exposed, and vulnerable to destruction.

It’s been rebuilt, of course, and it’s so beautiful that it’s used as a school for artists who want to learn how to restore the beautiful things that were built in centuries past. 

inside-2

So few of us, now, know the art of painting, architecture, statuary,  pargeting,  mosaics,   mixing colors,  lead glass and stained glass,  embroidery,   tapestry  . . . 

inside

But if we have the will to re-learn all this, we could.

abbey

Monte Cassino Abbey today

Monte Cassino –  This was a great center of learning.    But long before that it was  the center from which a civilization was built after the Roman Empire fell and Pax Romana was no more.     People suffered,   disease and famine and war were everywhere.     Nobody believed it would happen or that it even could happen, that the world would descend into barbarism.

Pope St. Gregory the Great mused in his writings and speeches that this could be the end of everything,  the End of the World.

But for St. Benedict!      A man who desperately wanted to be holy and wholly a servant of God, apart,  away from all the troubles — but whose very holiness attracted like-minded men.   From their sanctuary in the midst of Italy  (very near where there was recently a big earthquake — the monks of Norsia there very much need your help . . .they’re living in rubble)   from their sanctuary around the beginning of the 7th century,  Christian principles and Christian action spread and slowly and steadily became the foundation for Western Civilization. 

There would be NO civilization if it weren’t for the hard work of these Christian monks!

And we enjoyed the benefits of civilization for many centuries.    But, alas,  as we turn away from those Christian principles . . .  well,  check out that Time-Wave chart.  

Civilization could  come to an end again.

Here is a story from the days of Rome,  a long time before it fell:

st-genevieve-stopping-attila

That’s Attila the Hun  (a barbarian)  on horseback.     He didn’t quite make it into Rome with his army that day.      He was repelled by the holy Christian authority of St. Genevieve.  451 A.D.

Oh, yes – a woman!      The Church has often produced strong women who in their own way, with strong skills,  have protected and prolonged civilized life.   

A little more than a decade later,  she repelled another barbarian,  Childeric, attacking Paris,  464 A.D.          Though the barbarians were “at the gates”  and Christianity was still somewhat new and sparse,   St. Genevieve at least negotiated with this barbaric leader and had prisoners released and much more of the city saved.

See,  we’re not slaves to that Time-Wave.      Though the barbarians are at our gates again and Western Civilization seems to be diminishing everywhere – perhaps . . .   just perhaps . . .

Perhaps there will be enough prayer rising up, as at Monte Cassino . . .  Perhaps there will be men and women of valor to renew and restore  Christian values . . . 

Perhaps God will forgive and be merciful again.

 

 

 

 

 

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AT THE EPICENTER (ALMOST)

May 2, 2015

earthquake ring

WhenIwasakidandreadallthewaythroughtotheendofthecomicbooks

tillIgottothepartaboutXrayvisionglasses — 

AndnowIwantthem!!!   

xray glasses

Whew!     Still a little excited!

I would love to have x-ray vision and see what happened to the earth beneath us today!

model

They called it a 4.2 earthquake,  about an hour and a half away from here, today, 12:23 p.m.

Now, the day is ending with a peaceful sky, I’m calm and happy too, so I’ll give you  one person’s experience of the earthquake today.

SAMSUNGIt was a disorienting morning today.   Maybe not unusual for me,  but it took a long time to work out what day of the week it was when I woke up.   Once I decided on Tuesday,  I got up out of bed to put the garbage out.   Fortunately, by the time I worked my way to the garage,  I figured out it was Saturday,  although that didn’t seem right either.   Made coffee, did some dishes, stumbled around for a while,  then fell asleep again.

Which is why shortly after noon,  I was still doing my morning . . .  you know,  morning prayers and things (a little late)….Seated in a nice rocking chair, in front of a nice window, with a nice cup of coffee nearby.     Deo gratias!

And then I heard the noise.   Like pebbles or gravel falling on the roof above me.

Or no,  not the roof — sliding down between the walls.  Debris falling down the side of the house and the sound of rapid footsteps, like squirrels running across the roof . . .   not squirrels,   big, rhythmic “footsteps.”

And the debris kept sliding down inside the walls (I thought) and then something was happening to the walls because they were vibrating – something was making the whole house shake.  Is the house that old?  The construction so bad something was going to collapse?  Did my bathtub fall through the floor into the basement?

Convinced that something bad was going to happen to the room I was in,  I felt alarm, and I needed to get out of there.

But first —

SAMSUNGThere’s my coffee, above my skirt seated on that rocking chair —   I’ve just put new carpeting in —  I didn’t want my coffee to spill on the carpet in case the room collapsed!   So I grabbed the coffee and walked quickly out of the room, just as I noticed the noise had stopped,  the pebbles had ceased falling,  the footsteps across the house were quiet,  and the room wasn’t shaking anymore.   10? 15?  20 seconds?

