The Bumbastories Weekly Magazine – Sunday Edition
HUH??? What’s this? First you say it’s an Every Day Another Story blog. Now you’re talking once a week? What’s the story, Bumba?
The following is a once-a-week literary (well, not so literary), humorous (funny might be too strong a word), illumunating and enlightening (Hey, take it easy!) magazine sort of blog with a couple of informative articles, a few pictures, some musical accompaniment……..
Presenting Bumbastories’ Sunday Special. Start off your read with some music recorded by Bumba and Maybank
This week’s Edition of Bumbastories’ Sunday Special – a Weekly Magazine – the first and perhaps the last issue of 2014-
A Bumbastories Science Report – An actual Refutation of Newton’s Law of Gravitation!
An As I Sat On The Bus contribution by George Packard.
Two Poems – Yikes!!!
A Picture by Max Ernst
Los Angeles Buses Defy Newton’s Law of Gravitation
According to Newton’s Law of Gravitation, the gravitational attraction between two objects is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the distance between them squared. Or, G=m1m2/d2.
So, the farther away two things are from each other, the weaker the gravitational force. Right?
Los Angeles buses defy Isaac Newton’s universal – and heretofore-thought-inviolable principle of physics. MTA buses, supposedly spaced across the space-time continuum by the “bus schedule” to run at intervals of up to 20-30 minutes, appear together amazingly often. These buses, spaced evenly by the schedule along their long routes, somehow wind up travelling together! The evidence is overwhelming, and clearly speaks to this fact of MTA reality: the buses cluster, they group, they travel in pairs, even in convoys.
Newton must be turning over in his grave – or mausoleum – in Westminster Abbey. (And then we’d only have to bury him again!)
Is it perhaps some special esoteric energy generated by the Los Angeles/Southland basin – some underground tectonic plate effect? Or are we witnessing a manifestation of dark energy?
Bumbastories, in a fine piece of investigative journalism, investigated the problem last year. A simple, but admittedly silly, explanation was proposed. In short, a socialization instinct, indeed a sexual drive, was ascribed to the buses.
In any case, as the universe expands, as the matter from the Big Bang disperses and entropy increases, we wonder whether the expansion will ever stop. How can the expansion be reversed? Perhaps Einstein’s cosmological constant is actually the MTA bus system. The jury is out – or perhaps they’re late. That’s right, they’re waiting for the bus!
As I Sat On The Bus (AISOTB #33) by George Packard
George Packard was back on his bike again.
Yup. George had drawn yet another of those As I Sat On the Bus assignments.
George didn’t mind. As a roving reporter for Bumbastories, he was always roving around anyway, performing his various assigned roving tasks, and …… well, it was pretty easy to spin out one of these AISOTB thingies.
So thought George Packard.
As a somewhat concerned and involved citizen of the City Los Angeles as well as the County of L.A., George wished to tip his hat to whatever gov’t agency it is that has been slowly and gradually painting bicycle lanes on the streets of the city.
“It helps. It saves lives,” thought George.
“Also,” George considered, “if it were safer to ride a bicycle around town, a lot of people would chose the bicycle over the car as a way of getting around – at least part of the time.
“I’d bet a lot of people would be riding their bicycles to work and the like if they had decent, safe bicycle lanes,” said George Packard to himself.
In further AISOTB deliberations George Packard asked himself:
“And do I really have to sit on the bus today to post an AISOTB post? I could just as easily insert an old photo taken weeks ago. Nobody would know the difference. Bumba has a ton of them stored on his Cloud thing…..”
Enjoy the Beauty I
Enjoy the beauty of the day
The majesty unfolded
The water rushing through the valleys
Where we linger
The silence of the sun
On a September morn
A song to you
Enjoy the Beauty II
Enjoy the beauty
Of unfulfilled love
And remember yet
Of a love fulfilled
And then it all disappeared
In the chill of the late afternoon
You walk through the fallen leaves.
George Packard, who as roving reporter sometimes roves as far as five km from his apartment, was roving in the city of Beverly Hills the other day and sent in the following update on the famed Beverly Hills Post Office building and the just completed (or nearly-completed, it’s hard to tell) Beverly Hills Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.
Recently opened to view after a long period of construction, the Annenberg Center concert hall is attached via a mysterious underground tunnel to the old Beverly Hills Post Office (a designated landmark building which is no longer a post office – much to the chagrin of all those hearty Beverly Hillers who wane nostalgic for the good, old-fashioned post-office experience of standing in line for at least fifteen minutes.
The Concert Hall – which appears to be a monstrosity – but let us not be too harsh or premature in our judgements – is not only contiguous with the old government-issue building, but also continuous with it!
