Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sheep Herding!

This was too good for my not to place here. Using sheep herding as a means of not only fun but artistic expression. I can only imagine the complexity of the entire execution.

 Sheep Herding!

Negative! Always the Negative!

If you're a great deal like (and you may not be at all) you have a lot of politically active friends who like to forward information regarding the latest issues in Washington and anywhere else that happens to have professional liars and cheaters. This serves well as it keeps me informed on what is happening outside of my house since the few visits I make beyond the walls are limited to a range of a few miles...most of the time. I also avoid cable, as I have a hatred for the latest attempts to market goods that I don't need and attempts to trick me into buying something of no value. There are other reasons of course, but let's just come to the simple conclusion that I keep a good distance from much of the outside world. If I could have it my way, I would be much further from civilization and make only momentary breaks in order to tend to my ideal work.

I'm rambling of course. I have friends who inform me of the outside, just not politically mind you, but also socially and scientifically. Much of the science I update myself in is that in my field, so it's nice to get briefs on what is happening in places like physics and chemistry.

Do you ever notice though, that there is rarely any good news? Often times, the news (not necessarily political) is negative, particularly concerning how America and other countries more backwards than our own, are somehow just swirling down into the great toilet of the universe.

Does it ever bother you? I know that some days I look at all the information people send me and I just wonder if anyone will ever send something positive. Maybe we've manage to stave off the extinction of another species, or perhaps for once, all of our efforts have come to fruition in Washington.

I think it would be great if instead of moaning about how horrible the world is (and oh is it), we ought to consider the good things. Take a moment to gag if you must, it all sounds incredibly cheesy and out of an 80s cartoon, this I know, but I think there is some truth in it.

One of the things I wish not to do on this blog is to saturate anyone with consistent negative drivel. I'm aware that politics are important (for some odd reason), and that we must be aware of the horrible things being done so that we can hopefully stop it. However, once in awhile we need to pause and breathe, else we turn into cranky, bitter monsters. I certainly never want to be that.

The world is a horrible place. The world is also a beautiful place, full of complexity and life beyond humans. Once in awhile I'd like to see someone say that instead of always whining about the injustices. It's harder to see how wonderful Earth is when the cities are smothering us and the humans are killing everything that is. But it's there, I promise you.

So to cement the beginning of good things!
There are good things in the world!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

OMG it promotes racism! OH NO!

I get it. I know you're scared because some science article came out and it's conclusion seems to be racist. I don't like racism anymore than you do, so I understand the insta-fear that comes out of it.

However...there is something you don't understand... not... PC.

Take a deep breathe. I know that it's shocking and it may take a moment to overcome catatonia.

Now before you lose it. Before you turn into a raging hippie, let's get something straight.

Science, while it can show us what is moral or immoral (based on the greatest common good), that's not it's actual design, it's merely an ability or extension of it. Science is based on the idea of understanding reality, as it is, and not as we wish it were.

I wish there were Faeries.
Run several tests, find out faeries don't exist.
So faeries don't exist.

Damn it! No faeries?! But that's promoting static thinking! How will we ever promote creativity without FAERIES?! You bastards!

See the problem?

Science is based on what we see, in a somewhat metaphorical but also literal sense. We seek reality or truth, even if that truth is horrible. You know what we do after? We test it over and over again so that we can learn more about it, it happens, under what circumstances, can we change it, etc. Then we apply what we learn and try to change the behavior so that it IS moral.

See how this works?

Now, if you find a study which has a shaky methodology, that's completely different. Then IT IS a problem because science is based on being reliable and valid. If the study is unreliable and invalid, then there is a problem with the study that should be rectified.

But please, for the long of FSM, do NOT cry foul because a study is not PC oriented. Life sucks, reality sucks, and that is why we study it, so we can learn how to make it better.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's the fault of the cats dontcha know!

I get it. Bird lovers probably cry whenever a cat takes one of their precious down, especially if that bird happens to be endangered. I can understand that. When I know a cat has died, it breaks my heart. When I see one on the side of the road, I try to stop and pull them off. No cat should be left that way.

But when you deliberately harm an animal because you don't like their nature, I draw the line. Read the article here.

I don't have evidence against her, nor do I know if her poisoning has been confirmed. What I do know is that the possibility disgusts me.

When I was younger, I had a beautiful gray and white cat named Bandit. He was loving, affectionate and one of the many cats I've had grace me with their presence throughout the years. We lived in a trailer park at the time, so when we left for the weekend, we made sure all the windows were closed and he was settled in, comfortable and safe. We never knew, of course, that one of the bathroom windows had been left open and that he got out. We also didn't know about the park's attempt to 'cull' the 'feral cat' population with anti-freeze. When we got home, he was having convulsions. That's what I was told because honestly, I never saw. My parents kept it from me because of how emotional I would have been. I'm glad I didn't see it happen, but that moment is still there.

