Our fascination with people -- even ourselves, but especially celebrities -- is boundless.
On the 10th anniversary of Facebook we are a people so connected that we can, and do, share our most trivial acts, or thoughts, with virtually anyone and everyone in the digital universe.
In that world we are now "film makers," though it is the technology which we have allowed to secure our life's imagery and to cast us as the stars of our own movies with a soundtrack that is almost demeaning to the grandeur that a life certainly should merit.
Our twitter feeds hummed only a week ago about Super Bowl thoughts and raised Peyton to the status of a football diety. But that all disappeared in the chill of a Jersey night. A time that seems distant now and not relevant only a week later.
Because we are "now" people who live in the moment of a tweet, or a selfie, or an episode of "Episodes," our long view is shortsided and ephemeral.
I like those things too I must confess; Super Bowls, and Macklemore and Lewis, Twitter and Facebook, and I love the photos and videos of family and friends that are shared. But for me it is the awesome force of nature and the sweep of time that amaze and drive my curiosity and imagination toward wonderment.
I enjoy a concert, or a painting, a performance, or a good book, but a summer storm attacking with electric ferocity, even anger, ignites a sense of awe.
We have witnessed the Mother of such awe on the Gulf Coast and never want to see another like Katrina, a storm whose wrath vanquished a century of human endeavors and proved without a doubt that man's status is and always will be insignificant in the face of such power.
Californians are now in the vise of a drought that closes tighter with every dry day that passes. We know intrinsically that water is necessary for life, and that certainly is true in California, whose great Central Valley has filled our markets with produce for generations.
So a four-mile-high, and 2,000 mile long area of high pressure that has stalled off California's Coast for an astonishing 13 months now threatens all of us with the consequence. Farmers in the Golden State provide about 15 percent of our national agricultural produce and those crops now are jeopardized by the drought.
Looking now beyond the limited experience of our time and experience we can examine history where we discover that in the last thousand years alone California may have seen many droughts lasting 20 years or longer and one that started in A.D. 850 and lasted for 240 years.
Is the meteorlogical past a prologue to our future? Imagine what an impact this would have not just on Californians, but on all of us.
Certainly more than twerking or tweeting.
Nature has also gained our attention with its winter visitation felt as far south as the Gulf Coast. While nothing like the plains states, or the Midwest or Northeast, the power of ice to disrupt our lives was quick and complete. Commerce and comfort in our paradise were impaired for days.
So while these weather phenomena may not have the allure of a pop star, or an NFL star, for me Mother Nature provides the most interesting story in, well, the universe.
Stan Tiner is vice president and executive editor of the Sun Herald. Contact him by mail P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535-4567; by phone (228) 896-2300; or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org