Thoughts on Solar Minimums

The Sun , as you already probably know, has spots on it, amazingly called sunspots. These spots are areas of magnetic activity and are used as a measure to show how “active” the Sun is.

“So what” I hear scoffing , and I can see the cornflacks hitting the computer screen of many a ready who is probably wondering why they should carry on reading this.


Well, it is important, as the Sun’s magnetic field shields us from the space rays which come from other stars. The Earth’s magnetic field also shields us from the radiation from the Sun and alll the other stars out there. But when the Sun’ magnetic field decreases, when the sun spot level drops, then we get “bathed” in more of this cosimc radiation, as the Sun doesn’t protect us so much, and so more of this “comic radiation” or Cosmic rays” hit us.

Cosmic rays have many effects, they cause mutations in DNA and probably have an effect on the Earth’s natural radioactive substances, even perhaps causing a small uptick in the natural rock cycle, with perhaps more volcanic and techtonic activity (this pper They may  interct with our atmosphere and cause more clouds, and scientists think that one star that exploded caused a gamma ray blast that caused an extinction event ( Well, Wikipedia for what its worth says so!)

People have long used methods for investigating the sun, and of course recorded weather and climate. Humans have worship and feared the sun and ancient chinese records go back at least 2000 years, and stone monuments from the brnze age seem to indicate that the Sun had a large importance as far back as 5000 years ago.


So the sun has an influence on whathappens on Earth, and we could discuss what the extent of that is.

I’m all for a cleaner, greaner planet, and think we pollute too much with plastics  and rubbish, and would like to see more public transport used, and even electric cars, if we could square the old problem of produing and storing green electricity(enough of it anyway) to meet modern developmental needs. And , even if I’m not so sure that “science is ever settled” I’ll probably have to “tow the line” on “green house gases and anthropogenic emmisions” as otherwise , like past scientists , I’llb e forced to confess my sins.

Bad science is no scientific debate! When we refuse to consider all eventualities. When we speak from “mount stupid”

Big think predicts tht the sun will lose a whopping 7%in about 30 years

So In solar minimums, we can see that wheat prices increased, and the sun set food prices in the Middle ages according to a rather old paper from 2003 in Nature

But , this effect is probably eliminated in the modern trading world.

But a failure of rice or wheat could cause problems.With half the world’s population in asian countries, and with a reliance on staple foods, we could struggle to feed people should a really big volcano explode of if the sun should slump into a funk from hell.

Well, i shall watch ans see. There isn’t much anyone can do about any of it, and the sun ill shine on, like a crazy diamond.







Tiredness now comes

No way the clock says Five

Buzzing it around us hums

God know how but I’m alive


Written down dumb, numb

Hope the rhyme strives

What keeps you, come

Stab me now with knives


There is the flower, flames

Wavering in timeless joy

Wishing for the moment’s fame

Being played and left like toys


My hand they hurt but I go on

My heart it hurts but I sing my song.


So write some peoples names on tombs

Etched by blows, sweat and fate

Scribed by craft and women’s wombs

Watched in emptiness by wraiths


Someone loved, now gone away

Loss it burns those who wait

Pain it comes on every day

To those who hope or wish for faith


Since the end for everyone

Is to lie in stony ground

See the light, have some fun

Or push up daisies in a mound


This is life that leads us all

Frosty tombs in which we fall





The guilded door

I’ll go again to the guilded door

Knock and ask for chance to come

Perhaps I’ll make them change the score


Grasp the souls and beg for more

Thinking I’m the only one

To push and pull and scratch the floor


Little hope for fruits and haws

To dance from branches cold and numb

Perhaps I’ll make them change the score


With summer’s dust blown from the floor

Blinding judges strike them dumb

I’ll go again to the guilded door



And knock again this time for sure

The Gods will see what I’ve become

I’ll go again to the guilded door

Perhaps I’ll make them change the score.

Ring of finger, Ring of phone

This girl’s broken heart

Texting on her brand new phone

Going back to the start


Journeys just to be apart

Broken lines, broken bones

This girl’s broken heart


Making love with all her heart

Inside the body moans

Going back to the start


Painted on her heart

Painted on with groans

Going back to the start


Looking at the cards

Looking for the tones

This girl’s broken heart


Shows up, but apart

Texting, hoping to atone

This girl’s broken heart

Going back to the start



Sonnet B

Frown frost broken pane

Face cross question mark

Look lost question came

Those aches how they hark


Mist and eyes bleeding raw

Hope to hold the bind

Loves lost blood and some more

We look them in eyes blind


Yet how it plucks at those strings

Hearts hoping to yearn again

And we may hang onto broken things

Hoping that we can repair, when


We wander then in seach of love

Yet there it is, good enough


Sonnet A

If I were but to lie in hope

And watch the seasons as I lay

Flit beyond the eyes of scope

Watch and see another day


Then the reasons why we strive

Would be forgot and you would say

Grasp the moment you’re alive

Yet hope to see another day


Many folks just sit and stare

Mothballed rotting on their way

Rusting in the mouldy chair

Dusting off I should say


All of us must do the dance

All of us must take the chance




a Villanelle, each line 5 syllables.(sure hope I can count!)

