D-Minus Zero

November 11, 2020

This is the 500th post I’ve issued on this blog in the ten-plus years that it has been running.  During that decade, the text-centric, medium-form blog genre has been rendered more-or-less obsolete.  You’ve already met the usual suspects: ultra-short-form text, digital photography, and video.  These are perfect media for people with little or nothing to say, because who’s really listening anyway?

How this blog began

A colleague talked me into it.  He had a blog (named after his dog), and used it to discuss interests that weren’t (directly) related to work.  He probably wanted to know what my interests were.  I started off blogging about the sport of rowing and the profession of intelligence analysis, since those were two topics that occupied a lot of my time back then.  For a while, I wrote about the nuts and bolts of revolution … but counter-revolution was in fashion at the time.  More recently, I have tended to employ a somewhat allegorical approach by using portions of the Chinese feng-shui belief system as a springboard for oracular social commentary and predictions about the likely course of future events.  Some of those predictions have materialized pretty much on schedule.  Others, not so much.  Thus far.

How it went

Through it all, I had the sense that I was writing for an audience that didn’t actually exist. Or, if it did exist, wasn’t paying attention.  In the case of ‘Waking the Dragon,’ the most avid readership –for a while– seemed to be among the Russian spies of GRU.  This was deeply ironic, because at the time I was trying to warn seemingly-oblivious U.S. intell agencies about the nature of the threat posed by Russia’s strategic ambitions.  By now, you know how that turned out.

Where it’s going … going … gone

Anyway, I have other interests now.  Blogging for an imaginary audience isn’t one of them; thus my decision to shut this shit down.  I have plenty more to say, but a blog (at least this blog) ain’t the place to say it.

I’ll leave you with this –the only life lesson worth learning, and yet one that is actively suppressed rather than explicitly taught:

Every woman in the entire universe needs to be treated with kindness, warmth and love.  In far too many cases, the job ain’t getting done, so at least try to be nice.  And make eye contact.


Doggie Style

September 13, 2020

If you’ve had enough of the Fowl Month with its yin wood above yin metal, take heart.  Next up, the Dog Month.  Beginning on the 17th of September … which is also (U.S.) Constitution Day according to my 2020 copy of the Old Farmer’s Almanac calendar.  This is not an official federal holiday, nor even a Hallmark holiday: there just ain’t a market for greeting cards that celebrate the United States Constitution.  Especially these days.  Separation of powers clearly isn’t the same thing as balance of power, and cracks in the facade of rule-of-law have now become yawning crevasses and vertiginous chasms.

In contrast to the yin-on-yin of Fowl Aug-tember, the Dog Month is characterized by Yang Fire (bǐng 丙) above Yang Earth ( 戌), occurring in the context of an inexorably weakening Yang Metal Year in its waning months.  The bǐng stem is associated with the South, the branch with the West-Northwest.  The overall configuration of stem and branch in the Dog Month is mildly auspicious: Fire-creates-Earth (vulcanism), so the month’s celestial stem is adding Yang strength to its associated Yang terrestrial branch.  However –and there’s always a ‘however’– the Rat Year’s Yang Metal (庚) celestial stem is in a destructive relationship with the Month’s Yang Fire stem: Fire-melts-Metal.  At the same time, the Rat’s Yang Water ( 子) terrestrial branch is in conflict with the Dog’s Yang Earth ( 戌) branch: Earth-obstructs-Water.  The year-month celestial stems are in a West/South configuration.  The year-month terrestrial branches are aligned North/West-Northwest.  Clash is inevitable.

The most superficial interpretation of the Dog Month’s elemental interaction suggests that Yang-Fire-above-Yang-Earth will take the form of volcanic eruption in a mountainous region.  The South direction combined with the West-Northwest might imply that we should perhaps expect something in the West-Northwest of the earth’s Southern Hemisphere.  How about Heard Island?  Haven’t heard anything lately. I haven’t yet given up on Krakatau, but never count out the ever-active Andes: Bolivia.  Peru.  Ecuador?  Or perhaps the eruption will (once again) be political rather than volcanic –as we’re now seeing at the fringes of the Northern Hemisphere in Colombia.  And in Kamchatka.

