Hey, it’s a poem

It’s been quite awhile since I put up a poem, so here’s one:

Tomorrow when I go

Tomorrow when I die

Everything changes

But the sky.

Actually the sky is changing too (Credit: NASA):

Saturn, some stars, and a poem

I haven’t done this for awhile. Here’s a picture of the North American Nebula shot in Infrared–since it’s in Infrared you can’t see why it’s been given this name (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech):

and here’s a picture of Saturn that shows its auroras as taken by the Hubble telescope (Credit: NASA/ESA/STScI/University of Leicester):

Since this is the first time in awhile that I’ve put up a poem, let’s make it a fairly stupid one:

The wallaby

Was never meant

To be swimming

Like manatees.

Not a poem

It’s been awhile since I’ve put up a poem, which I really need to rectify. Of course, a poem by itself can get awfully lonely so I’ll set the stage with some music:

And with only a bit more ado–I try not to make of todo about ado–here’s a poem:

The world is not

And I am not

Yet something is

Though what it is

I know not.

The Antarctic and a poem

Since links are a bit of a pain right now, here’s a link-free post. First a picture of the Transarctic mountain glacier taken from a DC8 as part of NASA’s attempt to completely map the Arctic and Antarctic ice (Credit: NASA/Sarah DeWitt):

and the usual Friday poem:

I live under
A mistaken expression
Live life.

China, the economy, and a poem

China (and other countries) is upset at the Fed’s Quantitative easing:

At a press briefing in Seoul, Zheng Xiaosong, director general of the Chinese Ministry of Finance’s international department, indirectly accused the United States of ignoring its international responsibilities. “The major reserve-currency issuers, while implementing their monetary policies, should not only take into account their national circumstances but should also bear in mind the possible impacts on the global economy,” he said.

Which is pretty interesting given that China has been manipulating their currency without worrying about anyone else.

And since I’m talking about China, has anyone else noticed that China seems to be cracking down more on their citizens since the Olympics? Here’s a sample:

A father who organized a support group for other parents whose children were sickened in one of China’s worst food safety scandals was convicted and sentenced Wednesday to 2 1/2 years in prison for inciting social disorder, his lawyer said.Zhao Lianhai had pushed for greater official accountability and compensation for victims and their families after the 2008 scandal that shocked China. His sentence appeared particularly severe because the case related to a public safety incident that the embarrassed leadership had pledged to tackle in a bid to restore consumer confidence.

It seems giving them the Olympics didn’t help. Ah well, it was a nice circus. And you can tell it’s getting bad when Vietnam sides with the US (to be fair, China and Vietnam are traditional adversaries).

And since it’s Friday, here’s a poem:

Blood rains on the page
As my thoughts gather
And cover my rage
Drawing strength from me.

Stars, an eclipse, and a poem

Today, I throw out a few pictures from NASA (as always, click on them to get a good look). The first is an eclipse of the Sun captured by the Solar Dynamic’s Observatory (Credit: NASA):

The second is the Lagoon nebula as captured by the Hubble telescope (Credit: NASA):

The third is of the Andromeda galaxy taken in ultraviolet (Credit: NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler (GSFC) and Erin Grand (UMCP)):

And finally, the usual Friday poem:

The world comes crashing
And so shall we
We never know.

More bank craziness and a poem

Here are a few more lovely stories coming out of the foreclosure mess:

Ricky Rought paid cash to the Deutsche Bank National Trust Company for a four-room cabin in Michigan with the intention of fixing it up for his daughter. Instead, the bank tried to foreclose on the property and the locks were changed, court records show.

Sonya Robison is facing a foreclosure suit in Colorado after the company handling her mortgage encouraged her to skip a payment, she says, to square up for mistakenly changing the locks on her home, too.

Thomas and Charlotte Sexton, of Kentucky, were successfully foreclosed upon by a mortgage trust that, according to court records, does not exist.

The reason this type of thing happens is also one of the reasons the whole mortgage crisis started in the first place: the people making the deals make money with the deal, not the actual property. The banks now mainly sell off the mortgage after they close. They make money in the closing not by collecting the interest, so it made sense to give as many mortgages as possible since they didn’t care if the person couldn’t pay it back. Here the subcontractors make money for each house foreclosed on, so it doesn’t make sense to spend the extra time to make sure everything’s correct. This is why there needs to be regulations, this is why we need governments. Someone needs to look out for the consumer.

