What If Global Warming… isn’t Just Warming

A Rare Occurance

If anyone can tell me how hailstones the size of golf balls (thrown at people by hundred-kilometre per hour winds) can form and smash Melbourne during a warmish, humid day, then do so. Now. Okay, so I do have a semi-good idea on how that can happen, but still.

More to the point, be my guest to explain why Melbournian roads were turned into street canals today, when the most water the city ever hears of is ankle-high floods, and even they’re rare. I make no exaggeration. I’m speaking of cars floating down streets and roofs collapsing.

To the person who hypothesized global warming: you didn’t get it completely right. I do not believe this is just about a heating Earth. This is about an Earth who’s weather has gone completely out of control. These parts have gone from 30˚ Celsius right down to 16˚ in the space of a day. And then up again. And down again. And up again. And down again. And it goes on.

It’s been going on like this for weeks.

And, not to mention, we’re not the only ones. Reportedly, places in Europe such as Hungary have been experienced 10˚ drops and rises in the space of 24 hours (not including the middle of the night), as well. Even parts of the Middle East are having odd weather. I’m unsure of what’s going on with the Americas, though, so I won’t comment on that. But there’s no denying that all of this is starting to get a little too odd for my liking.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a bit of a fanatic when it comes to natural disasters, extreme conditions and weather in general. Year to year, I keep a semi-vigilant eye on this stuff, and I’ve never remembered it to be quite so…

Polar.

At this point, please note that this post may not be completely accurate. I’m going by memory here, but I think I’ve gotten this mostly right (and if it is wrong, it’s not wrong by much). Anyways, I’d like to go on to ask…:

If you live in parts of the world such as Northern Australia, the tropics, Indonesia, Africa or the Americas, tell me what you know (and where you are!) about the weather in your area over the last few weeks. Is it consistent? Are there massive changes in patterns, events and temperature? How extreme are they? It doesn’t have to be detailed; it just needs to be rough (although exact temperatures, either in Celsius or Fahrenheit, would be nice). I’m going to catalogue it for later reference – namely, this time next year.

I want to ride this out and see if things gets worse. I’m no meteorologist, but I do hold a bit of interest in this.

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The Joys of Swimming for the Terminally Weak

Well, it looks like I’ve caved for yet another year. 

At the start of every school year, our school holds their annual swimming carnival. Students are expected to participate for their house, provided they can 1. swim, and 2. make it to the end of the pool.

Every year, I cave into the teachers because I have such a problem with telling them ‘no’. And they really are quite insistant that I swim, because… well, I earn points for the house even though I lose every single time, and there’s barely anyone else in my house’s age group who will swim. I’m the Event Filler.

But I tried to get out of it, this year, and came out of the teacher’s office feeling as though I’d been steered around the subject of throwing in the towel. I believe I said something to myself like “Damn it, I caved!”, so angrily that a number of kids passing by stopped and stared at me.

Well, here I go. I can’t swim for scratch. Heck with it, I can’t even make the full 50 metres without stopping halfway, and this time, for the first time ever, I haven’t swam in an entire YEAR.

Pray for me.

But, here comes the main point. Why are figures of authority, (teachers in particular) so hard for me to say ‘no’ to? I haven’t a problem with saying no to my parents, but there’s something about teachers that screams “Obey!”. I suppose… in a way, I feel like I owe something to them. The same ones who teach me are the same ones who ask me to swim. That, and the feeling of letting down the team that I know I’ll get if I skip. And then there’ll be the disappointment from my teachers, and… oh, dear me.

If there’s one thing everyone needs to know in life, it’s how to say no. Even to figures of authority who can use persuasive techniques like knives.

A Quick Observation

I’m not American. And as such, ever since an American friend of mine told me what the heck Ramen was, I keep seeing the word popping up everywhere. Sort of like when my mum was on crutches, I suddenly began seeing lots of other people around the city also struggling with those dreaded sticks.

It’s short, quick, and to-the-point, unlike most of my other posts, but… it’s an observation nonetheless. Everyone knows it happens, but when you suddenly know about something or have it, somehow, come into your life, you’re more aware of it and therefore see it again. And again. And again. Even though under normal circumstances, somehow, you just wouldn’t have noticed.

Also, sorry for my unresponsiveness as of late. Other things have been on my mind… happy new year to you all. =)

Fiction: Missing Child 2

Here it came. Another day with the kid. It was coming – oh God it was coming, and I really didn’t want it to come. But I’d – well, I’d promised, hadn’t I? I’d promised his parents that I’d do something to help the poor boy, even when I was getting rather sure that there was nothing that could help him. Especially since they were paying me forty dollars each day that I came in and tried to treat him. With all the money they’d been sinking in – money that they’d gotten by taking out a loan – I couldn’t let them down. Not after a month…

Today, I was planning to try something different. I hadn’t yet yielded a response by talking to him, and if I couldn’t yield a response by conventional means, then I was just going to have to try the unconventional. Everything that I could possibly think of trying this morning had ended up in my pockets, not to mention a couple of old tricks I’d tried earlier that might be worth trying again.

