Solar Science 2a

Featured Image Credit: Hinode/XRT, NASA

This is Part 1 of a double feature in preparation for the upcoming total solar eclipse on 21 August; Part 2 will follow later this week. Featured guest Barry Snyder crosses over into the spiritual realm with a discussion of the Fire element, first from his perspective as a US Forest Service fire watcher in the coastal wilderness just south of the California-Oregon state line, and then from his perspective as a spiritual seeker within the astrological framework. Also included is an overview of the Perseid meteor shower and an observance of the 72nd anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Benjamin the Donkey makes a brief appearance, and Sequitur theme music is by Zympht.

Solar Science 1

Featured Image Credit: Coronal Mass Ejection, NASA/GSFC/Solar Dynamics Observatory

Our nearest star, aka “the Sun,” sent an M-2 Coronal Mass Ejection our way on 14 July. Barry Snyder speaks about the effects of such phenomena on Earth and Earthlings, especially during this time in the cycle of polar reversal and weakening of Earth’s magnetic field. Musical guest Tim Blais provides an explanation of the one-way arrow of Entropic Time with his A Capella Science parody of a familiar Billy Joel song, and Benjamin the Donkey offers commentary with his Limericks of Doom.  Sequitur theme music is by Zympht.

Entropic Time
Tim Blais

Whoa, arrow of entropic time.
Whoa, arrow of entropic time.

If you made a scrambled egg tonight,
There’d be no return to yolk and white.
And when it’s fried, you
Can’t turn it back to raw food.
That is the arrow of entropic time!

Structure decomposes til it’s gone.
Hot spots cool and entropy grows on.
My room was cleaner –
Now looks like Godzilla’s been there.
Not my fault; blame it on entropic time.

Whoa, arrow of entropic time.
Whoa, arrow of entropic time.

Stars explode and leaves turn brown and fall.
That’s thermodynamics’ second law.
But from a deep view,
That doesn’t need to be true.
Time-symmetry precludes entropic time.

Maybe this won’t last very long.
Our cosmos’s light, a fluctuation.
In that case, it’s probable we are
A brain without a jar,
Decomposed in a moment.

Who knows if that’s true and I’ll be gone –
Thermalized before you hear this song.
I’ll take my chances
Though I can’t disprove these answers.
‘Cause there’s a reason for entropic time.

One must go right back to the start –
The order from whence all things fell apart.
All life hinges on that state that was.
We hope to find its cause
But it’s more than we know now.

Maybe there’s a time-symmetric space
Birthing big bangs all over the place
That then disperse as
New baby universes
With their own direction of entropic time.

Whoa, arrow of entropic time.
Whoa, arrow of entropic time.
Whoa, arrow of entropic time.
Whoa, arrow of entropic time.

Sunset Windows

Elizabeth West returns to Sequitur with her refreshing perspective on these End Times and shares the first of a series of simple practices designed to reconnect us with joy, regardless of external circumstances. Benjamin the Donkey provides additional commentary, and musical offerings by Neil Young, Here II Here, and Zympht are included. Theme music is also by Zympht.

Celebrating the Ordinary

  1. Set aside three to five minutes, out of doors, if possible. This can be done indoors as well, though it is better if you can get into the periphery of nature at least. Perhaps a walk from parking lot to office, or a yard you can go out into.
  2. The goal is to seek around you for a small and seemingly insignificant manifestation of life. It could be a pebble of an ordinary nature, a ‘weed,’ or its flower. It is easiest to do this with something stationary, like a plant or mineral, but it can certainly be applied to a small animal or other animated forms which are often overlooked.
  3. Sit with the thing you have chosen and allow yourself to really look, feel, know it. Search for its beauty, its unique nature. Look and feel until you sense the extraordinary (and heretofore) unseen complexity, or the breathtaking simplicity.
  4. Stay with it until you know how special it is.
  5. Then let it go, with thanks, and go about your day.

Doing this once or twice will likely not change your outlook radically, but if you practice this one every day for a week or two you can see the world (and yourself) in a whole new manner, one that is both truer and more loving.

Photo credits

above: Jeffrey G. White, 4 July 2017, Sunset over the Rock River, Dixon, IL
below: Nora Brenner-West, Sunset over San Francisco Bay, Richmond, CA


Children of Destiny by Neil Young + Promise of the Real (with full orchestra)

Stand up for what you believe
Resist the ‘Powers That Be’
Preserve the Land and save the Seas
For the Children of Destiny,
The children of you and me

Should ‘goodness’ ever lose and ‘evil’ steal the day
Should ‘happy’ sing the blues and ‘peaceful’ fade away
What would you do?
What would you say?
How would you act on that new day?

Stand up for what you believe
Resist the ‘powers that be’
Preserve the ways of Democracy
So the Children can be free
The Children of Destiny

When money matters most and war is good for gain
The capital is yours, the people feel the pain
They feel the pain, they walk the streets
While the bombs fall in the rain
The Children hide, somewhere inside
While the bombs fall in the rain

Stand up for what you believe
Resist the ‘Powers That Be’
Preserve the Land and save the Seas
For the Children of Destiny
The Children of Destiny.

