Saturday, October 07, 2006

msb-0073 Grath

msb-0073 Grath

Feedback come first so ...

I've been giving a lot of it and now I'm getting a lot more of it.

I'm discovering what a nice, kind and friendly bunch of MSers there are out there, in the blogosphere.

The comments are all rather intelligent, witty and/or helpful.

My regular audienceship has nearly doubled.

This is great and extremely encouraging.

I've discovered that half of you seem to do an upload of my podcast once a week instead of more often.

Stats for my episodes when I was doing them twice a week were going up and down like a saw blade while the weekly episodes are pretty darn steady and trending upwards.

Now if only I could get you to use iTunes or iPodder or any other RSS triggered downloader.

(Yay! You like me. You really like me. :-)


If you go to you may notice that I have added and reordered some things on the Linkage section, down on the the left hand side.

One of the things that got added is a link to a store at Cafe Press.

It has some clothes and tote bags and stuff.

Right now they all feature pictures of my gorgeous late, great cat Wiki .

I will be adding to those with pictures of my new cat.

She's not here yet. She's going to get here tomorrow. We're waiting for here to get here and suggest a name for herself.

She will feature prominantly on all my promotional material.


I have also added a PayPal donation button, so that I can defer my costs until I can get some advertisers.

The subscribe with iTunes button is back, big, bold and prominent.

I am trying to convert all of you web browsers to iTunes subscribers because and for the same reason that magazine do.

Subscribers represent something, like an audience of interested people, while web grazers just don't seem to be worth as much.

I would appreciate getting feedback too. The link is right below that. :-)

And to some of you have been showing up time and again to the web page, wouldn't you rather just let iTunes go there and download something something when there is something new, without you having to bother.


Tonight (Monday, October 9th,2006) I've been watching "Eyes on the Prize" on PBS.

As a foreigner, (I am a landed immigrant from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs glow, [apologies to "Led Zeppelin" :-]) I find it fascinating to watch United States history as it unfolded and as it unfolds now.

I'm convinced that Americans before desegration were deeply and fundamentally wasteful.

Its so stupid to sit on people, on the dreams of people, on the hopes of people.

Trying to squash them all so as to be 'atop a molehill,' rather than letting them rise to their own potential, even though they might rise much higher than you.

Its much better, much more efficient, to use all that restlessness.

You can harness all that energy and build with it.

[clims on soapbox]

Look at what North Korea has accomplished.

So they built some things that can go boom. Big shit. I can only die once.

If you want to impress me you gotta have more than that.

A nine year ol' punk with a Kalashnikov can stop my breathing, permanently.

Pol Pot proved that a million times over by wiping out a fifth of Cambodia with his agrarian reforms. (Either you tilled the fields or you fertilized them!)

But that doesn't means the nine year ol' can actually make the bullets.

He is totally dependent on those who can.

North Korea is now just as stuck.

They have a technology and a weapon that they can't use and don't dare sell.

A kiloton or a megaton of explosive force leaves a trace. (Actually, it leaves a big crater and an even bigger radioactive cloud.)

The fallout, both political and physical is too horrendous to contemplate.

Wind doesn't care what its carrying or which way it is blowing.

Every nuclear explosion from the 'sixties onwards has been monitored to the n-th degree.

The size of the current stock piles are known to the n-th degree.

Therefore, any and every nuclear explosion that comes from outside the known will be laid at North Koreas' feet.

It will be known and retribution would be horrific.

Pyongyang would become as "the land of the glowing craters."

They have a ~1,000,000 man army, ([out of a population of only ~25,000,000], compared to the a total world population of >6,600,000,000, or 264 times the size) and a land mass of 120,540 square miles (compared to 510,072,000 world's total square miles, or >4,231 times the size.)

North Korea can be essentially wiped out in a single nuclear exchange.

Now, if any nuclear exchange happens, they will be blown to atoms from every direction, from the north by China, from the west by Russia and from the east by the United States.

And with 25 million people versus 6.6 billion people, or 0.37% of the population, they are in barely more of a position to argue than we MSers with our 0.08% of the population.

[drifts off the topic]

The problem with numbers is that somethimes they make you discover some inconvenient facts.

Viz: Cetere paribus, the total number of people who could get MS, using the one out or twelve hundred figure used by the US National MS Society, is a mere 5,497,800.

But of course that ignores the fact that MS is prevalent in mainly the upper lattitudes.

Dengue fever is prevalent in the equatorial regions and it is much worse with twice the epidimiological rate, with ~11,000,000 people affected.

[gets back to the topic]

Now look at what South Korea has done in the same time.

They have a thriving economy.

Their people are much better off on every scale from food production, to personal freedom, to access to information, to internet use.

And look at why.

Non-violence has been effective since Mahata Ghandi proved it in South Africa (apartheid no longer exists) and India (the Raj no longer exists.)

Hear that Osama?

Your path leads to wrack and ruination.

It is ultimately self defeating.

The Taliban and you end up rulers over a pile of smoking rubble; weak and at the mercy of everything that you can't control, like every virus or bacterium.

