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What's causing the Big Horn Gash?

How Did I Miss That? Major Crack Problems in Wyoming

Steve Russell

The Powell, Wyoming Tribune reported discovery the Big Horn Gash, a monster crack in the earth that was reported on October 29 to be 750 yards long, 50 yards wide, and growing. It seemed so unlikely that it was reported to Snopes.com, but there was no debunking to make it go away, so speculation kicked in.

The Los Angeles Times reported on guesses that it was a portent that the Yellowstone Super Volcano is waking up or perhaps a sign that graboids are moving north out of Nevada. So far, nobody has suggested that humans were directly involved in creating the Big Horn Gash.

Humans were directly involved in both the discovery and the creation of what became public when The New York Times reported that photos taken from space by NASA have led to discoveries in Kazakhstan of what are being called the Steppe Geoglyphs, manmade formations visible only from the air.

Some compare the Steppe Glyphs to the Thirteen Towers of Chankillo in the Peruvian desert or the more famous Nazca Lines, first discovered in modern times when air travel took place over the geoglyphs. The Nazca culture in Peru disappeared around 600 C.E.

Older than the Nazca Lines are the Paracas Geoglyphs, which date back 2,500 years. The Paracas sites are not such head scratchers because they contain petroglyphs as well and are on the sides of hills so they can be seen from the pampas below. The Nazca Lines require flight to see in their entirety.

The Steppe Glyphs, similarly, can only be noticed from the air. Some scientists object to the comparison with Nazca because the new discoveries in Kazakhstan are merely geometric shapes: squares, circles, and swastikas. The Nazca geoglyphs contain animals and plants, which are much more complicated. One explanation for that is that the oldest date for the Steppe Glyphs was 8,000 years ago, when the only peoples present were thought to be nomads. The Nazca culture was based on farming, contrary to what Europeans would claim over 2,000 years later.

NASA does not have space research to itself, and The Verge reported on a press availability of an all-female team of Russian cosmonauts that started out with their boss opining they “might be no worse than men” and went downhill as reporters asked questions about the lack of makeup and how they would do their hair in space. A male scientist remarked, "I'd like to wish you a lack of conflicts, even though they say that in one kitchen, two housewives find it hard to live together."

The women follow a group of male cosmonauts testing long-term isolation to simulate space flight. The prizes will be seats on the first Russian manned moon mission in 2029. The Russians are also said to have a manned Mars fly-by on their agenda.

Those of us who remember how the Sputnik scare goosed U.S. science education wish the Russians best of luck as we grit our teeth every time Americans have to hitch a ride on Russian spacecraft to get to and from the International Space Station.

I’d like to think that U.S. reporters would not have been so insensitive if interviewing female astronauts. I hope they’d take a cue from when the world champion U.S. women’s soccer team visited the White House. President Obama remarked, “’Play like a girl’ means you are a badass!”

“Spoken like a true lame duck,” my Republican cousin Ray Sixkiller snickered.

“Spoken like a man with two daughters,” I replied.

The big sports news was how the New York Mets, having destroyed the hopes of long suffering Cubbies fans, had their own hopes barbecued like a rack of Kansas City ribs.

Fox Sports video feed went down during the first World Series game, a nail biter finally won by Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer with a bases loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourteenth inning.

Moving to the indoor sport that plays for keeps---politics---outgoing House Speaker John Boehner gifted his successor with a budget deal that will wipe out further opportunities to shut the government down until there is no longer a black man heading it.

Paul Ryan, drafted by Republicans to replace Boehner, has released the “work” schedule in the House of Representatives for the next year. The people’s house will work 111 days total and only two “full” weeks, meaning five days. The traditional August recess starts July 16 and they come back to “work” after Labor Day.

“What do you expect,” Cousin Ray snorted, “ when the poor babies only get paid $174,000 a year?”

If those 111 they plan to work were eight hour days (which they are not), and we assume the most important work is legislating, that’s less than $200 an hour! When you came to Washington to blow up the government rather than to govern, I expect 111 days is enough and they can make up the money when they move to K Street.

The Sunlight Foundation reported in 2014 that two thirds of revolving door lobbyists make more money trying to influence legislation than members of Congress do writing it.

I expect a lot of Congresspersons spend the time outside those 111 days raising money to run, since elections are funded privately rather than publicly. You can’t run for Congress for $348,000, which is the salary you would make in a two year House term. Tell me again how you expect honest people to come to the top in that system?

“Easy,” Cousin Ray muttered. “You only get honest rich people.”


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