As I inch through Sunday vaguely affected by the coming of Hurricane
Sandy, water and canned goods, battery charger, battery operated radio, and some emergency cash on hand, I am amused to find
that true to my belief I have only the time to blog here once a month, it is just two days short of thirty since my last entry.
Further, except for some personal sense of a need to write, as usual, I have no up front notion as to what exactly it is I'll
My thought is that blogging serves on some level
as akind ink blot assessment of current brain function and particularly so at this moment it interrupts the flow of things
I should be attending: vacuuming before the electricity goes for four days; washing ones hair before the hot water goes. (Mine's
still wet as I now that it is longer in length, I opt for air drying.)
One thing I feel compelled to mention is that I am cheating. This entry is almost identical to one I that
just a few minutes ago I published at alvapressinc.com/robertamroy as it seems my personal life, my life as a publisher, and
my interest in mass event response and survival, have all come together in it. So, worse yet, I think I shall also post it
on alvapressinc.com/robertamroyonnuclearsurvival. Phew! I feel better.
However my original push had been the news that some scientists in Italy have been convicted of something
akin to criminal negligence for failing to predict the severity of an earthquake there:
"The quake, which hit the town of L'Aquila in 2009, came after the geophysicists
told city officials on a risk-assessment commission that they were unable to make a detailed prediction about whether ongoing
tremors might indicate a coming disaster, so I will report on that. It seems the court considers the scientists inability
to predict to be something akin to criminal negligence, which as many observers have pointed out fundamentally misunderstands
how seismology works. One of the convicted scientists, 74-year-old physicist Claudio Evo, called the decision "medieval."
News of the conviction of the scientists troubles me in particular at
this time as for the past week or so I have working on an article for the ALVA the Indie Times about the impossibility of
accurately predicting the future on the basis of what we have learned from the past. The problems with such efforts emerge
first from the impossibility of knowing all the facts and variables involved in any past event. This then is complicate by
human beings' innate inability to clearly observe events. And no, this is not a reference to our predilection for personal
experience and attitudinally based bias. Rather it is due also to neurologically based biases. It is this that I'll talk about
in this week's ALVA's weekly newsletter which I encourage you to sign up for on the home page of alvapressinc.com. (By the
way, my hair is almost dry; my coffee cup is empty; time for a quick run to the kitchen.)
(Only about a quarter of a cup left. I drink it black and never worry about it being
warm enough. It's cold.)
You probably by now have
become acquainted with Chelsea. She is the young woman who helps me with ALVA PR. Well, she tells me she is probably leaving
the area as the love of her life is soon to accept a position out it. Shucks! I will miss her! And then there is the newsletter
and the question of whether or not its publication can be achieved with her in a new life style and miles away--where she
can not as yet say as her love has received more than one job offer.
Ah, but on the up side. Helmy Kusuma has won the first ALVA Green Tomatoes Writers' Runoff with his enchanting
story the Mementoes of Mai. It needs editing, formatting, and cover design but, hey, that's part of the package for any GTWR
winner and ALVA's editor for this project, Joan Schweighardt, likes the manuscript's potential and we both like Kusuma.
According to Kusuma, his place of birth is Palembang, Indonesia, the
16th century capital of the Kingdom of Srivijaya. Although Kusuma does not believe he is of royal lineage, he does report
spending his childhood "dreaming fantasy lands, exotic planets, and super cool spaceships instead of toiling on the lanHelmy
Kusuma -- Mementoes of Maids and herding cattle like the rest of the family." As a young adult, he spent the next "decade
mastering the art of piloting the Enterprise" and has been "travelling to faraway galaxies ever since." Between
missions, Kusuma says that to avoid encounters with angry aliens and to write, much of the time he skulked inside his private
Mementoes of Mai is Kusuma's first novel.With
it he invites the reader to follow him through some of the beautiful and defining moments in his life--over the rivers and
within the coves of Viet Nam and across the sea to Bali and Jakarta.
Well, I warned you I did not know where this blog was going, however go it has. (A fire engine just went by--too
early for the cause to be the storm--unless it is a car accident resulting from evacuation efforts.)
The wind has been steady since last night, taking with it the leaves from the taller
trees, an encouraging harbinger in relation to the the possibility of a reduction in the number of trees likely to come down
when Hurricane Sandy hits late tonight and threatens or effects the uplifting of tree branches with wind gusts--which again
brings us back to the question of predicting and the question of what we know and do not know about the past.
Just think, had I not looked out the window this morning to check the
large maple behind my house--which last night had worried me as so few of its leaves had fallen, I would not know it had been
stripped by the wind in the night and as my bed is on just the other side of the wall from it, I surely would have been more
concerned than now I will be when I do bed down tonight.
Sandy treat you kindly wherever you are and if you are among its forced refugees may you find refuge in a town as kind and
responsive as was Locklee in my award winning work of inspirational fiction, Jolt: a rural noir.
Roberta in Po-Town