The United States’ version of this Fire-Earth conjunction has arrived early in Oregon and California, where climate change, drought, pine-bark beetles and carelessness have combined to spark widespread, massive wildfires that are ravaging huge swaths of mountain terrain.  Scores of humans will probably die; so will millions of trees, and billions of ‘lesser’ life forms.

“When one man dies it’s a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.”  Josef Stalin (et al.)

Perhaps you’re beginning to get the idea that scorched Earth awaits us in the Dog Month.  For me, the chain of associations triggered by this FireEarth combination calls to mind the original oddball team of Sherman and Peabody, whose March to the Sea (had it ever actually occurred) would no doubt have ended with an object lesson: a foredoomed attempt to halt the rising tide by royal command alone.


August 21, 2020

What a difference a mere two years can make.  Thirty months ago, Yang Jiechi received the red-carpet, gold-backdrop treatment when he visited the capital of the Moonrise Kingdom in March 2018.  Nowadays, he’s obliged to enter the country by the back door, wearing a face mask.  And he’s being “hosted” in the anti-Communist heartland of Korea, within the Busan perimeter.  During the seventieth anniversary of the event itself, no less.

Yang Jiechi, a member of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Politburo, arrived in Busan on Friday for talks with Suh Hoon, director of national security for President Moon Jae-in.  The two plan to ‘exchange opinions on issues of mutual concern, such as South Korea-China coronavirus response cooperation, bilateral relations, including high-level exchanges, as well as the Korean Peninsula and international security situations,’ Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok said at a press briefing.

A Cheong Wa Dae official later told reporters that ‘the issue of President Xi’s [projected] visit to South Korea is expected to be among major agenda items as well.'”

Nice touch: relegate Comrade Eleven‘s historic visit to the status of a footnote/afterthought in the official commentary.  Those Koreans definitely know how to play hardball even with a thin roster.  However, all this symbolism and contorted protocol isn’t directed exclusively at China.  Guess what: there’s also a message for the would-be usurper tyrant of Beautyland and his praetorian guard.  If only they were sharp enough to comprehend it…

Allow me to provide a crude translation (Atlantic City-style) into terms that crude personalities can understand: we will stall your hamfisted attempts at extortion until you tire, depart or are removed.  We value our alliance against the Chinese even if you don’t.  Our alternatives are as scant as yours.

Meanwhile, in the West-southwest …

As of August 19th, the luni-solar year has entered the Fowl Month.  During 2020, the Fowl’s yin metal terrestrial branch [yǒu 酉] is paired with the yin wood 8th Celestial Stem [yǐ 乙].  As you undoubtedly recall, the recently-concluded Monkey Month featured the combination of Yang Wood above Yang Metal.  Well, in Damyang [담양] Korea the transition from Yang Wood to yin wood and Yang Metal to yin metal has been marked by an interesting yin fire event.  Fortunately, Yang Fire isn’t on the feng shui menu until the Dog Month (October).

“A fire at an aluminum powder factory in Damyang, South Jeolla Province broke out on August 10, 2020, and is still continuing for the 12th straight day.  The properties of aluminum powder make it difficult to extinguish such fires with water.”

Indeed.  Lunghu suggests the liberal –even profligate– use of aqueous foam to block flow of oxygen to the flame.  Whether that approach succeeds or not, it may further intrigue you to know that aluminum powder (a yin metal both because it is soft and because it is in powder form) is the yin (minor) ingredient in the material known as thermite … when combined with powdered iron oxide (a Yang Metal).

“Thermite requires high heat for initiation and specific igniters must be used (sound familiar?).  Thermite is safe to handle and transport because of its high ignition temperature.  It is useful for welding machinery parts or steel plates, [but] it can cause holes to be burned through metal and to drip molten metal onto interior components.”

