Monthly Archives: July 2021

Confession: Forgive me Fathers and Mothers, it has been 8 months since I last compiled a photo album.  I am not especially adept at nature photography, but I decided to work up twelve of my better attempts in this genre and share the collection at ART@CHC.

As always, thanks for your interest and interactions.

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September, 2021, will mark the 20th anniversary of chcollins.com (and I had a homepage on tbns.net before that) and the 11th anniversary of the debut of The 100 Billionth Person.  There are two main, and equally important, reasons I have maintained my own website all these years: to give me a reason to be creative, and to make connections.  I’m lucky that it has served both roles — though it would always be nice to have more readers!

What the site was never about was monetization (entrepreneur-speak for making money). Not worrying whether the site makes money has given me the freedom to follow my whims with respect to content.  If I really wanted to make money on this site, my blog would have to be about something — and I’ve never been able to come up with a coherent, noun+verb answer to what The 100 Billionth Person is about.  (I bet you can’t either.)

This means that I’ve never — except for a very brief experiment years ago — displayed ads on these pages.  My readership is so select (entrepreneur-speak for practically no one) that it wasn’t worth either the hassle or the visual intrusion.  In any case, I have obviously been willing to do what I do for free for two decades.

So what changed?  The unexpected popularity of my series of posts on picture hanging and framing: Why Frames Tilt Forward, The “Hang It With Two Hooks” Calculator, and The Physics of Hanging Pictures.  Together, these posts are visited about 1000 times a month, by readers in the U.S. and around the world.  And their content has often been copied and pasted into other websites and Facebook pages, without permission or attribution, in the U.S. and around the world.  So apparently there is some value in those words.

My spouse, upon hearing the tally of visitors, urged me to capitalize on the situation and place ads on the site.  At first I objected, for all the reasons mentioned above.  But then I thought of a compromise: (a) I could place one ad, and one ad only, on each of those three posts only, (b) I could donate any advertising revenue to charity, and (c) if the ads turn out to be totally out-of-character for the site, I can always remove them.

And so I’ve done this deal with the Mountain View Devil.  Even though my week-to-week readers will not notice a difference, I felt the need to come clean.  I do hope the ads will be lucrative, for charity’s sake, but the ones that Google has served up so far have not exactly inspired my confidence.  (The ad for Gold’s Gym, for instance, has to do with physiques, not physics.  Sigh.)  I’ll let you know how this all turns out in a future update.

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As the Sun pours its rays on Earth's dust
Airless clouds whirl in russet and rose
Rivers sink into cracks in the crust
Grasses burn as a dreadful wind blows

There were years when the mallows grew tall
Scarlet petals would sip on the dew
When the mist from a cool waterfall
Wetted rocks where the mosses once grew

Wading birds stalked their prey in the ponds 
That the beavers had fashioned from creeks
Lady ferns produced copious fronds
Made to moisten the wading birds' beaks

Lack of snow did away with the streams
Lack of plants led to ever less rain
We accepted extremer extremes
But we hoped for a less painful pain

We watch robins peck dirt to find food
In days past, they found worms everywhere
But as drought baked away plenitude
Easy meals grew increasingly rare

They say corn on the cob was a treat
That our grandparents ate long ago
Maize was bred to survive summer heat
But not hundreds of days in a row

Warming waters drove fish from the shores
And the size of the catches went down
Now we never find fish in the stores
Under ninety-nine dollars a pound

Steaming trucks inch along buckled roads
River barges lay trapped in the sand
Cargo pilots fly overweight loads
And then pray for a safe place to land

Global warming exceeded our fears
Now there's nothing the experts can do
All their warnings just fell on deaf ears
And the poets are drying... up... too...
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