in light of the recent outbreak, i have so many thoughts on the subject.  

first, tornadoes are largely a north american phenomenon.  they happen in europe too, but rarely the massive types we have here.  if we are God's chosen country, He sure seems to hate us a bunch.  especially in the Bible Belt.  

second, what happens if tornadoes become much more prevalent?  will people who live in those areas move? kinda like the situation with coastal areas.  will those people move inland?  could that bring liberals and conservatives into direct contact?  could that even work?  sounds scary.  

third, if tornadeos do increase in frequency, will people more readily accept climate change? 

fourth, i have an acquaintance who believes that the government can create tornadoes.  he does't think this is a conspiracy theory.  

fifth, i fully expect Pat Robertson to claim that today's tornadoes which are about to hit Moore, OK again are revenge from God for that atheist woman who Wolf Blitzer interviewed after last week's storm.

sixth, storm chasers are badass.  

seventh, it makes sense for Republicans to be religious.  if God didn't hate poor people he wouldn't send tornadoes to wipe out their trailer parks.  

finally, i couldn't live in tornado country.  those fuckers scare the shit out of me.  good luck to the people of Oklahoma tonight, my thoughts are with them.  

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I think the pertinent sound is more like a giant vacuum cleaner. 

yeah, i saw that.  shame.  at least they died doing what they loved, albeit little comfort for their families.  

i still maintain that the northeast US has little in the way of natural disasters.  safest place you could live.  and not crazy religious.

at least they died doing what they loved

I wonder how such people's minds work.  They must love adrenaline a LOT.   Maybe they have a death wish, or the conviction that they'll always get away with it.  If you do something risky for awhile and nothing bad happens, you tend to believe nothing WILL happen. 

I saw a movie once about a free climber.  No ropes, no pitons.  He climbed up very difficult rock faces.  Until his crumpled body was found on a ledge hundreds of feet below an especially difficult rock face. 

yeah, i can't imagine doing something incredibly dangerous just because i think it's awesome.  i want to go skydiving, but i doubt i'd ever be an enthusiast.  just too much chance for death.  still, i have admiration for those who know the risks but don't care.  

Or people do something dangerous and they don't die.  Instead they end up in a wheelchair, or without a hand and they have to brush their teeth with a prosthetic claw. 

My knee got trashed 25 years ago in a totally avoidable skiing accident.  Now I have arthritis in that knee.  I used to love running but I can't any more, it's too much impact.  What was beautiful about running is it's so ... primitive.  I guess running is in my bones.  Maybe my ancestors ran for hours, hunting down game. 

For a vicarious thrill without trashing one's one and only bod, maybe one could take some adrenaline-raising drug while watching a movie taken by a climbing robot :)  And still get up afterwards, having felt like you dared fate. 

ouch.  sorry to hear that.  

still, ever watch any of those "people are awesome videos" on youtube.  it's  a wonder what humans are able to accomplish. for all the "fail" videos out there, it's the "people are awesome" versions that restore my faith in humanity.  

Humanity IS awesome, I agree. 

Of incredible variety and incredible skills.  Coming up with things of awesome brilliance and awesome beauty and awesome evil too. 

Who needs supernatural anything when you've got people?

People acting in groups are not so awesome.  Our group actions have a sort of selfish stupidity that ends up harming people. 

I'll check out the "people are awesome" videos.  I saw a good time-travel movie online, "twelve monkeys". 

Do you really? To admire one "who knows the risks but don't care"?

I listened to the discussion between a man trapped on Mt Everest, I think it was, and his conversation with his wife, knowing he wasn't going to make it down. I wondered if he valued his life so little, that he was willing to take the risk. I wondered how his wife felt, knowing that was their last conversation and if she admired his effort? 

I am not made of such stuff. Life is so very precious, there are so many thing to do to stay involved in living, and there are so many other ways to die than freezing to death attempting to climb a mountain, that I have little respect or admiration for such adventures.

In 1925, Nome, Alaska, hit with a deadly diphtheria epidemic that could wipe out the village, needed vaccine.  Anchorage had a supply 1200-miles away. Sea ice blocked ports, the vastness of Alaska prevented primitive airplanes for the task, there were no train tracks yet. Only one possibility remained, “mushers” with sled dog teams running in relay. Marshy land covered with snow and huge chunks of broken ice created hazards the entire distance. Winter provided the only time that route could be taken; the trail was impassable spring, summer and autumn. Dangers included moose, wolves, bears, and injuries caused by the rough terrain.

The Iditarod festival is remembrance of that brave accomplishment. It is a fun time, with Native style trampolines, skills contests, soups made of salmon, bear or moose meet cooked in iron pots over open fires, sourdough bread, berry pies and cobblers, jerky made from just about every animal, bird and fish you can imagine,  home brew, homemade sleds and prize dogs that have a status of celebrities.

I lived in Kenai, Alaska the year it became a state, 1959, until 1961. It was interesting to visit Native homes, usually one room log houses with grass roofs, with a sleeping loft, a cache outside to store meats and foods over winter, a sourdough pot always growing, as well as homebrew, a wooden sled in the middle of the room as family members carved it and used animal sinew to lace it together. They used barrels of water outside with fires built under them to soak the wood pieces, bend them to shape, and bring them inside to construct these handsome sleds. We sat around the sled eating bear stew with potato dumplings and dried vegetables and fruits. They made the most delicious dried fruit desserts I ever ate. Their stories told by the elders, were of ancient animal and plant spirits and used these stories to teach their children morals and ethics. The coyote and crow were two mischief-makers, always in trouble and used as examples of how not to act.  The mouse stories told of the resourcefulness of the little creatures to find and store food during abundant times to feed them during winters. Of course there were stories of eagle, fox, rabbit, ptarmigan, wolf, salmon, bear, hooligan, etc.

These people I admire and respect. Life had its risks, and many willingly sacrificed themselves to feed, clothe and house their families. 

Joan, it's not that i disagree with you.  but i admire a lot of people who are willing to do things that i am not.  

i admire fire fighters, but don't wish to be one.  i admire the guys who don wing suits and fly through canyons at breakneck speeds, and base jumpers who risk life and limb in pursuit of thrills that can only be experienced in life.  i admire those who put themselves in harms way to capture video of wildlife that we otherwise would never see.    

personally, i don't want to risk death to attempt those things.  that doesn't change my admiration for those who wish to live life to the fullest, risks be damned.  

Matthew, I agree with you about firefighters. My daughter, husband, two daughters and their two partners all belong to a volunteer fire dept. in Pend Oreille County, in a forest with homes scattered here and there. They take fire and distress calls night and day, they are available every day of the year. I respect their commitment to community. 

I am not so sanguine about people who risk life and limb for thrills. When they get stuck on a cliff, or rescued from a mishap, or do things they are not skilled to do, and my family members risk their lives to rescue them, I am just plain outraged. My family would never refuse a call for help. But how about people using better judgment to prevent such risks. 
Living life the the fullest means something different to you than to me. 

I should have written, My daughter, her husband ....




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