This particular Damyang factory is probably supplying aluminum powder to various auto parts subcontractors affiliated with the Kia Motors assembly plant in nearby Gwangju.  Molded and sintered aluminum powder is often used to make lightweight mechanical components that need not endure high stresses.  Certain types of 3D printing also employs aluminum powder feedstock.  Circuit board heat sinks might be an example of such a product.  In Damyang, there’s no indication that heaps of iron oxide were present in proportions of 3:2.  So why is this minor industrial incident at all noteworthy?

Well, on the one hand you have yin metal present in Yang Metal quantities (see image above).  At the same time, you have yin wood present in Yang Wood quantities:

“[Located in South Jeolla Province,] Damyang is one of the northernmost places on the Korean peninsula where bamboo can be found, and its bamboo forests are well-known among Koreans.”

So, this fire spans the period from the end of the Monkey Month (Yang Wood/Yang Metal) to the Fowl Month (yin wood/yin metal).  And it is occurring in the West-southwest of the country, in the transition zone between the Monkey’s Southwest and the Fowl’s West region.  Yang Water –let alone yin water— can’t put out this smoldering blaze.  Therefore, Damyang’s obscure factory fire is currently functioning as a visible feng shui emblem (or manifestation) of the unceasing Dao in action and motion.

“This is something that should be considered carefully and savored thoroughly.”


Time For Change

August 9, 2020

Recent events have obliged me to reluctantly conclude that for reasons of his own, Tai Sui (the Grand Duke of Heaven) has decided to extend the Sheep Month beyond its customary four weeks.  I say this because yin water continues to inundate yin earth, despite the fact that the Monkey Month has ‘officially’ begun, is more than half over, and is about to enter its third week.  In Korea, in the United States, and most recently in Greece, heavy rainfall has caused flooding, mudslides, and general havoc in the lives of earthbound creatures.  The birds aren’t all that happy either.

At least seven people were killed when torrential rain and thunderstorms caused flash flooding on the Greek island of Evia over the weekend, officials said on Sunday. Authorities had expected 63mm of rain to fall within 24 hours, but the latest confirmed measurement showed 350mm of rain [i.e., more than a foot!], said Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias.

Floods and landslides triggered by heavy downpours in South Korea’s central and southwestern regions have killed 31 people and left 11 others missing in just over a week, forcing more than 6,000 to evacuate, authorities said Sunday. Torrential rains that started on August 1 have wreaked havoc on Seoul and surrounding Gyeonggi Province; the central province of Chungcheong and southwestern Jeolla Province, causing massive flooding and destroying roads, houses and farmland. Some 23,000 hectares of farmland were swamped or buried, while 13,370 cases of damage to public and private facilities were reported. Typhoon Jangmi, the season’s fifth typhoon, is forecast to hit the southern region of the peninsula on Monday. The typhoon is likely to bring rainfall of up to 300 mm [i.e., just about a foot of yin water].


In the United States, we have First World problems in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias [two each of the English-language top-seven high-frequency letters]:  trees down, electricity service interrupted, and an unwelcome visit from the prevaricator-in-chief to the entirely appropriate venue of Deal, New Jersey.

Meanwhile, to my surprise, the Monkey Month has made its appearance in an unexpected form … exactly where expected.  I had been expecting the manifestation of August’s Yang Wood above Yang Metal to reveal itself in the form of an aircraft crash in the Great Smoky Mountains.  Instead, we get this –a 5.1M earthquake in Sparta, North Carolina:

An August 9th, 2020 M 5.1 earthquake near Sparta, North Carolina, occurred as a result of oblique-reverse faulting in the upper crust of the North American plate. Large earthquakes are relatively uncommon in the region. Moderately damaging earthquakes strike the inland Carolinas every few decades.

Sure, the Earth’s molten iron core definitely counts as Yang Metal.  And the Cherokee National Forest most definitely counts as Yang Wood.  And Sparta, NC is very definitely south-southwest of Washington, DC.  So I guess it’s ‘official’.  Just a bit overdue.

And how’s that GOP notional convention in Charlotte, NC workin’ out for y’all? Thought so.

