Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

To make Comments write directly to Jim at jimt@quixotic.ca

 

11

Sep

2017

Of fireballs and pure chance in our lives

Author: Jim Taylor

Joan and I were sitting in our hot tub last Monday night, staring up at the stars and wondering when -- if ever -- the rains would return to the B.C. interior, that day being our 66th without perceptible rainfall, when a brilliant flash lit up the eastern sky.

            “Lightning?” Joan wondered. “The weather isn’t supposed to change until the weekend.”

            I started counting for the boom of thunder. Years ago, I learned that sound travels at roughly a thousand feet per second. If the boom follows the flash by five seconds, the centre of action is safely about a mile distant. (For  a kilometre, about three seconds – a little closer.)

            I quit counting after ten. Joan claims she heard a rumble, about ten minutes later.

            Which would be about right. Because the flash, we learned the next morning, had occurred more than 200 km away, directly over Kootenay Lake. A hunk of rock left over from the formation of our solar system had smashed into the earth’s atmosphere over the little town of Boswell at the south end of Kootenay Lake; it blew up over Meadow Creek, slightly beyond the lake’s north end.



Comments (0) Number of views (659)

14

Feb

2016

Random chance matters in real life

Author: Jim Taylor
In the closing days of January, five snowmobilers died when an avalanche roared down the slopes of Mt. Renshaw, east of Prince George. Ordinarily, when I hear of these accidents, I tend to rant about human stupidity. About overgrown boys with too much horsepower and too little common sense, testing the limits of their machines’ performance on unstable slopes, failing to take reasonable precautions… Not in this case, apparently. Although some early reports called the avalanche “human caused,” later reports didn’t repeat that allegation. Later reports also described the snowmobilers – 17 people, in four separate groups – as well prepared and experienced back country sledders. Indeed, their safety equipment saved most of them. Two GPS tracking devices indicated their location instantly when the slide hit. Search and Rescue teams already in the area were able to reach the disaster site in minutes. A helicopter was on its way soon after. The survivors were already digging out their buried friends. Even so, they were too late for five people.
Comments (0) Number of views (802)
Read more

Categories: Sharp Edges

Tags: chance, real life

RSS

Tags

"gate of the year" #MeToo 150th birthday 1954 1972 1984 3G 9/11 A God That Could Be Real abduction abortion Abrams abuse achievement addiction Addis Ababa adoption Adrian Dix affirmative action aging agnostics Ahriman Ahura Mazda airport killings Alabama albinism albinos Alexa algorithms Allegations Almighty Almighty God ALS alt-right altruism Amanda Todd Amazon Amerika Amherst amnesia analysis Andrea Constant Andrew Copeland Taylor anniversaries Anthropocene antidote Ants aphrodisiac apoptosis App Store Archives Ardern Aristotle armistice Armstrong Army and Navy stores Art artifacts artists ashes astronomy atheists atonement atropine Attawapiscat attitudes attraction audits authorities authorities. Bible autism automation autumn B.C. election B.C. Health Ministry B.C. Legislature B-2 baby Bach bad news baggage Bahai Banda banning books Baptism Barabbas barbed wire barbers Bashar al Assad BC BC Conference Beans bears beauty Beaver Beethoven beginnings behaviour bel-2 belief systems beliefs belonging benefits Bernardo Berners-Lee berries Bible biblical sex billionaire BioScience birds birth birthday birthdays Bitcoin Black history Blackmore blockades blood blood donors Bloomberg boar body Bohr bolide Bolivia Bolivian women bombing bombings bombs books border patrol both/and bottom up Bountiful Brahms brains Brazil breath breathe breathing Brexit broken Bruce McLeod bubbles Buber Buddha Buddhism Bulkley bulldozers bullets bullying bush pilots butterflies butterfly Calendar California Cambridge Analytica. Facebook cameras Canada Canada Day Canadian Blood services Canal Flats cancer Canute caregivers caring Carnaval. Mardi Gras carousel cars Carter Commission cats cave CBC Cecil the lion. Zanda CentrePiece CF chance change Charlie Gard Charlottesville Charter of Compassion Checklists checkups chemical weapons Chesapeake Bay Retriever Chesterton Child Advocacy Centre child trafficking children Chile China chivalry chocolates choice choices choirs Christchurch Christian Christianity Christina Rossetti Christine Blasey Ford Christmas Christmas gathering Christmas lights Christmas tree Christmas trees Christopher Plummer church churches circle of life Clarissa Pinkola Estés Clichés cliffhanger climate change clocks close votes clouds Coastal GasLink coastal tribes coffee collaboration collective work colonial mindset colonies Colten Boushie Columbia River Columbia River Treaty comfort communication Communion community complexity composers composting computer processes conception conclusions Confederacy Confederate statues confidence Confirmation confusion Congo Congress Conrad Black consciousness consensual consent conservative Conservative Party contraception contrasts Conversations conversion therapy copyright coral Cornwallis corona virus corporations corruption Cosby Cougars counter-cultural Countercurrents courtesy courts Covenant Coventry Cathedral COVID-19 CPP CPR CRA Craig crashes Crawford Bay creation creche creeds cremation crescent Creston crime criminal crossbills cross-country skiing crucifixion Cruelty crypto-currencies Cultural appropriation cuneiform Curie curling cutbacks cyberbullying Cystic Fibrosis Dalai Lama Damocles Dan Rather Danforth dark matter darkness Darren Osburne Darwin data mining daughter David David Suzuki de Bono dead zone deaf deafness death deaths decision decisions Definitions Delhi Dementia democracy denial Denny's departure Depression Descartes Desiderata despair determinism Devin Kelley dew dawn grass Diana Butler-Bass dinosaurs discussion dissent distancing diversity division divorce dog dogs dominance Don Cherry Donald Trump donkey Donna Sinclair doorways Doug Ford Doug Martindale Dr. Keith Roach Dr. Seuss dreaming dreams Drugs ducks Duvalier dying Dylan Thomas earth Earth Day Easter Eat Pray Love Ebola e-cigarettes eclipse economics Eden editing editing by committee Edwards-Sawatzky Egypt eight-track tapes Einstein either/or election Elizabeth Gilbert Ellithorpe email embassy emergent emotions Empire encryption English Entropy epiphany epitaph Erika van Oyen erosion Esteban Santiago eternal life eternity ethics Ethiopia Eucharist eulogy eunuchs evacuation evacuation orders Evangelical Fellowship Eve Evelyn Glennie Every Note Played everything evil Evolution Exodus expectations experience experiment extinction extinctions extradition extremes extremism eye for an eye Eyes Facebook faith falling leaves False Creek fascist fate fear Fedex feel feminine hygiene Fentanyl Fibonacci Field figure skating Fire fireball fires First Nations Fitbit flirting flooding floods floppy disks flow chart flow charts flowers fluency flying Flying objects fog Folk sayings Food Bank forensic Forest fires forests forgiving Four Pests campaign fracking franchises free free speech free will freedom freedom of speech frequency friend Friendship friendships fruit fundamentalism funerals future Gaia games Gandhi Garbage Garrison Keillor gas tanks Geese genes Genghis Khan genocide George Floyd Gerald Stanley Gerard Manley Hopkins Ghomeshi girls glaciers global economy global warming go north God God-moments gods Golden Golden Rule goldfinch Goldilocks good Good Friday good intentions goodness Google Google Play
Copyright 2020 by Jim Taylor  |  Powered by: Churchweb Canada