We discuss and comment on the role agriculture will play in the containment of the CO2 problem and address protocols for terraforming the planet Earth.
A model farm template is imagined as the central methodology. A broad range of timely science news and other topics of interest are commented on.
Thursday, January 17, 2019
How a 105-Year-Old Ukrainian Called Life's Bluff
A good tale of a man who was informed from the other side regarding his day of death and the surrounding circumstances half a century earlier.
The other side has allowed me to know that i will see my 100th birthday. The circumstances were such that my actual date remains unknown. That this will coincide with the year 2048 is specifically important because the exponential increase in biological knowledge will provide real access to biological restoration technology by this time. Thus my life could well be extended well beyond that.
Thus my present challenge is to ensure that i arrive in fine health and no little strength.
The good news is that this knowledge is valuable to your outlook and objectives. You actually do call life's bluff.
Sometimes the best-laid plans of mice and men often don’t fall asunder.
OZY's Good Deaths series explores the most unsurprising endeavor ever: death.
My great-grandfather Artem Maximovich Chibalo was born in the
Golovkivka village in Cherkashchyna, Ukraine. It’s hard to imagine how
hard things were back then, but things were hard. In 1867, which may or
may not have been the year he was born but is close, record-keeping was
neither good nor complete. The Tsar controlled things, but for all his
control, not much or many of the benefits accrued to the country’s rural
people. Comforts taken for granted today, like running water, indoor
toilets and supermarkets were absent and, even more serious, was what
this implied in terms of exposure to sickness, accidents and just life
On top of naturally caused misery there was also
political instability. I mean there’s a reason there were two Russian
Revolutions, and my great-grandfather fought in both of them. For the
Tsar. A choice that might seem strange given the political weirdness going on in the Ukraine now.
But back then it was part of the Russian Empire, and Chibalo was a
survivor — before he was 30 he and his wife had had eight kids, two of
whom died during the hunger times. So it was the smart move for a smart
guy. The Tsar promised stability or at least a paycheck, so he served in
the army for 15 years.
But after the revolutions, the one in
1905 and then the two in March and November of 1917, plus World War I,
which didn’t end until 1918, things got worse. However, it was during
the post-revolution times of misery that he had a vision. I don’t know
if it’s correct to call it a “vision,” but whether it was in a dream or
not, Chibalo had a visitation where it was revealed to him how he was
going to die.
In any case it quickly sunk in that the “Germans” they were meeting were Nazis …
it was not going to be on a battlefield. It would be in the woods,
under the trees, after having had his “charka,” or a 100-gram volume
glass of vodka, he said. No one in the family — his siblings, his
children or anyone else who would listen — took him very seriously when
he’d say, “… A long time from now — a very, very long time from now …”
Besides this was still before World War II which, when it finally came
in 1941 when the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, made a far-off death
seem much less than likely.
At first, many Ukrainians thought the “Germans” were going
to liberate them from the food-stealing Soviets. Remember that before
they invaded the Soviet Union, Ukrainians had already suffered through
the Great Famine between 1932 and 1933, partly because of Stalin’s
failed effort to collectivize farms. Anyway, my great-grandfather talked
about the roads being littered with the dead, probably about four
million of them in the first half of the last year of the Famine, 10
million in all. So all of his talk about being immune to death? Well,
the family all had more pressing issues at hand.
any case, it quickly sunk in that the “Germans” they were meeting were
Nazis and while some Ukrainians were anti-Soviet, anti-Nazi and
Ukrainian nationalist, and some were pro-Nazi, some were partisans, and
this was Chibalo. His feelings about the Soviet Union
didn’t change that they had been invaded, and he responded to the
invaders. And more importantly, he didn’t die. This despite the famine,
being bombed and shot at, and against the odds since we lost about nine
million people during that war. So 10 million to the Famine and not even
10 years later, almost 10 million more.
physical strength played a part in it. After the war, he had a sick
calf but no way to transport it to where the vet was on the other side
of the village. So he did something that was not that unusual for him
but still pretty unusual. He squatted down, stuck his head under the
calf and carried it to the vet. The vet was not close, and the
calf was not so sick that it didn’t struggle, but he got it there. Maybe
it was a small calf, though. Maybe.
Things had changed
by then in the Ukraine though, and Chibalo had to make money, which he
did by making stone fences, digging wells and doing anything and
everything else necessary to get water out of the ground. If you haven’t
done it, this is back-breaking work and would have been hard for even
the average man of 50.
At 105 years old, Chibalo had far exceeded
the average, but his work gave his life meaning and so he worked. Until
one day, after walking home from work, he had his charka of
vodka, just like he had done every day since the end of the War, and sat
down to rest under a tree in his yard. He fell asleep and never woke
up. It was February 23, 1969. And he had died like he always knew he
would. At peace.