Oxi-dents Will Happen

August 5, 2020

What does Lunghu know about ammonium nitrate?  More than enough.  F’rinstance:

  • powerful oxidizer — explosive in the presence of sufficient fuel
  • requires an initiator to ignite/explode
  • relatively stable … if kept dry
  • progressively less stable as it absorbs moisture; not quite so much as potassium chlorate, but still …

What does Lunghu know about the industrial infrastructure of agricultural commodity distribution chains?  More than you, I’d bet.   F’rinstance, here’s what TM 31-200-1 Section 16 [Gas and Dust Explosives] has to say on the subject:

“Under some conditions, common gases act as a fuel.  When mixed with air, they will burn rapidly or even explode.  For some fuel-air mixtures, the range over which an explosion can occur is quite wide while for others the limits are narrow.”

This is why grain elevators in the United States are required to have dust control/suppression systems installed.  Even so, when you’re pouring tons of wheat and chaff down an enclosed shaft, there will be dust … and the slightest spark can trigger an explosion under the right conditions, like when the fuel-air mixture is in the happy zone.  And American grain elevators do occasionally blow up, just like Lebanese ones do.  Usually, however, there’s not an adjacent warehouse complex storing 2,750 tons of slightly damp ammonium nitrate fertilizer.  Even Trump-era OSHA functionaries would get a bit hinky about that.

What’s my point?

“An Egyptian-operated ship was unloading 5,000 tons of Ukrainian wheat in Beirut when a powerful blast ripped through the port but the cargo is “in good condition,” the shipping company’s operations director told Reuters on Wednesday.  Two Syrian crew members aboard the Mero Star were seriously injured in the blast and others were wounded, Farid Hashem said.”

Here’s my working hypothesis:  a wheat-dust explosion at the grain elevators provided an ignition initiation for the unstable ammonium nitrate stored in buildings just across the pier.  The ensuing chain reaction resulted in the massive explosion (figuratively) heard around the world.  Not only possible but also plausible.

I’m guessing that Farid Hashem‘s shipping company doesn’t have anywhere near enough insurance coverage to cope with this mess.  Luckily, the Lebanese are so notoriously negligent that the Port of Beirut warehouse/elevator operators are much more likely to take the fall.  Sharia law would probably decree that the guilty parties should be strapped to the nose cone of a Hezbollah missile and launched in a SSE direction.   In’shallah.


This post was updated on 06 August 2020 to revise upward the estimated volume of ammonium nitrate allegedly stored in Port of Beirut warehouses, and to append an image of damage to the grain silos there. All five people who read this blog will undoubtedly appreciate the added effort.


Simian Says …

July 18, 2020

On July 20th, the seventh lunar month will begin. Celestial Stem yin water guǐ 癸 will transform into Yang Wood jiǎ 甲. The Sheep’s Terrestrial Branch yin earth wèi 未 will change to the Monkey’s Yang Metal shēn 申.  Here are some things to bear in mind, starting from the top:

  • Jiǎ 甲 is the first of the ten Celestial Stems.  As such, it implicitly denotes the beginning of something new –even if it’s just a new iteration of the same old thing.
  • The Chinese character 甲 (jiǎ) has the meaning of ‘scales’ or ‘armor’.  Although traditional Chinese orthographers claim that the character is based on the tián 田 radical (meaning ‘field’), to my eye it seems equally likely that 甲 is a drastically simplified depiction of the scaly, armored pangolin: a blocky, scale-covered body with a tail sticking out.  Whatever.  It may be useful to remember that when threatened, the pangolin rolls up into a ball with its scaly armor facing outward.
  • The jiǎ 甲 celestial stem resides in a 36° arc of the compass centered on 54° : roughly NE by E.
  • Jiǎ 甲 is a homophone for 假, meaning something false, simulated, a pretender, a liar.


