Joe’s Journal

Northern Lights and other oddities

Ramblings from an old scribbler
Wed, 05/15/2024 - 7:00am

For most of us, the notable event of the week happened on Friday night after the lights went out.

No, it had nothing to do with pesky raccoons, clattering wild turkeys, or the secret mating habits of my kitchen’s Tupperware containers, whose population seems to expand each time I open the cabinet door. It was, of course, the appearance of the Northern Lights in our backyards.

Facebook, or whatever they call it this time, was flooded with wispy images of our evening sky.

It was almost like the revered movie “The Wizard of Oz” where Dorothy was caught in a black and white tornado and woke up in a Technicolor venue called the Land of Oz.

The Friday evening sky turned purple, or bluish-red, or, well, you saw the photos of the Northern Lights.

Scientists say a storm on the sun caused it. Something called a solar flare sent waves of energy into our atmosphere coloring the stratosphere. You can look it up if you want a better explanation. Nevertheless, it was pretty special.

I am sure social media fanatics will explain it as the precursor to an alien invasion by Marvel comic book characters using their superpowers to infect our world and soften up the population for their arrival.

Last week, I told you to watch for a miracle. There was a remote chance the GOP and the Democrats might just work together.

The congressional Democrats, who are seldom even on speaking terms with their rivals, pledged to help the GOP Speaker of the House. He was under attack by elements of his party, Marjorie Taylor Green et al.

Well, last week, that happened. A majority of the Republicans joined with Democrats to deep-six MTG’s move to kick the Speaker off the podium.

Meanwhile, as she ranted and raved for the ever-willing TV cameras, the political scene moved to another shiny object that caught the attention of some editor somewhere and went viral. You guessed it. It was the riveting story of how the governor of South Dakota got rid of a frisky young dog by pulling out a pistol and kicking it into a pit. The coda of this tale was when she did an encore with a goat who misbehaved, as they are wont to do. Nuff said.

Last week, they held a primary election somewhere in the land of Away, where many of us toiled before finding redemption on the Maine coast.

In barn-red Indiana, the presumptive Republican nominee for president was an easy victor, winning 70% and change in what would usually be called a “huge landslide.”

But (and you knew there would be a but), the former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, who dropped out of the race a couple of months ago, was favored by 21% of Hoosier Republicans. When you peek inside the statewide numbers and look at the tallies from the affluent Indianapolis suburb of Hamilton County, one in three, or 33.6%, supported Haley. These are actual vote totals, not numbers from some allegedly random poll taken by somebody somewhere and flushed through an algorithm cooked up by someone who wanted their favored candidate to look good. These were actual vote totals. They were tallied by Republican election officials in a strongly Republican county.

And the GOP front runner, with no one running against him, lost 33.6% of GOP voters, who chose a candidate who was no longer in the race. What does it mean for the future? Your guess is as good as mine.

Now, last week, in an event that gathered little press, a giant cruise ship, the MSC Meraviglia, sailed up the East River into Brooklyn with a dead whale stuck to her bow. For the record, it was a 44-foot-long female Sei whale.

According to the account from the New York Post, the unfortunate mammal lost her life when hit by the ship. Rob DiGiovanni, the founder and chief scientist of the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, told The Post it was more than likely that the “interaction with the vessel contributed to her death.”

While saddened by the death of one of God’s creations, I am puzzled that no one protested her passing.

The usual suspects, Whole Foods, West Coast marine mammal theme parks and others did not seek out TV cameras to call for a federal ban on Brooklyn-bound cruise ships.

Now, if she happened to expire off the Maine coast, there would be hundreds blaming our local lobstermen as whale killers when they are just trying to work hard to feed their kids.