Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Jack Scott writes

The light is bad today 

bad for me, too bright, 
too thin and sickly; 
here is Maine again.

The loop of Mobius 

acting as a knot 
will not loosen yet, 
this tourniquet 
not quite tight enough to kill; 
there is some mercy in its grip.

It chafes to bring this back, 

but it never really went away. 
A perfect meal laid out 
shared only with the food itself
at rendezvous for one thus far.

The waitress is a shadow 

serving shadow wine to me, 
expensive in my man-made shade 
at my mushroom table 
on the sidewalk 
catching servings of the sun.

I try to keep on loving you 

when you cross my mind. 
Schlitz is imported from the kitchen 
in the dark to inside people. 
At the sidewalk 
only German beer is served, 
and wine. 
How very European.

In Maine beer sickens me 

to abstinence. 
Anonymous behind my wine 
I have memory to recognize, 
within camouflage to see 
what I can no longer be. 
I tasted  death in cigarettes 
when I wanted most to die, 
and kept on smoking. 

Waiting is arrested time, 

unwarranted by want or need, 
waiving all intention, 
uncontested in the court of clock, 
frozen by the metronome of glances 
despite my wish 
to ignore the pendulum.       

I watch couples holding hands, 
locking eyes at traffic lights, 
moving blindered, tethered 
across barely trafficked streets 
as light and safe as ones 
in passage amid clouds.

Some pairs dine well, at least enough, 

taking dessert ahead of meal, 
occasionally instead, 
while uncoupled ones eat alone 
suffering dull meat.     

Which are the bonded couples? 
Easy for me to spot; 
they have so obviously 
what I have not. 
They do not look at me, 
why would they?
They do not look out 
so perfect is their in.

How could they know 

I would be half 
of one of them 
waiting for my other, 
ticket agent for the Ark 
watching twos and twos 
board passage 
as I man my station, 
aware that ones like me 
will likely miss that ship.
Image result for ark paintings
 Noah's Ark -- Edward Hicks


  1. The Möbius loop is a surface with only one side and only one boundary. An example can be created by taking a paper strip and giving it a half-twist,then joining the ends of the strip to form a loop. A line drawn from the seam down the middle meets back at the seam but at the other side. If continued the line meets the starting point, and is double the length of the original strip. This single continuous curve demonstrates that the Möbius strip has only one boundary. Cutting it along the center line with a pair of scissors yields one long strip with two full twists in it, rather than two separate strips, because cutting creates a second independent edge, half of which was on each side of the scissors. Cutting this new, longer, strip down the middle creates two strips wound around each other, each with two full twists. If the strip is cut along about a third of the way in from the edge, it creates one thinner strip which is the center third of the original strip, 1/3 its width but the same length as the original strip, and another, longer thin strip with two full twists in it, 1/3 of the width and twice the length of the original strip. The phenomenon was discovered by J. B. Listing in 1858, who had introduced the term "topology"in mathematics in 1847 and discovered topological invariants which came to be called Listing numbers. In ophthalmology, Listing's law describes an essential element of extraocular eye muscle coordination. But the loop was also discovered the same year by the chairman of astronomy and higher mechanics at the University of Leipzig, August Ferdinand Möbius, for whom it was named (even though Listing went further in exploring the properties of strips with higher-order twists (paradromic rings). Möbius was the first to introduce homogeneous coordinates into projective geometry. In Euclidean geometry, he systematically developed the use of signed angles and line segments as a way of simplifying and unifying results. The Möbius configuration, formed by two mutually inscribed tetrahedra, the Möbius plane, the Möbius transformations (important in projective geometry), and the Möbius transform of number theory are all named for him, and his interest in number theory led to the important Möbius function and the Möbius inversion formula. Unlike Listing, Möbius was descended from the Protestant religious reformer Martin Luther and had studied under the leading German astronomers Carl Gauss and Gauss' own instructor Johann Pfaff.

