Dust flux, Vostok ice core

Dust flux, Vostok ice core
Two dimensional phase space reconstruction of dust flux from the Vostok core over the period 186-4 ka using the time derivative method. Dust flux on the x-axis, rate of change is on the y-axis. From Gipp (2001).

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

To an old friend

Dear Neighbour:

I'm writing this letter to invite you over for a barbecue later this week if you have time. I know we don't talk much any more. Your house is too dark and with your guards and their dogs, it's too dangerous for me to try. Remember how we used to talk over the fence while doing the gardening or mowing the lawn? Those days are behind us. I miss them.

You've changed in the last dozen years since some boys from across town vandalized your property, killing part of your family. The neighbourhood had a great deal of sympathy for you at that time. Remember how afterwards a few of us brought over a meal for you and we had a quiet celebration of your kind spirit and remembrance of those who died.

Unfortunately, rather than opening up to us you drew inward. Worse, you plotted terrible revenge against your tormentors and caused great harm to many families (who have never been positively connected with the crime committed against your family) on the other side of town. This has earned the enmity of many of the people who once supported you; and lost the sympathy of many of your neighbours.

I remember how I often used to see you standing out on your front lawn, radio-controller in hand, while amusing the neighbourhood kids as you performed aerial stunts with your model planes. Now I never see you, but your planes are flying everywhere, over the neighbourhood and across town. Our suspicions that you had armed some of these were confirmed with the news of mysterious explosions on the other sided of town. At the last neighbourhood meeting, you insisted that they made us all safer, and ignored our general nervousness.

You have alarmed people all over town. I am sorry about the occasional acts of vandalism that still occur on your property. Of course it is unjustified, but some of it is, I am sorry to say, understandable.

Your home, which was once open and welcoming, is dark and brooding, covered with fearsome weapons, and surrounded by heavy-set guards with dead eyes. I still recall with horror the screaming of that girl down the street who tried to sell you cookies for a school fundraiser.

I was planning to deliver this in person, but the wife is worried about your model planes flying over the property and really doesn't want to be strip-searched by your security team. In any case,  I don't dare walk up to your front door to ring the doorbell. So I'm sending this by email. I hope you understand.

I would wish you good luck in your endeavours, but don't approve of them. So I'll just wish you well instead.


A neighbour

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