Wednesday, 18 August 2010

What!! Me Disturbed?


Are some things just better left unknown?

1. The Earth is not the center of the universe. 
I never got past Apollo yarding the sun across the sky in his chariot. It has bothered me from time to time why I am unable to catch a glimpse of the sky god since I have watched for him galloping over the horizon just an instant before the sun appears and causes temporary blindness. See item 10 as he may be composed of dark energy! Besides I know a number of people who definitely perceive (impossible to convince them otherwise)  themselves as the center of the cosmos and the Earth and the rest of us are of scant importance.
2. The microbes are gaining on us.
Of course they are!!  You can't fight what you can't see and they know it. Once the zillions of them gather at the bi-millennium microbe/bacteria convention - Vancouver in 2012 - and meld into one gigantic brain , it will a cinch for them to outsmart us once and for all. Chances are they won't kill us. We could serve as pets or biological vehicles to speed up their working day.
3. There have been mass extinctions in the past, and we’re probably in one now.
I know I will eventually be called on the carpet to explain my complicity in endangering one of our bellwether species. So a confession is in order and as they say - confession is good for the soul. Years ago acting as a normal preteen male at summer camp, I engaged in the ecological harvest of a now diminishing population of frogs. Remember this was before the advent of 'catch and release' programs as dictated by government. Soo! Having heard of a delicacy called frog legs, a bunch of us decided it might be much better than canned ragout de boulet for the evening repast. And therefore began one of the steps leading to the decimation of the amphibian genus bullfrog. A number of them gave up their earthly lives and donated their twitching legs to be sautéed up by yours truly in a cast iron frying pan. Very tasty and close to chicken. And thus they became part of summer canoe trip menus. Next time in Mexico off we go to Señor Frog's.
4. Things that taste good are bad for you.
Frogs legs taste good and if anybody starts ragging on me about eating them, it could be considered bad. Otherwise, a Mediterranean diet passes muster with the 'experts' and tends to please the palate with gusto. Poor eating habits aren't totally a matter of paleo or Neolithic survival. They can be acquired tastes. Being fed salt as a child leads to sodium dependency. Grow up with only sufficient salt to fend off the goiters and one tends to avoid packaged and restaurant fare due to being overwhelmed by salt - not to mention all the non food additives.
5. E=mc²
Yes. Mr. Einstein definitely could outthunk me. For myself, the non-equivalence between weight and mass would still be a problem to explain in mixed company - you know, geeks and non-geeks (moi being in the latter category or at least in the proto-human category). C² on paper exhibits none of the qualities encountered in a real life application such as watching the destructive power of an A-bomb drop. Only a die-hard physicist could scan the figures and instantly exclaim 'that be one big mess of energy'.
6. Your mind is not your own.
Never thought it was. Somebody else has control of my fingers for this blog post.
7. We’re all apes.
Oh boy 75 percent of the population will instantly disagree since the Earth is at best slightly over 6000 years old and except for some relatives on my mother's side, no one in my family has any apelike qualities. However, in truth we are not  apes since we are parallel lines from a common ancestor, possibly a creature with the unpronounceable name of Ouranopithecus macedoniensis - does macedoniensis mean we are all from Macedonia?
8. Cultures throughout history and around the world have engaged in ritual human sacrifice.
Unless the Mayans suddenly reappear requesting entry to professional baseball I'll shelve my worries about human sacrifice. Although with the sorry state of the British Columbia Lions - 1 & 6 as of this date - team management may want to consider sacrificing one or two under performing players (lots to choose from in this category) as an appeasement to the football gods (John Madden should know them) to draw 5 or 6 fans back to Empire 'field', 'stadium', 'place' or whatever for the one year it is needed.  As long as I'm not on the menu or weird, painted, chanting figures do not come knocking at my door, I'll rest easy that my blood will not be spilled on some cold, stone slab.
9. We’ve already changed the climate for the rest of this century.
Not our fault. A stone tablet chiseled by Zog circa 8500 BC warned about a warming trend from all the camp and cave fires, unnecessary travel all over the globe, unsanitary landfill practices - which we are still digging up in modern times - poor recycling practices - tools and bones strewn all over the cave - and the wholesale slaughter of large game animals such as the mastodons. Never mind the last 50 or 100 years, look how far the glaciers have retreated since 10 or 12 thousand years ago. Our undisciplined forefathers and mothers drove the the ice out of all of the northern hemisphere except for Greenland and some insignificant high peaks. With better canoes they might have settled Antarctica and it would now be a sunny, warm beach resort.
10. The universe is made of stuff we can barely begin to imagine.
Shadow people living in between the molecules and atoms and strings of our universe. Belly button lint which only travels in one direction. Smog doughnuts. And the fact much stuff we cannot see resides in our imagination.

Photo by Flickr user JustUptown used under Creative Commons

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