I breathed in, and then I breathed out slowly before raising my hand to knock on the unit’s door. Before I did, however, I paused and took in one more deep breath of air.

After a reasonably short interval, a woman – the mother – opened the door, smiling warmly at me. I gave her an acknowledging nod and then continued in through the door and to the lounge room. The father was sitting on the couch and resting his chin on his hand, seemingly staring off into space.

He always seemed to do that, these days…

I sat down in the same squashy armchair I’d always sit down on when I came here. And, whether to be professional or just by habit, I asked the two thoroughly-harrowed parents if their son’s state had changed.

I shouldn’t have bothered. Just as ever other day, he was as stiff, still, unmoving and unlively as ever. All he ever did was move for the absolutely vital processes such as sleeping, eating and breathing. Otherwise, he did not act as a normal hyperactive six year-old boy at all. He didn’t go outside and kick a football with friends. He didn’t vegetate in front of the television or a computer screen. He didn’t read a book, or become involved in any other activity.

He just sat there, on his bed, eyes unblinking. His parents had described them as lamps, because they never closed and just sat there, staring right through you and into the wall – like you weren’t even there

And he was never like this. Not until a month and a week ago.

Before I’d been called up to come and help, the boy – Michael – had been sent to school, just to see if that could possibly fix the problem. Unfortunately, however, it didn’t do anything at all. He did nothing in class. Not a word to his teacher… nor his friends. Anything he was told to do wasn’t done. The eyes just kept staring fixatedly at a certain spot, changing position only if he was moved.

He didn’t even go outside for recess or lunch; the teacher tried to get him to do so, but she just couldn’t get through to him. He did nothing in class. Not a word to his teacher… his friends. Anything he was told to do wasn’t done. The eyes just kept staring fixatedly at a certain spot, changing position only if he was moved. He didn’t even go outside for recess or lunch; the teacher had tried – oh, how she had tried! – to get him to do so, but she just couldn’t get through to him.

It was comparable to talking to a slab of cement.

But the real kicker here was that there was no apparent reason for the boy to be psychologically damaged. As far as anyone knew, the boy’s childhood was a perfectly normal and reasonably happy one. There was, simply, no plausible way to justify what was happening.

After spending a few more minutes talking to them, I gave up and realised that there was absolutely nothing different about his behaviour today in comparison with yesterday and the weeks before that.

It was time, yet again, to see the boy personally.

I continued down the familiar route through the hallway and to the boy’s room, where I carefully opened the boy’s door and then closed it behind me. Just as always, Michael was sitting on the side of his bed and staring blankly at his bedroom wall.

As always, I walked in front of him and kneeled down, just to get perfect eye contact. Since his eyes never even budged, it was the only way I could do it – and I often wondered if it made any difference, since it felt much like he couldn’t see at all. Like he was completely unaware of… of everything.

“Hello Michael. It’s me, Greg, again.”

He stayed silent. As always.

“You know… your parents are still very worried about you.”

At this point I wouldn’t have been surprised if a tumbleweed rolled across the room. It was time to experiment – after all, I’d tried the conventional, hadn’t I? There certainly wasn’t a thing to lose in it. In fact, I was slightly surprised I hadn’t tried any of these tactics beforehand. After all, they were quite simple ideas, but I suppose I thought that unconventional means would be somehow unprofessional.

I was mentally scolding myself now, for just being plain thick.

So I gave a sigh, and brought out an old-fashioned pocket watch that my uncle had left me several years ago. It was slightly unpolished and hung by an equally unpolished golden chain, but it would do the job I was wanting it to do.

I held it up in front of his eyes and let it sway from side to side; the goal of this wasn’t to hypnotise the boy – I’d never hypnotised anyone in my life – the goal was, simply, just to get his eyes to move. That alone would be a feat, right about now.

But contrary to what I’d been hoping, the boy’s eyes stayed cemented in place. There wasn’t even so much as a quiver to indicate that he was physically trying to avoid following the pendulum-like object – they just remained perfectly stiff.

I replaced the watch back into my pocket frustratedly. And then, without warning, I clapped my hands straight in front of his eyes with as much force as I could put behind them.

No blink.

Just like every other day I’d tried this.

I’d come to the conclusion a long time ago that this boy had seemed to have lost all outside perception, and appeared to be absorbed into himself on a massive scale – to a point where his body was practically acting as an empty shell with no soul.