  • July’s terrestrial branch has been yin earth wèi 未.  Wèi 未 is Chinese word used for emphatic negation: Not!  On a fundamental geophysical plane, yin earth has been negated (and submerged) by yin water rainfall throughout the month.  From a humanoid societal perspective, the weak foundations of illegitimate social hierarchies have already seen quite a bit of emphatic refutation in various places around the world.  No need to stop now.
  • Although the earth element is nominally associated with the center rather than one of the cardinal directions, the Sheep’s wèi 未 resides in the SSW, perhaps among the Navajo shepherds of Arizona and New Mexico.
  • The negation of wèi 未 will shortly be replaced by the terrestrial branch Yang Metal shēn 申 during the Monkey Month.
  • The Chinese word shēn 申 means ‘to report’ or ‘explain’.  Perhaps liars and pretenders (假) will have some ‘splaining to do.
  • Shēn is also homophone of 伸 (to extend, stretch out) and 呻 (to chant, groan or moan).  Will the protracted ‘explanations’ of liars and pretenders prompt groans, moans and chants of “lock ’em up!”?  Remains to be seen.
  • In some dialects, the word sēn 森 is pronounced shēn: a close look at the character (three tree glyphs crowded together) reveals its meaning: ‘densely forested’.  Taken in this sense, the Yang Metal terrestrial branch shēn can be seen as properly correlated with the month’s Yang Wood jiǎ 甲 celestial stem, because Yang Wood can be understood as an emblem of vast forest or jungle.
  • Shēn 申 is associated with the SW by W direction: approximately 240°.  In the context of Yang Wood above Yang Metal, Americans might perhaps anticipate the possibility of a military aircraft crash in the Blue Ridge or Smoky Mountains (SW by W from the capital city).  For the French, the Pyrenees could be trouble.  In China, Yunnan.

If you’re looking for a positive short-term portent in the feng shui configuration of the brief 2020 Julius-Augustus era, here it is: in metaphysical terms, the alignment of Yang Wood above Yang Metal announces the ascendancy of natural fecundity over humanity’s pathetically inadequate artificial technology.  It will help to remember that –as the babalawos of Hispaniola have reminded us– the human species is the virus that truly ravages the Earth.

Lac Froid

July 8, 2020

Here’s a story with the Sheep Month, yin water and yin earth written all over it.  It’s got sheep, it’s got goats, it’s got (cold) yin water, and it’s got yin earth.  Where would you expect to find a place called ‘Cold Lake‘?  Where else but in the boreal (formerly) Frozen North, beneath the maple leaf flag:

In a battle against unwelcome weeds, an Alberta [a.k.a. Able Rat] air force base is recruiting a small army of cloven-hoofed troops.  According to an unusual [contract] tender that closed to bids on Monday, Canadian Forces Cold Lake 4 Wing Military Base has some steep and swampy terrain that is best managed by civilians of the animal variety.  Goats and sheep were first deployed at the base three years ago and have been lean, green eating machines for the base ever since.  The winning contractor will have to supply and deliver a herd of 250 animals, with at least 70 per cent of them goats.  They will spend their days chewing the grounds and their nights in a paddock.

“It’s really just to keep the vegetation low and it prevents other animals from taking up residence in the location,” said Capt. Mathew Strong, public affairs officer with 1 Canadian Air Division. … “They can get into those tight spaces, in between buildings and down into ditches where it’s a little harder to get with your weed whacker.  And that’s always the name of the game in an airfield like Cold Lake.”



Yin water above yin earth just keeps on keepin’ on:

“China raised its national emergency response level on Tuesday [July 7] as days of torrential rain triggered flood warnings across the country, killing more than 100 people and disrupting the first day of national college exams.  Guizhou, Anhui, Hunan and Hubei provinces were expected to record 250-280 millimeters (10-11 inches) of rain on Tuesday.  State media also reported that 21 people died and another 15 were injured after a bus crashed into a reservoir in southwest Guizhou province.”

“Hundreds of people in the Seymour Arm community of British Columbia’s North Shuswap region are without water after a mudslide destroyed vital infrastructure there. The mudslide was one of several incidents related to wet weather across the province over the past few days, as flooding persists for the Fraser, Quesnel and Chilcotin rivers among others.  Ongoing wet weather has saturated the ground and increased the risk of landslides.”

