The facts, they are a changin

pexels-photo-204366.jpeg
It was a dark and stormy night. Or rather, the night darkness concealed the source of the intense storms. That seems much better. My wife and I waited for the storm to pass that evening before setting off to walk the dogs. The reflection of the street lights glistened off the wet streets.

All down the street, I could see small ridges. Upon closer examination, I could see that there were literally hundreds of night crawlers stretched out perpendicular to the road. The road friction made them stretch out to a tortured length of about a foot and a half. Normally plump, this condition thinned them out considerably. Night crawlers are earth worms on steroids.

Feeling some form of compassion for this Lumbricus terrestris, I started to scoop them up and toss them back on to the grass. Some worms can survive being cut in half but being half squashed flat by a truck did not seem very survivable to me.

Now, under normal conditions worms produce a fair bit of mucus. Adding torrential rains to that seems to add to mucus production as the worm exodus continued. I started to regret my misplaced compassion and tried to distance myself from my emotions. My wife just simply distanced herself.

I assumed the common knowledge that during intense rain storms worms attempt to escape drowning in their burrows. However, they breathe through their skin which needs moisture. So there may be a number of other reasons why they engage in such risky behavior of stretching themselves out on a busy road.

One good reason would be migration. Lots of rain would allow them to move great distances. However, half of them moved from the south to the north, while the other half moved from north to south. But, hey, they’re worms. The grass always seem more organic filled on the other side of the street it is said.

An interesting phenomena occurs when you experience a situation and learn some new facts about it later. I learned that another good reason worms travel is that they want sex. My recollection of the event now includes an added ‘ewww’ quality to it. And what better time to find a mate than when everyone else is stretched out in the same area. We have a beach here that seems to serve the same purpose for humans.

Although worms are hermaphrodite, male and females together, they cannot reproduce solely by themselves. They need a mate. I must have cast aside, and severely disappointed, several dozen night crawlers. Destined now to remain virgins they’re probably bitter. Unless that was going to be their choice anyway, and so that is perfectly ok.

This sex migration behavior can bring down planes. After a rain, worms like to stretch out wherever they can, including airport runways. Worms do not get sucked into turbines, but the birds coming to eat the worms can be. Particularly the flocking birds like gulls which tend to ignore whatever happens around them when they fight over food. So airport authorities tend to use fungicides to reduce worm populations.

Night crawlers contribute to the US current account deficit! Some politician should complain about this. If nothing more than the neat optics it provides. “Congress needs night crawler NAFTA negotiations!” Apparently $20 million of night crawlers are exported to the US each year with little or no USA content. A few years ago, the price leapt from $35 per thousand worms to $80 per thousand. Economics 101. Supply was tight, and owing to inelasticity of demand, prices skyrocketed. Worm futures may not have the panache of Tesla stock, but you would have made a fortune otherwise.

Fact

 

[1] Environmental note. You are likely better off not using chemicals and fertilizers on your lawn which can be worm unfriendly. The worms, if left to their own devices, can aerate and fertilize the lawn for you.

Photo by Simon Robben from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/architecture-blur-buildings-cars-204366/

I miss astral projection

pexels-photo.jpgAstral refers to the stars and the non-physical realm of existence. One can not help but think of Astral Projection over the ages. The concept of out-of-body experiences forms part of many philosophies and religions over thousands of years. An OBE can take years of practice and study before an individual acquires the capability of doing this. Various forms of yoga claim mediation can allow oneself to leave the body and enter the astral plane. Even the Inuit also claim that some can enter this plane in order to ease difficulties with the hunt.

There is no scientific evidence that this has ever occurred. All of the evidence appears to be anecdotal with a heavy dose of confirmation bias. Researchers saying that people claiming to have left their bodies simply left their minds.

But wouldn’t it be awesome if it were possible. To think that there might actually be something beyond ourselves.

Did you ever think that this happened to you one time? Before you became all rational?

For example there is always that sliver of moment between dream and awake where you can find yourself in a remote location, time, or planet. We wake up and find this did not really happen. I remember being disappointed.

I would start going back to Saturday morning yoga if I thought I could achieve this someday.

 

 

Snapwire

via Daily Prompt: Astral

Tangled web Suspicion

pexels-photo-105472.jpegToday I idly thought that the prompt would be something along the lines of romance, love, or at least chocolate. Even if it was milk chocolate and not the 85% cocoa which is my favorite decadence.

So I was mildly surprised, and challenged to see that today the discussion would be something that would be anathema to what valentines’ day would be all about. I found myself being suspicious overall at the pick. Did someone do this on purpose so that the prompt would lead me into the feelings of what the prompt described?

Are the words somehow created by some random word generator. Is there some higher intelligence behind the word selection? Are they using their power for good, or is there some greater malfeasance behind all of this?

Again. Suspicious.

Very well played.

 

Markus Spiske freeforcommercialuse.net

 

via Daily Prompt: Suspicious

The Creature

pexels-photo-208139Creature suggests something from depths of the ocean or from the depths of hell. Something not quite seen before or completely understood.

Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein,  or The Modern Prometheus only referred to the creation as the Creature. Instead of being a monster, the Creature appeared eloquent when demanding a mate from Frankenstein;

‘create a female for me with whom I can live in the interchange of those sympathies necessary for my being.’

Perhaps far more human than what we care to imagine.

 

Pixabay

Source: pixabay.com

via Daily Prompt: Creature

A negative connotation

toothbrush-toothpaste-dental-care-clean-40798Cavity suggests a negative connotation. Whenever you think about cavity an image or an issue presents itself. The first image includes dental visits. Particularly when I was younger. Back then the drills were run by steel cables. Very Kafkaesque.

Other cavities suggest returning from opium countries. Planes. Searches.

Another major time you think about cavities would be where your organs reside. Normally they resemble a good next door tenant. Quiet, restful,  innocuous. The moment you have to take them aside and tell them to quiet down, well the good relationship starts to deteriorate.

Pixabay

Source: pixabay.com

via Daily Prompt: Cavity

Strategy from the surface of the sun

pexels-photo-236730Our organization used to love strategic planning. Whenever we had a new CEO, they would start a new strategic plan to put their stamp on the organization.

Back in the 90s, we attended this out-of-town retreat with our new CEO. About 20 of us attended this exercise. The CEO started with a enthusiastic intro. Things started to spin a bit out of control after that in apparent attempt to impress him.

One manager said that we had to step back a bit and see how things were going. The next manager suggested that we had to take elevated view of the entire economy. The next manager said that we had to take an even higher 30,000 foot look at the past present and  future. The next manager said we had to go even further to take a global analysis of the history and future of the world as observed from the sun.

I made the last one up, but in keeping with the trend lines, everyone attempted to outdo the prior manager in order to show himself as more of a visionary.

Strategy