I'm not implying that we shouldn't poison because they could belong to someone, but that we shouldn't because of it's inherent immorality. I feed feral cats in the city so that they can survive for just another day. The feral cat population is hardly anything to sneeze at when you compare to the overpopulation of humans, and I'm willing to hypothesize that humans do far more damage than feral cats do to the local wildlife, birds included. a part of life, and for carnivores it's how they survive. It's horrible to see a species go extinct or endangered and we should do whatever we can to help them out. Killing other animals though, is not one of them. It's pathetic and horrible to take such a stance.

I want to reiterate that I don't know if she did it, nor will I say she did. My main point is that there is no reason to kill other animals for such nonsense, no matter who the killer is.

So raising your kid without a 'gender?' Blasphemy!

Recently there was a family in Canada who decided not to disclose the gender of their third child to family or outsiders in an effort to allow their child to define their gender on their own. They had apparently done this for their previous two children as well with some success. You can read one of the articles at faux news here.

Naturally, I like to think this is a good thing. There are innate characteristics of the sexes that we can define through research, though sometimes, the physical sex and the gender don't match up, so it's a good thing to be open minded about the perception that your child has on themselves.

Some people seem to dislike this idea, mainly the 'pro-family' (who isn't pro-family?) organizations. Why we care what they think is beyond me, but naturally faux news had the need to ask them even after psychologists have expressed their not-so-concerned attitude about diminishing the gender signals a child receives.

My guess is that these 'pro-family' organizations have a problem with how these parents are raising their child because it doesn't fit into the perfect little mold of how people should act. When a person is not definable into black and white terms, these sort of people get scared. It's the typical fearful-of-change we're seeing, and they should be afraid. The reality is, people are learning that there is no 'he/she.' Gender roles are blurring slowly (very slowly some days) and LGBT youth are becoming more accepted. I think that with that, we're accepting men who are feminine but not gay (still a long way from that), women who are assertive and powerful, and all the things in between. What does this do to the 'pro-family' organizations and the people who control them? My assumption is that the people in control of these groups have the need to control others for their own self-gratification. They're self-important, egotistical assholes who balk at the idea of some group or another gaining a foothold without their permission. It's not just these organizations either. Others, like them, will express their disgust due to this one family not following the controlled rules that defines their predictable community.

Seriously though...why do we care about this one family in Canada? Who is it who leaked out what one family, who isn't harming their child, has done to reduce the biased gender signals sent into their child's brain? Honestly, I'd disown the family member who did it (if they did), and cut off any friends, largely because this is not the world's business. Last I checked, the only time it's of concern is when the child is being harmed in some way. Since there isn't much research on this sort of thing (it's probably too progressive to do much research on yet), we can't say for sure if it is or isn't harmful. So shut the fuck up and leave them alone.

Personally...I agree with them. If the kid wants to wear pink and prance around in ballet, even as a male, more power to him. If it's a girl and she wants to wear overalls and work on cars, I'm down with that. And any other combination of gender norms you can think of...yeah I'm down with that too.

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's the end of the world! Well...Maybe Not...Yet.

May 21, 2011 at 6 pm is when it was forecast. The world was suppose to begin the end, with all of the 'devout' Christians taken to heaven while the rest of us heathens suffered for several more months.

  Nothing happened.

 I can admit a sort of sadness when these things fail. I knew this wouldn't happen, many of us knew, and we openly mocked the delusional for their willingness to give up everything for an unrealistic hope. I can still admit a very small fraction of me had wanted for some part of what they said to be true...just to be rid of them. Honestly, I think the world would be better if we could actually focus on the important things in science.

 It's over now and the people who gave up everything they ever had now have to deal with the consequences. I can't help but feel a little sad for them. These people attached to a dream because life is hard. They wanted to see light at the end of the tunnel in a time when there doesn't feel like there is one. The economy is horrible, the republicans want to strip workers rights and female reproductive choice, as well as give cuts to the wealthy, and the people at the bottom are the ones suffering the most. It won't just be the believer who suffers, but their children and their relatives. Without any money, without their home, with credit cards maxed out (should they have done so), who does the burden fall on? The community.

 So maybe we should feel sad for them. Maybe we should be a community and try to help them pick their lives back up, maybe give them hope without the need for religion to do so.

Just a thought.

I think somehow, we'll all feel the burden of this. I can't say for sure, I can't even prophesize because, let's face it, I have no evidence. It's just something to think about.