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More than one Sci Fi author has addressed this, as have scientists in the Gaia Hypothesis...

Off the top of my head (my entire library is left behind in our evacuated house) all I can recall is "Earth" by David Brin, and you'll have to look up the Gaia Hypothesis because I can't remember if that's the name of a book or if it was just incorporated into books and articles.

Think of the interconnected synapses of your brain and body, and imagine the interconnectedness of all beings. Life appears in niches I never could have imagined: next to boiling hot vents in the abyssal depths, in bubbles in the underside of ice in the Antarctic... Astonishing.

I am shocked, SHOCKED, that an alumnus of SNL would engage in sight gags and raunchy humor!!!

While on a comedy entertainment tour for the troops no less!!! Dear gods what is the world coming to?!

Now, go away please.

Weve been evacuated from our new home due to massive Ventura CA fire

Keep a good thought for all those in its path as it is explosive and wind driven. We had so little warning due to power outage I thought I heard voices in the street and went out to see red and blue flashing lights. Couldnít make out what they were saying so flagged down a passing car and heard mandatory evacuation. Looked at hill in back of house and saw entire sky was red. Crap. Wish Iíd had more notice, but I woke hubby, leashed doggy, grabbed our medicine and headed for our inlaws.
This is the real deal ó we have our two elderly cars and the clothes we stand up in. The Santa Ana winds are howling outside. Well, I also have my purse and cellphone, and can charge the cell in my car.
Tomorrow we find out what happens to our home overnight but now itís after 2am and I need to sleep and also donít want to drain the battery anymore
Thank you my friends for being here. Iíll check in when I can.

Kompromat comes in many forms, but sexual behavior is visual and easy to understand...

The Russians are very skilled at luring people in step by step, offering a favor here, an exchange of favors there, creating obligations both legal and illegal, creating the illusion of friendship but the reality of dependency, until the mark is caught in a snare. Then the mark can be played along until the spymaster (Kislyak; Putin) is ready to reel them in, and the mark cannot refuse. They must pay the piper when the tune ends.

Of course it's money laundering. Rachel Maddow has reported on this consistently month after month. Money laundering can land you in prison, bigly, and while the feds are at it they can make you forfeit all your assets, right down to your gold cufflinks. in Trump's case, this is a family business -- his kids, at least Ivana's 3 spawn plus Jared -- are in it up to their eyeballs, and they are very much at risk.

Motive #1 to keep playing along with Putin.

What does Putin want in return? Oh, not much -- just a little light treason. It probably didn't seem like much to men like Trump and Manafort (and Tillerson) who deal transnationally -- money, money, golden thrones -- and what is America and its problems to them? Absolutely nothing, from their Olympian heights. Just an address and a name on a US passport. Life is all transactional, and Putin (to them) is just another player transacting deals.

Putin, however, knows very well how much his asked-for payment is worth, and it means everything to him: the cheapening of America's name in the world community, the weakening of America's diplomatic power, driving divisions inside America deeper and deeper, making us doubt our institutions, our government, ourselves, and bankrupting our economy. You name it, Putin has struck pure gold this time.

Motive #2 to keep playing along with Putin, and to deny deny deny: It has finally occured to those around Trump, if not the Orange One himself, that they are in vastly more trouble than they ever bargained for. They are caught, and desperately hoping to bargain their way out of their demise. Putin is probably laughing, but Mueller is not.

I am so very very sorry for your loss, KentuckyWoman.Your intuition about the surgery might be right

I know my mother had a personality change from what may have been unnecessary bypass surgery when she was about 80. (She passed away at 82.) Other people saw it -- it was directly after the surgery. She and I had been at odds for years (not politics) and that worsened, which was bad enough. She became completely unreasonable to others. She also became paranoid and alienated some dear friends of hers that I had to console at her memorial service.

During the period after Mom's surgery my sister and I stumbled on an article in a medical journal, and I had a talk with an old friend of mine who worked in the sales side of the medical industry. Mom probably shouldn't have had the surgery, but since Medicare pays hospitals and doctors for the whole thing without question, why, it has become very common for very old people.

