Tantalizing

In ancient Greek mythology, Tantalus was the name of a king of Lydia. He decided to shame the gods by inviting them to dinner and serving his son dismembered, hoping to trick them into cannibalism. The gods were not so easily deceived and they punished him by taking him to Tartarus and placing him in a pool of water. Whenever he would bend down to drink, the water would drain away. There were fruits hanging from branches above him. Whenever he would reach up to pluck one, the branch would move out of his reach. So, Tantalus was condemned to suffer from hunger and thirst with food and drink forever just out of reach.

Mitt Romney must be getting some idea of how Tantalus must have felt. Everytime it looks as if he is finally on the road to clinching the nomination, something happens to take it out of his grasp. Santorum won the contests in Colorado, Missouri, and Minnesota, by fairly wide margins. Santorum won 55% of the vote in Missouri, 45% in Minnesota, and 40% in Colorado. Romney was actually in third place in Minnesota, behind Ron Paul.

This is turning out to be the most exciting primary season since, well, since Hilary Clinton and Barak Obama fought it out in 2008. Just when we thought it would be a two man race between Romney and Gingrich, Santorum revives and Gingrich fades. What’s next? A Ron Paul victory?

 

 

Supercontinent

English: Pangea animation
Image via Wikipedia

Never let it be said that USA Today does not deliver the latest, most up to date news possible. Today, I saw a report that in only 100 million years the continents of Asia and the Americas will come together to form a new super-continent.

Don’t lay out any welcome mats — wait about 100 million years or so — but eventually Asia and the Americas will smash together, geologists report, burying both the Arctic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

The future supercontinent, “Amasia,” described in the journal Nature on Wednesday, will encompass Asia, Africa and the Americas. Driven by continental drift, the assemblies of such “supercontinents,” such as Pangea some 300 million years ago, have reoccurred throughout Earth’s history.

“We are due for a supercontinent to form within about the next 50 to 200 million years,” says study lead author Ross Mitchell of Yale University. “In theory, we think this supercontinent will cover half a hemisphere of the Earth.”

Asia already rests on continental crusts from India, Siberia and Europe, but the coming confluence of continents would create an unbroken landmass unrivaled in size since the dawn of the age of the dinosaurs. “Antarctica just ends up hanging out there by itself,” Mitchell says.

Like titanic jigsaw puzzle pieces, three such supercontinents including Pangea, which encompassed all the continents, have formed and broken apart on Earth in the last 1.8 billion years.

Who else can report the news millions of years ahead? Personally, I’m glad to see this happening. I have been wanting to visit China and India but I don’t want to mess with all the irritating security measures that come with air travel. Now, if I am patient, I can make it a road trip.