Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
One of my closest friends believes that people are evil at their core. "Like the Earth," she said, referring to Earth's molten center.
"The core is evil, and people just pack on layers of things (analogous to the Earth's crust), like Christianity, to hide it."
I told her I did not believe that people were inherently evil. I think we have a continuous struggle; an ongoing battle like in the story of the two wolves.
She wasn't familiar with the old Cherokee story, so I told her how everyone's soul has two wolves; one represents all good things, like joy, hope, courage, strength, optimism, and the other represents all bad things, like greed, jealousy, selfishness, weakness, etc. The two wolves are constantly fighting, and the one that wins is "the one you feed."
She looked at me for a split-second and said, "That's stupid."
This woman is known for her blunt honesty. "People are evil," she said. "I KNOW it."
I know she's been hurt. But who hasn't been? I am continuously disappointed and hurt by the people in my life. The problem is, you don't always know what their intentions are. Intent is King, I believe.
We are going to have another blunt discussion soon, and I bought a bottle of wine in preparation for it: J. Lohr's "Wildflower," which is a very light, red wine. I first had it at the actual J. Lohr winery in San Jose, California. It is best served chilled, and it tastes like flowers. Perfect for summer!
Monday, April 26, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
"Godzilla vs. King Kong" by Tankor89
The best thing about working at a university is that you get to hang around professors. You get invited to their houses for parties, cook-outs, etc. etc. Last night I ate dinner with a geologist, a retired anatomy professor, an economist, a biologist, a seminary student, and a physical science professor. I learned that women of child-bearing age (who are still producing significant amounts of estrogen) may not find Tylenol a very effective pain killer. The estrogen somehow affects the body's ability to break down the drug, and the result is a very quick drug metabolism.
(You don't want painkillers to metabolize quickly; that means the pain comes back faster.)
I never buy Tylenol when I buy painkillers. I always get Exedrin or Motrin for my headaches and various cramping issues.
Today, walking down the hallway of the science building, our botany professor and I started talking about snakes. He claims that mammals have an innate hatred for all reptiles. "Think about it," he said. "We've been battling for 200 million years or so. If that asteroid hadn't come around, we'd be.... (out of luck.)" He was referring to the asteroid impact that has been linked to the decimation of the dinosaurs, of course. That particular impact, estimated to have happened around 65 million years ago, is why mammals were able to evolve from small, lemur-like creatures into larger, top-level predators. We are currently in the "Age of Mammals," or the Cenozoic Era, which started right after that massive, cruel, and blessed (for us, at least) asteroid hit Earth.
I always thought people hated snakes because of the Biblical implications. Little kids don't seem to be afraid of snakes unless their parents tell them to be fearful.
The botany professor disagreed with me. "No," he said, "it's innate." I thought for a minute, then yelled, "Godzilla versus King Kong!" Reptiles fighting mammals is certainly not a new concept.
When the fight begins, who do YOU want to win???
Saturday, April 10, 2010
I'm home from the races. I spent all day at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, watching some of the most beautiful creatures that have ever graced the planet.
Today was also the day for the Arkansas Derby, which included a one million dollar purse. My horse of choice, Dublin, came in third. I won more money back than I bet. But my money is not my concern.
My concern is that I saw another horse "break down" on the race track. The jockey made quite a heroic leap, high off of the foundering horse's back, over the inner fence and into the bushes near the track. I watched that poor horse try to keep running. It may have broken both of its front legs, for all I could tell. It is an awful, sickening thing to see.
I love horses. I LOVE horses! It crossed my mind again today that maybe I should boycott horse races. I listened to what people were saying while the ambulance drove onto the race track. "Number seven broke down." "I hope that man is okay?" "How much money did I win?!"
Is this a cruel sport? Are these animals mistreated? The flow of cash into this sport is the very reason these horses are bred. They wouldn't be here if people like me didn't come to the race track to place bets, drink cold beer and eat delicious corned beef sandwiches. (I know the corned beef sounds disgusting, but it is really really good!)
I asked several employees at Oaklawn if they euthanized the injured horse. An EMT slowly shook his head yes. "The reason they do that is because a horse is so heavy, he can't stay on just three of his legs. The other legs get diseased if he takes the weight off one of them."
He didn't make me feel any better. It seems like we should be able to do more than just kill a horse when it breaks a leg.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Kudos to British comic book artist Philip J. Bond for his artistic take on some of the world's female astronauts!
My favorite one is shown here: the first female astronaut (cosmonaut), Valentina Tereshkova.
Click the link below to see the rest of Mr. Bond's work:
P.S. I want to see Eileen Collins, Mr. Bond! She was the first female Shuttle pilot, and the first female Shuttle Commander.