...has been a flurry of activity that feels an awful lot like inactivity. I refuse to discuss my day job here and as such I will spare my readers the ongoing tragedy that is working for ANY brand of corporation these days. Remember people, corporations were legally declared the status of human beings back in 1886 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad that under the U.S. constitution a corporation is a natural person and as such is entitled to the same rights under that document as any other ciitzen. Thus corporations ARE the dominant form of life on this here planet Earth...
Today was my newspaper day. This is a new ritual I've worked into my week, where I go and grab a cup of coffee and throw a quarter at a local paper (my choice thus far has been the recently streamlined Long Beach Press Telegram) and sit outside and read it. This is partly to celebrate the return of good weather (easy those back home, I know you think its all good weather out here on the west coast but climate is relative, you know?) and partly just to re-create a dying cultural ritual.
As information becomes more and more intangible I fully recognize that people in my relative age-group are going to be the last ones to want to have a tactal sensation such as holding a cd booklet, amassing shelf upon shelf of DVD's or sitting down and opening up a newspaper - fighting the breeze and working it into different physical folds and manipulations in order to better view the columns and pages. This is important to me - and I am fully aware that it represents a strange schizm within my own personal operating system. The appeal of riding the wave of the future and 'owning nothing' (iTunes old motto, something that appeals to the long standing ideal I've had of being completely 'Nomadic') and the longing to 'time travel' as I'm always talking about, through things like music, media and actual physical manipulations of the spatio-temporal realm I choose to recognize around myself*. This is an act such as that - sitting down with black coffee and an actual, god's honest physical newspaper I channel my heroes, from David Lynch to Hunter S. Thompson and I relive life as it was twenty, thirty, fifty years before the physical world started to disappear (further evidence of this: the housing slump. The person to invent a dwelling for people and their families that takes up NO measured space on the physical plane would not only make TRILLIONS of dollars (or credits by that time as physical currency will also follow suit) but also reinvent the way we view and interact with these infinite wavicles that flutter and vibrate constantly around us, revealing themselves to us only at certain intervals we choose to assign value to...
Anyway, while reading my paper there was an article about the 75th anniversary of the 1933 Long Beach earthquake. Not as massive as the 1906 San Francisco quake that was retroactively found (???) to have registered a 7.8, the LB quake nonetheless rated a 6.4 on the Richter scale (invented 2 years later), causing a lot of damage and a new outlook on how to prepare for the inevitabilities associated with building on a 46 mile, right lateral, reverse slip fault line.
So apparently Monday the city held a 10 person panel discussion on how far they've come since the quake. Fine. The thing that grabbed my attention, and the reason I'm even going on about ANY of this, is the Press Telegram refers to the discussion Monday as having been 'led' by, and here it is, "...seismology celebrity Lucy Jones."
Seismology Celebrity? Does that even make sense? I didn't realized anybody in the field of seismology, not that there's anything wrong with it, could be considered a 'celebrity'. How much of a celebrity is she? Has she been on Cribs? (and if so, is her abode an amazing prototype of what Earthquake proofing will look like in the year 2000...er...2010? Has she been on the tonight show? Guest starred on Entourage?
I had to know. The very idea of this had my mind racing like Brown's drunken Junebugs** on a warm July evening. I finished my coffee so quickly I burnt the insides of my mouth like a trooper and raced home, stopping only to purchase yet another cup of coffee and be assailed by a turrets afflicted old man who walked up and down the parking lot at the Supermarket plaza up the street from us in a confused and angry stupor. I took his abuse and jotted down the license plate number of the car he finally relinquished to and then sped home, firing up the internet and running a quick search on the intriguing Ms. Jones...
Here's what I found.
Go ahead and google 'Lucy Jones'. Taking somewhat away from the slew of articles and references that one would expect to answer a search on a serious and really rather accomplished scientist are three images at the top of the page. One is a Van Gogh-esque portrait, another a young girl's photo, and the third a somewhat frightening B&W photo from the days of early photgraphy recording an image that is so ... bizarre (and folks who know me know it takes alot for me to say something is bizarre) that I almost could not continue on with my query. It is an unexpected chronicle of one Lucy Elvira Jones, identified by one Daniel Mannix as a former exhibition at the Houston (Texas?) state fair. This Ms. Jones is standing with her knees bent the opposite way, looking much like a wolf or dog. She was apparently double-jointed (I've known double-jointed people and never seen any that could do this) Seriously, go open another window or tab and look at this. It's fucked up, and very reminiscent of something from Tod Browning's cult-classic film 'Freaks'.
Anyway, finally continuing on down the page it does seem Lucy Jones is indeed the closest thing to a 'celebrity seismologist' possible, wikipedia actually stating that,
"...Dr. Lucile M. Jones is the first face most Americans see after an earthquake strikes southern California, as she is known for answering questions from the press following any significant earthquake. Dr. Jones even held a press conference with her sleeping child in her arms, asking that the press be quiet, which they did."
So there, You do learn something new everyday (yesterday I learned that blu-ray dvd sales are about 1/35th of those of regular dvd. Fuck blu ray) and once again I find an interesting odyssey growing out of my weekly newspaper fetish.
* I will discuss the nature of physical reality in a subsequent post tentatively entitled: Indetermincy Prinicple - I hardly knew thee.
** I will discuss the nature and background of the metaphor for 'Brown's drunken Junebug races' in a subsequent post tentatively entitled: Brown's Drunken Junebug races - I hardly knew thee