Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Sunday September 19, 2004. A drive down the Mississippi River with Pat Craft, which turned out not to show us as much of the river as we'd hoped. In some places, trees blocked the view. In others, industrial structures blocked the view. And sometimes there weren't any public roads near enough to the river.

But the sign near Hasting, MN which said "Visit our burning showroom" would almost have been worth the trip by itself.

In some ways, the parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin along the river are very much like the area in which I grew up (zipcode 12404 and thereabouts). Including touristy/artsy towns, which I would say Hastings and Red Wing, MN definitely are.

We had a bit to eat at the Spiral co-op grovery in Hastings. I noticed several other Spiral-named businesses in Hastings. Turns out they're named after the Hastings Spiral Bridge (demolished 1951).

We ended the trip at Red Wing. It's apparently a good place to buy pottery, though Red Wing pottery is no longer made. Red Wing shoes are still made, and sold, there.
From a discussion in rec.arts.sf.composition:

Some possibilities:

1) Much of what people do that they think isn't magic actually _is_ magic. Each person has only so much magical power available. If you use yours up on, for example, arranging for political candidates to be struck by lightning, then it could be a while till you build up enough new magical power to use telephones or to write a check.

2) Once, everyone had such abilities. Then came the Skeegle Plague, which killed most of the people who lacked a gene which conferred immunity. That gene has drawbacks; for one thing, it's correlated with a very low level of magical ability. (Another is lack of ability to use flint axes as musical instruments; much of humanity's finest music was thus lost.)

The Skeegle Plague was exterminated for all time in the 19th century, as a side-effect of Jack the Ripper's illfated attempt to invoke the ghost of H. P. Lovecraft. (The history of attempts at summoning ghosts from the future is too long to go into here.) Since then, the number and percentage of people with magical abilities has been rising. They're still a minority; but in a millennium or two, they will be the majority.
Writing: daily exercise -- I'm counting the above.

"They Might Be Windmills" -- Combined a walk-on character with a major character.
Decluttering: Got some trash out.

Mindwork: A bit of short meditation.

From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php:
Public Release: 19-Sep-2004
Nature Genetics
Genes expose secrets of sex on the side
The guys most successful in sowing wild oats passed on the proof in their genes. By using those genetic smoking guns, researchers have new insights into ancient mating and migration patterns in humans.
National Institutes of Health
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