Discover Discovery

There is absolute crap on television – well, at least if you only subscribe to the basic cable package. Network television is decent on Thursday night – NBC only really though. I haven’t even felt the impulse to watch ‘Brothers and Sisters’ on Sunday night since the writer’s strike has ended. But we have discovered that we now get ‘Discovery’ on our basic cable package. Its been really enjoyable watching the ‘Alaska’ themed shows lately. I know, I know – my life is very exciting that I have to resort to watching ‘Discovery’ at night, but its been really good. We’ve really taken a liking to watching ‘Mythbusters’ but mostly because they blow things up.

Great morning!

After a stormy night last night with some serious hail, ‘I’ and I got up to get to her softball game. Its ‘girls weekend’ and we went to Magnolia Cafe for breakfast after – a yummy stack of pancakes! It was worth the wait. Now we get to do whatever we want (after a few chores) – and I’m pretty sure that will involve a nap for both of us as we didn’t sleep terribly well last night due to the storm.

Scary Stuff

On Wednesday G and I went to see ‘Expelled’ which is a documentary by Ben Stein. Its a very interesting story on the fact that scientists – very prominent world scientists at that – are being fired and degraded for their belief in the concept of Intelligent Design. What is interesting is that those who argue against it are calling those who believe in it ‘creationists’. I believe in the concept of Intelligent Design – but I also believe that Darwin was on to something when he said that species evolve as a result of adapting to their surroundings. I’m not a scientist, but I do believe there is room for belief in both. Believing in Intelligent Design require that you believe in Judeo-Christian beliefs either. It simply says that there is a ‘higher being’ (whatever that may be to you) that created the Universe. What was particularly interesting was Richard Dawkins interview at the end of the movie when he agreed that the earth was created by a ‘higher being’ or a ‘higher intelligence’ – but that he was against Intelligent Design. Seems to me he was contradicting himself pretty greatly. The interesting thing in the movie was that those who believed in the concept of ID were being asked to leave the institutions where they had held tenure and were black listed within the science community. In other words, being a scientist was fine as long as you toed the party line and believed what other scientists believed. Those who believed in the ID concept weren’t Joe Schmo scientists either. They were very credible and highly respected scientists within their field. Their argument wasn’t that ‘God’ created the universe – but that we really don’t know and looking at the complexity of the universe they had to feel that it didn’t happen by chance. One scientist noted that for the single cell to be created that started the universe would have required a string of at least 215 proteins to line up in a perfect formation in order for it to happen. The chances of this happening statistically were one in several trillion. What was particularly alarming was the idea that Hitler practiced Darwinism as part of his rise to power and the reason behind his rationale was the idea of Darwinism. A recent article on Dawkins website called this far fetched – but the woman interviewed in the movie actually pointed out that Hitler was a believer in the idea of Darwinism and many of his speeches talked about Darwinian theory. I’m not so sure how it becomes far fetched when Hitler himself said it. Hitler put to death millions of Jew as well as countless people who suffered from disabilities. Hitler said that he didn’t want these people to reproduce. That was also practiced in the US with the involuntary sterilization of thousands by doctors in the early 20th century and was also the basis for the founding of Planned Parenthood. Interestingly, Dawkins description of God reads: “originally a tribal cult of a single fiercely unpleasant God, morbidly obsessed with sexual restrictions, with the smell of charred flesh, with his own superiority over rival gods and with the exclusiveness of his chosen desert tribe.” Sounds to me like a perfect description of Hitler. Whether you believe in ID or not – whether you believe in a Judeo-Christian God or not – this movie uncovers the restrictions that exist in the scientific world to toe a party line. Imagine if one could openly and freely practice their science without being shut up because it doesn’t follow ‘standard’ (which actually isn’t standard as many scientists have privately stated they believe in ID but don’t dare say it publicly as they fear for their jobs). Freedom in the US is waning.