George Packard wondered whether this architectural contiguity/continuity overlap explains why the project cost ?? million dollars.
The distinction between contiguity and continuity, however, remains a grammatical question which continually (but not contiguously I don’t think) gets George’s knickers in a knot. Poor George.
In any case, George Packard, roving reporter par excellence, took the following photos.
Note: All copyright privileges belong to George Packard.
And he can keep them!
Please be advised that this is not an ad for any cigarettes, mentholated or otherwise. Nor is this an ad for any thing else. I think the Winston-Salem line is a stretch of track in North Carolina that runs to Winston-Salem from Greenville. I’m not sure, really. Perhaps this railroad line is just in my imagination. I’ve been playing around of late with simple recorded drumbeats, just to practice: a guitar track and then a harmonica track on top of that. This song just came up. There are two tracks, as is appropriate for a song about a train.
Doc Watson and the Watson family come from a bit further east in Carolina, toward the Smokey Mountains. Brownie Mc Gee also came from North Carolina. Likewise Earl Scruggs, Michael Jordan, Soupy Sales, Andrew Jackson and Howard Cosell.
OK, it’s Friday and time to give Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers’ 100 word challenge yet another go. Check it out yourself. It’s fun and it keeps you off the streets. This week’s photo prompt is
The music reminded Tyler of some field recordings of American folk music he had heard a few years ago. But the music wasn’t coming from a phonograph. It was actually some guys on the lawn playing some of this old-time music. They were obviously having a good time. Tyler waved to them and nodded his head. He knew this one, the Worried Man Blues. Slowly Tyler pulled his load up the block. There was a bit of a hill so he had to drive careful.
Tyler thought he just might get out his old guitar when he got home.
Frizz’s A to Z Challenge features the letter H this week. Every week Frizz provides the blogging world with a simple letter challenge. Do you have a blog tagged with an H?
Heck yes! Here’s one of my many attempts to play the House of the Rising Sun. Looking through my posts I notice I’ve already recorded this song three times on Bumbastories. I even declared a House of the Rising Sun Invitational. So all are invited to join in.
As George Packard, roving reporter for Bumbastories, sat on the bus he thought back fondly to when he was a young man in his 20′s. He recalled how startled and upset he had been when he first observed that many people in America lived their lives and modelled their behavior after television characters. These people seemed to impersonate television actors; they were modelling their behavior based on TV characters they saw on television. It just looked very false and very weird to young George.
Back in the seventies, on a trip to Florida to visit relatives, George had been almost horrified. His uncles and aunts and their friends reminded him of the way people acted on the Johnny Carson Show. His uncle was doing an imitation of Don Rickles. someone else was playing Ed Mc Mahon. Of course, today the influence of the electronic media was even stronger. This dominance of television over people’s lives bothered George. It’s Nature imitating Art. The process is being reversed, thought George. And George did not like what he saw. Where were their souls? he asked. How could they lose sense of themselves so easily? Perhaps this new America is not for me. I’ll never fit in here, thought young George.
So George left America. He joined the Peace Corps. George was out of the United States for seven years. He returned with a clearer idea of who he was. He accepted the fact that he might never fit in. However, he was no longer worried about that fact. He felt it was too difficult for him to lead a false life. He had to be honest. He had to be himself.
And George Packard, retired schoolteacher, looking back on his life could see that he had lived a genuine life after all. He still did in fact. He found that not fitting in and not belonging he could fit in everywhere.
“A certain freedom in that,” he thought to himself as he sat on the bus.
George Packard, roving reporter for Bumbastories, roved on.
Five is my favorite number. Sounds funny, a bit nerdy. You know, to have favorite numbers. But it’s true. I confess a certain affection for all the numbers. After all, they’re all “sacred” expressions of the transcendent. But the five is special. Its symmetry is perhaps the richest of all.
The golden proportion phi, rooted in fivefold symmetry, is a phenomenon of great beauty and importance to all living things. Phi — the square root of five minus one/divided by two — or 1.618…..is the golden proportion, the proportion most pleasing to the eye. Plants grow using the phi proportion. The DNA molecule is arranged according to five or tenfold symmetry. Seeds are most efficiently packed into a flower using phi. And phi is based on the five.
The pentagram with its pentagon inscribed – which circumscribes another smaller pentagram – which in turn generates another little pentagon – then another pentagram, and so on ad infinitum – will also expand in the same proportions ad infinitum (and if you add all those infinitums together you get an awful lot of infinitums).