“Loud, damaging and repeated storms deluged the Washington, DC area Monday night [July 6].  The storms produced over 4 inches of flooding rain and winds over 60 mph, leaving flooded Metro stops, high water on roads, downed trees and electrical power outages.”

“A broad area of low pressure located near the coast of northeastern South Carolina … is expected to move northeastward near or just offshore of the North Carolina Outer Banks on Thursday, and then turn north-northeastward and move along the mid-Atlantic coast Friday. Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for [cyclone] development, and a tropical or subtropical cyclone is [70%] likely to form within the next day or so. The storm system is expected to produce locally heavy rainfall that could cause some flash flooding across portions of eastern North Carolina, the coastal mid-Atlantic, and southern New England during the next few days.”


Hey, I just predict this stuff:  I don’t actually report it, let alone cause it to happen.  That latter function would be Tai Sui‘s department.


Monkey Businessmen

July 6, 2020

Halfway through the Sheep Month, and yin water above yin earth –in the form of rain-induced flooding and otherwise– has continued to manifest itself in various places around the world:


Torrential rain hit Japan’s southwestern island of Kyushu on July 6, with at least one more river bursting its banks, as the death toll from three days of massive floods and mudslides rose to 44, including 14 at an old people’s home.  Although the rain had eased in Kumamoto by Sunday morning, collapsed bridges and blocked roads due to broad flooding and mudslides have isolated many communities in the region.  The floods destroyed houses and swept away vehicles, leaving many towns submerged under muddy water.  The latest floods are Japan’s worst natural disaster since Typhoon Hagibis killed about 90 people in October 2019.


The battered bodies of more than 120 jade miners were pulled from a sea of mud after a landslide in northern Myanmar on Thursday after one of the worst-ever accidents to hit the treacherous industry.  The disaster struck after heavy rainfall pounded the open-pit mines, close to the Chinese border in Kachin state, where billions of dollars of jade is believed to be scoured each year from bare hillsides.


Dozens of buildings have been damaged after more flash flooding in Lagos State, Nigeria.  Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) reported that teams responded to distress calls in 2 neighborhoods of the city of Ikorodu on 28 June.  This is the second flood event in the region over the last few days after damaging flash floods hit parts of Lagos City on 17 June.


Archaeologists have for the first time found Aboriginal artifacts on the seabed off Australia, opening a door to the discovery of ancient settlements flooded since the last ice age.  Hundreds of ancient stone tools made by Australia’s Indigenous people at least 7,000 years ago were discovered two meters underwater off the remote Western Australia coast, the research published in the PLOS ONE journal said.  A second site nearby revealed traces of human activity 14 meters below sea level dating back at least 8,500 years.


Ancient inhabitants of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula ventured deep into underground labyrinths beneath the jungle despite the danger: to mine red ochre pigment.  A paper published Friday in the journal Science Advances says there is evidence of people prospecting for the red pigment thousands of years ago during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, in what is today the state of Quintana Roo.  Back then, the caves were dry and farther inland.  Today, they are underwater and accessible via openings called cenotes.  But artifacts have been well preserved in caverns that became submerged as sea levels rose 7,000 to 8,000 years ago.  Evidence of the mine’s intensive use over a 2,000-year span suggests knowledge and skills were being passed from generation to generation.


More than 1.3 million people in Assam state have been hit by flooding. Barpeta, South Salmara and Nalbari were the worst affected districts.  According to the Central Water Commission (CWC), the Brahmaputra River was flowing above the danger mark at Nematighat, Tezpur, Guwahati, Goalpara and Dhubri.  Seven other rivers were also flowing over the red mark at several places.


More flooding has affected parts of East Malaysia after heavy rain in the state of Sarawak.  Around 1,000 people are isolated in Baram district in the north of Sarawak state after flooding on 30 June cut all links to the outside world.  Heavy rain has hit remote areas of the northern Sarawak districts of Baram, Marudi, Long Lama, Lawas and Limbang in the past few days.