Cool Stuff

My cousin, David, is married to an artist named Cybele Young. She’s very talented and creative. For the past several years she has been working with Japanese paper making miniature figures and objects. They are absolutely incredible. She also does a lot of etching. We are fortunate enough to have some of her etchings at our home. I’d love to buy one of her framed pieces with the japanese paper sculptures one day. She finally has a website – Cybele Young. Its pretty cool and shows a bunch of her work. I found the films particularly interesting where she animates her paper sculptures. They are really cool. What is hard to realize is that most of the items are only an inch or two in size so they are very, very tiny. Take a look at the ‘not flat’ and realize that everything in there was made by hand and is made of paper – and is VERY tiny! She’s got a great sense of humour.

A newfound respect.

Last night G and I went to see the U23D movie at the IMAX theatre. Today is the last day and we both really wanted to see it as we’re both U2 fans. It was a wonderful movie. Its basically a 3D movie of their concert with music played on an excellent sound system at concert levels. Very cool. Aside from the great music and great performance by the band, I felt like I gained a newfound understanding and respect for Bono and the boys. I’d always though ‘Hmmm, Bono, activism. Nice.’ but not much more. Watching this show last night I was able to see a common thread through their music that I hadn’t really paid attention to or been aware of before. Perhaps I needed it spelled out the way they did, but when I saw it – I was really moved. They started the show with ‘Beautiful Day’ and then moved into some other songs. I can’t recall exactly which ones, but they then moved into a sort of ‘dark’ part of the show where the theme became really clear. They played ‘New Year’s Day’ and ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’, ‘Bullet to Blue Sky’ and everything was very red and black. They were all wearing red and black too. They played ‘Miss Sarajevo’. Then the light changed to white and bright colors and they started to sing more uplifting songs like ‘Pride: In the name of love’, ‘Where the Streets Have no Name’,'One’, ‘The Fly’ (still thought provoking with the talk of secrets and lies), ‘With or Without You’ etc… It was beautiful and the message was loud and clear – love and peace among all. The idea of love and tolerance was clear throughout. Love and peace and tolerance – coexist. Love your neighbors no matter what religion they followed and if they didn’t. I loved it. The light went on for me and I saw that Bono was truly walking the walk and witnessing in his own way – in a very loving and clear way for people to understand. Whether Bono is Catholic remains unclear (he grew up with Protestant and Catholic parents) – but he clearly respects the religion as was clear by the rosary hanging on the microphone stand as he sang ‘With or Without You’. The very last song that played during the credits closed with a sketch of the ‘Sacred Heart of Jesus’ merging into a lovely artistic drawing animated to look like its a beating heart. I love the fact that Bono is out there meeting with world leaders, The Pope (John Paul II blessed a rosary that he keeps with him regularly), and working to end poverty, slavery and suffering in the world in his own very public way in an attempt to draw people in but without having to talk about the inspiration behind it so as to scare people off. Good on ya Bono! Bono for President – he’s way better than any of the yahoos we have running right now! He’s probably a lot brighter too ;-)

Random Thoughts

Life has been very busy and there are not enough hours in the day these days. I pray a lot lately – but mostly I pray for more hours to be added to each day to be able to do everything there is to do. Since that’s not really possible, I pray for more focus. Apparently those prayers have not been answered because I’m sitting here writing in my blog and not doing the work I’m supposed to be doing. Life has been good. Kids are great. I ran for the first time in 12 days (but who’s counting?) this morning and it was the first time I’d run in a LONG time where I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort. More later…

Running is fun.

I remember now why I love to run. Its fun. I had forgotten this for the past 12 days of absolutely NO running. Today, because my leg was finally feeling good enough to actually walk on – I decided to go for a run. No pain walking down the stairs – finally! So this morning I ran a whopping 20 minutes up and down the road. Tomorrow I may venture out for 30 minutes. But I was reminded of the idea of running without pain or discomfort and it was a very happy, happy feeling.