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Sanitation in the DreamlandsCopyright (C) 2012 by Kevin L. O'Brien
Sanitation is as much a problem in the Dreamlands as it is in the Waking World. Perhaps more so, because unlike the Waking World, no one in the Dreamlands is so naïve as to just dump waste into the nearest river and let the current carry it away, not even the most primitive tribe in the most remote land. Modern ideas about disease and ecological systems are just too widespread for anyone not to understand that too much waste can alter, harm, even destroy an ecosystem. For example, bacteria consume oxygen when they break down waste. The more waste they process, the more oxygen they consume, and they can lower the oxygen of the water or ground where they live, harming or killing off other creatures. Not only will this increase the amount of organic material to be processed, thereby reducing oxygen levels even more, but if these creatures normally consume the disease bacteria found in waste, their reduced numbers will allow these pathogens to be
Building Materials in the DreamlandsCopyright (C) 2012 by Kevin L. O'Brien
In the Dreamlands, buildings can be constructed from just about any material available. While some, such as synthetic composites, are too modern to exist, others, such as wood framing, are either older than they seem or are simple enough ideas that they can exist despite having a post-1500 origin. Also, some more primitive forms of unavailable materials are present, such as drywall.
Construction materials can be divided into a number of broad categories, but not all of them are particularly useful. One scheme differentiates between natural and artificial materials, the criteria being whether the material is used as is or is modified in some fashion. However, while some materials, such as logs and wrought iron girders, are clearly one type or another, too many fall in between and are difficult to categorize. For example, is a sun-dried mud brick natural or artificial? It depends upon where the emphasis is placed, on the nature of the material itsel
Existentialism and the Irish CharacterCopyright (C) 2012 by Kevin L. O'Brien
G. K. Chesterton wrote, in Book II of his epic poem The Ballad of the White Horse,
For the great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry,
And all their songs are sad.
This dichotomy in the character of the Irish peoples derives from an existentialistic worldview that recognizes the futility of fame and fortune, but strives after it anyway.
The Nature of Existentialism
A worldview is the basic framework by which people interpret and interact with the world around them. It is not empirical; rather, it is a philosophical construct, and as such neither right nor wrong. It is simply what people believe to be true, regardless of any empirical evidence. Though there are many different kinds of worldviews, the five most important to Western Civilization began with Theism. This worldview assumes that God not only created the universe, but that He has taken an active role in its operation, and especially in the lives of
About CatsCopyright (C) 2012 by Kevin L. O'Brien
In the Medb hErenn universe, domestic Cats are exactly like the way they are in our universe, except they are much more intelligent. (Though people in our universe who are lucky enough to be owned by Cats would dispute this.) Cats are only one of three creatures who are true Dreamers i.e., can enter the Lands of Dream the other two being Humans and Spiders. In fact, like Humans and Spiders, it was Dreaming that made domestic Cats sapient i.e., conscious and self-aware, and capable of acting with appropriate judgment using reasoning and analytical thought. Though the last of the three to accomplish this shortly before their domestication, they have gone the farthest, achieving logical, mathematical, and analytical feats Humans can only dream of. However, so far Cats are the only species of these three to realize the power of Dreaming. In the Waking World they hide their sapience, preferring to live as pets or strays rather than
Toilets in the DreamlandsCopyright (C) 2012 by Kevin L. O'Brien
Of all the services that people expect, the one least spoken of yet the most appreciated is toilets. Think about it. There is probably not a human being in all of creation who has not desperately needed a toilet at least once in his or her life, and breathed a sigh of relief at finding one. The same is as true in the Dreamlands as it is in the Waking World, but in either place disposal of bodily waste is not as simple as pulling the handle and walking away. It is not the scope of this essay to discuss municipal sanitation; however, the same concerns regarding how to deal with waste to make it as benign as possible and to reclaim water to make it drinkable are just as important when discussing toilet technology.
Toilet waste comes in three forms: urine, feces, and blackwater. Urine and feces are self-explanatory. Urine is generally sterile whereas feces are loaded with pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can contaminate water and soil,
Water Sources in the DreamlandsCopyright (C) 2012 by Kevin L. O'Brien
Of the three elements needed for healthy livingair, water, and foodwater is the most critical. As in the Waking World, air is free, and food is abundant in the form of agricultural goods and wild plants and animals, but fresh water is limited. Of the Dreamlands' total water supply, only 3% is fresh, only 1% is unfrozen, and only 0.05% is above ground. Also, it is possible to survive as long as a month without food, but after three days without water dehydration is so severe that death is a likely result. As such, individuals and communities go to great lengths to ensure that they have a plentiful source of fresh water readily available.
However, not all fresh water is safe to use; it is estimated that only 8% of all fresh water in the Dreamlands is useable as is. Water suitable for drinking, bathing, and food preparation is called potable, and is characterized by being free of contaminants like bacteria and organic debris. In fact, wat
[transmissions of a dead girl]i am the
moon: i am
the silver pill
to weigh down
into leaden eyes--
i am the
of the dark.
the stars are
all dead in their
you'll be safe, dear,
as i am the moon,
with all of your
(i am good bye and yet,
you think only of romantic
i am the moon.
i am the crescent
and dead altogether,
i still die.
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