Series: crackpot theories

Di’s Crackpot theories post #1: Dragons

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series crackpot theories

Dragon Fountain
Let’s say St. George really did kill a dragon, not a religious or political metaphor. I’m going with the idea that the dragon really did breathe fire, and not as a byproduct of alcoholism.

My theory on this is the following:

Dinosaurs existed when the earth consisted of a different atmospheric mix; certainly most went extinct because of tripping and falling in a tar pit but a lot gradually lost the ability to breathe.

As a behavior adaptation, some of the reptiles moved back into caves since their exhalation consisted of gases that, when hitting the increased oxygen, set stuff on fire. Sure, sounds like a great defense mechanism but awkward when you prefer your small furry critters medium rare.

So St. George killing the dragon… the dragon totally let him.

Crackpot Theory #3: Aliens over Minneapolis

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series crackpot theories

051210 099 - Twins Game
This summer I noticed that late at night, a giant light hovered over north Minneapolis. I live in Northeast, and I can see amazing things from my balcony – for instance, I can see the city skyline, even though you can’t see the skyline at all on the ground from where I live. By three or four in the morning it would wink closed and disappear.

Shortly thereafter, I mentioned this strange light to my husband. A man of an insistently scientific mind, he determined it was in fact a blimp that floated above the new Twin Stadium.

I found this news disappointing.

In my mind, I had already concocted a scenario where the city of Minneapolis made a Wabasha street caves style deal with certain aliens in need of human samples for their research. The aliens were invited to remove —  and violently probe — the worst of the gang leaders and thugs from that area on the condition they did not kidnap humans from elsewhere in the state for their tests. Unfortunately, the city was still negotiating for the aliens not to return these criminals, and an unfortunate side effect of wiping memory in those prone to go against the social fabric was a tendency to commit progressively more idiotic crimes. While alien kidnapping might reduce criminal activity in a person of typical faculties, in a drug-abusing criminal it all gets chalked up to one more blackout in a day’s dishonesty.

Seriously, have we even explored the idea of turning over high crime neighborhoods to aliens able to distinguish the criminals?

Diana’s list of good things in the world

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series crackpot theories

I’m thinking of making this a monthly or even possibly weekly post. I’m going to look for 4 things that are going right in the world, that are getting better, that show signs of hope, progress, and positive action.

Sunrise Shots
sunrise off building in NE Minneapolis - photo by Diana Rajchel

This is not blind Pollyanna stuff – this is concrete results, people putting forth solutions to problems. This world is not just a place to be seen as a “terrible place,” as so many relish going on about, nor is it a “wonderful place.” The Earth has its miracles, and its tragedies. The human world has, in its morass of injustice, imbalance the possibility for discovery and a wealth of people willing to imagine new possibilities. Without those imaginations, we might not even notice the injustices. This list isn’t “yay sunsets!” It’s “Yay, solutions! Failures! Trying stuff!”

The bad things in the world aren’t static. The bad things are just where the work is to be done. You can’t do all of it. Neither can I. But you can find what speaks to you, what rings through you from head to toe, and put yourself in that one. Every problem does not need every person – it needs the right person, the exact correct number of cooks in the kitchen, the right mindset. You will have to change your mind about a few things every so often  – everybody does, and the miserable people are the ones that refuse to.

So I give you four good things happening in the world, as people take on solutions to the world’s problems:

  • The worldwide infant mortality rate has dropped dramatically. It’s still a work in progress – but there is progress.  This includes drops in maternal death rates – except in the southern United States, where women’s mortality is rising because male legislators and certain brainwashed counterparts are making the very things that save the lives of women and children illegal in the name of more white babies to adopt. (Let’s not lie to ourselves about that one.)
  • King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia will allow women the right to vote in 2015.  I’m cheering for him, and if his mother lives (I hope in excellent health), I’m thinking of sending her a thank-you note.
  • Elizabeth Warren is an actual senatorial candidate to vote for, speaking out against the GOP’s whining/faking being the victim for dominance accusation of class warfare. “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own – nobody.” Exactly – somebody had to spend money on your stuff, and thus far it seems that liberals and conservatives agree on the necessity of stoplights.
  • The Grameen Foundation empowers artisans in 3rd world countries to create income for themselves, slowly making inroads into world poverty. Actual lives have been changed.

Some weeks it may be harder than others to find good things, but right now – this is what’s out there, and it’s good.

Crackpot Theory Post: Book Order Jukebox (semi crackpot)

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series crackpot theories

This is actually a semi-serious proposal for booksellers.

There’s a lot of legitimate worry about the way ebooks have undermined the brick and mortar bookstore. Especially for indie bookstores who were just emerging from the rubble left behind after Borders and Barnes & Noble overtook just about everything in the 1990s.

When new technology really takes – ebooks are  no laser disc – it demands adjustment. So either bookstores can disappear into the ether or they can find a way to adapt to the e-book market.

Why not take command of what’s billed as a disadvantage? Use the hard copies in the bookstore as your showroom. Then establish kiosks where people can walk over and order those books for their reading devices. Yes, some can and will just order via a SmartPhone. Many will still want hard copies. But for those who are ruled by the impulse buy, this is one way to keep their business in-house. This might even work for certain indie bookstores (starting with Powell’s and then going smaller.)

This could even the playing field for smaller presses as well – especially the print on demand types.

Touch-screen kiosks range from around $300 – $7K. It might just be affordable on a small bookstore sckale.

bookselling-cover
bookselling-cover (Photo credit: DaveBleasdale)