Twitterverse Magic

February 9, 2010

     As much as I’d love magic to exist in our ‘real’ universe, I have long ago filed it away with so many other things I wish were true. Sorry, Harry Potter. But a recent exchange on twitter has opened my eyes to the fact that there are other universes where magic might truly exist. One such is the twitterverse.

     Now the twitterverse has its own fundamental laws and particles, tweets and RT’s, links and follower bots. They interact in strange and mysterious ways, which our social media physicists are still trying to put into a grand unified theory. But at this point in the development of the twitterverse, I think we see things as being caused by forces we don’t understand (magic), perhaps we are at the beginning of an alchemical approach to it. So for now, we can just act like things operate here by magic, until somebody has an apple fall on their head and begins to really understand this stuff.

     My thoughts on this started when I was telling a friend on twitter how I had tweeted the name of a certain brand of coffee and I was immediately followed by a bot from that company. I was then contacted and I started getting free samples. She sounded skeptical.

But shortly thereafter she tweeted that  it was working and that she was being followed by friendly bots.

So wishes can come true in the twitterverse. I’m not sure if you have to tap your heels, though. And not sure if the ‘Only three wishes’ rule applies here.

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The Miracle of the Worms

May 27, 2009

I always wondered about the story of the little dutch boy putting his finger in the dike. Was it really heroics, or just a small boy’s fascination with hydraulics? I remember building endless little dams in roadside rivulets, something about a child’s fascination with controlling nature, I guess. Did the little boy pull his finger in and out of the dike, to see what would happen? I’d bet on it!

But we should get back to the heroic worms. The worms that saved many of my rare books. Did they know what they were doing? Probably no more than the little Dutch boy. But is heroism to be found in thought, or in deed?

My office is located in a basement apartment in the bottom of our house. It has cement floors, so when I get huge amounts of books down there (pretty much all the time), floors won’t collapse. It does have the defect, however, of occasionally being subjected to flooding. I’m usually careful during heavy rains to keep stuff piled up on pallets and desks and any other raised object. But during dry spells I tend to get lax, and books are piled here, there, and everywhere. The weather forecast was clear last night, so I didn’t take any precautions, and left things in their usual seeming chaos (only seeming, I know where everything is!)

Okay, now a brief word about earthworms. I’m sure you’re all familiar with them coming out onto road and driveways during the rain. My children and I rescue them all the time waiting for the bus in the morning, tossing them onto the safety of our lawn. Doing a little research, I find it’s because the dampness allows worms to travel, they can’t let their skins dry out.

Now to the heroic actions of the worms last night. There are three steps leading down to the basement door, with a drain at the bottom that sometimes can’t keep pace with really heavy rains. Water will then flow in under the door (this being an old house, nothing is quite square or air-tight). Last night water started building up outside the door, ready to flow in and ruin many books I’d carelessly left lying around.

When I got up, I realized there had been a heavy rain last night, and fearfully went into my office. Everything seemed okay, so I went to the back door and looked out. A little pond of water greeted me at the bottom of my steps, but nothing was coming in like usual. Gathering towels and mop, I cautiously opened the door. Lined up in a solid line on the door jamb was a phalanx of worms, which immediately began to disperse. There bodies had acted as a plug all night holding back the water.

I’d like to think some of them were ones I’d saved and tossed back on the lawn. I think we have an unspoken agreement, now.