Angrily, I ran my fingers through my own brown hair. If this was going to go on for too much longer, it was undoubtedly going to start thinning.

I was trying to think of what else I could do to help the boy, just short of sticking electrodes over his head – that had already been tried last week – when his mother came in, sporting two rounds of chicken sandwiches on a wooden tray.

While Michael never responded, he’d always do things that were vital for basic survival, like eating. I’d tried attracting his attention before as he ate, but I could just never yield a response. His eyes would stay glued in place, and so therefore his head would move if he needed to look at something, such as where the sandwiches were.

His mother left us to it without saying a single word, although did frown worriedly on the way out. I didn’t say anything to her, and instead watched Michael with blood-boiling intent as he mechanically reached for a sandwich. I was rather surprised that a bout of frustration such as this hadn’t surfaced before, but it was surfacing now and God-knows I was helpless to stop it.

“Look, just give me some indication that you know I’m here at all! Anything! Move a finger or blink or – or just do something!”

Michael instantly dropped the chicken-filled bread on the floor, and I moved backwards, not having expected such a reaction to even so much as occur. His head snapped so that his still-immobilised eyes could stare straight into – almost through – mine, and then he mouthed something without any use of his vocal cords.

And no matter where I moved, his head would move so that his eyes were always facing my head. Like he was completely locked onto me.

Decidedly shaken up, I quickly zipped out of the boy’s room and closed the door behind me. And then, with a shaky hand, I pulled out my mobile phone and dialled with trembling fingers.

“Hello, Claire? C-cancel the rest of my appointments today…”

WE Are the People. WE Are the Majority.

Who else thought that Copenhagen was a real… well, failure? All it was was a bunch of pollies arguing over who should do what in a non-binding contract! Not to mention, I’m fairly sure (not completely, correct me if I’m wrong) China, a great polluter, did not sign the contract.

What rubbish. If anything can save us from global warming, it’s the people’s opinion – not a bunch of arguing political leaders. It doesn’t matter whether you’re from the Western countries, the Middle Eastern countries, the European countries, the African countries, the Asian countries…

We all have to pitch in and do our bit. When the pollies won’t shut down things like Uranium mines, mining in general, coal power… we’ve all gotta save what we can – we have to try to make up for what has been left out by our political leaders. Political leaders who apparently represent us.

If we don’t, who’s going to? The Prime Minister of Australia? The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom? The leader of China? May I remind you right now that Copenhagen’s agreement lacks penalties and has wriggle room right throughout it (so says a news person trained in law and legal documents). The agreement is probably not even strong enough to keep the global temperature rise from going past two degrees.

WE are the people. WE are the majority. Therefore, WE RULE.

And if we really try, we can collectively offset this blunder.

But only if we act as the majority and actually try. Only then.

Fiction: Missing Child 1

And then I sat down on my couch, quite unsure of what to do with myself. There was a buzzing in my head that told me that I really need to do something – just something to keep me occupied.

My hands immediately reached  for the lampshade cord. With it, they twiddled around and weaved it through themselves into knots. But I realised that this was not the something I needed to do. Fiddling wasn’t substantial. Fiddling is what you do when you wanted to think, and right now, thinking was something I didn’t particularly feel like doing.

My roommate passed by me and stared for just a moment at the inactive television. My eyes then darted up and looked directly into his chocolate brown ones, studying an familiar look.

“Not watching television? Are you tired?”

I liked my roommate. He was kind and considerate and never made me feel uncomfortable, no matter what information I had to share. But this time, the lie slipped out of my mouth before I could stop it, and once I’d said, “Just a little bit,” I was rather fine with not doubling back and changing my answer.

It was always like this. I gave the exact same answer every night since…

The man gave a hard look before continuing on his way to the kitchen. What commenced was a bout of silence that somehow seemed quite a lot louder than the talking had. It may have been the steady whining in my ear, that you could always hear when things were almost unbearably quiet.

I sniffed. The room was dusty; I hadn’t done one particular part of my housework routine – the vacuuming – in over a month. I was getting slack and I knew it, but I honestly couldn’t bring myself to bring out that old machine and use it to suck up the grit. I needed something to occupy myself, but I knew that it was not going to be the vacuuming. After all, vacuuming was something to be avoided, to procrastinate on…

If the silence wasn’t as deathly as it was, I would not have heard the only other person in the apartment whisper under his breath, “You always seem to be just a little bit tired…”. It sounded sceptical, but the words were also carefully laced with not just worry, but longing, too…

From all I’d told him in the past month, I was just having long days at work and nothing more than that. Truth be told, I was having long days at work, and it had been getting harder and more… I didn’t want to think about it. I really didn’t.

