time reversal

the stories of four physicists separated by the whims of fate

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Nature attacks!

January 11th, 2009 by ruth

Colorado is Xtreme. It’s covered in sharp pointy rocks and there are large animals that want to eat me. The air is so dry I have to carry a water bottle with me everywhere, and there is hardly any atmosphere to shield me from the sun’s insane brightness.

AP photo of the boulder wildfire

Also, it’s very windy. Several days of high winds, with gusts reaching 80mph, dried out all of the plants last week. On Thursday, the wind knocked over some power lines and sparked wildfires really close to where I live. High winds meant we couldn’t use airplanes, so all of the fighting happened from the ground. Embers were carried by this wind as far as three miles from the original fire and sparked new ones. The area that was hit was mostly ranches (horses and llamas) but four houses were destroyed and a large number of homes had to be evacuated. It’s all extinguished now, but yikes!

I had never seen a wildfire before. I guess we’ll be seeing a lot more of them in coming years, as a pine beetle epidemic is leaving acres and acres of dead trees waiting to spark. Living here, I get a really strong sense that we people are just transient guests. Nature seems so much more powerful and imposing (and beautiful) than she did when I lived in the midwest.

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