Monday, January 21, 2013
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Thursday, January 10, 2013
END OF AN ERA
by Micha F. Lindemans
Ragnarok ("Doom of the Gods"), also called Gotterdammerung, means the end of the cosmos in Norse mythology. It will be preceded by Fimbulvetr, the winter of winters. Three such winters will follow each other with no summers in between. Conflicts and feuds will break out, even between families, and all morality will disappear. This is the beginning of the end.
The wolf Skoll will finally devour the sun, and his brother Hati will eat the moon, plunging the earth [into] darkness. The stars will vanish from the sky. The cock Fjalar will crow to the giants and the golden cock Gullinkambi will crow to the gods. A third cock will raise the dead.
The earth will shudder with earthquakes, and every bond and fetter will burst, freeing the terrible wolf Fenrir. The sea will rear up because Jormungand, the Midgard Serpent, is twisting and writhing in fury as he makes his way toward the land. With every breath, Jormungand will stain the soil and the sky with his poison. The waves caused by the serpent's emerging will set free the ship Naglfar, and with the giant Hymir as their commander, the giants will sail towards the battlefield. From the realm of the dead a second ship will set sail, and this ship carries the inhabitants of hell, with Loki as their helmsman. The fire giants, led by the giant Surt, will leave Muspell in the south to join against the gods. Surt, carrying a sword that blazes like the sun itself, will scorch the earth.
Meanwhile, Heimdall will sound his horn, calling the sons of Odin and the heroes to the battlefield. From all the corners of the world, gods, giants, dwarves, demons and elves will ride towards the huge plain of Vigrid ("battle shaker") where the last battle will be fought. Odin will engage Fenrir in battle, and Thor will attack Jormungand. Thor will victorious, but the serpent's poison will gradually kill the god of thunder. Surt will seek out the swordless Freyr, who will quickly succumb to the giant. The one-handed Tyr will fight the monstrous hound Garm and they will kill each other. Loki and Heimdall, age-old enemies, will meet for a final time, and neither will survive their encounter. The fight between Odin and Fenrir will rage for a long time, but finally Fenrir will seize Odin and swallow him. Odin's son Vidar will at once leap towards the wolf and kill him with his bare hands, ripping the wolf's jaws apart.
Then Surt will fling fire in every direction. The nine worlds will burn, and friends and foes alike will perish. The earth will sink into the sea.
After the destruction, a new and idyllic world will arise from the sea and will be filled with abundant supplies. Some of the gods will survive, others will be reborn. Wickedness and misery will no longer exist and gods and men will live happily together. The descendants of Lif and Lifthrasir will inhabit this earth.
Ragnarök does not mean "Twilight of the Gods"; that phrase is the result of a famous mistranslation. "Ragnarökr" or "Ragnarøkr" means "doom of the powers" or "destruction of the powers" (where "powers" means "gods").
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
ISOSTASY: A WORK IN PROGRESS
'We're lucky': Nordic land rising faster than sea level
LULEA, Sweden -- A Stone Age camp that used to be by the shore is now 125 miles from the Baltic Sea. Sheep graze on what was the seabed in the 15th century. And Sweden's port of Lulea risks getting too shallow for ships.
In contrast to worries from the Maldives to Manhattan of storm surges and higher ocean levels caused by climate change, the entire northern part of the Nordic region is rising and, as a result, the Baltic Sea is receding.
"In a way we're lucky," said Lena Bengten, environmental strategist at the Lulea Municipality in Sweden, pointing to damage from superstorm Sandy that killed more than 200 people from Haiti to the United States.
The uplift of almost 0.4 inches a year, one of the highest rates in the world, is part of a continuing geological rebound since the end of the Ice Age removed a vast ice sheet from regions around the Arctic Circle.
"It's a bit like a foam-rubber mattress. It takes a while to return to normal after you get up," said Martin Vermeer, a professor of geodesy at Aalto University in Finland. Finland gains 2.7 sq miles a year as the land rises.
In the Lulea region just south of the Arctic Circle, mostly flat with pine forests and where the sea freezes in winter, tracts of land have emerged, leaving some Stone Age, Viking and medieval sites inland.