The diagonals of the pentagram intersect in phi proportions: the big piece is to the little piece as the entire piece is to the big piece. It’s the “golden mean”. Artists like Leonardo have used it for ages. Phi’s aestheticly pleasing proportions are apparently wired into us. Our senses are naturally attuned to it, and we find it’s proportion of 5 to 8 or thereabouts a simple way to compose a painting or a building or nearly anything. The Parthenon is so constructed. The Great Pyramid too. The application of the phi principle is fundamental to Cheop’s pyramid; it’s dimensions are laid out in accordance to the golden mean. It’s an ancient piece of knowledge. Expressed algebraically phi is represented as AB/AC= (AB+AC)/AB — which reduces to the square root of five minus one/divided by two. Phi squared equals phi plus one. The mathematical wonders of phi never cease.
The five pointed star is a universal and elegant symbol of course. Although neither the star nor the pentagon tesselate cleanly like the square or the triangle or hexagon, figures based on phi angles nonetheless create patterns like these – Penrose tilings – a tesselation discovered by the physicist and mathematician Roger Penrose – which is a lucky coincidence because it would have been weird if someone called Moskowitz discovered it and named it Penrose tiling (Sorry ’bout that one).
I’ve included a song I wrote that starts off with the fifth. I wrote the song many years ago back in the Bronx, but still enjoy playing it. It tells a bittersweet story, a love story of course. The song is in D, but it starts off in A, the fifth of D. Now, how the musical fifth ties in with what I’ve been talking about is beyond me, but this song is the first one I thought of. I have a weakness for songs that start off in the fifth. Not to mention my weakness for the number five. OK, I won’t mention it (oops I just did).
The symmetry of the Four again (set to the music of Bumba’s harmonica fourths if you click).
The Quatro: the tesselations of the square, the grid. Everything laid out on graph paper, a world made of little boxes.
The usefulness (to humans, not so great for all the other species) of patterns based on the four has been astounding. Pyramids, temples, and skyscrapers arise square and straight from their cornerstones. Roads and cities laid out on grids. Brick by brick, square by square. Maps of distant lands, maps reaching to the heavens.
Analytic geometry, the great bridge between algebra and geometry – so kindly revealed to us four hundred years ago by the Frenchman Descartes – allows us to visualize patterns and mathematical functions. Equations are made manifest in two or three dimensional space. Functions come to life. Newton’s calculus arises. Motion is finally described via a set of laws. The scientific age, the Industrial Revolution follow. All thanks to poor Rene Descartes, who, lying on his back in bed watching a fly walk across the ceiling, suddenly conceived of the grid defined by the two dimensions we now call the x and y axes. What a guy that Rene Descartes. Here’s to Rene Descartes and the symmetry of the four.
Frizz’s flkrcomments blog entertains us each week with its weekly alphabet challenge. If you haven’t checked out Frizz’s blog yet, well, you ought to.
This week’s letter is G. What you need to do of course is to send in a post that is tagged with the letter G. It’s pretty simple. Even I can do it. And it gives all of the lazier bloggers out there (present company included) who want to post something but can’t think of anything much to say, a chance to post something today. Hurray!
I re-posted a recording and post I made about Georgia On My Mind a few months ago. I apologize for the quality of the singing. If Ray Charles could heard it, he’d probably roll over or rise up from his grave. And then we’d only have to bury him again. (Joke courtesy of Groucho Marx)
Click to hear me try to do Georgia.
George Packard had drawn the Bumbastories AISOTB assignment this week. George Packard, retired schoolteacher and roving reporter for the Bumbastories Blog roved extensively and widely within a three mile radius of his Los Angeles apartment.
As George was sitting on the bus he thought about the nature of awareness. George asked what the difference was between awareness and consciousness. George had perused the Phantom’s ruminations on this very subject on the Bumbastories blog the week before and had thought it interesting, but silly in the end. One needs to define these words! That’s the problem! People use them left and right and each person has a bit of a different idea of what the words mean. Hence all the confusion, the discussion, the eternal quibbling. The word “soul” also had many meanings. George needed to clarify the definition of that one too.
As George Packard sat on the #720 bus he looked out at the proud city of Beverly Hills. George’s friend Calvin had mentioned that real estate values in Beverly Hills had peaked and could be expected to decline relative to L.A. prices. Could be, thought George. Beverly Hills was indeed losing some of its luster. George considered some of Beverly Hill’s recent public projects. He got off the bus opposite one of the city’s new public sculptures. “Jeez,” thought George to himself, “What an ugly piece”
George Packard, roving reporter, walked on. He came to the brand new Beverly Hills Performing Arts Center – another piece of less-than-sterling architecture.
The new auditorium sits up the block from BH City Hall and police department. The fire department and public library are also part of the city center complex – also not an architectural gem.
“Gee whiz,” thought George Packard, roving reporter, “the city fathers are bringing down the real estate values!”
Perhaps Bumbastories could use this piece in his Real Estate section.