After unsuccessfully working with the child for a month, the confidence I’d once had had really drained out of my body. He needed my help, desperately. But I couldn’t provide it. Oh, the boy was there, sitting. But the boy? The boy?

He was inexplicably gone…

When Work Gets Ugly – Even After it’s Over

Today I realised something that was really quite traumatic. I realised that, during November, I had worked so hard, that now that it’s over I don’t know what to do with myself, anymore. In fact, if I’m not doing something productive, it makes me feel rather listless indeed.

Perhaps this is indeed why I’m writing this currently. I am doing something semi-productive, and so therefore don’t feel useless.

However, if you work so hard that when it’s over you find that you’ve forgotten how to unwind, there is a problem. If you find that you have worked so hard that when you try just to do nothing, you feel like you’re useless, there is a problem.

If you nearly throw up when you try to do nothing, there is even more of a problem.

This is from my own experience – if you are heading into higher levels of schooling, prepare for your exams early. Really early. Because the later you leave it, the more I’m betting that you could end up with what I’m going through currently.

I’m not worried about myself at the moment. I’ll get over it when I get over it, and I have fun things coming up next week which will help me wind down. So eventually, I’ll get there and will most-certainly be fine. But I say this as… just a warning to any student who happens to stumble upon this. And if you are a student, I really hope you take something away from it.

Copies and Clones

This is a cross-post to my deviantART account, but never mind that. Let’s get straight into it. At the moment, I’m rather interested as to the answers I’ll get.

So, say you had a friend. It can either be an acquaintance, a good friend, or a best friend. Pick one of them – or two of them, or all of the three if you want. How would you treat the copy if:

a) A copy of them was made and the original of the person was kept. The copy knows that it’s a copy.

b) A copy of them was made and the original of the person was destroyed. The copy knows that it’s a copy.

c) A copy of them was made and the original of the person was badly injured/in a coma/otherwise unable to communicate. The copy knows that it’s a copy.

d) A copy of them was made and the original of the person was kept. The copy doesnot know that it’s a copy – it thinks that it is the original.

e) A copy of them was made and the original of the person was destroyed. The copy does not know that it’s a copy – it thinks that it is the original.

f) A copy of them was made and the original of the person was badly injured/in a coma/otherwise unable to communicate. The copy does not know that it’s a copy – it thinks that it is the original.

And there’s one more variable; if the copy does not know that it’s a copy, would you tell it or try to prove to it that it’s a copy?

I’m just interested is all. Also, the definition of the copy will be as follows:
The copy is exactly the person it was copied from, only not the “same person”, if you know what I mean. Its thoughts follow the same as the original, as does it’s body and functions, etc. It is exactly the same in every way that it can be, except that it will never be the original controlling it. It will have a consciousness of its own, in other words, despite being the same in every other way.

Answer if you wish. I’d be interested on what you’d do! And, no, seriously, I haven’t been looking up teleportation. Seriously. And I swear I never looked into the theory that tells you that if you copy one instance and send it over to another place and then destroy the original, that it could be an effective way to teleport. I swear.

Ideas Stalk Me

What would you do if, one day, you got a chance to see into the future, and you saw that you were going to be killed within the next week by a fatal chain of events leading to one big accident?

Would you yell? Scream? Cry in frustration? Or would you do everything you could in an attempt to save yourself?

What if, on this very same day, you managed to find a chance to travel back in time to stop that chain of events from ever starting. Would you take that chance?

And, let’s just say that there’s a slight hitch with the aforementioned time-travelling. When you alter something, a rip occurs in space/time and tears open by about five centimetres, the amount doubling every time something is altered. Would you still keep going? Or would you stop and await your fate to be dished up to you, even with the knowledge that there was a slight chance that you could have saved yourself without tearing the universe down the middle?

This is the tale of just how selfish one man can get when faced with total annihilation, and the devastation that he alone can cause. It’s just a story idea, but I want to have a crack at it when I’m completely finished (or really need a break from) the novel I’m currently writing. I’m thinking it’s going to end up rather entertaining to write…

Of Highs, Lows, and 100%

I got my final Year 10 Geography project for the year back, today. And you know what the mark was? It was 100%. This makes me so happy, and I really cannot wait to tell me partner, whom I am sure was not expecting to get such a  mark. Ever.

This is my third 100% for a major Geography project. There have been four Geography projects this year. Needless to say, gleeful doesn’t describe my mood right now. And, I know I’m going to feel even better when tomorrow, I give my partner her mark.

Somehow, I think giving my partner the mark is actually going to feel better than me receiving it. I don’t know why. I think it’s going to be the utter look of complete and absolute astonishment upon her face…

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