(*photos unavailable at this time due to technical difficulties)
We like Camping Better
Think back...have you ever sat beside a lake at a camp site, toasting marshmallows, watching a natural, crackling fire consume firewood, glowing red-hot, yellow flames, wisps of smoke and sparks magically drifting off into the night sky? Maybe it's not a campfire; many modern camping enthusiasts content ourselves with a camp stove, usually not a campfire, the open type, at least —or we carefully use the same safe, good old-fashioned fire pit. Enjoying the company of good friends and making fond memories out camping may be accessorized with a favourite book or fishing rod, or both, and R&R is completed with sunshine, snoozing, canoe, kids, water-play, tent, food and fun. Fire danger presently in the mind or not, we like camping better than life back at the suburbs, and that's how the great outdoors should be, but...
But let us try again...have you ever wind gust and shift almost instantaneously at your campsite, blowing hot, suffocating, ash, smoke and sparks from your fire into your face, making those comfy seats around the campfire a hazard, not a place to sit and dream? Perhaps too much fuel is indiscriminately added; the fire becomes too big, flames reach to the sky, threatening nearby trees. It has become dangerous; it is not a simple campfire any longer as wind fans flames. Heat, acrid smoke, dangerous sparks fly, flames spread into nearby tinder-dry grass or the forest itself. There is a sudden realization of fear...good times are forgotten and panic ensues. With unpredictable winds in some conditions it is even possible to become surrounded by a deadly wildfire.
The Fort McMurray Wildfire
To date it is unknown if the current fire event at Fort McMurray, Alberta, was started by lightning or accidentally, by human activity. Here at IncomingBytes we respect, treasure and enjoy the great outdoors, and certainly hope the cause was not a campfire neglected by individuals who were enjoying the finest Mother Nature has to offer. It is too early to speculate.
We can only offer for certain that, like all forest fires, the Fort Mac monster started out small, accidentally or otherwise. Fires have been caused by lightning, a vehicle, a single spark, the careless tossing of a cigarette butt, or in the worst case scenario, vandalism. Not arson, please; there could never be adequate punishment meted out for a crime of that magnitude. And hopefully, it was not an innocent campfire run amok; we repeat, please, —not an innocent campfire. That would imply that someone's love for the wonderful outdoors burned and scarred Mother Nature; carelessness... neglect, and unfettered guilt...You get the idea.
The Perfect Firestorm
Regardless of how the 'Fort Mac ' fire started, it grew unbelievably fast and totally out of control. Within a very short period of time, the fire became an insatiable monster of the highest magnitude. Why? Fire officials suggest this event was different, a perfect storm, with kindling-dry forests, an endless and huge supply of fuel, bone-dry wood, logs, dead trees, green conifers, extremely low humidity, hot temperatures, no rain, —all coupled with gusting, driving winds capable of switching direction unpredictably within moments. Perfect conditions existed province-wide for the incredibly fast expansion of even the tiniest fire. Heat, dry fuel, oxygen... all are necessary for fire, and contributed greatly to this unbelievable, perfect firestorm. All it took was one spark, a campfire, a cigarette butt, perhaps a discarded glass bottle and sunlight, or a lightning strike. With the fire still in progress, officials can only guess at the cause as Canadians have switched into survival and firefighting mode.
The Fort Mac fire took off, becoming large enough to create its own weather system and be seen from space; it soon consumed thousands of buildings, homes, commercial buildings, infrastructure, destroying vehicles, personal property and livelihoods indiscriminately in an incredibly savage attack. More than 80,000 people were forced to evacuate to safer areas initially both north and south. Unbelievably, some people were even forced to evacuate more than once, to flee endangered oil facilities and evacuation centers.
Not a Campfire?
This fire remains a vicious, unpredictable predator many days later, after destroying large neighbourhoods of Fort McMurray, and unbelievably, far more than 200,000 hectares, hundreds of square kilometers of forest —a monster wildfire which ultimately may only be controlled eventually by cooler conditions, rainfall, and Mother Nature herself.