What utter foolishness.

[climbs down from soap box]

Back to "Eyes on the Prize".

Bull Connor was a friggin' troglogyte.

He had all the moral rectitude of Osama ben Laden.

He also had the same tactics. They blew up in his face.

Laury Pritchett was far more effective. He used Dr. King's tactics against him. He would have been far scarier to be up against; a racist neanderthal with cunning.

But he was only in Albany and wasn't consulted in Birmingham.

I'm definitely going to watch the rest of the series again. (It was almost not to be either. There was some hassle a while back with copyright holders of some of the footage. Like you can hold history hostage.)


Today I have a special treat.

I was wandering over my old hard drives, old emails and old paper fragments of crap I use to write. (I'd lo, uh, misplaced, yeah, mis-placed something, okay, it wasn't a senior moment. :-)

I found a scrap of something which jogged my memory (the only part of me that jogs these days.)

It was a piece of something I wrote either for F&SF Mag. (Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine,) or Azimov's SciFi magazine many many years ago.

I like to think it was for Isaac Asimov.

The piece is titled "The Rapes of Grath"

Here now is the resurected "Rapes of Grath."
Pulsing Logo Accent 2
"Encyclopedia Galactica

Entry: Grath

In the beginning of the 27th century DGA, the population of Grath consisted of females of stunning beauty and weak, ineffectual, foppish males who were kept in the lap of luxury.

They were invaded by the rightly feared space-faring "Tloc Pshah" a race of semi-nomadic barbarians who preyed on the entire quadrant for their foods, slaves, high-technology, weapons and assorted nick-knacks.

The "Tloc Pshah" killed most of the males and raped almost all of the women on Grath, before resuming their semi-nomadic space-warrior ways. Leaving their wreckage beind them.

Eventually, after a 25 years or so, they were hunted down and wiped from the galactic map by their own descendants from Grath.

Their vengance knew no bounds and the slaughter was intense and intensely personal.

They enjoyed the carnage they wrough. They fought with utter abandon, throwing themselves into their task as well as innumerable bombs.

They found the "Tloc Pshah" homeworld and utterly destroyed it; leaving the planet glowing a sickly green and the moon cobalt blue, as this was the favorite color of the Grath Queen.

Then, with their vengence exacted, they lost their focus, stopped, returned to Grath to eventually become ineffectual, weak and foppish again.

This only goes to show that "The rapes of Grath bear fitter brutes."

I want to think that I wrote this for Azinov. He liked Steinbeck and he loved puns.


Go bug your represetatives about the Medicare cutbacks. (Billions more for the military, to blow things up and to kill & injure, and less money for mobility devices. I don't think so.)


Anonymous said...

Wow, a opportunity rich blog posting. Quite a bit of fodder for the mind.

Friday's Child said...

What a wonderful post -- plenty of food for thought and entertaining too. I grew up in Steinbeck country. The Grape of Wrath, of course, was one of my favorite books. However, I think I LOVE The Rapes of Grath more. I had this strange sense of deja vu when I read it ... perhaps I was a Grathian in a previous life ... or maybe I'm destined to be in a future life?

I have to admit I don't subscribe to the Podcast and don't own an iPod. Surely I'm a throwback. I don't know anything about those new fangled gadgets. I swear I've become my mother.

I was going to get an iPod last year but then Katrina hit and ALL my priorities changed. Maybe after I get settled again I'll catch up with technology. In the meantime I enjoy your blog.

Charles-A. Rovira said...

Hi mdmhvonpa,

never let it be said that I'm not full of, uh, fodder. (Or was that rose food :-)

Charles-A. Rovira said...

Hello Friday's Child,

you're missing out on some swell music as well as my dulcet tones (reading pretty much what you've just read. :-)

And you don't need an iPod.

That's only good if you want to carry the show around.

You don't even need iTunes (though you can get it for free at )

Its not the only podcatcher out there. (There's also iPodder at )

Its just extremely convenient to use iTunes.

If you had it, you could just open a web page on my podcast at
) and say yes to all the questions until you see my late, great cat Wiki and then simply subscribe.

Its the easiest way really.

Some people keep going back to time and again when its so much easier to just let iTunes do it and download whatever is new.

By he way,

there a lot to be said for catharsis.

I'm a firm believer in its benefits. (Hence the podcast.)

Now that you are through with it (and therefore with him,) you can make new friendships, instead of burdening your existing ones with the object of your obsession.

You can skip Saturday and go straight to Sunday. Be bonny & blithe and good &, uh, happy :)

Suzy said...

Excellent post Charles....I always read your words with interest. You have alot of knowledge and have given me many things to think about.

As far as the Korean thing..well, after watching the Lisa Ling report after her trip over there, I pity them.
Unfortunately I haven't been blessed with an IPOD yet. Maybe Christmas?
Hope all is well with you....

Charles-A. Rovira said...

Speaking of subdermal chips, there is a piece at The Register dot com which is raising the hacles of the libertarian in me.

Chips Madness

Basically it states that Big Brother will not try to get under our skins but that he will start out from there.