Days of heavy rain [in late June] led to a massive mudslide in County Leitrim.  Tons of peat were lost in multiple landslides near Drunmkeeran, when the mountain bog slid down the Shass Mountain and through the Dawn of Hope Bridge, creating significant damage and making lasting impact on the environment.  A number of roads remain blocked following the mudslides, and dozens of farms have been affected, with wet peat blocking rivers and covering acres of land.  Leitrim County Council senior engineer Terence McGovern said that the mudslides appear to have been caused by a spell of good weather earlier in the summer which caused the bog to dry and develop cracks, which then filled with water when days of torrential rain arrived.


A rapidly extratropical bomb cyclone lashed southern Brazil on June 30, 2020, killing at least 10 people.  Winds of up to 110 km/h blew away tile roofs, sheet roofing, and power lines, resulting in disruptions that affected almost 1 million people.  The state governments of Parana, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina issued flood warnings and evacuated more than 1,000 households.  The Ijui and Gravatai rivers rose close to flood levels, while the Sinos River already hit above the flood stage near Campo Bom.

… and there’s another form of yin water that’s causing much wider concern:



The World Health Organization [has said that] SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, spreads primarily through small droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person, and that [these droplets] quickly fall to the ground. However, in a report published on Monday in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal, 239 scientists in 32 countries outlined evidence [indicating] that tiny airborne virus particles can infect people who breathe them in. How frequently the coronavirus can spread by the airborne or aerosol route –as opposed to by larger droplets in coughs and sneezes– is not (yet) clear. “If airborne transmission is possible but rare, then eliminating it wouldn’t have a huge impact,” said Dr. William Hanage {Han Age?], an epidemiologist at Harvard University‘s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.


Be that as it may, June/July’s yin water celestial stem is gradually giving way to the Yang Wood stem of the Monkey Month, which begins on the 20th with the Monkey’s Yang Metal Terrestrial Branch coming into effect.  From my many blogposts tediously repeating the fact, you may perhaps recall that 2020 is a Yang Metal year.  Thus, for thirty days, the Monkey’s branch will be echoing, reinforcing and supporting the Year’s ferruginous stem.  At the same time, the Year’s terrestrial branch (the Rat’s Yang Water) will be nourishing the month’s Yang Wood celestial stem (Water-feeds-Wood).  This combination would be generally considered auspicious … unless you’re a forest (because Metal-cuts-Wood).  Weyerhauser [Seattle], St. Joe [ex. Jacksonville] and Georgia-Pacific [Atlanta] may have cause for concern.  Siberia ain’t exactly out of the woods either.

Counting Sheep

June 29, 2020

We’re one week into the Sheep Month.  Here’s a quick tally of noteworthy yin water/yin earth events thus far:

  • Nearly 14 million people in 26 different Chinese provinces have been affected by torrential rainstorms and floods as of Friday, with 744,000 evacuated, [according to] the Ministry for Emergency Management. … Much of the damage has hit southwestern regions Guangxi and Sichuan.  The municipality of Chongqing on the upper reaches of the Yangtze river last week experienced its worst floods since 1940.
  • The number of real estate properties in the United States in danger of flooding this year is 70% higher than [FEMA] government data estimates, according to research released by First Street Foundation.  The data includes flood risk from rainfall and rivers in addition to the coastal flooding mapped by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). [The broader definition of flood risk affects] around 14.6 million properties … versus the 8.7 million FEMA calculated. Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, New York and Cape Coral, Florida top First Street Foundation’s list of cities with the most number of properties at risk. At the state level, Florida, Texas, California, New York and Pennsylvania have the most to lose.

  • Massachusetts residents across the commonwealth were battered by severe storms Sunday that brought torrential downpours, serious street flooding, large flashes of lightning, roaring booms of thunder, damaging winds and massive hail.  Throughout the state, thousands of people lost electricity, as power lines and trees were downed during the slow-moving storms. Communities in Eastern Massachusetts saw the brunt of the intense weather. Norwood Hospital had to evacuate dozens of residents after flooding in the medical center’s basements prompted its utilities to be shut off. Several communities –including Boston, Brookline, Newton, Watertown, Waltham and others– also experienced serious flooding, downed trees and fallen power lines.

