Archive for April, 2018

The Weather Is No Joke

East Coast Begins To Clean Up And Assess Damage From Hurricane Sandy

The weather, like everything else in life, has been a rich source of material for comedians stretching back to antiquity.  Times have changed.  We have to do more than laugh at or complain about dear old Mother Nature.  With each passing day, Mother nature is losing her sense of humor.  She’s also losing her temper.

I have fond memories of the weather as an old friend.  It always had its good moods and bad, its ups-and-downs, but it always seemed to be there for me, especially in the spring and summer.  I remember walking down tree-lined fairways, under a bright blue sky and a warm sun.  In those days, a weekend round of golf was a walk in heaven.  No one worried too much about UV radiation because the ozone layer had yet to become a swiss cheese.

Flash forward to 2018.  Weather nightmares assault millions of people.  Drought victims, flood victims, tsunami and hurricane survivors; anyone who has had their home demolished or their livelihood destroyed will have trouble feeling safe again.  Weather victims have every right to think of the weather as an enemy rather than a friend.

I think of the weather these days not as a friend or foe.  I see it as a messenger.  I believe it is trying to warn us, like a biblical prophet.

Who is the messenger?  Nature Herself.  If you persist in pissing someone off, that person is going to turn around, sooner or later, and slug you in the face.  If you hurt someone, you will face retribution.  Call it Karma.  Call it whatever you like.  We get what we give.

Nature has finally run out of patience.  Nature is very angry with us.  You have to watch out for slow-to-anger types.  They usually pack one hell of a punch.  We picked on the wrong person when we started mistreating the biosphere.  The human race is famous for under achievement and stupidity, but this latest blunder of ransacking the environment is an award-winner.  If we don’t act quickly and decisively, the pooch will be permanently screwed.  We are cutting our own throats.

Winters are already beyond cruel in northern climates.  The sun has become a grim reaper in tropical climates.  Weather conditions around the globe have become capricious and downright vindictive.  Glaciers are melting.  Rivers and lakes that once provided life-giving water are drying up or dying from pollution.  The seas are rising and flooding coastal cities.  Marine life is dying in our acidic oceans.  Destructive forest fires are becoming a weekly occurrence.  In twenty years, we may not have enough fresh water to drink.

We have to heed the weather’s warning.  The time to act is now.  Don’t wait for the government to do something.  The U.S. government has been dragging its feet on carbon dioxide emissions for over thirty years.  We the people must accept the responsibility for global warming and the water crisis. We are like little children who have to grow up quickly because no one is there to protect us.  Little steps can make a big difference, if everyone makes the effort.

Read about the environment.  Make your next car a hybrid or an electric car.  If nobody buys conventional gas cars, they will disappear from the earth like dinosaurs.  Conventional gas cars have become a bad habit, like eating a steady diet of junk food.  For an informative look at the current crisis and a concise list of things we can do to reduce our individual carbon footprints, go to  The power is within us.  Let’s use it!


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Micromium Gets Some Love From Indie Reader


Verdict: A fun science-fiction thriller with both unique and familiar concepts, MICROMIUM delivers a satisfying story with memorable characters you don’t mind
spending time alone with on a desolate planet, millions of miles from Earth.

MICROMIUM by David Gittlin is a delightful science-fiction adventure set in a near-future where a possible clean energy source from Mars has captured humanity’s hope. A team of scientists travel to the red planet to perform an audit of the privately run mining operation. The team does their job a little too well, uncovering a secret that the company was desperate to keep hidden.

The story that unfolds in this novella is very compelling and carries the reader along with a fast-paced tale that isn’t difficult to follow. The characters are at their most interesting when they are working to solve the central problem of the book and working together as a team. When major twists are thrown their way, readers are eager to follow along with the team wherever they’re headed. There is drama and excitement, and all of it serves the larger story.

The characters’ stories are full of gripping drama and very real stakes. In sci-fi, it can be difficult to cut your characters off from the help they might need in a technologically-advanced society. Stuck on a planet millions of miles from that help, where the very atmosphere is deadly, solves that problem in a very real way. Like other recent stories focused on the red planet, the threat of being stranded there is ever-present, adding another layer of stakes to an already high-tension story.

Like all good science fiction, MICROMIUM features both a specific narrative that is enthralling and a larger universe that seems ripe for future storytelling. Many writers fall prey to focusing more on the latter element than providing a resolution for the former that is both complete and satisfying. Gittlin does not. The story he sets out to tell is resolved very clearly, but how that ending unfolds opens the possibility for more stories about both these characters and the world in which they live. Readers are left wanting more, but not because the story that drew them into the book was left unfinished.

Joshua Patton–Indie Reader


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