The early light is breaking
The morning sun is waiting in the sky
And I think I'm gonna break away
And follow where the birds of freedom fly
I need to give, I need to live
For the world is slowly turning
And the lights of love are burning in my eyes
Caravans, oh my soul is on the run
Overland, I am flying
Caravans moving out into the sun
Oh I don't know where I'm going
But I'm going
- Mike Batt: "Caravan Song"
The 2020 California wildfire season is a series of ongoing wildfires that are burning across the state of California. As of September 11, 2020, a total of 7,718 fires have burned 3,175,523 acres (1,285,089 ha), more than 3% of the state’s roughly 100 million acres of land, making 2020 the largest wildfire season recorded in California history, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. However, from a historical perspective, it has been estimated that prior to 1850, about 4.5 million (17,000 km³) acres burned yearly, in fires that lasted for months. The peak of the wildfire season usually occurs between July and November when hot, dry winds are most frequent. The wildfire season typically does not end until the first significant rainstorm of autumn arrives, which is usually around mid October in Northern California, and roughly between the end of October to early November in Southern California. Climate change has increased the risk of wildfires in California significantly.
On August 19, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom reported that the state was battling 367 known fires, many sparked by intense thunderstorms on August 16–17 caused by moisture from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fausto. Response and evacuations were complicated by a historic heatwave and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor declared a state of emergency on August 18. In early September 2020, a combination of a record-breaking heat wave, and Diablo and Santa Ana winds sparked more fires and explosively grew active fires, with the August Complex surpassing the Mendocino Complex to become California’s largest recorded wildfire. The North Complex increased in size as the winds fanned it westward, threatening the city of Oroville, and triggering mass evacuations.
This will be a day long remembered. The day when “YouTube” really came into existence, long before it’s official debut. And the world has changed. I feel it in the streams of the internet. My name is Bippi Bracegirdle, and I will lead you into the worlds of fantasy. But how did this vehicle, this YouTube thing all started?
YouTube began when three former PayPal employees started to create a video-sharing website on which users could upload, share, and view videos. The Internet domain name “youtube.com” was activated on February 14, 2005. The website was developed over the subsequent months. The creators offered the public a preview of the site in May 2005, six months before YouTube made its official debut. Like many technology startups, YouTube was started as an angel-funded enterprise from a makeshift office in a garage. In November 2005, venture firm Sequoia Capital invested an initial $3.5 million; additionally, Roelof Botha, partner of the firm and former CEO of PayPal, joined the YouTube board of directors. In April 2006, Sequoia and Artis Capital Management put an additional $8 million into the company, which had experienced hugely popular growth within its first few months.
The first YouTube video was titled Me at the zoo, and shows co-founder Jawed Karim (YouTube Name “jawed”) at the San Diego Zoo. The video was uploaded on April 23, 2005. You can see it above.
A new dimension was added to storytelling, although it was not yet completely to be seen. But the story went on…
Somewhere in space, far from Earth, was a planet. Not an ordinary planet, one might add, ACELS has been claimed and inhabited by the strangest beings our galaxy has ever seen. Beings older than all life we knew. They called themselves the chroniclers of the universe, but they were far more than indifferent bystanders. They had watched the stars dance before most of the inhabited worlds had even cooled down.
The various systems of the Milky Way, including ours, developed from the turmoil of the Big Bang. And this is a picture of our home galaxy. Don’t be too proud, Earthling, that your home system Sol is the center of the coordinate system. It’s a map from NASA, and of course it’s based on your own perspective. In the standard galactic maps, the center of the galaxy is the starting point of the coordinate system, but this is only mentioned in passing. I don’t want to overwhelm you. If you look closely at the map, you will notice for yourself that your little world orbits a yellow star that lies in a completely uninteresting part of the Orion Spur in the Milky Way.
Aeons ago, the “Crystal Masters” – or “Crystal Lords”, as they are sometimes referred to – appeared. They arrived on a starship at the time when life was just beginning in the galaxy. They were the oldest form of life in the universe and they saw themselves as a kind of “guardians of the galaxy”. They settled on the planet ACELS in the star system ACELS and from then on observed the development of our galaxy. And oh man, there was a lot to watch.
The first high cultures arose on various planets, which first developed interplanetary and then finally interstellar space travel. At the beginning of the Galactic Era, these cultures began to expand. Technologically inferior peoples got under the wheels, a development that the masters of ACELS viewed with increasing concern. Then, when the Gigatron engine was developed and even more distant regions of the galaxy came within reach, those in power became increasingly unscrupulous. They conquered foreign solar systems and waged wars for the new territories. The map had to be redrawn all the time over the past thousand years.
The last great turning point in the galactic map happened in 2979 when the last Galactic War was over. The victor and the vanquished met on the planet ACELS to negotiate treaties that would affect the future of all peoples. Since the masters of ACELS were not trusted to deceive, they were commissioned to include all demands, territorial claims and other trifles in one big consideration and to redraw the face of the galaxy. The masters deliberated for 16 days without ceasing before they presented their result: a new galactic map and the manifesto of an alliance comprising all free peoples of the galaxy, the “Galacticon”. The “Galacticon” was to be based on the planet Kor Ywen, a small ball of dirt with an atmosphere that was simply bought from the people who once lived there.
