Tuesday Trends

a brush with death, fracture fiction, and a cleaner future

July 27, 2021

On the last day of our blissful, sun soaked river adventure my teen nieces crashed into each other on jet skis.

There was a moment of chaos and adrenaline as we rushed them onto the boat, and I drove the boat as fast as it'd go to the dock, where my brother and mom rushed them off to the hospital.

Thankfully neither was killed, or permanently maimed.

My niece, Juliana, was pretty banged up. She spent the night in the hospital in Yuma, AZ. The doctor said she was quite lucky, that we could be planning a funeral right now.

That afternoon we heard from others on the river that just last year there had been a fatal jet-ski crash.

When Juliana was an infant, she lived with us. My brother had deployed to the Middle East and his wife and first-born, Juliana, moved in with us.

I spent my senior year of high school babying Juliana: rocking her to sleep, bath time, songs, cuddles.

The brush with death hits different when you've sang them to sleep more times than you can count.

many years ago, Juliana - in the middle - with me and her siblings in San Francisco

Hug your friends and family, we're all only an instant from death. This time, thankfully we got lucky.

US Fracture Fiction, Pt 2

I've been writing an essay series on the coming fracture of the US and an accompanying fiction story.

Have a little taste here.


Dave slowly opens his eyes. His head is pounding, the last few months since California and Texas seceded have been a non-stop stress fest of news, meetings, planning, and whiskey.

The federal government insists the secessions are invalid. Cases were brought to court, but no one pays attention to the court cases. This isn’t going to be something won in a court or on a battlefield; this is a matter of everyday American citizens, and the world.

The real war isn’t being fought with guns and violence, instead the battle rages on in the Metaverse, on the old internet, and in daily conversations among friends and family.

The whole world watches, some gripped by the drama, others stirred to action. Cries of secession echoing in Catalonia, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, even parts of Japan.

“Ugghhh”, Dave groans, and rolls out of bed.

He stares at the tiny readout on the coffee machine, punches the buttons, then stares into space while waiting.

Work has been absolutely insane since The Split.

Dave thinks to himself, what a stupid name, why did that stick and not CalTexit or something?

Dave is senior management at a mid-sized tech company headquartered in San Francisco. Most of the employees are scattered across the country with a number of them across the world. No one knows what’s going to happen.

No actual work was being done, just constant meetings and researching similar cases in other countries that have split, like Czechoslovakia and Brexit, but that was a while ago.

Dave thinks to himself, maybe Brexit was the beginning of the cascade?

But Brexit was almost 10 years ago.

Right after Brexit, there was some California secession chatter, but it never went anywhere.

Ughh… when Biden lost to DeSantis, that really put California progressives into hysterics, but it wasn’t just the progressives. California has been drifting culturally away from the rest of the US for a while...

The coffee maker stops gurgling and the silence pulls Dave out of his thoughts. He pours a strong cup of coffee. He sits and stares out the window at his small slice of the Pacific.

As small ideas swirl around his head and coalesce into larger ideas, he accepts that life isn’t going to go back to how it was before. His identity as American disappears with the last swig of coffee. He pours a second cup, staring into the new mug.

His phone vibrates. He looks down - another emergency meeting. He adds a shot of whiskey to the coffee and heads upstairs to his office.

For the full post:

Fight climate change by cleaning up the worst offenders

Bełchatów Poland Power Plant, world's worst polluter

When improving a portfolio of things, sometimes it's best to look at the outliers.

In a recent paper that took the Reddit science community by storm this week, it was outlined that the worst 5% of power plants accounted for 75% of carbon emissions from electricity generation.

Now you need to factor in just how much energy they actually are generating, as power plants that make a lot of energy will by default pollute more, but according to the paper itself, these baddies are all so old and inefficient, that if they were brought up to snuff we could eliminate between 17% to 49% of the world's CO2 emissions from electricity generation.

So there you have it, fix the worst polluters and we'll have a seriously cleaner world.

For the link: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01983-z

Direct to the source PDF: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ac13f1/pdf

Fiction or non-fiction?

It's astounding how many professionals I know that haven't read a good novel in years.

Do you make time for fiction? Why? Why not?

Just hit reply, I read and respond to everyone!

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Have an awesome week and see you next Tuesday!

Even though the future seems far away, it is actually beginning right now.
Mattie Stepanek
a young poet, who's life was cut short at 13

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