I went outside on the deck  to see if I could see if all the outer walls were intact.   All was quiet.   Innocently quiet, the same way the morning had started.

I walked back into that first room to look for any clues there,  and  the phone rang.  It was Son.  Before even a “Hello,”  he asked  “Did you feel it?!!”  

Now, three things went instantly through my mind.

(1)    Good.  Curiosity satisfied.   Now I know.

(2)    Why didn’t earthquake cross my mind?    I didn’t even think of it.   What kind of a pea brain . . . .

(3)    Darn!   He beat me to it!

The rest of the phone call was fun.     Son had been standing up in his pharmacy so he felt the full force of the quake through his feet.    The “bottles” on the shelves  rattled.    And his assistants all turned to him, and he told them calmly:  “This isn’t normal.”     Which seemed to calm everyone.

My assignment was to find out the details,  which is just what I wanted to do anyway.

Funny,  I slept again this afternoon,  and then fought to stay awake in the early evening.   Something’s spreading alpha waves around!

Bar Cross in middleRenewed prayers for those suffering from the big earthquake in Nepal.

HOLY SATURDAY: THINKING ABOUT EARTHQUAKES

April 19, 2014

black
We’ve had some pretty big earthquakes lately, two  7  point somethings in Mexico and Central America this week.  They made me think about the big earthquake which occurred on the first Good Friday.

I’m thinking about all the rocks and stones and mountains and the bedrock beneath our feet, which sometimes isn’t so solid and lifeless as we think –

earthquake

And maybe the rocks and mountains and all of creation is not really so “silent”  as we think.

About one week ago,  Jesus made his triumphal entrance into the city of Jerusalem, and the people rose up to greet him, to shout his praises;  “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!”    They didn’t fullly understand who Jesus is,  but they were happy and joyous in His presence anyway.

Then the religious leaders, probably fearing the tumult would draw the attention of  the Roman authorities,  came up to Jesus and said,  “Tell your followers to quiet down,”  to which Jesus replied,  “If they didn’t shout out in praise, the very rocks would cry out.”
The stony earth beneath their feet remained silent on Palm Sunday,  because the people were singing out praises to God.

When  Jesus was crucified,   only a very few stayed with Him, sorrowing and grieving for the One they loved – yet even they did not fully understand what was happening.   There was no “tumult”  at the crucifixion.

It’s Holy Saturday today –  some disciples, friends, family,  have gathered themselves together and seem to be in stunned, silent confusion and grief.

But in other parts of the city, they were still picking up the pieces from the earthquake that had occurred when the Son of God passed out of this world.   When Jesus died,  though the humans didn’t know what to say or what to do,  the rocks and stones and solid earth beneath their feet “shouted out” with their great quaking.

On Holy Saturday,  perhaps the friends of Jesus were thinking about that quake that had tossed dead bodies out from the earth, graves could no longer hold the bodies.  And perhaps they began to ponder the meaning of the earthquake-torn veil  in the Temple –

rent in two But torn, oddly,  from top to bottom, as though the heavens had opened up the dividing veil between God and humans.  The Temple, now, and the Holy of Holies where God dwelt,  will now be located within the hearts of men and women.

A lot to ponder on Holy Saturday.     The rocks and stony ground “cried out” after all,  in a big, awful quake that heralded the beginning of new things.

 

A LONG WAY TO JAPAN

March 11, 2011

Once, long ago, it was a “long way” to Japan:

The arduous voyage of St. Francis Xavier in the 16th century brought the knowledge of Japan to the Western World and the knowledge of the Western World to Japan.     It was to be only the slightest of acquaintances.     Christianity took hold and began to spread among the Japanese, but it was fiercely persecuted and nearly wiped out.

We can remember this time through the eyes of The 26 Martyrs of Tagosama:

No further missionaries or priests from the West arrived for nearly two centuries.   An interesting note:    When missionaries again began arriving in the 19th century, they found a few small bands of Catholic Japanese who had retained the Faith as best they could.  

They were able to pass  down the Faith from one generation to the next for two centuries, without the help of priests for one reason.   They did not sing or pray or learn the Creed in the vernacular;   they had used the language of  the Christian Faith – Latin.    Unlike spoken Japanese which changed slowly as the centuries passed,  the Latin stayed the same;  the words of the prayers and songs and creed carried the constant and unchanged meaning against which the changing usage of the Japanese language could be measured against.

Although Christianity remained a very small minority in Japan,  by the 20th century two cities were known to have large populations of Catholic-Christians:   Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

St. Francis Xavier and his companions, the 26 Martyrs, and  the unnamed saints  of their beloved  Nippon, Land of Beauty,  all  remain in the Communion of Saints with us.   May they look down with compassion and concern on Japan today and join with our prayers to petition Our Lord  for relief and comfort and mercy. . . . .   

We humans are so small on this planet and our needs our so great.