And here’s a poem:

Before your very eyes
The future I’ll foretell
Here it comes
And there it goes.

The Chamber of Commerce, unions, and a poem

It’s instructive to look at how the largest outside (outside of the political parties themselves) supporters of Democrats and Republicans get their money. The largest supporters for Democrats are unions:

Previously, most labor-sponsored campaign ads had to be funded by volunteer donations. Now, however, AFSCME can pay for ads using annual dues from members, which amount to about $390 per person. AFSCME said it will tap membership dues to pay for $17 million of ads backing Democrats this election.

The largest supporter for Republicans is the Chamber of Commerce:

These records show that while the chamber boasts of representing more than three million businesses, and having approximately 300,000 members, nearly half of its $140 million in contributions in 2008 came from just 45 donors.

Thus, Democrats get much of their funding from middle-class union workers while Republicans get much of their funding from big corporations. And, amazingly, Republican policies are better for corporations. Vote accordingly.

And today is Friday, so here’s a stupid poem:

Climb upon the ebon mane that leaps
Before the eyes a manner and asleep
Don’t the moving hands expel relief
Where the eternal waves drive deep.

Banks and a poem

The bank story keeps getting better (which means very bad things for us). Not only did the banks not do the proper paper work, but they knew this because they had auditors tell them so they could pay less for mortgage packages they bought and then they didn’t tell this to groups that they sold the packages to. Most people consider this fraud, I would guess the people who bought them will think so also and sue.

The stock markets are starting to notice since it could cost the banks billions of dollars, which means it’s finally gaining the attention of everyone.

Paul Krugman, of course, has a good editorial on this:

Now an awful truth is becoming apparent: In many cases, the documentation doesn’t exist. In the frenzy of the bubble, much home lending was undertaken by fly-by-night companies trying to generate as much volume as possible. These loans were sold off to mortgage “trusts,” which, in turn, sliced and diced them into mortgage-backed securities. The trusts were legally required to obtain and hold the mortgage notes that specified the borrowers’ obligations. But it’s now apparent that such niceties were frequently neglected. And this means that many of the foreclosures now taking place are, in fact, illegal.

This is very, very bad. For one thing, it’s a near certainty that significant numbers of borrowers are being defrauded — charged fees they don’t actually owe, declared in default when, by the terms of their loan agreements, they aren’t.

Beyond that, if trusts can’t produce proof that they actually own the mortgages against which they have been selling claims, the sponsors of these trusts will face lawsuits from investors who bought these claims — claims that are now, in many cases, worth only a small fraction of their face value.

Some people are assuming that the banks have been so reckless, again, because they assume they’ll be bailed out, again. I think they believed the laws would just be changed to help them, but President Obama vetoed just such a bill (not that Obama has been good, just better than most). Look for Republicans (probably after the election) to try to push this through ‘for the good of the country’.

Also, today’s Friday so here’s a poem:

Am I ever alone
When I wander along
Towards the blood red sky
And the sharp divide
I am never alone.

Can anyone understand
When I reach out a hand
To grasp what I will
As I scramble up still
No one understands.

Comics and a poem

One of my favorite fairly new comics is Cul de Sac. New comics are here and the author has a blog here. And here’s a good animated version of the strip:

As an extra, I now really like pangolins. Really, go look at some. And since today’s Friday, here’s a poem:

Somedays looking up
Into the sky
I laugh
What is it all
I don’t need to know
I don’t want to know.    

Somedays looking up
Into the sky
I wonder
What is it all
And need to know

Galaxies and a poem

Today’s short post has a picture of the Antennae galaxies, formed by a collision of galaxies. I wonder which driver was at fault and if this kind of thing is covered by insurance–especially since they’re still colliding. Anyways, here’s the picture (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/J.DePasquale; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Optical: NASA/STScI):

And here’s a poem:

You’re so sure
What you see
Is beyond
It could be
Swept away.

Saturn, the Earth, and a poem

I haven’t put up pictures for awhile, so today I will. As always, click on the picture to get the full size version.

