Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Weather Wars


Chapter 1
Washington D.C. - Year 2072


Due to continued global warming, Canada’s northwest passages had begun opening up a new territorial coup with shipping routes that involved the Russians in a region known as the EEZ. The Russians had sometimes jokingly referred to this area as EEZY because they believed a conflict with the Canadians over a few new shipping lanes in their arctic regions had been “easy.” EEZY was a play on an anagram from the exclusive economic zone known as the EEZ where international law states no one owns the North Pole. The United States President soon attended the usual round of urgent meetings asking Canada for a united front in response to Russia who had aggressively reopening military bases in the Arctic. Not long afterwards sanctions were imposed on the Russians. Global warming took on a new meaning when other things besides carbon emissions began to heat up the global atmosphere. After the U.S. continued with simulated attacks on Russian submarines they knew had entered international waters outside of Canada’s arctic regions. Canada claimed this region was theirs but the Russians had been using this route for decades with the help of ice breaker ships. Since twenty-five percent of the worlds untapped oil and gas reserves were located in the Arctic region, the Canadians clashed with U.S. as nations scrambled to lay claim to the riches that lay beneath the ice. 

In the mean time Russian bombers regularly ranged deep into the disputed area. Involving warships and aircraft from Canada, an unfortunate conflict occurred and a few hundred Canadians were killed during their NATO mission in a show down with the USA after the USA decided to lay claim to the region to stop the Russians. Soon after the incident, during a series of investigations, the Canadians uncovered top secret files from a group of Russian scientists who reported something unusual while on a routine oil expedition. Inside the report there was evidence of something that was buried under the ice up there …something…not from Earth. 

The Canadians quickly washed their hands of the file, and turned it over to the U.S. The DoD soon got a hold of it but the Joint Chief of Staff - a man of little patience for such an unlikely ill-defined scenario. After a brief meeting where he was met with a certain lack of enthusiasm with his colleagues in the intelligence community and military, he realized that an investigation could not be put down on paper. Any potential evidence of aliens under the ice triggered a whole set of thorny questions but the Chief still believed it was prudent to have a plan. With an overflowing plate on his hands he quickly handed it off to an experienced colleague by the name of Chris Kyle. A former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence, Chris had muddled through other reports in the past on "issues related to UFO's or extraterrestrials" and worked inside an unofficial department with the DoD. 

Kyle soon began to make phone calls to collect his usual handful of top specialists. Scanning over the report knew he would have to track down a petroluem engineer from Moscow by the name of Mikhailo Kiev, and graduate of the Russian Academy Of Sciences, who originally lead the Russian team and signed the report. He had disappeared soon after the report was made. Complicating matters more for Chris was a "Beach-Comber" German spy who claimed he worked for the Canadian Meteorologist Service but who really informed the allies of the Russian whereabouts. Apparently this Beach-Comber also had information concerning a Nazi U-581 wreck listed in the very same area of question...could the two strange incidences be linked somehow?

to be improved edited, and continued at a later time...!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Art Matters

I recently ran across a great article published by a scientist who argued that the arts are far more important than the sciences. His catch phrase that was titled  "We need science to live, but the humanities make life livable." As I studied his story further he demanded that such famous physics equations like E=mc2 could have been discovered by someone else had not Einstein lived, but no one else could have ever created Beethoven's 9th Symphony had not Beethoven lived. This struck me as profoundly true and grabbed my attention.

There is no universal agreement on this question but its not a new debate. It's a long standing one, that stems back to Aristotle, and  most likely before him too. Plato stood by math naming it once as the "God geometries." Plato valued math as the key to knowledge of law and order, measure and symmetry, uniformity and regularity, harmony and rhythm: and to the application of these to the art of life. He believed only math would discover the "numbers and forms" of the divinely ordered cosmos. It was a doctrine which occupied itself in science, physics, biology, and pathology. Is it a coincidence how these exact terms also define art - harmony, rhythm, order, measure and symmetry? The best science requires creative thinking, and the very best scientists display creative genius equal to any artist.

Bu let us also consider the artists. Socrates, as far as I understand, differed from Plato and stated that enshrining math hampered the imagination telling only what should be rather than what is...good thing for artists. I politely also consider that it was the writers (however the difference of opinion) who recorded these important doctrines. An apparent contradiction between art and science might even be parallel with the differences between reason and opinion.

When an artist says they don't live by science or mathematics, or vice versa, this a vague notion. As an artist you frequently depend heavily on math and science.  For instance, drawing a human figure is all about biology, and what makes a good composition is math - not art. Proportions like that the head is exactly 1/16 the height of a body, vanishing points, distance, composition, planes of distance, perspective and foreshortening are nothing to do with art, or is it? There are mathematical rules as well. Like that you should never divide a landscape exactly in half as it will bore the viewer or that three points in a painting like a triangle will create a balance. In addition large frescoes commonly used mathematical grids as a guide for accuracy. Being an artist leaves me with the impression that these seemingly opposing disciplines are more harmonious than we think.

I do agree that for instance had I not lived that no one else could write my stories which makes my accomplishments unique. I can stamp my name on them as indeed one of a kind. My purpose is to make life enjoyable for someone else but we also have to be able to live. I would say to anyone who argues the point between science and art is nonsense and suggests that love and compassion are not a necessity. Art is not necessary to live, but without it we lose our humanity. In ancient times lived the greatest of philosophers who aligned themselves with the arts as much as the sciences, while they simply ate bread. To me the arts and the sciences are different but not necessarily here to compete, they are here to compliment. What art simply means is that we have bodies, but we also have minds that yearn to know and go beyond our capacity to simply live, but so does the scientist. The sciences are an anonymous service we need for information and the arts are like a partner about intimate individual feelings. Arts are a sign of a human existence and economy which can afford to go beyond daily necessities. It's a point where we have the ability to stop and reflect ourselves which is also gravely important.  We are in a time when science can learn from the arts and the arts from science, since both are deeply imbedded in curiosity and an investigation into the unknown. I agree that creative forces are a drive inside both, and each one involves the ego and the personal story equally.

Let science find the stars and the artists will dream of ways to get there. It can be deeply engaging, innovative and like high velocity brainstorming when these two sides take notice of each other.