Archive for April, 2008

Thoughts Afire

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

While I wrote my check for a teeth cleaning, the dentist’s office crew teased one of their own about setting the island on fire. Naturally I was intrigued and asked, “what island” and other related questions. I discovered that a mother was taking her son and his friends on a special “field” trip the coming Saturday. They were to hunt for animals. Then prepare, cook over a campfire, and eat what they caught.

And I keep thinking of the wonderful experience these boys have as a result of exercising the natural instinct of hunting. They would have a real link with their evolution. What influence would such experience have in ten or twenty years on young men as compared with boyhood experiences of team sports or other physical endeavors? Looking at occupations men sought in the past, I see business management, accountant degrees, and professions with high economic return — medicine, insurance, and banking. Except for the new technology invented more recently, the pure sciences of physics and mathematics were sorely neglected.

Were the sciences too complicated for mens brains? I don’t think so. The human brain developed exactly by the physics and math of evolution. So what happened? Did the economic system, fueled by human greed in the last fifty years, channel the major providers (men) away from nature? Will over population and over production of toys be recognized for the disasters that they are? Hope prevails. Smart thinking is not limited to the past.

Keeping my teeth and gums healthy will no doubt be of great value in my longevity. Is one among billions enough? Collective human thoughts must work with the speed of fire to resolve problems upon the whole earth. Great thoughts, creative planning, and decisive actions will provide a good quality of life on Carl Sagan’s small blue dot, our own personal space ship on which we move with the cosmos.

Sticky Stuff

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

The waders I used, to launch a raft for languishing
turtles on my favorite pond, leaked. Cold water seeped in at the middle
of my thigh, chilling and uncomfortable but not life threatening to be
sure. After identifying the hole I spread the waders in the sun to dry
and went off to other things. Now it occurs to me that I should have
patched the waders before boxing and storing. Duct tape, a small piece
placed carefully inside, would prevent the next user’s discomfort.

Duct tape – how universal that product has become! Duct
tape began as the patch of choice – a band aid of sorts – for
thousands of situations that needed installation or repair. Where did
duct tape come from? Nobody really knows. Oh sure, we all have a
favorite story of a miracle it produced. But why is its origin so
difficult to uncover? Past inventions are written in history. Benjamin
Franklin invented many things and argued about patents. He believed all
people should benefit and no one should singularly profit. Well just
look at the picky little inventions now patented to see how far that
idea went awry.

Our economic system of dog eat dog tells a sad tale.
Real inventors are never known. They remain hidden in research
laboratories. They are nameless drudges who dedicate their hours to
observation, testing, recording, and retesting. When the inventions are
manufactured the originator of the test or observation or retesting is
hardly noticed. The inventions are the property of the laboratory and
an individual matters not.

The success of evolution of our species expects a
different path. We evolved to take over the earth, creating wonders and
solving problems. Those who invent are satisfied to have done so (well,
maybe not all). The human brain has the capacity to solve problems.
Will some form of duct tape come forth to save the day?

Sticky Stuff

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

The waders I used, to launch a raft for languishing turtles on my favorite pond, leaked. Cold water seeped in at the middle of my thigh, chilling and uncomfortable but not life threatening to be sure. After identifying the hole I spread the waders in the sun to dry and went off to other things. Now it occurs to me that I should have patched the waders before boxing and storing. Duct tape, a small piece placed carefully inside, would prevent the next user’s discomfort.

Duct tape – how universal that product has become! Duct tape began as the patch of choice — a band aid of sorts – for thousands of situations that needed installation or repair. Where did duct tape come from? Nobody really knows. Oh sure, we all have a favorite story of a miracle it produced. But why is its origin so difficult to uncover? Past inventions are written in history. Benjamin Franklin invented many things and argued about patents. He believed all people should benefit and no one should singularly profit. Well just look at the picky little inventions now patented to see how far that idea went awry.

Our economic system of dog eat dog tells a sad tale. Real inventors are never known. They remain hidden in research laboratories. They are nameless drudges who dedicate their hours to observation, testing, recording, and retesting. When the inventions are manufactured the originator of the test or observation or retesting is hardly noticed. The inventions are the property of the laboratory and an individual matters not.

The success of evolution of our species expects a different path. We evolved to take over the earth, creating wonders and solving problems. Those who invent are satisfied to have done so (well, maybe not all). The human brain has the capacity to solve problems. Will some form of duct tape come forth to save the day?

Spurts

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Pygmy rabbits on the endangered species list in the sagebrush grasslands of Washington state. At the Sandhill Crane Festival in Othello, a poster announced a kid’s activity where a juice can is wrapped in gray paper and ears added to resemble a bunny. A fun pencil holder. Bunnies, as all babies, are cute, but only as baby vertebrates. Other bunnies are not. My dust bunnies are not cute – only a reminder of what a haphazard housekeeper I am.

Under furniture, considering them as bunnies distracts me from the tiresome physical labor of pushing a cleaner around. Rolls of dirt caught up in fuzz or hair and left to drift under the bed with the swirl of air from foot traffic in an otherwise quiet room. They are a down to earth example of particulates in the air I have to breathe that is dooming our earth to global climate change.

Tiny bits of dirt can do that?

My automobile, a Hundai Accent, exhausts miniscule particulates when the motor is running. With my driving that represents hours for about one thousand and five hundred miles each month and I haven’t tried to estimate the millions of bits that represents. But I did figure out that if I eased slowly out of a hard stop instead of using a heavy foot on the gas pedal, there would be no spurt of gas wasted in the engine, whatever the mechanism is that needs fuel. Then once in traffic if I held my speed steady the engine needed less fuel, at least I surmise that as I watch the rpm reading level off.

Fellow drivers race around me hurrying to their destination – spurting out of the starting gate as if they are in some important horse race rewarded with an enormous wreath of roses. Yet minutes later at the next stop the horse is no further than I am – the place beside me. I’m convinced that wear and tear on brakes and parts of the engine are not worth the imagined time saved by spurting ahead in traffic. I know my resistance to the spurt quick start saves my money at the pump. If that helps in some small way to slow up climate change, so be it.