17 Apr '13, 1pm
Drumbeat: April 17, 2013
For today’s entertainment I bring to you a different analogy, nothing organic, just the great physical gyre and dissipative structure, the hurricane. Born rolling off the West coast of Africa, a rising column of air, its moist warmth expanding the distance between its molecules and lifting it like a hot air balloon above its more dense surroundings, opening a high altitude channel into the troposphere. More warm air follows and thick clouds form overhead as cool condensed moisture falls towards the sea. A low-pressure area is formed, a tropical depression. Over sea the flow comes in from all directions and helped by the coriolis force, the storm begins to spin and grow around a nucleus of increasingly low pressure. Likewise, our Western civilization began as humbly as a single pocket of rising hot air, entraining energy as it slowly grew, sometimes stronger, sometimes weak...