Chapter 34 Now Online

We’re back from the cobalt depths… the trip was marvelous.

Diving in Cozumel is interesting, to put it mildly.

For starters, the island suffered from a Category 4 hurricane (Wilma) last fall and the signs of devastation are every where.  On land, there are piles of concrete rubble with re-bar sticking out every where (a lot of good the re-bar did…). 

There is more evidence of the damage off-shore, where much of the coral is covered with sand left on the reef by the storm surge.  Still, there were hundreds — thousands, really — of different kinds of fish and other marine life to observe. 

What made the diving most interesting, though, was the current.  I did not know before we started jumping off boats there at the western edge of the Caribbean Sea that Cozumel is known as "the drift dive capital of the world."  That means that as soon as you jump off the boat, you get swept up in a smoking current that carries you over the reef like you’re on a freight train.  Or a Disneyland ride — anybody ever been on the Peter Pan ride, the one where you sorta fly over a 3-dimensional mural of Victorian London?  That’s what diving in Cozumel is like.  The experience gives a whole new meaning to the expression, "going with the flow…"

And yes, I made a point to look up many times, to see the reflection of the surface from below.  It’s like a thin, shiny membrane separating worlds.   We also saw quite a few flyng fish while motoring out to the dive sites.

But, like the song says, "Gee but it’s great to be back home."  It does
appear that the plane has stopped safely at the gate and the luggage did not shift much in the overhead…

Of course, even though this was supposed to be a "vacation" I could not help but think about the curious juncture that the Townsend Brown story has brought us to.  And when I sat down to write yesterday, it seemed a good idea to follow the pause with, well… a bit of a pause. 

So Chapter 34: The Caroline Group is a hybrid of sorts — a history lesson wrapped up in "Notes from the Rabbit Hole" that attempts to shed a little further light on what we are now calling "The Caroline Group" and just what the existience such an organization might imply in the context of world history as it was unfolding in the mid 1930s.

Please direct any discussion of this chapter to the forums

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Also: There has been quite a bit of discussion in the forums in the past week
or so about the role of women in the sort of stories we’re telling
here.  "Remember the women!" we have been reminded — again and again,
and with good reason.

It is in that spirit — to remember one of the women — that I’m going
to  Utah tomorrow to pay final respects to Pem Farnsworth, aka "The
Mother of Television."

Pem was at Philo Farnsworth’s side that night in 1927 when he first
demonstrated the kind of control of quantum forces that would
ultimately produce the most ubiquitous appliance our planet.  As some
of you know, I’ve been telling that story to anybody who would listen
for the past thirty years.  Pem Farnsworth told it for much longer than that.

It’s an important story, because the achievement of what was then known as "electronic" television represented, literally, a ‘quantum leap’ — from the ability to manipulate mechanical "parts" to to the ability to steer invisible "particles" in a way that truly changed the world. 

Mrs. Farnsworth shed her mortal coil just before we left for
Mexico, and the funeral has been scheduled for Friday, May 12 in Provo, Utah.  I am looking forward to a gathering of the tribe, and expect that it will be quite a joyous send-off for a woman who made the very best of nearly a century on this planet.   

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