  2. Joseph Schlitz emigrated to the US in 1850 and was hired as a bookkeeper by the Krug Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (founded in 1849), becoming its manager six years later. When he married August Krug's widow in 1858 he changed the firm's name to the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed many of the city's breweries, allowing Schlitz and other midwestern breweries to acquire much of that market; he also donated hundreds of barrels of beer as part of the relief effort (or at least such was the claim made in later advertisements). He was aboard the SS Schiller when it sank near Land's End, Cornwall, England, in 1875; his body was never recovered. Control of the firm passed to the Uihlein brothers, Krug's nephews, and when Anna Maria Krug Schlitz died in 1887 they acquired complete ownership. By 1902 the firm was producing a million barrels of beer per year, surpassing Pabst as the largest brewery in the US. (Jacob Best had run a small brewery in Mettenheim, Rhenish Hesse, until immigrating to Milwaukee in 1844 to join his sons, founding Empire Brewery with them that year. Empire brewed 300 barrels in its first year of operation and soon changed its name to Best and Co. When he retired in 1853 his sons Phillip and Jacob, Jr. continued operations as a partnership, and the company became Phillip Best Brewery. Another son, Charles, established the Plank Road Brewery, which Frederick Miller bought in 1855, transforming it into Miller Brewing Co. In 1848, Frederick Pabst had emigrated to the US with his parents and eventually became a cabin-boy on a Lake Michigan steamer; by the time he was 21 he earned his pilot's license; and as a captain he met Phillip Best and married his daughter in 1862. In 1863 he ran his ship aground in Milwaukee harbor and needed a new profession, so he bought out his father-in-law and became the firm's vice president. Jacob, Jr.'s daughter married in 1866, and her husband bought the other half of the firm; Pabst became president. By 1874 Phillip Best Brewing Co. was the nation's largest brewer, and in 1875 it began bottling Best Select, a lager, a type of pale ale introduced in Pilsen [now in the Czech Republic] in 1842. Later, the company's name was changed to the Pabst Brewing Co. At the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, Pabst tied blue ribbons around bottles of his Best brand to cause them to stand out, though it had never won a blue ribbon as a prize; people started calling it the Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, and Pabst officially changed its name.)

  3. [The other major American brewer began when George Schneider had opened the Bavarian Brewery in South St. Louis, Missouri, in 1852; on the brink of bankruptcy, it had been purchased in 1860 by pharmacist William D'Oench and soap maker Eberhard Anheuser, at it became known as E. Anheuser & Co; in 1875 it became the E. Anheuser Company's Brewing Association. Adolphus Busch, a wholesaler who had immigrated to St. Louis from Germany in 1857, married Anheuser's daughter in 1861 and began working as a salesman for the Anheuser brewery; he bought out D'Oench in 1869 and assumed the role of company secretary until his father-in-law's death n 1880, by which time it had already been renamed the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association. Busch was the first American brewer to use pasteurization to keep beer fresh, the first to use mechanical refrigeration and refrigerated railroad cars, and the first to bottle beer extensively. After visiting a popular pilsner brewer in Böhmisch Budweis (modern České Budějovice), in 1876 Busch began producing Budweiser as a "premium" beer; it became the first national beer brand in the country.) During Prohibition, Schlitz Brewing Co. became Schlitz Beverage Co. and changed its slogan from "The beer that made Milwaukee Famous" to "The drink that made Milwaukee famous." Anheuser-Busch survived by making brewer's yeast, malt extract, ice cream, and Bevo, a nonalcoholic malt beverage. Pabst switched to cheese production, selling more than 8 million pounds of Pabst-ett cheese (when Prohibition was repeal in January 1933, the company went back to selling beer and sold the cheese line to Kraft). Schlitz again became the world's top-selling brewery in 1934.

  4. Milwaukee brewery workers went on a 76-day strike in 1953, allowing Anheuser-Busch (in St. Louis) to surpass Schlitz in the American beer market, but Schlitz regained competiiteveness after promoting its inexpensive Old Milwaukee brand (first brewed in 1849). Though Anhauser-Busch reatined its leadership, Schlitz was still the No. 2 brewery as late as 1976. Faced with a desire to meet large volume demand while also cutting production costs, Schlitz began using corn syrup and less-expensive extracts to replace some of the malted barley and other traditional ingredients, adding a silica gel to prevent the it from forming a haze, and used high-temperature fermentation instead of the traditional method; to avoid having to disclose the silica gel, the firm switched to another agent,"Chill-garde," which would be filtered out at the end of production and therefore did not need to be disclosed. The agent reacted badly with a foam stabilizer that was used and Schlitz recalled 10 million bottles of beer, costing it $1.4 million. It also experimented with continuous fermentation at a new brewery it built in Baldwinsville, New York. However, the new beer lost much of the flavor and consistency of the traditional formula and spoiled more quickly, rapidly losing public appeal. To reverse the sales decline, Schlitz launched a 1977 television ad campaign in which a burly Schlitz drinker threatened an off-screen speaker who wanted him to switch to a rival beer, instead of the friendlier "When you're out of Schlitz, you're out of beer" approach. Audiences found the campaign menacing, and Schlitz pulled the campaign after 10 weeks. The final was another crippling strike in 1981. That year Anheuser-Busch bought the Balwinsville facility to supplement production of the Budweiser Light (later Bud Light) to be released in 1982, the year Schlitz and its brands and assets were acquired by Stroh Brewery Co.