That puts human settlements gradually out of harm's way from sea flooding, unlike low-lying islands from Tuvalu to Kiribati or cities from New York to Shanghai. Facebook is investing in a new data center in Lulea on land that was once on the seabed.
But rising land also means costs. Lulea is planning to deepen its port by 2020 to let in bigger ships and offset land rise at a cost of 1.6 billion Swedish crowns ($237.86 million).
"Even if we didn't have the ambition to have larger ships we would still have to do it on a smaller scale just to compensate for the land rise," said Roger Danell, head of the port.
Dredging just for existing ships would cost $60.46 million as the water gets shallower at the port that was last deepened in the 1970s, construction manager Jeanette Lestander said. Main exports are iron ore and the main import is coal.
But a projected rise in sea levels due to global warming means dredging to offset land rise for the next 40 years will be slightly less than in the 1970s.
"The rate of sea-level fall will be slowing," Lestander said during a visit to the port. The future sea fall is estimated at 0.28 inches a year from 0.35 inches.
In the north of Sweden, 125 miles inland and 558 feet above current sea level, archaeologists recently found a 10,700 year-old Stone Age hunters' camp near Pajala that was originally by the Ancylus Lake, the forerunner of the Baltic Sea.
"We carbon-dated burnt bones from a fireplace," archaeologist Olof Ostlund at the Norrbottens museum said. The hunters would have been near the retreating ice sheet that was once 1.9 miles thick.
Experts examined sediments that showed the camp was on the shore of the former giant lake, briefly isolated from the North Sea by land uplift in the south before breaking through again.
Lulea's old town, with a 15th century church and bright red-painted wooden houses, was originally built on an island for safety when it was as an outpost of the then Swedish-Finnish Kingdom to counter Russian influence near the Arctic Circle.
Now the village is high and dry, out of sight of the sea. Sheep graze on a field in what used to be the port. In one spot, Sweden's coastline has risen about 984 feet since the Ice Age ended about 10,000 years ago.
Water receding after Biblical flood?
The falling water level puzzled people for generations. Some Christians believed it was caused by still-receding waters after the Biblical story of Noah who built an Ark to rescue the world's animals from a God-sent flood.
Elsewhere in the world, many nations are worried by potential costs if sea levels rise in line with scenarios by the U.N. panel of climate scientists for a gain of 7-24 inches this century after 6.7 inches in the last century.
The panel says that rising temperatures, caused by emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, are the cause.
The U.N. projection excludes the possibility of an acceleration of the melt of Greenland and Antarctica, because that is uncertain.
Even so, many experts expect a quickening thaw and say that sea levels could rise in total by 3.3 feet this century.
Near Lulea, local resident Hans Lindberg, 56, looks out of the wooden seaside cabin that his parents built in 1960 toward what was then the island of Kalkholmen a few hundred yards away.
"We could look out from here and only see the sea," he said, pointing to a muddy bank where reeds are growing and linking the island to the mainland. Residents of the former island say they fear the link may bring unwanted visitors -- perhaps burglars.
"You can walk to the island now. When I was young my father had a heavy boat that we could pull through the shallow part of the channel. That's now impossible," he said.
As evidence of the change, he shows a faded album with a black and white photo of two young girls -- his sister and cousin -- playing in a sandpit in the 1960s by the cabin. It shows an open sea with no sign of the muddy causeway.
news/2012/11/27/15475225-were- lucky-nordic-land-rising- faster-than-sea-level?lite& ocid=msnhp&pos=7
…God-sent flood… ( see coming "LOO at The SOO")
Great Lakes boaters and shippers to likely face record-low water levels
By Dave Alexander | firstname.lastname@example.org MLive.com
on October 31, 2012 at 2:13 PM, updated October 31, 2012 at 4:07 PM
on October 31, 2012 at 2:13 PM, updated October 31, 2012 at 4:07 PM
MUSKEGON, MI – Mariners – both commercial and recreational – are being warned that the Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Superior water levels are dangerously close to all-time record lows.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wednesday provided estimates that if the current trend of Great Lakes water level drops continue, the three upper lakes – Michigan, Huron and Superior – will hit historic lows later this fall or in early 2013….