This is an ongoing story; a horrific forest fire event unparalleled in Canadian history. A wildfire to which all North Americans should be paying attention. We continue to hope it was not a camp fire.
Is that Incoming I hear?
©2016 by Raymond Alexander Kukkee
What they don't tell you, Alice...
Uninformed? What They Don't Tell You
Do you ever get the feeling you are going through life uninformed? Playing catch-up? Suffering from a lack of information? The remediation for being left in the dark and discerning what they don't tell you (for whatever reason)—should be quite simple. Clarify known facts. Recognize and classify observable anomalies and contradictions. Develop alternative models , including an understanding of all relevant facts within reason. Question everything —as advised by Albert Einstein, then draw conclusions and re-question both the effectiveness of the deductive process and the value of the answer. Repeat as necessary...yada yada. Simple? No.
We wish it was simple to accurately discern and discover what they don't tell you, but logic suggests deeper issues may be involved; seemingly insignificant but nagging little white lies of convenience, half-truths, secrets, and fast-growing deceptions...all of which may be selective wool drawn over your eyes, manipulation, coverups, or attempts at avoidance meant to interfere with progress
or mess with your mind.
The Path to Discovery
The path to discovery and enlightenment may be long and arduous enough on the straight and narrow, but with adequate dilly-dallying it seems wide, wandering and easy paths more closely describe the typical status quo. What they don't tell you is that even otherwise intelligent, resourceful people meander, glance this way and that, accepting, adding and even promoting fanciful, constructs of their own in their sketchy attempts to relay information to you, the lost.
A simpler approach should be:
Ask. Discover. Use logic. Deduce. Listen to honest folks only. Follow the straight path to discovery. Truth is just around the corner behind the white picket fence. Let us try, but, alas...gaze down the rabbit-hole, Alice.
With a bird's-eye view you now optimistically dream up the right question. Do facts line up within logic? Was the apparent response honest, or clearly suspect? If so, ask again. Creative liars and miscreants
and crooked politicians become nervous when questioned. Complex webs of creative lies may have already been proffered in a state of panic—a moth-eaten blanket full of holes, further details of deception essential to hide the truth. 'What they don't tell you' may soon become an inescapable quagmire of perpetuated lies and distorted facts. Not simple to remember or escape from, 'half-truths' become essential prompts.
Half-truths: A plague
Interestingly, half-truths, political correctness and 'what they don't tell you' are all signature fallout from the modern degradation of honesty. Our compromised, deceptive but slick world suggests ' a plague of half-truths' and practiced political correct euphemisms are now more acceptable than truth, as long as feel-good 'success', status and wealth are achieved. Half-truths are manipulative tools, twisted fact, deception with intent, and imagined, childish justification —the means to any devious agenda and further decay.
Revelations of societal decay should not surprise; traditional values are ignored; sterling values are increasingly seldom taught, are even less frequently practiced, and now, upon occasion, may no longer even be expected by anyone.
In an observable, vicious cycle, offspring quickly learn lessons of instantaneous gratification as opposed to being carefully required to observe, learn and understand values. What have they not been told? The young may not have been advised that learning, morals, hard work, independent thought, charity, understanding and tolerance are essential. Blind acquiescence to the media, corporate power, greed, and the dark side of human nature with instant gratification are default lessons—at any cost.
What they don't tell you is that we have willfully failed to stem the flow of genuine humanity, wisdom and civility from our veins. We are complicit as we cheer and emulate the 1% and somehow vote for future generations of devious feel-good social manipulators, even the corrupt. In the media, we listen spellbound to insatiable, greedy, thoughtless, powerful, destructive, and short-sighted ideologues posing as potential leaders. What they don't tell you is changing everything for their benefit.
As we know , perfection in humanity is not possible, nor is it simple. We get that. But why? What they don't tell you, Alice...may also be the ultimate answer you seek...
Is it any surprise they don't tell you to think for yourself?
Is that Incoming I hear?
©2016 by Raymond Alexander Kukkee