The first is a picture of Saturn (Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona):

this image constructed from data collected in the near-infrared wavelengths of light, scientists designated blue to indicate sunlight reflected at a wavelength of 2 microns, green to indicate sunlight reflected at 3 microns and red to indicate thermal emission at 5 microns. Saturn’s rings reflect sunlight at 2 microns, but not at 3 and 5 microns, so they appear deep blue. Saturn’s high altitude haze reflects sunlight at both 2 and 3 microns, but not at 5 microns, and so it appears green to blue-green. The heat emission from the interior of Saturn is only seen at 5 microns wavelength in the spectrometer data, and thus appears red. The dark spots and banded features in the image are clouds and small storms that outline the deeper weather systems and circulation patterns of the planet. They are illuminated from underneath by Saturn’s thermal emission, and thus appear in silhouette.

The second is a picture of the Earth as if it’s exploding. It’s a multi-wavelength ultraviolet picture that resulted from a huge amount of solar activity–the different colors represent different temperatures of gases (Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA):

And a poem:

If Atropos isn’t ready to cut
And the Furies don’t want revenge
Then may the Muses enter me
That I may do nothing.

And lo, there was a poem

This is the end of the first full week of classes here at Northeastern and so I’m being lazy. This means that all I have is a poem. Have a good weekend.

I scrub the sky
With lowered eyes
And wonder why
There are no cries
The buzzing fly
Takes its prize.

Another picture and a poem

Ok, I hesitate to call this a picture (if I had a llama, I’d blame it on them) but I need something equal in quality to the poem that will follow it:

and here’s the poem:

Wander into the dark and dreary
Do you have to be so weary
Life can wear it’s true
But I don’t need more from you.

Have a good weekend.

A picture and a poem

Today, I show my artistic side. Not only a poem:

Grab your hat
The sky is falling
Grab your coat
The world is dying.

but also an illustration:


I should be hearing from a publishing firm offering a million dollar advance any time now, so you might want to get your request for an autograph in soon to beat the rush. Have a nice labor day weekend.

Gay marriage and a poem

It’s been a good few weeks for the rights of gays: Argentina became the first Latin American country to make gay marriage legal on July 21; the Mexican Supreme Court said yesterday that Mexico City’s same sex marriage law is constitutional; a federal judge overturned California’s ban on same-sex marriage on Wednesday (although this does not mean it’s legal in California yet as the ruling has been appealed and will probably make its way to the Supreme Court). Not bad.

Also, since it’s Friday, here’s a poem:

I walk along
A tattered path
A blasted song
An uneasy laugh
Where will it lead
This wasted dream.

Mars, Orion, and a poem

I haven’t posted for a while and this is a fluff post: pretty pictures and silly words. This is not a bad thing.

The first picture shows an impact crater on Mars. To me it looks like some of those racing stripes put on cars (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona):

The second is a picture of the Orion Nebula which is just a very lovely picture (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech):

And here’s this week’s poem which is about the grand struggle of leg warmers:

Light streams
Into love seams
Under world dreams
And then crawls up.

Just a poem

Being on vacation is so hard that all I have today is a poem:

If you want to save the dolls
You’ll have to wait in line
Everyone feels the need
To care for the ill defined.

Some moons, a nebula, and a poem

I’m going to be busy again on Friday, so this is a day early.

First is a very nice picture of the Seagull Nebula. It’s one of those pictures you really need to see in full detail to appreciate, so click on it (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA):

The second is a picture of Saturn’s moon Dione passing in front of one of its other moons, Titan (Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute):

And here’s a poem (yeah, I know, summer just started):

There’s something about fall
Leaves aging beyond despondency
Floating floating through the gap
Between here and now

A little tennis and a poem

John Isner defeated Nicolas Mahut today (well, Tuesday through today) :

6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68.

Umm, yeah that’s a long fifth set … the match took 11 hours and 5 minutes (the previous long was about 6 and a half hours). I love the running dialogue here, a sample:

6pm: The score stands at 34-34. In order to stay upright and keep their strength, John Isner and Nicolas Mahut have now started eating members of the audience. They trudge back to the baseline, gnawing on thigh-bones and sucking intestines. They have decided that they will stay on Court 18 until every spectator is eaten. Only then, they say, will they consider ending their contest.

It’s very funny. In the cruel way the world works, Isner was scheduled for a double’s match this afternoon (rescheduled from yesterday). I wonder if it’ll happen. In any case, an amazing match.

Since I won’t be around tomorrow, here’s a poem:

A little ink
A little snow
Blue covers white
Swirling round

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