The ACELS had taken great care that protection zones were set up. In the past it had happened several times that planets were colonized whose populations could not oppose the superior technology of the colonial rulers. That should stop. It was only allowed to fly through the protection zone, but not to interfere in the fate of the worlds that lay there.
The Acelsian plan was enthusiastically received, but the ink on the treaties had not dried when new conflicts broke out. Peoples who had fought side by side during the war got into disputes over territories or fear of not having access to certain raw materials. The galactic, which was supposed to be a haven of peace and cooperation, was misused to open the conflicts. Thus new alliances and enmities were formed among the races of the galaxy.
The worlds in the area that was originally called “Erobgard” founded the “Union of Planets” with the aim of being surrounded only by friendly neighbors and helping one another should an ally be attacked. The “Vespusian Star Alliance” from the Vespu Naútic region entered into an alliance with most of the worlds of the Planetary Union via separate contracts, which they called the “Alliance of Pacnor” and hoped to be able to pinch not only the region of Vespu Sanoza , but also against the Udessar. On the other hand, they allied with the Nol-Ens, a people from Assumur.
In the middle between them lie the desert worlds of Tuarber, which seem to be barren and poor in water, but you can find the rarest raw materials there, which made their rulers very rich.
The Afar region, on the other hand, once consisted of worlds whose peoples only developed simple techniques. When individual rulers of Erobgard found out that these worlds could easily be exploited, they launched large fleets of colonial ships there. The inhabitants of the planets had nothing to oppose the superior and well-equipped troops. This section of history, which led directly to the first Galactic War, is no fame and led to the decision to set up protection zones for other less developed worlds.
There remains to mention Horas Ventur, where there are jungle and desert worlds that seem so hostile to life that they were used as punitive planets for a long time, and which developed their own culture. Here, too, the natives were subdued by colonialists.
Oh, and with all these little inglorious things, I almost forgot one area: the center of the galaxy! The core is not directly claimed by anyone and is actually protected by the contract of the Galacticum. In addition, it is very difficult to penetrate into the core because it is surrounded by a barrier, the “Galactic Arc”. Research vessels try to penetrate the core again and again with great difficulty and to research it. Because wild legends have formed around this region, there is talk of an immeasurable wealth of raw materials or that the mythical “source of matter” is somewhere there, the origin of all being and all life. But that’s an old wives’ tale that parents tell their children when they fall asleep when they want them to become raw materials prospectors later.
All other areas that do not belong to any official region are considered protection zones. It would make this map very complicated if the different zones were also drawn in. You only need to know one thing: Sol and the earth are in the emerald sector, which is administered from the world EMERALDIA.
In the past, the earth gave reason for hope that it would soon step out of the shadow of simple civilizations. A civilization is particularly vulnerable at this stage of development. It is not yet strong enough to advance safely on the path of development. All it takes is a small disturbance and it falls back into barbaric times. Therefore, the beings of ACELS saw it with great concern when in 3013 an ominous development began: a nameless empire led by an ominous emperor began to influence. That stranger poisoned the minds of several rulers on the part of the PACNOR alliance. This poison seemed to empty the mind of the person concerned and aroused great greed. And greed is a sinister force. She whispers that one could fill the void in the soul with material things and power. At the same time, it creates a constant fear that you might lose these things again or that you won’t have enough of them. The poisoned person looks at others with suspicion and insinuates that they only want to take away what belongs to him.
In this way, the emperor poisoned the souls of the prostate Rogan Reónald of the Vespusian Star Alliance and Queen Thagret Matha of the Pyretic Alliance, a member of the Planetary Union. They began to coat other worlds with cold. Their actions had dire consequences for their two peoples and the alliances to which they belonged.
The queen was hated by her own people, but a gracious madness, the result of her emptied soul, finally clouded her spirit in the last years of her life, so that she no longer noticed. But it was long too late: Thagret had already passed the poison on to her children.
So after the darkness crept over the galaxy, the Emperor himself became active. That was unusual, because up until now he had left the dirty work to others. Apparently his destination was the emerald sector, or more precisely Earth. So the beings of Acels decided to carry out a plan, the strangest plan they had ever devised and one that had been prepared well in advance, which involved showing some people from planet Earth the way to the stars. And with that, things took their course.
Although all beings of ACELS were aware of this whole story because they had experienced it, there were those among them who were also particularly respected. It was those who really belonged to the first Crystal Masters. They were so old that their words and decisions weren’t always understood, but they were respected. Most of those first lived in seclusion. They had spent eons in the company of other beings, now they needed rest to be able to think clearly. In their hermitages, they continued to seek to understand the course of things and to grasp things that were beyond the mind of a mortal being. One of these first had the strange name Yodel. He lived on the edge of a forest outside of a settlement and he had his own way of calling others to him: he started a large fire that smoked heavily. So the others knew that he had something to say to them.
On this special day of the Galactic Year 3019 the time had come again. Clouds of smoke rose from the edge of the forest. And a group of Acelsians went to hear what Yodel had to say.
The Master was very small, but he had a great mind. He looked vulnerable, but he wasn’t. He awaited his visitors at the root of a large tree near his house. When they got to him, they stopped speaking. Nobody spoke anymore and nobody asked a question. They knew that when the master had called them, he would tell them of his own accord what he had to say. And he did. He looked at the man who had led the group, and then said in a gnarly voice:
“The time of passivity must come to an end. Something has happened. I felt it. Hello world!”
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