  • Workers at a Norilsk Nickel metals enrichment plant in Talnakh were responsible for pumping wastewater into nearby tundra.  Around 6,000 cubic meters of liquid used to process minerals at the facility were dumped. The discharge had lasted “several hours.”  Videos from the scene showing large metal pipes carrying wastewater from the reservoir and pouring foaming liquid among nearby trees.  Russia’s natural resources agency said the [workers decided] to dump wastewater from the reservoir to avoid an emergency, after heavy rains and recent tests (at the plant) had caused water levels to increase dramatically.
  • Torrential rains in Ukraine have killed three people, forced hundreds from their homes and cut off villages in western regions, authorities said last Wednesday. “The situation in five regions is critical, the Ivano-Frankivsk region suffered most,” Prime Minister Denys Shmygal told reporters.  After an abnormally dry winter and spring that destroyed crops in southern Ukraine and caused dust storms throughout the country, abnormally heavy rains have caused flooding in the Carpathian Mountains and on the plains along river valleys.  Damage is particularly severe along the Dnister river in Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk oblasts, as well as along the Borzhava river in Zakarpattia oblast.


Lots more sheep dip yet to come.  Better increase the scope on your mooring lines.

Summer Wind

June 19, 2020

In just a few days –on the day set aside for affirmation of patriarchy– the Month of the Yang Fire Horse will end as summer begins and we transition into the yin earth Sheep Month.  The month’s celestial stem will change from June’s Yang Water to July’s yin water: this marks the start of an inexorable decline in Rat’s Yang Water power as we enter the second half of the year.  The Yang Water wave has crested, and will gradually subside into ever-weaker wind-driven chop, wavelets and ripples.  At the same time, the Horse’s Yang Fire terrestrial branch will give way to the Sheep’s yin earth.  What might this portend?

At the most superficial down-to-earth level, the combination of yin water above yin earth suggests the possibility of lowland flooding.  Yin earth is flat, low-lying land.  It also connotes weak soil or sandy terrain –and earthen dams or levees.  Yin water includes rainfall, freshwater ponds, minor lakes, brooks, streams, canals, rivers, irrigation systems, potable water or sewage infrastructure … and even swimming pools.  In this context, (because earth-obstructs-water) erosion and flooding may have a higher probability of occurring.  Because the Sheep is a creature associated with the South-Southwest compass sector, that’s the region where we might expect to see such phenomena arise.  How are things looking in the Wester Schelde?

When considering the interaction of the Sheep Month with the Yang Metal Rat Year, the year’s celestial stem is in a mostly harmonious relationship with the celestial stem of the month:  metal-creates-water, so the annual stem is lending strength to the month.  At the level of the terrestrial branch, things aren’t quite so positive: Yang Water and yin earth are not a good combination, because yin earth is too weak to obstruct Yang Water.  Furthermore, the yin water monthly stem and a Yang Water annual branch are in a doubly inverted relationship –for one month only, yin is above Yang because July’s celestial stem ‘outranks’ the year’s terrestrial branch.  This will be reflected in an inversion of customary power relationships during July.  But remember: August may be a different story.


Something Completely Different

Absolutely nothing to do with feng shui (as far as I know), but I’ve arrived at the conclusion that the most closely-guarded secret North of the 38th Parallel needs to reach a wider audience.  (As if anyone actually sees this blog.)  Even if I’m completely wrong, here’s a hypothesis that ought to be definitively refuted:

  • Kim Jong-un IS in fact dead,
  • his scant few recent ‘appearances’ have been performed by a body double (take a close look at the structure of those ears),
  • and ice-cold/total otti Kim Yo-jong is now running the show.  Until further notice.

Go ahead, prove me completely wrong.


“The summer wind came blowin’ in
From across the sea …”