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Today in My History

2001:  In My Jammies
2002:  I'm Absolutely Certain--I think
2003:  Have a Heart
2004:  Constructive Procrastination
2005:  Who the Hell is Annakhmatova?
2006:  Wading Through to 2006
2007:  Taking Stock of 2006
2008:  A Safe and Sane New Year's Eve
2009:  Tater Tot
2010:  Sweet Polly
2011:  Sleep in Heavenly Peace

Sunday Stealing
2013: Discombobulated
2014:  2013 Wrap Up
2014: Old Farts
2018: The Day at Logos

Theater Reviews
Updated 12/17
The Wizard of Oz

Books Read in 2019
 Updated 11/9
"The Elephant in my Kitchen"

Personal Home Page

My family

Books Read in 2019
Books Read in 2018

Books Read in 2017
Books Read in 2016
Books Read in 2015
Books Read in 2014
Books Read in 2013

Books Read in 2012
Books Read in 2011
Books Read in 2010

updated 7/16

(you know how to fix it)

Some Background Links:
The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
The story of Delicate Pooh
The story of the Piñata Group
Pumpkin pies
Who IS this Gilbert person anyway?

mail to Walt / mail to Bev  


January 2, 2019

I did not spend the first day of 2020 watching football.  I spent most of the day sleeping.  Seriously.  Most of the day.  I slept late, then had breakfast, then watched the Rose Parade and fell asleep.  When I woke up, I found a marathon of The Twilight Zone and started watching that.  It was on until 12:30 a.m. and I watched and slept off and on the entire day.  When it was time to go to bed for the night, I had no idea how I would go to sleep after sleeping all day, but I fell right asleep and slept until 4 a.m., after which I turned on Morning Joe and fell asleep again until shortly before The Today Show started and then slept through that until nearly 8:30.

I don't think I have ever slept so much in my life.

But I saw a lot of classic Twilight Zone episodes, including the famous William Shatner on an airplane episode. 

I actually stayed awake thru 3 episodes of Schitt Creek, which someone said was her favorite show.  I enjoyed it, but I was able to stay awake because it was on whle I was at my computer, but as soon as I switched back to Twilight Zone in my recliner, I was asleep again.

I have been aware of the fires in Australia, but hadn't paid close attention because all the reports seem to be from Eastern or Northern Australia, but then I saw a map this morning:

The entire country is on fire...and has been for a couple of months--and no hope in sight for the fires to be brought under control any time soon.  I found this picture particularly poignant.

Experts estimate that 480 million animals have been killed in the fires or from the temperature (111⁰ F) and drought. 

Koalas are dehydrated. The animals, of which there are only an estimated 100,000 left, live in what are now some of the hottest parts of the country. They consume water by eating leaves. One effect of climate change is that those leaves now contain less water than they used to. Some koalas have reportedly come up to humans to drink water out of a bottle. Others have been trapped in habitats that have been subject to wildfires and have had to be treated for burns on their fur and paws.

Cows can no longer mate. In the Sydney Morning Herald, veterinarian Gundi Rhoades details the effects of extreme heat she has seen on the cattle industry in New South Wales. “They are becoming infertile from their testicles overheating. Mares are not falling pregnant, and through the heat, piglets and calves are aborting,” she writes.

Large numbers of wild animals are dying off. An incomplete list of animals that have died en masse in recent years: bats, fish, and horses. Many more were killed on purpose—after 90 feral horses were found dead next to a water source that had dried up, another 50 horses were so dehydrated that they were considered too weak to be relocated and had to be killed. Ranchers in western Australia shot at least 2,500 camels that, according to NPR, “threatened to drain ranchers’ [water] reserves for cattle.”

Kris Werner, head of Dried Tree Fruits Australia, told ABC that his peaches and nectarines have been cooking on the tree branches where they grew.

Stu Pengelly, a resident of Perth, noticed that temperatures would get real hot in his Datsun Sunny. So he put a piece of pork on a pan on the seat of the car. Over the next 10 hours he monitored the temperature, which reached 81°C (178°F). “My warning is do not leave anyone or anything precious to you in a hot car, not for a minute,” he wrote on Facebook.

This is a picture of a beach in Sydney.  Beijing was the most polluted place I'd ever seen, but it can't hold a candle to this.

From CNN:

Fire season in Australia is always dangerous -- the 2009 Black Saturday fires killed 173 people in Victoria, making it the deadliest bushfire disaster on record. But conditions have been unusually severe this year, fanning the flames and making firefighting conditions particularly difficult.

Australia is experiencing one of its worst droughts in decades -- the country's Bureau of Meteorology said in December that last spring was the driest on record. Meanwhile, a heatwave in December broke the record for highest nationwide average temperature, with some places sweltering under temperatures well above 40 degrees Celsius (about 113-120 degrees Fahrenheit).

I've been watching Crikey! The Irwins on Animal Planet the past few weeks and have enjoyed watching how Steve Irwin's family has developed Australia Zoo.  I'm wondering what effect the fires have had on the facility and on the animals.

I never got out of Western Australia when I was there in 2003 and the fires don't seem to be as prevalent there, but I sent a note to my friend Claire, who lives on a ranch not far from Perth to find out if they have been affected or not.



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