As for my friend, a quite bright professional who reads medical journals himself, there's this bit of info: while your blood does get filtered while you are under the knife, it is being filtered by a machine, which leaves something called microthrombi circulating in the blood. That's right: microscopic thromboses, which can cause microscopic but real damage to the brain. Not always, certainly, but enough that it is a known potential side effect of the surgery.

You are having a worse time of it because your brother is so much younger and you were so much closer. I don't know what to tell you, except to trust your intuitions and your observations about the wreck of this once rational and loving personality. Your grief is real and justified. I could suggest counseling, if you want to try that. Prayer, if you are a praying person. I clung to this Buddhist meditation as my family fell apart over Mom, and it helped, as you start with yourself and move outward to named persons, and then to all beings.

May I be peaceful
May I be happy
May I be safe
May I awaken to the light of my true nature
May I be free from suffering

May all beings be peaceful
May all beings be happy
May all beings be safe
May all beings awaken to the light of their true nature
May all beings be free from suffering

Someone may be along to post the long version, but this is the short version engraved on my bracelet, quick and available.

May you find peace.

Bre'r Rabbit (Brother Rabbit) is an African-American Trickster tale-cycle...

As with all Tricksters, he gets himself into and out of trouble regularly, with his would-be nemesis Brother Fox. During one epic scene he has gotten covered with the abundant sticky tar of the region due to his curiosity (remember there's a state nickname of "Tarheels" ) and Fox is gloating. Rabbit pleads over and over not to be thrown into the briar patch. Fox, naturally, tosses Rabbit into the thorns. Rabbit goes to cover, laughing like hell, crowing that he had been born and bred in a briar patch.

Hekate, Mythologist

The RW declared war on us, and no lie is too big or too petty. Kerry was a Swiftboat HERO...

...and they turned his entire war record into a nasty joke.

Stop it. Just stop it.

Suuuure. Just like Obama's citizenship was "put to rest" by the release of his birth certificate

This is Birtherism by another name. Don't fall for it and don't give these bullies what they say they want. They will deny your truth and move on to another topic to hit you over the head with.

SPOT ON. One final point...

Final point: Why are Trump and his racist enablers trying to rob a fellow American of her family heritage? Every family has stories that about their ancestors that inspire them, and it becomes a kind of mythology, and it is a heritage in that family, specific DNA notwithstanding. Senator Elizabeth Warren, PhD, consumer advocate extraordinaire, has done nothing to dishonor the family mythology that was handed down to her word of mouth over many generations.

This is just another case of Birtherism, a demand to "prove" that you are who you say you are, that you produce your birth certificate, that you show you are a "real" American. Barack Obama's birth certificate was never the issue to the racists; his blackness was the issue, and Trump used that to the fullest. Elizabeth Warren's blue eyes and family stories are not the issue; the issue is she is an uppity smart-as-a-whip woman and Trump is a misogynistic bully to his bones.

Democrats, please stop buying into this stinking pile of horseshit shoveled out by Trump.

I don't recall any verse in the Bible commenting on the shape of the Earth...

I think people not involved in mathematics just believed the evidence of their eyes and "common sense."

Two cultures that did go in for math and geometry in a big way were the Greeks and the Egyptians, but they had a tiny leisure class that could spend time thinking about it and a larger professional class that could put it to practical use. Columbus didn't "discover" the shape of the Earth, he just used the knowledge as a mariner.

Most people throughout history were just busy getting on with their lives herding sheep and farming small plots with their own manual labor. They didn't have time for much speculation. The Earth looked "flat" (with mountains), so why waste time arguing about it?

Elaborate Christian theology arose in Medieval times, and cast a long shadow having as much to do with politics and power as anything else. American "evangelical" religion is a case by itself -- adherents tend to be ignorant of anything a European Christian would recognize as actual theology.

Since the Enlightenment, I think Western cultures have counted on public education to build on whatever scientific advances had happened and were happening. You didn't have to be an elite at the pinnacle of education to be taught the basics, and if the culture around you trusted in the basics -- well you get the point.

Current American education and current American popular culture have proven how fragile that can actually be, and how fragile democracy can be.

But back to my original point -- it's been some years since I sat down to read the Bible, but I don't recall the shape of the Earth being actually discussed therein. People tend to project, and tend to interpret.

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