It’s All Light by Here II Here

Where I’m from it rains and then it shines and then it rains
I paid attention to the teachings that the weather brings
You can be yourself with me, I love you just the same
Scream and shout I promise I won’t take it personally
Feelings come and the feelings go
Feelings come and the feelings go

I border on insanity with the enlightened mind
Like gentle folks who’ve lost their meaning searching for themselves
Acceptance happens naturally without the need of time
Unnecessary effort on becoming someone else
Feelings come and the feelings go – it’s all right
Feelings come and the feelings go – it’s all light

It’s all right, all light.
It’s all light, all light.

Where I’m from we spin around and no one really knows
The truth of our location’s still a mystery to us all
Yet we’re so consumed with always trying to control
We rise above the clouds and then we lose our wings and fall
Feelings come and the feelings go – it’s all right
Feelings come and the feelings go – it’s all light

It’s all right, all light.
It’s all light, all light.
It’s all right, all light.
It’s all light, all light.

It’s all right, all light.
It’s all light, all light.
It’s all right, all light.
It’s all light, all light.


Above: Starhawk prepares participants for the annual Spiral Dance.

Starhawk joined us on her birthday to discuss her upcoming permaculture design certification training and ask for your contribution to the scholarship fund, whether as a birthday gift to her, as an expression of support for a Standing Rock water protector, a marginalized urban youngster, or a middle-aged woman in transition, or just because you agree that this project contributes to the regeneration that all of us owe to our planet and our fellow sojourners here.

Action Alert: Earth Activist Training

Date: 25 June to 9 July 2017
Location: Freeport, Illinois, USA

You Can Help: Diversity Scholarship Fund

In the featured interview, Starhawk connects the dots between permaculture design, social and environmental activism, and pagan spirituality. Also on today’s show, you will hear Return to the Mother, a chant by Judy Grahn and the Wind Hags, and the Summer Solstice song Litha sung by Lisa Thiel; lyrics are below the embedded ten-minute YouTube clip. Benjamin the Donkey is on hand with Limericks of Doom, and Sequitur theme music is provided by Zympht.

Return to the Mother
Judy Grahn & Wind Hags

spoken intro:
All over the world the waters are breaking
Everywhere, everywhere, the waters are breaking

And so return, return, return
Return to the Mother

descant counterpoint:
All over the world, the waters are breaking
The waters are breaking all over the world

Lisa Thiel, vocals

I am the fire that burns within your soul
I am the Holy light that fills and makes you whole
I am the Flame within, that never dies
I am the sun that will ever arise

Power of the Sun we honor you this night
We leap across the fire to keep our spirits bright
Power of the Sun, fire in the night
We leave behind, that which blinds, to restore our sight

I am the fire that clears away the old
I am the holy light that guides you to your soul
I am the Flame Of Love for which you yearn
I am the sun that will always return

Power of the Sun we honor you this night
We leap across the fire to keep our spirits bright
Power of the Sun, fire in the night
We leave behind, that which blinds, to restore our sight

starhawk at standing rock

Above: Starhawk at Standing Rock.
Below: Starhawk at Occupy.

Starhawk Dec '11


By various accounts, Tsunki is either a diety or a powerful shaman of the water who protects the health of the Shuar people.

Image credit: above, INPC Ecuador (Instituto Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural); below, Pit Becker ARTwork

Shuar resistance

Whether in Amazonia or at Standing Rock, native people know that Water Is Life. Today’s show features an interview with shaman, author, and whistleblower John Perkins as well as breaking news from the pipeline resistance movement. Also included is commentary by Benjamin the Donkey, a short clip from Harry Nilsson’s The Point, and music by Zympht.

The Glucose that Binds the Lightness and Darkness (1997)

Our reality is of dialectics. Hot-cold, peace-war, friend-foe, lost-found, dark-light. One side cannot exist without the other. We should appreciate our opponents and embrace their different views, aware always of the small one-sided part we must play to keep the balance and avoid mediocrity.

Play fast and mean, but say who you are, and live always by the light of day.

The storming brains of men and boys play on and keep the darkness at bay.

The darkness and lightning of storming thoughts become their life’s works’ art.

The glue that binds the darkness and lightness, never the two shall part.

Food Share

Celebrate the 37th anniversary of the founding of Food Not Bombs with this in-depth presentation about a nonviolent anarchist response to economic and social collapse.  Included are interviews from York (UK) Food Not Bombs by John Compost Cossham, discussion between John and Producer/Host Susan Livingston about their respective experiences with their local chapters, Susan’s feature-length in-depth interview with founder Keith McHenry about everything from the origin of the idea for Food Not Bombs to our responsibilities to All Our Relations in a globalized world in the midst of the Sixth Extinction, and of course, limericks by Benjamin the Donkey. Sequitur theme music is by Zympht. Run time: 118 minutes.