  5. (The Stroh family began brewing during the 18th century in Kirn; in 1849 Bernhard Stroh emigrated to the US, established the Lion's Head Brewery in Detroit in 1850, and immediately started producing pilsner. His son Bernhard, Jr., took charge on the death of his father and named the firm the B. Stroh Brewing Co. In 1893 Stroh Bohemian Beer actually did win a blue ribbon at the Columbian Exposition. The name changed again to The Stroh Brewery Co. in 1902, and Bernhard's brother Julius took over; he introduced the European fire-brewing method, which used a direct flame rather than steam to heat beer-filled copper kettles. During Prohibition, The Stroh Products Co. produced alcohol-free beer, birch beer, soft drinks, malt products, ice cream, and ice; a special unit of the brewery continued to make Stroh's Ice Cream after beer production resumed. A costly statewide strike in 1958 halted Michigan beer production and allowed national brands to gain a foothold. In 1964, Stroh's made its first move toward national expansion when it bought the Goebel Brewing Co. Peter Stroh broke the company's tradition of family management and recruited managers from places such as Procter & Gamble and Pepsico, and introduced a light beer, Stroh's Light. In 1972, it entered the market's top 10 for the first time. By 1978 it served 17 states and produced 6.4 million barrels of beer. To expand production, Stroh's purchased all the stock of the F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Co., which had fallen victim to the Miller beer wars, and used Schaefer's distributors in the northeast.) Schlitz popularity further declined after its sale to Stroh's and was relegated to cheap beer or "bargain brand" status until 2008, when its original "gusto" formula from the 1960s was recreated. In 2000, Stroh's and all of its beer brands and recipes were acquired by Pabst, which in turn, in 2014, was bought by Blue Ribbon Intermediate Holdings, LLC, a partnership between American beer entrepreneur Eugene Kashper and TSG Consumer Partners, a San Francisco–based private equity firm. Meanwhile, in 1981, Anheuser-Busch International, Inc., was established as a subsidiary responsible for the company's international operations and equity investments. In 2008 the giant brewing company InBev (created by merging Belgium's Interbrew and Brazil's AmBev) bought it up and created a new company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, creating the world's largest brewer, with a 28.4 percent global market share, holding 200 brands.

  6. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive.... Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate, and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate, and seven pairs of the birds of the heavens also, male and female, to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth. [Genesis 6:19–20, 7:2–3]

    Noah needed to verify that the animals on the ark were male and female (many animals, including 30% of birds and even some mammals, are sexually monomorphic and cannot be distinguished without modern veterinary techniques or even hormonal analysis; many reproduce by asexual budding; over 1,000 thelytokous [all-female] species exist; the sea star, Asterina gibbosa, begins life as a male but eventually becomes female) and that they were all compatible and fertile. Many animals need more than a single pair to reproduce: Bees live in colonies and cannot survive outside the community, many types of flies engage in reproductive swarming, some birds will not mate unless they are part of a flock, and rabbits depend on numerous individuals to procreate and fare poorly outside many-chambered warrens. Conservation biologists estimate a minimum size of 50 for a species's survival, with 150 or more being a more realistic figure. In Hebrew, "behemah" meant land vertebrate animals in general. "Remes" (creeping things) probably meant reptiles, though the word had several meanings. It was not necessary to take marine creatures, and plants could have survived as seeds or floated on mats of vegetation, along with insects and other invertebrates. However, less than 1% of sermatophytes produce disseminules which drift for as long as one month, and they would have needed to do so for over a year. If they survived, they would need to touch land in an area where the temperature, rainfall, soil, and light would all be suitable for growth, even though plants have very narrow ranges for each of these conditions. In a survivable spot, their flowers would have to wait until the birds and insects arrived from Ararat, where the ark came to rest, to cross-pollinate them. Noah needed to have many samples of all the seeds and spores of the 420,000-plus species of plants in order to guarantee their survival. In addition to building the ark, he and his four sons would have had to gather the seeds, identify fertile seeds and spores, find them at the proper season, and make sure that the low-humidity storage area aboard ship would be suitable.

