Don’t forget the children of the world!
…I hugged my son and took in the view of the surrounding mountains. Yet my focus turned back to my son. He is so healthy, embracing life to the fullest. I and he were both a little keyed up me from the confusing drive up here and him from waiting up all night so we went for a walk. As we walked through the woods on the gravel roads Jay pointed out all the plants and berries by name, some of berries were ripe and we enjoyed eating quite a few, blueberries, raspberries and many more for which I don’t remember the names. Since I lived in Southern California for so long,even these mountains were much greener than any I have seen since living in Maryland years ago.
Mostly Jay and I talked and for the next 7 days; we almost never stopped talking. We talked about the past and how we both are in a transition phase in our lives. We talked about learning lessons and relationships of the past and present with family and friends. We talked of plans and dreams for the future. We reminisced about old times good and bad. Because Jay mentioned we were going to a class on Wednesday about 3D printing, we discussed the newest technologies and innovations.
After the walk and a healthful smoothy for breakfast we both tried to sleep for a while. Neither of us could sleep as it was sunny by this time and quite warm. I was reminded of our hormone driven circadian rhythms and how hard it is to try and retrain the human body to sleep during the day.
Needless to say we didn’t do much that day other than a small trip to town 2 miles away and a second walk to the creek. And of course as I said, we talked and talked; we were reconnecting.
Max Gladstone is the author of the amazing Craft Sequence, the first-or-fourth installment of which came out on Tuesday, titled Last First Snow. Since Dr Liz Bourke turned me on to the series, back with Three Parts Dead, I’ve been a huge admirer of the diverse, brilliantly-executed, fascinating, urban economic-legal fantasy that Gladstone has been writing, so I jumped at the offer of a guest-post from the man himself when offered it.
On asking Twitter what the topic of the post should be, the overwhelming response was “bees”; as an alternative, I asked about Gladstone’s choice to write from marginalised viewpoints (most notably, a disabled trans woman of colour in Full Fathom Five). It turns out that, as only a writer of his calibre could, he managed to meld both topics into one in this essay…
I suspect most people feel more or less the…
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Try to guess what the picture is and I will tell you next blog.
I arrived in Seattle after midnight but with a long drive ahead of me to Maple Falls. Getting the car rental went fine. As I left the airport I easily found the freeway but when I was to exit onto the I-5 there was a detour.
No big deal, I said to my very tired self. With the voice activated navigator on my phone I will do fine. And I did do fine even finding the exit I wanted off the I-5 easily.
My first impression of the roads was not my expectation. All the roads appeared as if newly paved! Then I encountered a detour. Well, again no big deal, I had the navigator and the signs to follow, or so I thought. Soon I had my first introduction to round abouts in Washington State. $&(??;$. Really they aren’t so bad except it is very hard to mesh what the navigator says, “take the second exit off the round about toward…” Round abouts are small circles at intersection which don’t slow you down as much as stop lights and the quickly indicated exits are hard to visually interpret in the dark. Somehow in my exhausted state I got it wrong three times in two different round abouts and I was turning around going back and forth on the unfamiliar roads for an extra 20 minutes or so. Needless to say, I am not a fan of round abouts. I do love the well maintained roads!
I finally arrived at my son’s abode about 3:55 am. I was introduced to the short summer nights in North West Washington state. After several hugs of greeting I looked at the sky about 4:10 am and I saw a hint of dawn in the sky…to be continued next blog.
I was wondering the other day about Tupperware toys like the one pictured and if they still make them. My late brother Craig who was 9 years younger than I had this toy, yet I remember playing with it as much as he maybe did. There was something comforting about putting all the pieces in the correct slots. I felt like something had been accomplished. Then just like knocking down the sandcastle, one good twist and a few shakes and the shapes were liberated and the task was done again and again. I never seemed to tire of it.
And why is it that humans will engage in building towers of cards, sandcastles, or snowmen knowing these structures will soon be destroyed?
I imagine it is because the tasks are playful help us see and engage with patterns. Seeking patterns is important in human experience, I propose that doing these activities are a way to demonstrate mastery a motivator for humans.
I remember one year having a fake fireplace for Christmas. It was this chintzy cardboard thing that was supposed to be what Santa came down through to deliver your present. And that year we had a fake tree as well, a glittery silver one.
I know Christmas is not really about the decortions or even presents but I remember feeling cheated because we didn’t have a real fireplace or a real tree cut from the forest.
This is why I have never liked fake trees for Christmas. It is a lot of work to go cut or buy a real tree and this is an industry which I am not sure is fully sustainable in our present world nor is it a reasonable use of resources. But dammit I love the smells of Christmas and the tree is a big part of that. I will compromise this year and not even have a tree as there is no room but I will buy a wreath made of real boughs of pine. I certainly won’t have a fake fireplace. Fake fireplace
I read an interesting blog by Stephanie Eichberg about animals and about a book which discussed the divide we have in our human experience and phobias
between animal and humanity.
Some Thoughts on the Role of Animals in Medicine
Yet when convenient, and to their detriment we use animals for medical studies to test drugs and study our common disease. Because we have common diseases we know we are part and parcel leaves from the same tree of life. We tend to deny this and at the same time take advantage of our common ancestry. My answer to this is that the only divide between us is our inability to have a common language. Language differences and therefore cultural differences divide segments of humanity as well. This gives me pause to think that as we study the sociology of animals we will eventually see that they have more in common than comparative physiology but a common need for culture or as I would call it
I know Groupness is not a word but in the animal world especially, there are behaviors that meld or govern group dynamics. There was a great discussion in the second book of the Jurrasic Park series which has to with Nature vs. Nurture. Psychologists and scociologists debate this dilemma of what truly influences socially adapted individuals. How much behavior is influenced by upbringing was discussed in term of the non-adaptive aberrant behavior noted among the dinosaurs on the island because they were not raised by adults in a community. These maladaptations have been noted in animal studies in laboratories and zoos for years based on how the animals have been raised. This is common knowledge, perhaps this was discussed in the above mentioned book. In fact, the new Jurrasic World movie side stepped this issue and really did get a maladaptation with the chimera they created.
We are no different than animals in our need for socializing parenting appropriate for each type of species. Each species has it’s own exclusive culture based on communication or the language of the species.
Entertaining as it may be to imagine the animals uniting to take the world from us the humans, there is not an animal culture and a human culture that divides us and them. Even among species of animals each population diverge over time as adaptations occur within groups and a new culture and sometimes a new species develops.
A lonely duck in the school yard.
To sum it all up, communication, or lack thereof, and culture seperate us from all the multitudes of other species and populations of those species.