Sometimes food is prepared on site, like for the anniversary gathering at People’s Park shown below and in the Featured Image above. Photo credit: Susan Livingston

Only Love

Two weeks after the Belize Only Love Remains workshop (trailer embedded below and included in the audio) and two days after the Sierra Club dinner and presentation at the Berkeley yacht club, Guy McPherson describes the workshop experience in detail, talks about how his presentation has changed and continues to change over time, projects his touring schedule for the rest of 2017, and reveals the vision for a new project. Also included is a topical poem by David Wolinsky, whose early works were published  last year by Dos Madres Press, and limericks by Benjamin the Donkey. Theme music is by Zympht; more of his music can be found on SoundCloud. The featured image shows (left to right) Guy McPherson, Pauline Schneider, Jamen Shively, and Jeffrey Strahl. Run time – 56:08.

Unnatural Disaster 3

Image credit: Alamay

The featured image of the Chernobyl plant from the perspective of the ghost town of Pripyat is from the UK Sun from 22 February 2017. The Ferris wheel in the center of the foreground was never used; the amusement park was due to open less than a week after the town was evacuated due to the meltdown. Note how quickly Nature can reclaim her domain once the humans are out of the way. I heartily agree with Elizabeth West, featured guest on Sequitur: Earthbound, when she says, “Every day, I’m less convinced that the survival of this species is an optimal outcome.”

Today’s Sequitur marks the 31st anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster and is the third of a three-part series on nuclear power plant disasters. The show also features a segment by John Cossham on Earth Day, a poetry reading from Wendell Berry by Debba Kale Earnshaw, commentary by Benjamin the Donkey, topical music of Here II Here, and theme music by Zympht.

As if that’s not already a very full program, I’m asking that you commit 90 minutes at some time in the next week to view the documentary Awake: A Dream from Standing Rock. The trailer is embedded below. If you act before 6 May, the charge will be self-determined for an unlimited number of viewers and viewings. The minimum is $1; however, since “100% of the proceeds will go to an Indigenous Media Fund and a Pipeline Fighters Fund supervised by the film’s creators and a council of indigenous leaders to support direct actions, indigenous filmmakers and journalists,” PANinA humbly asks that you make the requested $5 donation. PANinA has already made a $20 donation and hereby further pledges to donate an additional dollar for every Comment viewers make on this page before 6 May and after viewing the film. Thank you in advance for your caring participation.


Our title is inspired by a quote from the song Learning to Fly from Pink Floyd’s Momentary Lapse of Reason album: “Tongue-tied and twisted, just an Earthbound misfit am I.” Another song from that same Pink Floyd album captures the kind of acceptance of our inevitable demise due to our addicted state that author Elizabeth West models so well in the featured interview. Actually, it’s a mini-set comprised of A New Machine with its lyrics about “doing time” and the intervening instrumental Terminal Frost that captures the poignancy of our predicament. Here are those lyrics (which I have often thought would make a good epitaph in case of compassionate self-deliverance):

A New Machine

I have always been here
I have always looked out from behind these eyes
It feels like more than a lifetime
Feels like more than a lifetime

Sometimes I get tired of the waiting
Sometimes I get tired of being in here
Is this the way it has always been?
Could it ever have been different?

Do you ever get tired of the waiting?
Do you ever get tired of being in there
Don’t you worry; nobody lives forever
Nobody lives forever

[bridge – Terminal Frost (instrumental)]

I will always be here
I will always look out from behind these eyes
It’s only a lifetime; it’s only a lifetime
It’s only a lifetime

Elizabeth West’s website is Love’s Longing. Her book is titled Love is the Way: Daily Offerings from the Guides for Living Luminously.

The opening song is the context for one of my favorite quotes: “Life is the chance we take when we make this Earth our home.” And like any other gamble (quoting Emanuel Tanay (1928 – 2014), Polish-American physician, forensic psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor), “There are no guarantees. From the viewpoint of fear, none are strong enough. From the viewpoint of love, none are necessary.” And that’s why I can move toward Planetary Hospice with acceptance and compassion. Here are the lyrics for Peace Is by Frederick Small from his album The Heart of the Appaloosa:

Peace Is

Peace is the bread we break
Love is the river rolling
Life is a chance we take
When we make this earth our home
Gonna make this earth our home.

Feel the cool breeze blowing through the smoke and the heat
Hear the gentle voices and the marching feet
Singing call back the fire, draw the missiles down
And we’ll call this earth our home.

We have known the atom, the power and pain
We’ve seen people fall beneath the killing rain
If the mind still reasons and the soul remains
It shall never be again.

Peace grows from a tiny seed
As the acorn grows into the tallest tree
Many years ago I heard a soldier say
When people want peace, better get out of the way.


Unnatural Disaster 2

Featured Image Photo Credit: Reuters
HazMat workers at Reactor 4, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

The show opens with a retrospective on the Three-Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant accident 38 years ago before resuming the report on Fukushima Daiichi as a follow-up to the interview with survivor and activist Yumi Kikuchi from Unnatural Disaster 1. Also included are limericks by Benjamin the Donkey, a poetry reading by Debba Kale Earnshaw, and a Zympht classic in addition to the Sequitur theme music. Run time:

In related news, here is a presentation from 13 October 2016 featuring John LaForge, activist and author of Nuclear Heartland, produced by my friend and colleague, Peace Troubador Vic Sadot, and posted 29 March. Run time 58 minutes.