  7. Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 list a small number of "clean animals," so only this few needed to be gathered in groups of "seven" or "seven pairs" (the Hebrew term is ambivalent about which is meant). A "min" (kind) did not necessarily mean a "species" but could have meant animals that could interbreed and produce fertile offspring, so it could have meant something like "genus" or even "family"(or which there are about 510 including all mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds, but not invertebrates -- perhaps even "order," "class," or "phylum," as long as they could eventually evolve to include all living animals. Adding extinct familes only brings the total to some 1,700, if they have the same ratio (only about 30% of all mammal families that ever existed are alive today). John Woodmorappe spent seven years writing "Noah's Ark - A Feasibility Study" and concluded that some 8000 genera, including extinct genera, have existed, so only 16,000 individual animals were on board the ark. For instance, domestic cattle are descended from the aurochs, so only seven (or fourteen) domestic cattle were on board; and the Aurochs themselves may have descended from a cattle "kind" that included bisons and water buffaloes. The family Canidae has 14 genera and 35 species -- dogs, wolves, coyotes, foxes, dingos, fennecs, jackals, etc., are all descended from a dog-like "kind." (Each inherited trait is coded for by one or more genes, and each gene locus may have a substantial number of variants [alleles], perhaps a dozen or more, which accounts for the great variety observed in a given population. But any specific individual has at most only two alleles per locus—one from each parent. The ark animals would have needed chromosomes with alleles for every trait that would someday be manifest in the height, face shape, and so forth that are seen in the domestic dog -- just the variations in hair color require 24 genes at nine loci.) Sciuridae [squirrels] has 281 species, and the genus Rattus has several hundred. There are 18 families of bats, with over 800 species, but there is only a single order, Chiroptera. Arthropoda has 923,000 species. At the other extreme, the orders Tubulidentata [aardvarks] and Struthioniformes [ostriches] and even the phylum Placozoa have just one representative.

  8. Even the humans aboard would not be able to account for current ethnic complexity: Nearly 1/3 of human genes are polymorphic, and some, such as the two controlling A and B antigens, with 30 varieties, would require substantially more people than the five females on board, even if they had no variants in common.) On the other hand, if "kind" meant "species," the problem becomes much more complicated, since these number 1,877,920 (3,755,840 individual animals); however, there are 8,590 species of birds -- if the requirement meant 7 pairs of these, the actual total would be 3,858,920 individual animals. All of them boarded on the same day, meaning 44.66 creatures every second (though of course the parasites could hitch a ride with their hosts, and many insects could go through at one time; but even so it would require two vertebrates per second. (These numbers are the known species: only 2% of all the parasitic worms are known, which would add another million species; 10,000 new species of insects are discovered every year.) The 668 dinosaur genera would have been a particular problem, especially the largest of them, the 87 sauropod genera; but only 106 of the general weighed more than 10 tons when fully grown; but perhaps they were only represented by juveniles; Woodmorappe estimated that the median size would have been that of a small rat, and only about 11% would have been larger than a sheep; a mature sheep weighs 120 pounds, and at this rate the vertebrates alone would exceed 4,500 tons. (Mortality rates among seedling plants and young animals are very high -- as many as 80 % of birds die before reaching maturity -- and the young of many species cannot survive without parental care and feeding. If Noah had preserved only sauropod eggs, how did know whether one would yield a female and the other a male?) The ark measured 300 X 50 X 30 cubits (140 × 23 × 13.5 m [43,500 cubic m], 459 × 75 × 44 ft [1.54 million cubic ft], the equivalent volume of 522 standard American railroad stock cars, each of which can hold 240 sheep. According to Woodmorappe, 14.4 stock cars would be sufficient; to hold the animal cages, and if the insects were included, only another 12 cars would be added; thus, the ark would still have room for five trains of 99 cars each for air circulation space, food, water, baggage, Noah’s family of eight, and range for the animals.