I look to her, where?

Body and mind together

Gone where, away, gone where?

She has gone, not there

Fleeting glance, forever

I look to her, where?

My dreams of her hair

Etched and then never

Gone where, away, gone where?

She lies on sand, bare

Naked, round clever

I look to her, where?

Where we might be fair

And, if I would never

I look to her, where?

But caught in her lair

Holding together

I look to her, where?

Gone where, away, gone where?

Au Revoir, Monsieur Hollande

French President François Hollande wont seek a second term. His popularity was too low and unemployment in France has remained stubbornly fixed at 8 or 10 percent.He had stated that he wouldn’t stand again if employment didn’t move, and indeed we can say that this is the case. So at least he kept his word.

So lets take a look back at the mandate and try to see what Hollande did for France. Indeed, it is from this point of view that I will start: Many people shrug their sholders and say ‘What did he do’ to which my answer is “Well, what did YOU do?”

Holland started with some radical changes to society. He changed the law on gay marriage, and made it possible to get married if you are gay. This has proved unpopular with the traditional Catholic right, and very much appreciated with the liberal left, so 50/50. A dinner table topic of a few years ago, this now seems to be an established right and Hollande probably was right to do this early in the mandate to stop it being overturned when he left office.

Indeed, one could argue that the fruits of a politician’s labours are often seen only when they leave office and the plaudits taken by those who replace them, and I have a feeling that this could be the ultimate truth for Hollande , who has tried too hard to do too much and not given enough timeor been given enough time for the vast worksites to bed down.

Hollande has worked on reforming many many sectors: Education, Employment legislation, French legal and magistrial systems, the French regions, Health, international politics, the environment.. So much to do in so little time.

But at least he seemed to let his ministers get on with it.

And his idea of social democracy reminds us of Gerhard Shroder and his ultimate failures.

So Hollande wont run again and Socialism as a political force wanes. It probably isn’t possible to buy voters with promises of a better futurebut with cheaper taxes or whatever as France is broke. But public debt did fall from 7% in 2010 to 3% today.

However with over 90% dept to gdp rate, France has a dept on par with the UK, but above that of Germany

So Hollande is probably the last President of the 5th French Republic. If Fillion become President, France will become less social and much more religiously integrist, and indeed perhaps loose its famous laique status. A poorer future here.

The hope for France. Thanks Francois. Against a background of terror, indeed, Hollande gave us hope. Hope for climate change action, hope for action on social equality, hope for action against terror.

Yes, maybe he wasn’t a superb strong leader with buckets of charisma, and perhaps he wasted time doing things he didn’t need to at the beginning and the end… but don’t we all?

France will have an election in May to see who will be president and it is my personal wish that thos parties  and personalities on the extremes who seek to tempt people with a vision of quick fixes rather than solid foundations should fail.



Filter on or off

Days walking paths

Wooded lanes



Classes filled

Learners off

Staff in hand, staff



Play to the crowd

Laugh means learn?

Time to pack up the chalk

Written too long in the dust


Wiped clean all  things

Time to remember things

Is time to search on the net

Why study? they say


Intellectual shelves

Gathering dust,books never read

Standing in woods



To stand

Not rest

Say things need to change

Challenge what is


Nod, ride the wave

Cange yourself

Shed skin, shell

Wash over rain


Wash down my face

Salt or tears


Struts hold


Green grass


Faces haunt

From years ago


Pressing keys to make noises


I walk

To you.



Begging to be used

Write your way

Write your life


Write your path

Test then.

See what comes

Old notes from pages


Long lost

Too late to start a life?

Lest we forget

Too long waiting.



Hard to crack

Crack and hide

Flame through the fog


Heal then.

Wave over hands

Things happen because we make them

Gods in the sky laugh


Stop then

Listen to gut

Never wrong

Beyond the tide and time



The cherry now.

Into the woods



Speak your words


Say what you want

Know it.