Posts Tagged Science and Nature

You only hurt the one you love

“Man Bites Dog” would be a welcome relief from the sometimes-terminal stupidity that seems to be making its way into the news, like this report from last month.

We’ve come to expect full intellelectual shut-down here in America, where Senator John Edwards failed to anticipate that  a $400 haircut might undermine his position as a man of the people, and where the CEOs of the Big Three auto makers flew to Washington, D.C., each in his own private jet, to ask congress for money to bail out their failing businesses.  But there’s something astonishingly disturbing about an adult who fails to recognize the difference between a giant Panda Bear and a puppy … or a Beany Baby.

“Yang Yang was so cute and I just wanted to cuddle him. I didn’t expect he would attack,” the 20-year-old student, surnamed Liu, said in a local hospital, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

As I’ve already written, the sages predict that the generation before the messianic era will be characterized by hesik haDa’as — the failure of reason.  Perhaps the militant activism for same-sex marriage and the search for affection from a brightly-colored omnivore are symptoms of the same affliction:  a profound, irrational confusion over the nature of love and intimacy.

There was a time, not so long ago, when sexual perversion may have existed but was kept securely locked in the closet.  Social pressure forced abherrent sexual behavior underground.  It existed, but it wasn’t fashionable.  Consequently, it wasn’t terribly attractive.

As the line of acceptibility shifts, we can expect more stories like this one, and further demands from the radical fringe.


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Our Strange Universe Keeps Getting Stranger

Here’s yet another look at weird phenomena that scientists can’t explain.  They’ll believe in anything, from aliens space-seeding to interdimensional wormholes.  Just don’t mention the G-word!


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Friday Flashback

Apparently, the legendary “rogue waves” of sailor lore are more than a just a myth, and can reach heights of 80 feet on the open sea.  On October 28, one such wave swept over Boothbay Harbor, Maine.  The 12 foot high wall of water would have caused catastophic damage, experts said, had it not struck at low tide.

But water, the source of all life and all blessing, has become increasingly a source of destruction.  Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, and Gustav, not so long after the Pacific Rim Tsunami, suggest it’s time for another look at these reflections on our relationship with the world we live in.


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If they can do it …

Live Science reports new findings that amoebas, the most fundamental form of micro-organisms, respond to environmental crises in a revolutionary way:  cooperation and self-sacrifice:

Called Dictyostelium discoideum, this amoeba species generally keeps to itself when living in a healthy environment with [adequate sustanence].

But when food supplies run low, the free-living organisms clump together into a community of individuals. The result is a multi-cellular organism. Each amoeba takes on one of two roles in this organism: They either become spores, which can survive and reproduce, or they die and the dead cells form stalks that lift the spores above the ground to increase the chances the spores will disperse to more favorable environments.

It doesn’t reflect well upon human beings that we can’t take this simple lesson a step further than the most simple single-celled bacteria, or that sometimes we can’t even get as far as they do.  With the economy plummetting, we hear to little “ask not what my country can do for me” and way too much “where’s mine?”

Jewish history provides endless examples.  The world was destroyed in the Great Flood because a culture of greed and violence had spread over th face of the earth, and the Second Temple was destroyed because of the twin transgressions of senseless hatred and refusing to go beyond the letter of the law.

When research reveals that germs have more cooperative spirit and a greater predisposition toward self-sacrifice than we do, the echoes of history should warn us that even more troubles may be waiting around the corner.

Unless, or course, we take a sharp turn around a different corner.

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