  9. However, the ark was made of gopher wood, and wooden ships have about a 300 feet long; beyond that, deformation due to differing of weight and buoyancy distributions became excessive. (Other than the ark, the largest wooden ships ever built were the nine six-masted schooners launched between 1900 and 1909: they were so long that they required diagonal iron strapping for support, they visibly undulated as they passed through the waves, and had to be constantly pumped because they leaked so badly. The 329-ft U.S.S. Wyoming was the largest, and the ark was over 100 feet longer. Boat rot is present in every wooden vessel and is enhanced by moisture and poor ventilation, and teredos eat their way through wood, riddling planks and timbers with small holes.) Noah placed a window one cubit square at the top of the vessel, but when openings are at the same elevation in a building, especially if near the top, air circulation is very poor, particularly in a densely packed, three-tiered ark: virtually no fresh air could ever reach the lower decks, leading to a rising concentration of dust and microorganisms, condensation on bedding and floors, and resultant chilling, loss of appetite, and susceptibility to respiratory disease. The cages needed to be custom-made to accommodate the needs of various beasts: feeding and watering troughs need to be the correct height for easy access but not on the floor, where they would get filthy; the cages for horned animals must have bars spaced properly to prevent the horns from getting stuck, while rhinos require round "bomas" for the same reason; a heavy leather body sling is needed for transporting giraffes; primates require tamper-proof locks on their doors; perches must be the correct diameter for each particular bird's foot; if flooring is too hard, hooves may be injured, if too soft, they may grow too quickly and permanently damage ankles, rats will develop ulcers without roper floors, and ungulates must have a cleated surface or they will slip and fall. Many birds must have high roofs with room to fly, and even a pond snail needs a gallon of water for adequate living. Many animals need elements of their natural environment present: Squirrels and sloths need trees to climb, armadillos, viscachas, and others require soil in which they can scrape and burrow; capybaras and tapirs must have pools of water for bathing; otters require running water. Ungulates in transport have to be made to stand up hourly to revive circulation in their limbs. The platypus would have to be maintained with a device consisting of a water tank, a nest, and tunnels with rubber gaskets to squeeze water out of its fur to prevent the nest getting wet and the animal developing pneumonia. Wading birds develop leg weakness and should be transported in special stockings; peacocks and long-tailed pheasants may need to have their tails splinted and wrapped in bandages. Woodpeckers' cages would need a special coating, and many other animals, from termites to rodents, would gnaw through a normal stall. Excessive moisture is extremely deleterious to most reptiles, while low humiditiy would prove fatal to many amphibians. Burrowing invertebrates, such as worms, crabs, and clams, will perish without proper substrate. Polar animals, chinchillas, snow leopards, frogs and many other creatures are apt to perish in hot conditions. Reptiles not only require an optimum temperature level, but must have it reduced cyclically to simulate diurnal and seasonal rhythms.

  10. Complex plumbing systems of pipes and pumps, air-gaps and back-flow valves, filters, and chemical treatments are necessary to provide potable water and dispose of sewage. Enclosures must be keep clean. A sable antelope or red hartebeest needs a 57-cubic-ft space for the brief journey from capture to quarantine; a zebra needs 77 cubic ft, a medium-sized giraffe, 99; an eland, 110; and a hippopotamus or small elephant, 214; these seven species require more than 5,600 times the allotment per specimen for a three-day trip. Many animals have highly specialized diets: koalas eat only certain types of Eucalyptus leaves, the giant panda eats bamboo shoots, primates need fresh fruit, many birds develop cramps and spasms if they don't get sufficient calcium, desert rodents are poisoned by excessive protein, carnivores need fresh meat, vampire bats and mosquitos require fresh blood. Carnivores deprived of bones to chew develop peridontal disease, rodents need to gnaw or their teeth will overgrow, the tearing beak of eagles, the seed-cracking beak of parrots, and the bill strainer of flamingos also overgrow if unused. Snakes, penguins, and bats will only eat living food because they must see it move to seize it; praying mantises will eat each other if no live food is available. If all eight humans on the ark worked 16 hours per day at the chore, each animal would wind up with just 44.3 seconds of attention, even if each animal only ate once. A random sampling of over 100 zoos showed a ratio of 25.4 animals per zoo staffer; at this ratio, the great boat would have needed a staff of 151,926 to care for every creature aboard. Elephants consume 300 pounds of hay per day, hippos 80-100 pounds. Many insectivores and birds eat their body weight every 24 hours. Many animals are not physiologically capable of surviving on an occasional meal; rodents, cud chewers, and insectivores are continuous feeders. An adult elephant would produce 40 tons of waste during the voyage, even a sheep would excrete 34 tons per year. The vertebrates would produce 25,508 tons of waste, six times heavier than the ark itself. The lack of ventilation would produce particularly dire consequences with respect to the tons of waste accumulating in the bottom deck. Besides being a nursery for every conceivable pathogen, it would also unleash large quantities of such toxic gases as ammonia, methane, and hydrogen sulfide (which leads to appetite loss and hyperexcitability at concentrations as low as 20 parts per million; agitation of stored slurry can elevate levels to 800 ppm). Methane is highly explosive at concentrations of 5-15% oxygen, so even a few hundred tons of waste would rapidly convert the ark into a floating bomb.


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