Sunday, June 27, 2010

If you've a date in Dubrovnik.... She'll be wearing Oakley shades

Sunday, 27 June 2010 -  The globe is an ever changing, living breathing thing.  We can call it Mother Nature, call it the power of the tides, you can blame it on the moon, hell, you can even call it god... but whatever you call it there is no denying the unmeasurable power of the planet. Over the centuries and thousands and thousands of years, geologists, biologists, paleontologists, physicists and backyard astronomers have shown the amazing changes our planet has undergone.  From the Ice Age to the Pleistocene, from Lucy to Uncle Bob... change is the only thing we can without a doubt say is constant.  Think string theory and you would think that those changes and random collisions are actually predictable. Maybe.

I watched a documentary tonight detailing our reliance on the one celestial orb in to which we have managed to hammer in a flag.  The moon, though slowly moving away from us at a rate of about 2.5 inches a year, is largely responsible for keeping the earth spinning on the right axis.  Should our moon decide to bugger off (and really, with the way we treat our planet who could blame it if it did), the earth would continue to roam around the oft worshiped ball of flames. However, it would no longer do so on an axis that allows for semi-predictable weather patterns.  Instead, the earth would waggle and wiggle.  The poles would be in direct sun for days, maybe months.  Imagine penguins in sunglasses?  I can't see it.  Foster Grant would have to start with a whole new pattern.  After all, penguins have no ears to sit sunglasses upon. I can actually picture the Emperor penguins wearing Maui Jim's. Go figure, today is Sunglasses Day.  I hope that Foster Grant and Ray Ban are out celebrating.  Maybe you can find Foster in a pub, Ray out riding his bike and Jim hanging on the beaches of the South Pole.

The continents have shifted, moved, grown and contracted over the last several million years.  What was likely once a large singular land mass became a bunch of continents that required airlines to overcome. It is fairly difficult to catch a train from Mozambique to Honolulu.  Even in our recorded history, the continents have changed.  Borders are redefined regularly.  Countries come in to being, and countries cease to exist.  Towns get absorbed by larger urban centres, and farms become condo developments.  There was once a place called Constantinople, which was once Byzantium.  Now it's Istanbul.  I hate to channel a song, but
Even old New York, was once New Amsterdam.
Why'd they change it... I can't say.
People just liked it better that way........ 1.
On today's date in 1358, the Republic of Dubrovnik was founded. Historians suggest that Dubrovnik, once Ragusa, was originally founded by the Greeks, but later came under Byzantine protection.  After the crusades, it came under the control of Venice.  The Rupublic of Dubrovnik stood until the late 1660's, when a decline in shipping and an earthquake nearly wiped it out (over 5000 people died and the buildings were essentially leveled), the republic sold off two areas to the Ottomans to avoid the advances of the Venetians (conflict, not a first date gone horribly wrong).   There is hundreds of years of history after that, but lets skip to present day. Today, Dubrovnik is a city in Croatia on the Adriatic Sea.  So if you've a date in the Republic of Dubrovnik... she'll be waiting in Croatia.

1.  "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" by They Might be Giants.... I thank you for this.  The once song that has been stuck in my head since college and alas...  there it remains.

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